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Author Topic: Advice on camera upgrade  (Read 18046 times)

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« on: February 01, 2009, 17:39 »
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I currently use a Canon Xti 400D.  The noise on that camera is horrible, even at 100 ISO.  I really want to upgrade BADLY!
My plan has been to get the Canon 5D Mark II (which would keep me from feeling like I need to upgrade for awhile).  However, they seem to be backordered for who knows how long.  If I have to wait 6 months to a year to get it, I feel like perhaps I should upgrade to something else for now until availability and price are better.
So, I'm considering getting the 50D now (with my tax return $) and then upgrading to the 5D 2 next year.
As a side note, I am more a landscape photographer than a microstock photographer....I only do this to make a little money to support my photography/travel costs.
What do you guys think?
Also, where is the best place to buy a camera from?  Price/Quality/Returns, etc.
Oh, and if you want to know what lenses I already have.....
Canon 18-55mm EF-S f3/.5-5.6 kit lens
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Canon 17-40mm f/4.0 L

Thanks,
Paula
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 18:01 by paulacobleigh »


« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2009, 17:45 »
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I would get the old 5D. Its a great camera and very little noise. You can probably pick one up cheap these days. Comparing pictures from my 5d next to my 1D's mk III the difference is very little. Just the size is different. Just my opinion, hope that helps  :)

« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2009, 17:51 »
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I would get the old 5D. Its a great camera and very little noise. You can probably pick one up cheap these days. Comparing pictures from my 5d next to my 1D's mk III the difference is very little. Just the size is different. Just my opinion, hope that helps  :)

I'd agree with all of that. You'll find the full-frame sensor much better for landscape work too. I sold off my 5D when I upgraded to the 1Ds MkIII but in some ways I regret doing so.

« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2009, 17:57 »
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I would get the old 5D. Its a great camera and very little noise. You can probably pick one up cheap these days. Comparing pictures from my 5d next to my 1D's mk III the difference is very little. Just the size is different. Just my opinion, hope that helps  :)

I'd agree with all of that. You'll find the full-frame sensor much better for landscape work too. I sold off my 5D when I upgraded to the 1Ds MkIII but in some ways I regret doing so.

right!! kind of like: ya, the 1d is a better camera but was it worth the extra 5,000.00... NOOOOOOOOO!!! especially with new 5d out with basically same sensor. Live and learn I guess?  :-\

Another misconception that I was under was XXL size would sell enough to make up for the price tag. I'm finding that most designers/buyers don't buy XXL size(unless subscription of course), 12mp seems to be plenty of sensor.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 18:06 by cdwheatley »

« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2009, 18:32 »
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right!! kind of like: ya, the 1d is a better camera but was it worth the extra 5,000.00... NOOOOOOOOO!!! especially with new 5d out with basically same sensor. Live and learn I guess?  :-\

Another misconception that I was under was XXL size would sell enough to make up for the price tag. I'm finding that most designers/buyers don't buy XXL size(unless subscription of course), 12mp seems to be plenty of sensor.

Yep __ it's main 'value' now appears to be the tax loss! All the features I upgraded to gain (sensor size, dust cleaning, bigger LCD) are now available on the 5DII at about half the cost less than 1 year later. In fact the new 5D has some additional functions that I don't have.

Funnily enough, because the Euro has strengthened so much against the Yen (and the weakened further still), Canon have hugely increased the RRP of the 1Ds MkIII and it is set to go higher still. Apparently many of the components are sourced from the Eurozone and therefore are costing Canon a lot more to buy now. With a bit of luck I might be able to flog my unit on eBay for something closer to what I paid for it.

« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2009, 18:44 »
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I agree with cdwheatley & gostwyck: getting a used 5D will easily give you the biggest bang for the buck. On the downside, you'll only be able to make XL images on IS with it. As far as a vendor goes, I highly recommend B&H - go here to check out their used camera inventory.

On a semi-related note, here's on old post showing my income from XL and XXL images on IS. Is it worth upgrading solely to make larger images? I made 26% more by using an XXL camera, and I would have made 13% more by using an XL one - if your sales volume is large enough you can reach payback within one year.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 18:49 by sharply_done »

vonkara

« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2009, 19:50 »
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Another misconception that I was under was XXL size would sell enough to make up for the price tag. I'm finding that most designers/buyers don't buy XXL size(unless subscription of course), 12mp seems to be plenty of sensor.
That's freeking right LOL... I was looking for higher pixel counts lately, but maybe a d700 is way enough for stock. I also don't sell XXL often

« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2009, 21:56 »
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Yes.. I love my 5d and it does the job well especially for stock..

« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2009, 22:07 »
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I just went through the same decision, after not having the $ for a new 5DmkII. I bought an older model 5D for the same price as the 50D

« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2009, 22:46 »
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I just went through the same decision, after not having the $ for a new 5DmkII. I bought an older model 5D for the same price as the 50D
I read the reviews on the 50D after I started this thread and found the 40D was better with noise at higher ISO's so I could save quite a bit if I got the 40D for now.  Where did you buy your 5D? 

« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2009, 23:08 »
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I agree with cdwheatley & gostwyck: getting a used 5D will easily give you the biggest bang for the buck. On the downside, you'll only be able to make XL images on IS with it. As far as a vendor goes, I highly recommend B&H - go here to check out their used camera inventory.

On a semi-related note, here's on old post showing my income from XL and XXL images on IS. Is it worth upgrading solely to make larger images? I made 26% more by using an XXL camera, and I would have made 13% more by using an XL one - if your sales volume is large enough you can reach payback within one year.


Sharply,
I believe you might be right. I have only been uploading xxl's for 6 months, so... probably better that I give it some time to see how it works out.  :) thanks, I feel better now.

Then again,  would be feeling really good about things if I was smart enough to wait and buy the new 5d II ,with lens 24-70 f2.8 and 85 f1.2, for less than the 1ds..  must learn to exercise patience next time  :P

Paula,
I think you might really enjoy the full frame of the 5d for landscape like gostwyck mentioned. Your 17-40 lens will seem like a whole new lens without the cropped sensor.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 23:24 by cdwheatley »

« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2009, 00:39 »
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I currently use a Canon Xti 400D.  The noise on that camera is horrible, even at 100 ISO.  I really want to upgrade BADLY!

Thanks,
Paula


I don't believe you. If you have bad noise at ISO 100 with the 400D, you should have a look at your exposure. I use a Nikon D80 for microstock, a camera that is supposed to make more noise than your 400D, and I haven't had a rejection for noise in ages.

There are many good reasons to upgrade to a 5D or 5DII, but noise at ISO100 is not one of them.

« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2009, 03:47 »
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Im not Canon fan, however I must admit that even 400D is excellent image quality and first you should check why you have "horrible noise" at iso100. 400D produces nearly no real noise up to iso400 and very low on iso800. In case you have high noise, then you probably do big mistakes in postprocess or have pics underexposed.
Im selling pics from my old Olympus E-300 and now using E-410 mostly, and both of them have much higher "noise" then 400D, however I had just one rejection for noise in the whole year!

Btw. upgrading to 5D or 5DII isnt the solution - at first you need high end lenses to feed such sensor. None of your lenses is capable to feed it, maybe we could argue about 17-40/4L on 5D but definitely not on 5DII. I would suggest going to Canon 40D (which is pretty cheap compared to 50D or both 5D versions), some reviewers and users say its even better then newer 50D (which has ridiculuous pixel density not suitable for most Canon lenses). Then you can go for lenses like Tamron 17-50/2,8 or Canon 17-55/2,8, C 24-70/2,8 and C 16-35/2,8 to get really stunning picture quality. With no limit on budget my set would be 40D + C10-22, C24-70/2,8 and C 70-200/4. In case I would somehow decide to go fullframe, then 5DII + 16-35/2,8 + 24-7,/2,8 + 70-200/4 and thats it. 

« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 04:15 »
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I currently use a Canon Xti 400D.  The noise on that camera is horrible, even at 100 ISO.  I really want to upgrade BADLY!

I don't believe you. If you have bad noise at ISO 100 with the 400D, you should have a look at your exposure. I use a Nikon D80 for microstock, a camera that is supposed to make more noise than your 400D, and I haven't had a rejection for noise in ages.

There are many good reasons to upgrade to a 5D or 5DII, but noise at ISO100 is not one of them.

Agree. I had a 350D and now a 450D and there is no noticeable noise at ISO 100.

« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2009, 12:17 »
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Im not Canon fan, however I must admit that even 400D is excellent image quality and first you should check why you have "horrible noise" at iso100. 400D produces nearly no real noise up to iso400 and very low on iso800. In case you have high noise, then you probably do big mistakes in postprocess or have pics underexposed.
Im selling pics from my old Olympus E-300 and now using E-410 mostly, and both of them have much higher "noise" then 400D, however I had just one rejection for noise in the whole year!

Btw. upgrading to 5D or 5DII isnt the solution - at first you need high end lenses to feed such sensor. None of your lenses is capable to feed it, maybe we could argue about 17-40/4L on 5D but definitely not on 5DII. I would suggest going to Canon 40D (which is pretty cheap compared to 50D or both 5D versions), some reviewers and users say its even better then newer 50D (which has ridiculuous pixel density not suitable for most Canon lenses). Then you can go for lenses like Tamron 17-50/2,8 or Canon 17-55/2,8, C 24-70/2,8 and C 16-35/2,8 to get really stunning picture quality. With no limit on budget my set would be 40D + C10-22, C24-70/2,8 and C 70-200/4. In case I would somehow decide to go fullframe, then 5DII + 16-35/2,8 + 24-7,/2,8 + 70-200/4 and thats it. 
Mostly I get noise in shots of the sky.  I don't think my exposure is the problem and it shows up before I process them.  I've learned to fix it to the point that I get very few rejections for that, except with iStock.  They say I have artifacting in my pictures.  Most of my rejections on SS are for "poor lighting".  I'm still learning what they do and don't like. 
As much as I would like the 5D Mark II, I think my money would be better spent in other directions at this time.  I think the 40D would be a good fit.  That would also leave me money to purchase other things.  I was thinking that I would finally purchase and learn Photoshop CS4 and get a faster computer.  I am currently using Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006, but that is the last version they are making.  Not sure which computer to get.  I currently have an eMachine that I haven't had any problems with.  I really don't want Window's Vista, so I guess I'll have to find one that uses XP (don't suggest Apple/Mac....not interested in the slightest).
Thanks for the lens suggestions.

« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2009, 12:20 »
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I would get the old 5D. Its a great camera and very little noise. You can probably pick one up cheap these days. Comparing pictures from my 5d next to my 1D's mk III the difference is very little. Just the size is different. Just my opinion, hope that helps  :)
As much as I would like a 5D, I think I'll probably get the 40D for now.  Even if I wait a bit and get the 5D Mark II, I won't have any money left over for a battery grip, extra batteries, or flash.
If I get the 40D, I could also upgrade my computer and purchase CS4.  I am currently using Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006, which is a really easy program to use, but they've discontinued this line of software so I'm going to have to bite the bullet and learn PS.  :'(

« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2009, 12:54 »
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I agree with cdwheatley & gostwyck: getting a used 5D will easily give you the biggest bang for the buck. On the downside, you'll only be able to make XL images on IS with it. As far as a vendor goes, I highly recommend B&H - go here to check out their used camera inventory.

On a semi-related note, here's on old post showing my income from XL and XXL images on IS. Is it worth upgrading solely to make larger images? I made 26% more by using an XXL camera, and I would have made 13% more by using an XL one - if your sales volume is large enough you can reach payback within one year.


Do you think a 5D would be good with the lenses I listed?  Another person said I don't have good enough lenses.  I'm now leaning towards getting the 40D and then upgrading my computer and getting CS4.  I am currently using Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006, which has been discontinued.

« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2009, 13:01 »
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I currently use a Canon Xti 400D.  The noise on that camera is horrible, even at 100 ISO.  I really want to upgrade BADLY!

I don't believe you. If you have bad noise at ISO 100 with the 400D, you should have a look at your exposure. I use a Nikon D80 for microstock, a camera that is supposed to make more noise than your 400D, and I haven't had a rejection for noise in ages.

There are many good reasons to upgrade to a 5D or 5DII, but noise at ISO100 is not one of them.

Agree. I had a 350D and now a 450D and there is no noticeable noise at ISO 100.

I can see the noise mostly in a plain blue sky.  And since I'm a landscape photographer more than a stock photographer, it's a problem.  I also get it with my infrared shots because of the longer exposures (sometimes 20 seconds).  I would also like to do star trails, which are much longer exposures (30+ minutes) and the 400D would produce so much noise that the picture wouldn't look nice.

« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2009, 13:21 »
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I currently use a Canon Xti 400D.  The noise on that camera is horrible, even at 100 ISO.  I really want to upgrade BADLY!

I don't believe you. If you have bad noise at ISO 100 with the 400D, you should have a look at your exposure. I use a Nikon D80 for microstock, a camera that is supposed to make more noise than your 400D, and I haven't had a rejection for noise in ages.

There are many good reasons to upgrade to a 5D or 5DII, but noise at ISO100 is not one of them.

Agree. I had a 350D and now a 450D and there is no noticeable noise at ISO 100.

I can see the noise mostly in a plain blue sky.  And since I'm a landscape photographer more than a stock photographer, it's a problem.  I also get it with my infrared shots because of the longer exposures (sometimes 20 seconds).  I would also like to do star trails, which are much longer exposures (30+ minutes) and the 400D would produce so much noise that the picture wouldn't look nice.

The noise is unavoidable in really dynamic light. A sensor cannot cover all stops of light. So, you can either use a neutral density filter or pick your poison with blown highlights or noise in the shadows. I always over expose 2/3rd a stop to try and reduce the sky or shadow noise. You can recover most or all of the blown highlights in Adobe Camera Raw.

One day perhaps they will invent a camera that takes three simultaneous images at different exposures and blends them at the same time. Now that would be camera everyone would be exited about  :)


« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2009, 13:30 »
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I would chime in for the 5D.  You will notice the best results in regards to noise when going to a full frame sesnor.  With the 40D or 50D you are still sitting at a 1.6 crop.

The other option is to keep the camera you have and just invest in another lens, so that when you are ready for the 5D mark II you will have a nice lens set up.  I wouldn't be too afraid of buying used.  I have bought a number of used items and it has been a great way to save a few $$... just watch what you pay though.  I have seen used L lenses go for more than new price :)  crazy!

« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2009, 13:33 »
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I can see the noise mostly in a plain blue sky.  And since I'm a landscape photographer more than a stock photographer, it's a problem.  I also get it with my infrared shots because of the longer exposures (sometimes 20 seconds).  I would also like to do star trails, which are much longer exposures (30+ minutes) and the 400D would produce so much noise that the picture wouldn't look nice.

You'll have to use a noise reduction program to clean up the sky - I use Noise Ninja.
But your problems won't end there: skies are notorious for producing banding, and getting a striking sky without banding requires plenty of practice.

« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2009, 13:47 »
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The other option is to keep the camera you have and just invest in another lens, so that when you are ready for the 5D mark II you will have a nice lens set up.  I wouldn't be too afraid of buying used.  I have bought a number of used items and it has been a great way to save a few $$... just watch what you pay though.  I have seen used L lenses go for more than new price :)  crazy!

I'd agree. I tend regard camera bodies as almost 'disposable' in that I know technology will continue to advance. Good glass on the other hand is effectively 'forever' if you look after it.

Not that the camera really makes that much difference anyway __ it's what you do with it that counts. I know one very successful microstocker who must have sold well over 300K licenses using the original 6MP Rebel before eventually upgrading to the 5D.

« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2009, 13:55 »
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But your problems won't end there: skies are notorious for producing banding, and getting a striking sky without banding requires plenty of practice.

Darn yes, and it doesn't help working at 16 bits. You get it especially in a deep blue sky with a gradient. At the moment, and if the sky looks great, I'm always taking some extra shots of the sky alone. It's not HDR but you can merge those skies in very handily. The OP didn't tell if she worked raw or not. In JPEG, even at highest quality, you get those obnoxious squares artifacts, especially in clouds with gradients.

« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2009, 14:01 »
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I always over expose 2/3rd a stop to try and reduce the sky or shadow noise. You can recover most or all of the blown highlights in Adobe Camera Raw.

I found that trick too. Overexpose slightly, and you can recover most that's blown out in the raw (second development till the right edge of the histogram is flat) since it has a larger pixel depth than the JPEG. For clouds it's not a disaster even if you blown out the sunny edges, since you can always clone over that area at 15% from an area that has structure.

I'm totally on manual lately, and I look at the histogram. Even if you have to do a couple of trials, it always takes less time than selectively de-noise a sky in Photoshop.

Another trick that works on other smooth gradients like on faces (under the chin and the eyebrows) or in the folds of black business suits -  is to paint over the noisy area with a smooth brush 15-20% and with a color that is slightly brigther (sampled in the neighborhood). I found out it's much better than de-noise since the crispness stays while de-noising, especially in skies, produces ugly blobs that are very conspicuous, plus you lose sharpness.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 14:14 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2009, 14:14 »
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I always over expose 2/3rd a stop to try and reduce the sky or shadow noise. You can recover most or all of the blown highlights in Adobe Camera Raw.

I found that trick too. Overexpose slightly, and you can recover most that's blown out in the raw (second development till the right edge of the histogram is flat) since it has a larger pixel depth than the JPEG. For clouds it's not a disaster even if you blown out the sunny edges, since you can always clone over that area at 15% from an area that has structure.

I'm totally on manual lately, and I look at the histogram. Even if you have to do a couple of trials, it always takes less time than selectively de-noise a sky in Photoshop.

Amen to that  :)

The one thing that is really a pain is the perfect blue skies with no clouds. I am still pretty clueless on how to fix banding more frustrating than anything else. Don't always remember to get that second shot of just the sky by itself but working on it.

will try your painting method, sounds interesting!! As of now I set up neat image under the "actions" menu so its just one button and then just paint it where there is noise and then adjust opacity.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 14:24 by cdwheatley »

« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2009, 14:19 »
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But your problems won't end there: skies are notorious for producing banding, and getting a striking sky without banding requires plenty of practice.

Darn yes, and it doesn't help working at 16 bits. You get it especially in a deep blue sky with a gradient. At the moment, and if the sky looks great, I'm always taking some extra shots of the sky alone. It's not HDR but you can merge those skies in very handily. The OP didn't tell if she worked raw or not. In JPEG, even at highest quality, you get those obnoxious squares artifacts, especially in clouds with gradients.

Perhaps I should buy the 40D, get CS4 (and learn to use it), and get a faster computer.
I do bracket my shots (redeeming myself yet??) for HDR use...but that causes more noise issues so I don't do a lot of HDR for stock.

« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2009, 14:21 »
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The one thing that is really a pain is the perfect blue skies with no clouds. I am still pretty clueless on how to fix banding more frustrating than anything else.

I have been wandering over forums everywhere, asking questions, and nobody has a clue how to solve it. I went to 16-bit and it doesn't help. Most people don't see it actually on CRT's, but I'm using a high contrast LCD, just for that (I'm using a second CRT monitor to adjust colors).

« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2009, 14:22 »
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I always over expose 2/3rd a stop to try and reduce the sky or shadow noise. You can recover most or all of the blown highlights in Adobe Camera Raw.

I found that trick too. Overexpose slightly, and you can recover most that's blown out in the raw (second development till the right edge of the histogram is flat) since it has a larger pixel depth than the JPEG. For clouds it's not a disaster even if you blown out the sunny edges, since you can always clone over that area at 15% from an area that has structure.

I'm totally on manual lately, and I look at the histogram. Even if you have to do a couple of trials, it always takes less time than selectively de-noise a sky in Photoshop.

Another trick that works on other smooth gradients like on faces (under the chin and the eyebrows) or in the folds of black business suits -  is to paint over the noisy area with a smooth brush 15-20% and with a color that is slightly brigther (sampled in the neighborhood). I found out it's much better than de-noise since the crispness stays while de-noising, especially in skies, produces ugly blobs that are very conspicuous, plus you lose sharpness.
Recovering blown highlights in RAW sounds like a good reason to use it.  I do use the paint brush technique, but my program probably doesn't do it as well as PS could.  Do you use CS4?  I have a hard time wanting to chunk down $700 for a program.  :'(

« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2009, 14:32 »
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I always over expose 2/3rd a stop to try and reduce the sky or shadow noise. You can recover most or all of the blown highlights in Adobe Camera Raw.

I found that trick too. Overexpose slightly, and you can recover most that's blown out in the raw (second development till the right edge of the histogram is flat) since it has a larger pixel depth than the JPEG. For clouds it's not a disaster even if you blown out the sunny edges, since you can always clone over that area at 15% from an area that has structure.

I'm totally on manual lately, and I look at the histogram. Even if you have to do a couple of trials, it always takes less time than selectively de-noise a sky in Photoshop.

Another trick that works on other smooth gradients like on faces (under the chin and the eyebrows) or in the folds of black business suits -  is to paint over the noisy area with a smooth brush 15-20% and with a color that is slightly brigther (sampled in the neighborhood). I found out it's much better than de-noise since the crispness stays while de-noising, especially in skies, produces ugly blobs that are very conspicuous, plus you lose sharpness.
Recovering blown highlights in RAW sounds like a good reason to use it.  I do use the paint brush technique, but my program probably doesn't do it as well as PS could.  Do you use CS4?  I have a hard time wanting to chunk down $700 for a program.  :'(
Well, I guess it depends on your needs. If you spend a lot of time working on images and manipulating then its probably worth it. I have CS4 but still work in CS3 because its less buggy at this point. I like the RAW converter in CS4 though.

« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2009, 14:32 »
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[quote author=paulacobleigh link=topic=6969.msg82453#msg82453 * flying objects* Sadly, I have not been shooting RAW.  The program I use to edit my photos does not support it.  And frankly I don't even know how to edit RAW files. I don't have PS.  Don't know how to use it.  Yeah, I know....none of you will talk to me anymore after reading this.[/quote]

Hahaha  :P - well that's why a forum is for. I was totally against RAW till half 2007 when somebody (a great stock photographer) forced me to do it. Now I can't miss it any more. RAW is not always superior since the cam software often corrects the sensor flaws. But for gradients, like clouds, or other high dynamic subjects (for instance a businessman in a black suit with a white shirt) you would like the much higher dynamic range of raw, and you can do two developments. That sounds complicated but a raw developer is just a screen with sliders where you can adjust exposure, brightness, saturation, etc...

« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2009, 14:37 »
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I don't shoot RAW either and I know quite a few others (including some very successful microstockers) that also shoot JPEG. It's a myth that you need to shoot RAW if the final product is a JPEG. It takes extra time in processing and adds little or no value.

« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2009, 14:55 »
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[quote author=paulacobleigh link=topic=6969.msg82453#msg82453 * flying objects* Sadly, I have not been shooting RAW.  The program I use to edit my photos does not support it.  And frankly I don't even know how to edit RAW files. I don't have PS.  Don't know how to use it.  Yeah, I know....none of you will talk to me anymore after reading this.

Hahaha  :P - well that's why a forum is for. I was totally against RAW till half 2007 when somebody (a great stock photographer) forced me to do it. Now I can't miss it any more. RAW is not always superior since the cam software often corrects the sensor flaws. But for gradients, like clouds, or other high dynamic subjects (for instance a businessman in a black suit with a white shirt) you would like the much higher dynamic range of raw, and you can do two developments. That sounds complicated but a raw developer is just a screen with sliders where you can adjust exposure, brightness, saturation, etc...
[/quote]
So, what would you recommend?  You already know what equipment I have (camera/lenses)....should I wait for the 5D Mark II and not have any money for anything else?  Should I get a 5D and have a little money left over for either a new computer or CS4?  Should I get a 40D and a new computer and CS4?  Or should I not buy anything and just pay off my credit card (yeah, probably not going to happen!).  I'm going to be getting about $2200 so I won't even have quite enough for the 5D Mark II but I could come up with the extra $600 or so somehow....
I really wanted a new camera because we will be touring Utah and Arizona in April or May and I wanted better images from that trip.

« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2009, 15:15 »
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So, what would you recommend?  You already know what equipment I have (camera/lenses)....should I wait for the 5D Mark II and not have any money for anything else?

Actually I'm with Epixx on this one. Your cam is great, and I suspect it's your workflow that's to blame for your noise problem. Can you really justify for a top-notch cam from your stock income? I can't to be honest, and I'm not too shy to tell. I'm happy for now with my D200 and although I like to dream of a D3x, my name is not Sean Locke nor Avava nor Yuri Arcurs.

Before you spend any money, try to master your cam and workflow better first. Photoshop won't solve any noise problems if it's in the image. Raw is great for high-dynamic range shots, but for normal shots JPG is faster and it handles the sensor data well. Just make sure you turn off all the in-cam manipulations like sharpening and color-boost, and - of course - save JPG fine or top quality.

If you don't want to buy Photoshop, consider PS elements, which is cheap and can do most. Since you didn't use PS yet, consider using the Open Source (free) tool GIMP. It seems to be equivalent to Photoshop.

« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2009, 15:33 »
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I don't see "horrible noise" in my skies with my 400D, although I see some banding, especially with a polarizer, as discussed in a recent thread.  My landscapes are the type of image I submit at macrostock only, and so far Alamy hasn't complained (MyLoupe and SP don't check this).

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2009, 15:36 »
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...

I don't shoot in RAW either.
I used to, but found the extra steps too cumbersome.
I find it faster and simpler to shoot JPGs - the smaller file sizes don't slow my computer down so much, and I haven't experienced any technical quality rejections since making the change. I suspect that JPGs created by my camera (Canon 1DsII) might be better than the ones produced by a lesser model, but this is only a guess.

vonkara

« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2009, 15:54 »
0
I would choose 5DII for it's ability to downsize the images easily. The noise performance is already quite the same as the old 5D but with almost 2 time more pixels. I would not be unhappy to downsize a XXXL image to XL. If it's going to save me a couple of hours of noise reduction and post processing the nasty banding from this last step.

« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2009, 15:58 »
0
So, what would you recommend?  You already know what equipment I have (camera/lenses)....should I wait for the 5D Mark II and not have any money for anything else?


Actually I'm with Epixx on this one. Your cam is great, and I suspect it's your workflow that's to blame for your noise problem. Can you really justify for a top-notch cam from your stock income? I can't to be honest, and I'm not too shy to tell. I'm happy for now with my D200 and although I like to dream of a D3x, my name is not Sean Locke nor Avava nor Yuri Arcurs.

Before you spend any money, try to master your cam and workflow better first. Photoshop won't solve any noise problems if it's in the image. Raw is great for high-dynamic range shots, but for normal shots JPG is faster and it handles the sensor data well. Just make sure you turn off all the in-cam manipulations like sharpening and color-boost, and - of course - save JPG fine or top quality.

If you don't want to buy Photoshop, consider PS elements, which is cheap and can do most. Since you didn't use PS yet, consider using the Open Source (free) tool GIMP. It seems to be equivalent to Photoshop.


So, are you saying to put it on Standard and not allow any sharpening or saturation?  I tend to get very dull images and have to boost the color when I use that setting.  What if I just used some saturation but didn't do any in-camera sharpening?  The problem is, my images never look very sharp without a little 'help'.  I already use the best jpeg setting, so that is not a problem.  I also seem to have some trouble with focus.  I use auto focus, and even when I use the AF point on the part of the shot I want it to focus on, it doesn't come out tack sharp.  I've tried doing manual focus, but that doesn't help...even though I have 20/20 vision.

I just looked in my rejection folder from SS and it looks like most of my pictures that were rejected due to noise are either HDR images or pictures taken by an older camera of mine.  I'm still in the process of submitting pictures from past years as well as current.  Focus, however, seems to be a problem even with my current 400D.

"Poor Lighting" seems to be my most common rejection.  For a lot of my pictures, I can see where they would come up with.  But this image I can't. 

« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2009, 16:15 »
0
So, what would you recommend?  You already know what equipment I have (camera/lenses)....should I wait for the 5D Mark II and not have any money for anything else?


Actually I'm with Epixx on this one. Your cam is great, and I suspect it's your workflow that's to blame for your noise problem. Can you really justify for a top-notch cam from your stock income? I can't to be honest, and I'm not too shy to tell. I'm happy for now with my D200 and although I like to dream of a D3x, my name is not Sean Locke nor Avava nor Yuri Arcurs.

Before you spend any money, try to master your cam and workflow better first. Photoshop won't solve any noise problems if it's in the image. Raw is great for high-dynamic range shots, but for normal shots JPG is faster and it handles the sensor data well. Just make sure you turn off all the in-cam manipulations like sharpening and color-boost, and - of course - save JPG fine or top quality.

If you don't want to buy Photoshop, consider PS elements, which is cheap and can do most. Since you didn't use PS yet, consider using the Open Source (free) tool GIMP. It seems to be equivalent to Photoshop.


So, are you saying to put it on Standard and not allow any sharpening or saturation?  I tend to get very dull images and have to boost the color when I use that setting.  What if I just used some saturation but didn't do any in-camera sharpening?  The problem is, my images never look very sharp without a little 'help'.  I already use the best jpeg setting, so that is not a problem.  I also seem to have some trouble with focus.  I use auto focus, and even when I use the AF point on the part of the shot I want it to focus on, it doesn't come out tack sharp.  I've tried doing manual focus, but that doesn't help...even though I have 20/20 vision.

I just looked in my rejection folder from SS and it looks like most of my pictures that were rejected due to noise are either HDR images or pictures taken by an older camera of mine.  I'm still in the process of submitting pictures from past years as well as current.  Focus, however, seems to be a problem even with my current 400D.

"Poor Lighting" seems to be my most common rejection.  For a lot of my pictures, I can see where they would come up with.  But this image I can't. 



Hi Paula,
Not to be critical, but one problem I see right off are the smudges. If you look at the middle pair of candycanes at the bottom where they criss-cross. There is a smudge tail coming off the bottom. Its looks like I can see more of the same in other parts of the image. Is this a 100% crop??? This might be cause for a rejection. Hope that helps.

« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2009, 16:21 »
0
Hi Paula,
Not to be critical, but one problem I see right off are the smudges. If you look at the middle pair of candycanes at the bottom where they criss-cross. There is a smudge tail coming off the bottom. Its looks like I can see more of the same in other parts of the image. Is this a 100% crop??? This might be cause for a rejection. Hope that helps.
Actually, that's the whole picture.   The "smudge" is the indentation in the snow that the candy canes made when I was laying them down.  Probably should've fixed that.  Would SS reject a picture for "poor lighting" on that aspect?

lisafx

« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2009, 16:24 »
0
I have a 5D and a 40D.  There is NO CONTEST!  Everything about the 5D is better.

The 40D, like the 20D and the 10D before it (which I also owned) is a disappointment.  It has an unacceptable level of noise if you shoot above ISO 200, and more noise than I would like even at low ISO's.  It exposes and white balances very poorly when using flash.  And it's focus is hit or miss.  Quite often miss.  

The 5D, by contrast, focuses perfectly every time, exposes well and consistently, and has gorgeous color and good white balance.  Honestly, I can't over stress the differences is usability and image quality.  It's night and day.  

« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2009, 16:32 »
0
Hi Paula,
Not to be critical, but one problem I see right off are the smudges. If you look at the middle pair of candycanes at the bottom where they criss-cross. There is a smudge tail coming off the bottom. Its looks like I can see more of the same in other parts of the image. Is this a 100% crop??? This might be cause for a rejection. Hope that helps.
Actually, that's the whole picture.   The "smudge" is the indentation in the snow that the candy canes made when I was laying them down.  Probably should've fixed that.  Would SS reject a picture for "poor lighting" on that aspect?

Actually I think they might because it looks like a strange shadow, greasy fingers or editing mishap. Easy enough to fix anyway  :)


And, Lisafx is making perfect sense as always.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 16:34 by cdwheatley »

« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2009, 16:35 »
0
I have a 5D and a 40D.  There is NO CONTEST!  Everything about the 5D is better.

The 40D, like the 20D and the 10D before it (which I also owned) is a disappointment.  It has an unacceptable level of noise if you shoot above ISO 200, and more noise than I would like even at low ISO's.  It exposes and white balances very poorly when using flash.  And it's focus is hit or miss.  Quite often miss.  

The 5D, by contrast, focuses perfectly every time, exposes well and consistently, and has gorgeous color and good white balance.  Honestly, I can't over stress the differences is usability and image quality.  It's night and day.  
So, do you think I should get the 5D or the 5D Mark II?  If I get the 5D, I would have some money left over for a battery grip, extra batteries, etc.  If I get the 5D Mark II, I will only be able to get the body.  Or should I just stick with the 400D for now.  So many varying opinions....  :-\  

vonkara

« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2009, 16:49 »
0
Mucho mucho pixels on the 5DII (21.1mpx)
XXXL available
5DII is like a Honda Acura ++
Big big sensor (Full frame)
Batteries is for weak people
Low noise
If there is downsize and get a XL ++
It's Black
It's sexy

What you want more. Get the latest at your favorite store NOW, UNTIL THERE'S NO MOOORE!!


« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2009, 16:50 »
0
So, do you think I should get the 5D or the 5D Mark II?  If I get the 5D, I would have some money left over for a battery grip, extra batteries, etc.  If I get the 5D Mark II, I will only be able to get the body.  Or should I just stick with the 400D for now.  So many varying opinions....  :-\  

Pretty much everybody is recommending getting a second-hand 5D. You should be able to pick one up for barely more than 1/3 of a new MkII. You don't need a battery grip, they just add weight and bulk. Extra batteries for a 5D cost pennies anyway.

lisafx

« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2009, 16:52 »
0
Definitely the 5D I.  I just posted in another thread, but as far as I can see from using the 5D I and II, the only significant differences beyond the megapixels are the movie mode/live view and the sensor cleaning.  

Unless you really want the high megapixels, sensor cleaning or the movies you will be getting equal (amazing!) image quality with the the 5D I as with the II.  

For the money I honestly don't think you could get a better camera than the 5D I.  Even at the $3000+  that I paid for it in 2005 it was worth every dime.   At current prices its a steal.

« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2009, 16:59 »
0
So, do you think I should get the 5D or the 5D Mark II?  If I get the 5D, I would have some money left over for a battery grip, extra batteries, etc.  If I get the 5D Mark II, I will only be able to get the body.  Or should I just stick with the 400D for now.  So many varying opinions....  :-\  

Pretty much everybody is recommending getting a second-hand 5D. You should be able to pick one up for barely more than 1/3 of a new MkII. You don't need a battery grip, they just add weight and bulk. Extra batteries for a 5D cost pennies anyway.
B&H wants $1269 for a used 5D, which is more than 1/3, but close enough I guess.  The battery grip is for star trails (I'm not just a stock photographer).  

« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2009, 17:02 »
0
Definitely the 5D I.  I just posted in another thread, but as far as I can see from using the 5D I and II, the only significant differences beyond the megapixels are the movie mode/live view and the sensor cleaning.  

Unless you really want the high megapixels, sensor cleaning or the movies you will be getting equal (amazing!) image quality with the the 5D I as with the II.  

For the money I honestly don't think you could get a better camera than the 5D I.  Even at the $3000+  that I paid for it in 2005 it was worth every dime.   At current prices its a steal.
I don't care about the movie mode...I have a smaller camera that can do that and I don't care about HD since I don't have an HD tv.  My 400D has a built-in sensor cleaner and it doesn't seem to help, since I had to buy a cleaner and do it myself to get rid of sensor dust.  Mostly I wanted it for the noise (lack of) and the dynamic range.
Do you think buying used from B&H is okay?  What about ebay?  I normally buy new and am a little hesitant about how to buy a good used model.

lisafx

« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2009, 19:32 »
0
Where to buy - that's a toughie.   On ebay you could get a great camera or you could get a lemon.  Either way you aren't likely to be able to return it. 

At least with B&H you get some sort of warranty.  Might even be worth throwing in a Mack warranty. 

You know what would be a good idea - if we had a buy/sell forum here.  Most of us are always in the process of buying and selling some piece of gear or other.  And buying from a fellow stock photographer who we at least sort of know might feel safer than buying from strangers on ebay. 

Fred Miranda's buy/sell forum is like that, but I don't hang around there enough to know anybody. 

« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2009, 20:10 »
0
You know what would be a good idea - if we had a buy/sell forum here.  Most of us are always in the process of buying and selling some piece of gear or other.  And buying from a fellow stock photographer who we at least sort of know might feel safer than buying from strangers on ebay. 

Fred Miranda's buy/sell forum is like that, but I don't hang around there enough to know anybody. 

To be honest Lisa I think I'd rather take my chances on eBay with  system, etc.

As a microstocker I absolutely hammer my cameras both in terms of shutter operations and the way I treat them (like the tool that it is). I've had my 1Ds MkIII for exactly one year and had 65K-odd actuations. I think I'd rather buy an immaculate camera from a hobbyist which only gets used on high days and holidays __ and that's the vast majority of the cameras for sale.

Also there are relatively few of us on this forum, certainly in relation to the gteater eBay marketplace, and even fewer in the same countries to make such transactions practical.

« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2009, 20:55 »
0
As a microstocker I absolutely hammer my cameras both in terms of shutter operations and the way I treat them (like the tool that it is). I've had my 1Ds MkIII for exactly one year and had 65K-odd actuations. I think I'd rather buy an immaculate camera from a hobbyist which only gets used on high days and holidays __ and that's the vast majority of the cameras for sale.

I bought a camera on ebay once...but it was just a Canon S3 IS and I got it used from some guy that had hardly used it.  It was a good deal.  But it was also only a $200 purchase.  I have a harder time buying on ebay when the price is much higher.

My uncle and my bf both think I should get the Mk II because they both think that I won't be happy until I get it.  Probably true. 

One of my bosses thinks I should pay off my credit card with the money.  I hate it when people want me to be responsible! lol!

My bf also asked if anyone had suggested that I just buy a gun and shoot myself since I take crappy pictures.  He thinks he's sooooo funny! ::)

« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2009, 02:16 »
0
Paula:

From what Ive read about your workflow, you first need to remake your workflow. No camera will produce stunning results when you do not edit properly. I would suggest Photoshop CS2 or CS3 - much cheaper and not really weaker in most features then CS4, also PS Elelments arent bad with most features for beginners with PS. You can try it and see if it fits you. Some ppl like Gimp, which is freeware and definitely good tool, however it has not many PS features and I foud its user-interface pretty non-ergonomic.

I know there are screamers telling you "buy 5DMkII" or "only FF is the real camera". I say thats not a whole story. To feed sensor of 5DMk2, you need lenses which are above grand each and long tele lenses easily cost several grands. And you will quickly discover, that despite more then hundred lenses offered, Canon has only few capable for 50D or 5DMkII which are not extremely pricy and those left still arent cheap. Lisa said that 40D is much worse then 5D - well, many reviewers including dpreview.com disagree with that because of many reasons. Its not true that 40D has "high noise" - in fact its one of the world top cameras about noise level. 40D is by some reviews even better per pixel quality then 50D and comparable to 5D, while much cheaper then both. Except fullframe cameras there are only few which have same or lower noise.

For 40D there is available pretty good budget lens option:
Tokina 12-24 + Tamron 17-50/2,8 + Tokina 50-135/2,8 (all pretty good and much cheaper then comparable Canon stuff)

In case you have enough money you can go also EFS 10-22 + EFS 17-55 + EF 70-200/4 but I would prefer other kit Tokina 12-24 + Canon 24-105/4 + 70-200/4 in case you decide to go FF later.

For 5DII I would go C16-35/2,8 + 24-70/2,8 + 70-200/4

Just my suggestions  ;D

CofkoCof

« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2009, 07:12 »
0
The one thing that is really a pain is the perfect blue skies with no clouds. I am still pretty clueless on how to fix banding more frustrating than anything else.

I have been wandering over forums everywhere, asking questions, and nobody has a clue how to solve it. I went to 16-bit and it doesn't help. Most people don't see it actually on CRT's, but I'm using a high contrast LCD, just for that (I'm using a second CRT monitor to adjust colors).

You can try adding some noise, it helps with banding. I use 0.3 or 0.4 pixels.

lisafx

« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2009, 12:14 »
0
Lisa said that 40D is much worse then 5D - well, many reviewers including dpreview.com disagree with that because of many reasons. Its not true that 40D has "high noise" - in fact its one of the world top cameras about noise level. 40D is by some reviews even better per pixel quality then 50D and comparable to 5D, while much cheaper then both. Except fullframe cameras there are only few which have same or lower noise.


Are you speaking from personal experience about the quality of the 40D vs the 5D?  Do you own both cameras?  I read those glowing reviews of the 40D, which is the reason I bought it as a backup. 

I did not expect it to be as good as the 5D, but even so I was quite disappointed for all the reasons listed above.   Yes, the 40D can produce some good images, but not consistently enough to make it a good choice for a business tool IMO. 

If you have personal experience differing from mine Basti, I would be interested in hearing it.  Who knows, maybe I got a "bad copy" of the 40D? Anything's possible.

Dpreview is a great resource for information, as are a lot of the online sites that do camera reviews.  I always read up on them before making a camera buying decision.  But it is good to remember that most of the people voicing opinions there are not required to produce images that are as clean and sharp as the micros demand at 100%.     

 


« Reply #53 on: February 03, 2009, 12:21 »
0
Dpreview is a great resource for information, as are a lot of the online sites that do camera reviews.  I always read up on them before making a camera buying decision.  But it is good to remember that most of the people voicing opinions there are not required to produce images that are as clean and sharp as the micros demand at 100%.


That's very true. I've noticed some equipment reviewers on Fred Miranda rather dismissingly refer to such people as 'pixel peepers'.

lisafx

« Reply #54 on: February 03, 2009, 14:45 »
0
Dpreview is a great resource for information, as are a lot of the online sites that do camera reviews.  I always read up on them before making a camera buying decision.  But it is good to remember that most of the people voicing opinions there are not required to produce images that are as clean and sharp as the micros demand at 100%.


That's very true. I've noticed some equipment reviewers on Fred Miranda rather dismissingly refer to such people as 'pixel peepers'.

LOL.  They must not be submitting to the micros.  If you do then you quickly become an "anal retentive pixel peeper"  :D

vonkara

« Reply #55 on: February 03, 2009, 15:57 »
0
Dpreview is a great resource for information, as are a lot of the online sites that do camera reviews.  I always read up on them before making a camera buying decision.  But it is good to remember that most of the people voicing opinions there are not required to produce images that are as clean and sharp as the micros demand at 100%.


That's very true. I've noticed some equipment reviewers on Fred Miranda rather dismissingly refer to such people as 'pixel peepers'.
Never go on amateur photography forums. At least I don't like it. I'm a weirdo there LOL. Because I downsize to get rid of noise. I use photoshop on all my pictures. I sometimes zoom at 200% and delete 50% of my pictures (not sellable). I'm a real witch for them

« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2009, 01:21 »
0
No Lisa, I do not own them. Tho I was pretty interested in comparing them, becuase I wanted to switch to Canon. I did pretty much searching around web a saw heap of test images in various conditions. Maybe your experience is different but Ive heard and read enough ppl saying it reverse that Im pretty unsure about what is better.

However I strongly disagree about 40D being "too bad for micro" - most ppl here shoot with much worse cameras, often 350D, 400D or cheap Nikons. Im using Olympus which is considered crap by many ppl who know nothing about it. Pixel-peeping is a disease of microstock - some do even check at more then 100%. Every serious graphic designer will tell you that offset print with 300dpi is MUCH smaller then what you see at 100% on your monitor. Btw. you often use CMYK and nor RGB for print - cropping colors in conversion from improperly postprocessed jpegs is much worse problem then some pseudo-noise visible only at 100% or above...

Many folks use cheap lenses on superb bodies. I know its not your case but I warn against "only fullframe" approach. Most ppl have NO idea what it is about and its much less painfull for them to start with 40D and set of average lenses then buying FF + 3 stunning quality lenses and then shoot jpeg, no postprocess and using that as P&S. Buying superb pro gear will not make you a pro... (Yes I know a Lisa is real pro  ;D)

Xalanx

« Reply #57 on: February 04, 2009, 01:46 »
0
Lisa said that 40D is much worse then 5D - well, many reviewers including dpreview.com disagree with that because of many reasons. Its not true that 40D has "high noise" - in fact its one of the world top cameras about noise level. 40D is by some reviews even better per pixel quality then 50D and comparable to 5D, while much cheaper then both. Except fullframe cameras there are only few which have same or lower noise.


Are you speaking from personal experience about the quality of the 40D vs the 5D?  Do you own both cameras?  I read those glowing reviews of the 40D, which is the reason I bought it as a backup. 

I did not expect it to be as good as the 5D, but even so I was quite disappointed for all the reasons listed above.   Yes, the 40D can produce some good images, but not consistently enough to make it a good choice for a business tool IMO. 

If you have personal experience differing from mine Basti, I would be interested in hearing it.  Who knows, maybe I got a "bad copy" of the 40D? Anything's possible.

Dpreview is a great resource for information, as are a lot of the online sites that do camera reviews.  I always read up on them before making a camera buying decision.  But it is good to remember that most of the people voicing opinions there are not required to produce images that are as clean and sharp as the micros demand at 100%.     

 

I have them both. You're right, 40D is not on a par with 5D, by miles away. But it has its strengths. 40D is very good for action and wildlife, for having 6.5 fps and 1.6 crop. stick a 300 or a 400mm (plus a 1.4x or 2x tc) in front of it and you'll be really happy. It can also give good results for shooting landscapes with the 10-22mm.
For a backup camera is really good, I don't think you can get something better for those money. Better than 50D in high iso, my opinion.
But, bottom line is.... I'm only using the 5D now ;D


 

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