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Author Topic: Advice on camera upgrade  (Read 20482 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 »


 

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