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Archive 2013 · 5d 40d 50d
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 5d 40d 50d

I was looking for a thread or two on the comparisons of the three. I would primarily use in 800-3200 iso with speedy glass mostly. IQ is my biggest desire... I owned a 40d and really thought the iq was great, but the 50d would have more resolution, and well the 5d was always a wish ever since my 10d days,

I use 1d3 bodies so this choice would be along side them,,,, concerts, weddings,events would and kick around stuff would be there primary uses.

Again, from an IQ standpoint what would be the best choice in your opinion

Jan 20, 2013 at 06:09 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 5d 40d 50d

See if you can find one mint used 5D. Great camera

Jan 20, 2013 at 06:48 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 5d 40d 50d

I own and enjoy all three. For IQ, definetely the 5d.

Jan 20, 2013 at 07:15 AM

Search in Used Dept. 

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 5d 40d 50d

At high iso i believe the 5D still beats all Canon crop cameras (incl the 7D) for noise and detail. It is limited to ISO 3200 though. Of course it is somewhat lacking in features compared to a 50D: poorer AF, screen, burst rate, no MA....

Jan 20, 2013 at 07:27 AM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 5d 40d 50d

I've not used a 5D (I don't have that ff itch) but have used most of the crop offerings .

40D , I had mine for quite some time . And while its a good camera I find the performance at 1600 iso to be poor. Beyond that is the 'H' setting (false 3200) but I found that to be much worse . Pushing a 1600 file a stop in post was better.

50D, I bought one of these because I wanted the few extras it had over the 40D (MA, better screen etc) . But I sold it pretty soon after I got it. I found the IQ was either no better or even slightly worse . I don't pixel peep at 100% but viewing the whole image on screen showed up more noise at mid to high iso's (800-1600) . Buti will say it handled 3200 better than the 40D did set to 'H'
But I just didn't see anything that justified keeping the 50D.

7D, I know this isn't in your list but, it is by far the best crop body (1.6 crop) canon have made . Hi iso's viewed at the whole image level (forget 100% unless you level the playing field) are much better than the bodies I've had before. And I include in that the 1D2n I had. In fact unless the 5D handles its files better than the mk2n then I would question the 5D mk1 at the high iso's as well (the 1D2 and the 5D are the same pixel pitch) . I really didn't like the mk2n at iso1600.

Conclusions I have drawn now.
crop . 7D . Any of the 18mp bodies for IQ , but the 7D has the best features.

FF , if I wanted ff I would go for the 5D2 , (although I do have an itch for 1Ds2 ). Of course if I could afford it a 5D3 would be a better choice.

Jan 20, 2013 at 07:58 AM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 5d 40d 50d

If IQ is your main objective, and you are shooting 1D3 bodies currently, I can't think of any reason to get a 40D/50D unless you need a backup camera and have but a few $$$ to spare.

I posted this topic a couple of months ago, you might be interested in reading it. I compared my - then - current cameras 5D and 40D to a newly acquired 1Ds2. I only tested high ISO noise performance.

Before you click on the link, please read the following. Despite a clear introduction of how I tested (no 100% crops), there was a lot of confusion by people who didn't read and just looked at the images. So:
Please take notice of the fact that I did not show 100% crops. I find 100% crops are useless because nobody puts a 100% crop in a wedding album. When you compare 3 cameras using 100% crops you know camera A is better than C and C is better than B. You can't tell if cameras B or C might be good enough for your needs. Therefore I shot the 3 cameras, applied my workflow, and exported to JPEGs in such a way that the resolution you see on screen is the same as the resolution you would see in a wedding album. You should position your eye at the same distance as you would view an album.

OK now you can follow the link.


In my test, the 5D is the best, the 40D the worst and the 1Ds2 comes at a close 2nd. ISO performance that is. There are other factors that set apart the 1Ds2 and the 5D that I did not test here.

As for 40D vs 50D: there are tens of topic here on FM. I read them all before I bought my 40D. I value IQ more than anything and there seemed to be concensus on the 40D beating the 50D at high ISO noise, but still most say they'd prefer the 50D for other reasons, like MA, better menus and such.

What did I decide?
Eventually I sent back the 1Ds2 because of AF problems. I sold the 40D and bought a used 5DmkII. So I'm now shooting 5D/5DmkII combo. I'm quite happy with that now and I won't need another camera for the next 2 years, unless I move into weddings more, in case of which I'll get a 5D3 probably.

Hope this helps.

Stay good,

Jan 20, 2013 at 08:42 AM

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