Old 11-28-2007, 03:46 AM   #1
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Default Decisions: 40D or 5D MkII?

Now, I may be a complete n00b when it comes to DSLRs, but as some will say I'm a pretty good photographer with loads of technical knowledge that goes to waste.
Problem is, I'm having trouble deciding whether it's worth going straight to a full sensor cam (And waiting until the MkII comes out next year...) or if I should stick with a prosumer 1.6x.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:00 AM   #2
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The 40D basically takes 5D files. Yes, full frame is nice, but with a wide angle lens, you can have practically the same pictures as with a 5D.

If you went with the 40D, you would essentially have a 5D for half the price and double the frame-rate. No need to wait for the rumored 5D MarkII, unless you plan doing top-notch proffessional work, you dont need 9 frames a second, or 16 megapixel files.

Just my 3 cents.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:27 AM   #3
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If you can afford the 5D and the full frame sensor, it would almost be foolish not to get it, in my opinion.


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Old 11-28-2007, 02:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
If you can afford the 5D and the full frame sensor, it would almost be foolish not to get it, in my opinion.
That's a pretty strong opinion! What exactly do you think one gets for that extra money? Just because one can afford the top stuff doesn't mean it's good value.
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:17 PM   #5
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I haven't read up much on the 5D because I couldn't even afford the 40D, but the full frame sensor is a big plus. I'd imagine the body is sturdier and you get more MPs. If he can afford it and it not set him back, that's my suggestion. Now if it becomes an issue of getting the 5D but then having to skimp on lens, etc, get the 40D.


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Old 11-28-2007, 03:00 PM   #6
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Get the 40D and some good glass for what you'd spend on the 5D.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:11 PM   #7
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Here is a side by side comparison of the two. I'd say the biggest difference is the sensor size. I am thinking the 40D would be a better buy considering there is a sizable difference in price which could be put towards purchasing a high quality lens.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp...os40d&show=all


Most notable differences:

Canon EOS 5D
22-Aug-05
$2500
12.7 MP
2.5 " LCD0
36 x 24 mm sensor (1x)

------

Canon EOS 40D
20-Aug-07
$1300
10.1 MP
3.0" LCD
22.2 x 14.8 mm sensor (1.6x)
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:13 PM   #8
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When I was looking into the 30D vs. the 5D, the biggest advantage the full frame sensor had IMO was less grain on higher ISO shots. My shots in ISO 400 on my 30D are a tad too grainy for publication on this site, but I typically leave the ISO at 100 and don't mess with it.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
I haven't read up much on the 5D because I couldn't even afford the 40D, but the full frame sensor is a big plus. I'd imagine the body is sturdier and you get more MPs. If he can afford it and it not set him back, that's my suggestion. Now if it becomes an issue of getting the 5D but then having to skimp on lens, etc, get the 40D.
Well, I am picky as to an argument regarding how much to spend! First of all, why is the full frame sensor such a big plus? How much better are the captured images?

The body might be a bit sturdier, but the MPs are just 10.1 vs 12.8 - how much extra value is in those 2.7 megapixels? As to the lenses, the price difference in the bodies is $960 (at Amazon)! That's a lot of lenses, or trips, or donations to charity, or whatever. Even if you can easily afford it, it is foolish to spend it on something that does not bring value.

Sorry, Joe, not bugged by you in particular, I get irritated whenever I see this sort of argument, and I see it a lot. The primary issue here in my view is image quality vs. $960 (adjusted for any differences in the costs of lenses one has, to match the respective sensor sizes). Is it worth it? Secondary issues might include things like usability and ergonomics.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken45
My shots in ISO 400 on my 30D are a tad too grainy for publication on this site, but I typically leave the ISO at 100 and don't mess with it.
Then your camera must be broken as I have many times put ISO 400 shots on this site. Most times without applying noise reduction.

In general I find that a) many people get really, really worked up about really, really minor noise levels, and b) people don't seem to be interested in applying even a tad of noise reduction. I've never understood this. To each their own!
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:38 PM   #11
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J, I think the 5D might also be fully weather-sealed, so if the potential buyer is planning on shooting in less-than-ideal conditions, that extra money might be worth it...
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
J, I think the 5D might also be fully weather-sealed, so if the potential buyer is planning on shooting in less-than-ideal conditions, that extra money might be worth it...
I'll stick that under my general category of "usability."
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:43 PM   #13
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I understand what you're saying about expensive isn't always better, but if I can afford a Corvette without batting an eye, I'm not going to buy a Prius just because I can save the world and save on gas money.


Of course, they're not really in the same 'league', so if I can afford a Ferrari, I wouldn't buy the 'Vette just because it's cheaper and its usability is greater...
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I understand what you're saying about expensive isn't always better, but if I can afford a Corvette without batting an eye, I'm not going to buy a Prius just because I can save the world and save on gas money.
Some do think that way, many should.

But I don't want to come across as too hard core nor as anti-spending or anti-wealth. I'm arguing about reasoning and on how one gives advice.

BTW, I am not saying expensive isn't always better. If anything, I am saying the opposite. I am saying that people can be too flip, too easily pointing to the more expensive product and saying it is better (it generally is, of course) without thinking through the consequence. At least in terms of advising others, as I see on numerous forums. I don't think people think that way with respect to their own decisions.

So I guess I am saying that advising someone that the 5D is better than the 40D is remarkably unhelpful advice. The advice that should be given is that it is worth it.

A constructive example. I used to shoot a 70-300 f/4.5-5.6, Canon. I upgraded to the 70-200 f/4 L, going from about $150 to about $500. That $350 spent turned out to be indeed worth it; the improvement in image quality was substantial, and in my circumstance I didn't miss the 200-300mm range much at all.

Another piece of advice. For railfan photography, the extra money spent on a low-end DSLR is well worth it compared to a $250 digicam. The improvement in image quality and in correct exposure is way, way worth the extra $$. (With respect to a $450 digicam like a Canon G9, I don't know.)

I suspect (without any evidence! just intuition/observation/life experience ) that the 5D is not worth the $960 for most railfan photographers.

There is the separate issue of having a great tool. I don't do much sawing, but I have a nice $150 jigsaw instead of a $50 cheap-o. Maybe I can't justify it on quality grounds, but it's a nice tool. So I understand buying for non-rational reasons.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
I suspect (without any evidence! just intuition/observation/life experience ) that the 5D is not worth the $960 for most railfan photographers.
Right, but the original poster is a self-proclaimed good photographer, so maybe he has a need for the 5D outside of railfanning...
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken45
When I was looking into the 30D vs. the 5D, the biggest advantage the full frame sensor had IMO was less grain on higher ISO shots. My shots in ISO 400 on my 30D are a tad too grainy for publication on this site, but I typically leave the ISO at 100 and don't mess with it.
Hmmm. I have ISO 800 and ISO 1600 shots on this site. I also routinely shoot at ISO 200 so that I can shoot at at least 1/800th second and still maintain great depth of field. I would suggest you check your camera or how you're shooting at high ISO's. Properly exposed images shouldn't have a big issue with grain, and most of the grain will vanish when the image is resized for web viewing anyways.

ISO 800
Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 191991
Photograph © John Ryan


ISO 1600
Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 107409
Photograph © John Ryan


Now, on to the original question: Can you afford the 5D and not sacrifice any potential lens purchases? Money is best spent on top-drawer lenses first. I followed that route myself, buying L lenses to go with my Digital Rebel. When I had more money I picked up an EOS 20D, then an EOS 1D mark-II. But I had nice, crisp photos from the start.

Furthermore, do you foresee replacing either your 40D or 5D in the near future? It seems like the 5D is a pretty good camera, and would be worth the extra money if you plan to hang on to it for a long time.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
Hmmm. I have ISO 800 and ISO 1600 shots on this site. I also routinely shoot at ISO 200 so that I can shoot at at least 1/800th second and still maintain great depth of field. I would suggest you check your camera or how you're shooting at high ISO's. Properly exposed images shouldn't have a big issue with grain, and most of the grain will vanish when the image is resized for web viewing anyways.

ISO 800
Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 191991
Photograph © John Ryan


ISO 1600
Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 107409
Photograph © John Ryan
I only turned my camera to shoot ISO 400 once, so perhaps it was a bit premature for me to say that I thought my shots were too grainy when I haven't shot extensively at that ISO. Fact is, where I do my photography now it's sunny most of the time, hence no need to shoot anything but ISO 100.

John, I have to ask regarding your example shots, why did you shoot them at such a high ISO? Did you just not have a tripod handy? In your situation, I would have done a longer exposure at ISO 100 utilizing my tripod. In fact, I guess the only reason I would change the ISO would be in the instance that I want to freeze a train in low light.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
That's a pretty strong opinion! What exactly do you think one gets for that extra money? Just because one can afford the top stuff doesn't mean it's good value.
Agreed. I can afford the 5D, but my next camera will be the 40D. I like the effect the 1.6x magnification has on my zoom lenses. I guess a lot depends on your style. Someone who enjoys wide angle shots would love the full-frame, but that's just not my style.

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Old 11-28-2007, 09:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken45
John, I have to ask regarding your example shots, why did you shoot them at such a high ISO? Did you just not have a tripod handy? In your situation, I would have done a longer exposure at ISO 100 utilizing my tripod. In fact, I guess the only reason I would change the ISO would be in the instance that I want to freeze a train in low light.
Ken,

The ISO 800 photo was shot as part of a series taken on the same day. Some of those shots are here: http://homepage.mac.com/allegheny/hinsdale/gallery/

Not wanting to encumber myself with more than I could carry, I left the tripod in the car until it was very dark out.

The ISO 1600 shot was taken with a tripod, but I didn't want to wait hours and hours for an ISO 100 exposure. This was taken in rural central Indiana after midnight, where there isn't much ambient light. ISO 1600 allowed me to get the shot ... and then get to bed.

Yes, patience and equipment would have allowed me to shoot at ISO 100, but it's not always convenient. I posted the example photos to show that a good camera will produce acceptable results from high ISO speeds.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
Hmmm. I have ISO 800 and ISO 1600 shots on this site. I also routinely shoot at ISO 200 so that I can shoot at at least 1/800th second and still maintain great depth of field. I would suggest you check your camera or how you're shooting at high ISO's. Properly exposed images shouldn't have a big issue with grain, and most of the grain will vanish when the image is resized for web viewing anyways.

ISO 800
Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 191991
Photograph © John Ryan


ISO 1600
Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 107409
Photograph © John Ryan

Sorry, John, but the 1600 photo is quite noisy and could have easily been nixed for that. The 800 isn't as bad, but it's still there. Why did you use 1600 anyway? No tripod?

With the 5D, you wouldn't see ANY noise like that at similar ISO's. You can also go down to 80 (or mabye even 50, IIRC).

Since the 5D is THE camera at the top of my wish list, I'm a bit biased to suggest to the original poster that if he can afford, GET it. If I could afford it, I would already have it. I can't wait to have one just to increase the useage of this 100-400 lens I have. The 400 end is nice to have, but I rarely use a shot at that focal length. I'd rather be able to take advantage of a true 100mm than 160 (there are a lot of shots that I can't get because 160 just isn't wide enough), not to mention higher ISO's without any extra noise. Those are two BIG advantages of owning a 5D that I look forward to...some day.

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Old 11-28-2007, 09:57 PM   #21
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My apologies for a minor thread hijack here, but...

Quote:
The ISO 800 photo was shot as part of a series taken on the same day. Some of those shots are here:
John, thanks for the pointer to those images. I grew up in LaGrange, (left in '71) just a couple of blocks off the "Q", so those are familiar, if updated a bit, views. I have some interesting adolescent memories of the Highlands station (cough, cough).

You must've used a pretty long lens on a few, as the Western Springs water tower looms pretty large in some of 'em. As a young kid, I worked at the Texaco station (now probably long gone) right across the street from the tower. The station's just visible in this shot of George Hamlin's:



From the date, I very well may have been working there that day.

In any case, it's a very nice series. And a nice stroll down memory lane for me.

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Old 11-28-2007, 10:01 PM   #22
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Here's what I gathe

Get the 5D If you don't need any new glass

Get the 40D if you need new glass

Get a Nikon D300 if you have any sense
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:02 AM   #23
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Wide glass is cheaper than long glass (at least if you top of the line). So get a full sensor, and lose length off your longest glass, or get the smaller sensor and get a wider lens (if you need it).
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:04 AM   #24
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If you can afford it, wait for the 5D mark 2 (or whatever it'll be called) and get some nice glass to go with it. Im willing to bet that the high ISO capabilities will be a lot better on this camera compared to the 40D which is the main reason I recommend it. If you can't afford any nice glass to go with the camera than I would recommend the 40D. Eventually Im going to switch over to Canon and get the updated 5D when it comes out or the 1DsMarkiii. Also, takes a bit of patience if you want that updated 5D. Im guessing it won't be out for awhile.

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Old 11-29-2007, 04:17 AM   #25
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I have decided to disregard all of your advice and get a 40D. I had a long discussion with a good photographer friend of mine, and we basically figured out that with the right glass (Including that sexy 10-22 EF-S) there's nothing that I would want to do that a 40D couldn't do for me with any practical difference from a full frame.
That being said, if someone wants to buy me a 1D MkIII....
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