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Thread: Image Quality - Canon 40D vs. 50D

  1. #1
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    Default Image Quality - Canon 40D vs. 50D

    Those of you who visit other aviation photography sites may have seen a similar post from me recently - just wanted to get some additional opinions as I'm completely undecided about what to do about an upcoming camera purchase. Time to retire the trusty old Canon 300D and get something more recent. My lenses dictate that I stay with Canon, and I'm comfortable with the Canon controls and layout. The Canon 40D and another of Canon's recent releases are the top-runners in this bid.

    My decision at this point has everything to do with image quality. Clearly there are some important functional differences between the 40D and 50D, but the biggest change is the use of a Digic 4 15-megapixel sensor in the 50D vs. a Digic III 10-megapixel sensor in the 40D. Some have criticized the sensor in the 50D as putting too many megapixels on the sensor, with a resulting higher noise value. Other reviews I've read put the noise in a comparable range to the 40D as long as you're not shooting at high (800 +) ISO levels. The question I'm trying to get past right now is whether the 40D with its 10-megapixel sensor will actually give me better images than the 50D with its 15 megapixels. I'm having a tough time getting past this megapixel thing - the difference between 10 and 15 megapixels seems significant, and although I don't envision making huge posters of my shots (most of my work goes up on the photo sites), in my mind the higher resolution would give me cleaner results when having to crop down substantially. Plus, having the higher resolution would also seem to be an advantage for photo sales where the images might actually be used to produce large-size prints.

    Cost is not at all a factor in this decision - and I know there are excellent discounts on the 40D right now. Purely on the basis of image quality, what do you think the best choice would be?

    Thanks!

    John

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ View Post
    The question I'm trying to get past right now is whether the 40D with its 10-megapixel sensor will actually give me better images than the 50D with its 15 megapixels. John
    Don't get too wrapped up in the megapixel mania. I had the same decision to make and the deciding factor was resolution: i.e. I wanted to be able to enlarge photographs to poster size with little or no image degradation, thus I opted for the 50D with its 15 megapixel sensor. It was a great choice for me (I'm a sports photographer) as I rarely shoot over ISO 800 and most of the time find myself working in the ISO 200-600 range depending on the available sunlight. I will note that to really feed that sensor you should have some good quality glass.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I got my missus the 500D, and its a good quality "cheaper" than the 50D, so my choice would be 50D. (way better iso and grain)

  4. #4
    Member kukkudrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ View Post
    in my mind the higher resolution would give me cleaner results when having to crop down substantially.
    Not necessarily. According to the reviews I've seen, in spite of its higher mp count the 50D resolves little more detail than the 40D even at low ISOs, meaning you won't gain much.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ View Post
    Plus, having the higher resolution would also seem to be an advantage for photo sales where the images might actually be used to produce large-size prints.
    But it looks like you have answered your own question here.



  5. #5
    Junior Member Harlequin67's Avatar
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    Default 50D helps cropping?

    I bought a 50D on impulse to be another "self cleaning" body with my 40D.

    I hoped that the 50D might allow a tighter crop to be performed during post-processing and still leave a "fair" number of pixels left for editting.

    I have yet to test this theory, but a friend has noted that this does appear to be the case.

    I have read reports that the 50D does not resolve more detail, but the details on the 50D consists of more pixels to be editted.
    May the Sun be with you. Resist the darkside.

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