40D, 7D or 1D

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by brossart, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. I am anticipating being faced with a dilemma and would appreciate your input.
    The Problem: My 40D recently came down with a sever case of the Err 99s. I’ve changed lenses, batteries, CF cards, shot without a CF card and cleaned contacts with a clean eraser and alcohol but no joy. So, it’s now on its way in to the service center. Based on what I’ve read, I fear that it needs its shutter replaced at an anticipated cost of $300-$350, even though it only has about 7,600 actuations on it. I’m not sure what else it could be.
    The Dilemma: If this is indeed the case, I don’t believe 40Ds are worth much more than that these days, and I’m not sure if it’s worth getting fixed or if I should be considering an upgrade. I’m considering a used 1DMIII with around 5K actuations as my upgrade path. What would you do?
    What I Shoot: 80% of what I shoot is kids’ sports. I've posted some samples here. I consider myself generally successful with the 40D. My primary complaint is its noise levels at 800 or above. I have found that trying to maintain at least a 1/800 shutter speed at f4 on morning games in the shade or foggy days will sometimes push me to an 800 ISO. Then there’s shooting under the lights when I’m fighting for every lumen I can get. I find myself shooting f2.8 with a 3200 ISO and I can still only get a 1/200 shutter speed. The noise at 3200 on a 40D hardly makes it worth it. I don’t make any money at it, so if I don’t shoot, it’s not that big a deal. I just miss out on a little fun.
    What I’ve Considered: I could get my 40D fixed as my cheapest option and just concentrate on nice sunny days to shoot. I could upgrade to a 7D, but this does not appear to address much in the way of calming high ISO noise. The 7D looks more like an AF and FPS upgrade (to over simplify it) than a high ISO low noise upgrade. Lastly, I’m considering a 1D. A new MIII, and especially an MIV when it hits the shelves is too high a price point. A used MIII at $2K - $2.5K is pushing it, but I might be able to swing it.
    So, if you were me, what would you do?
     
  2. I sold my 40D 2 months ago for $650, so I doubt they've drifted all the way down to $350. I'd say if the repair is $200 or less, it's worthwhile unless you're itching for an upgrade.
    I find, if you use default NR either in-camera or in DPP, the 7D is good for about a stop more of decent quality high ISO over the 40D. With 8x12 prints in mind, for me the 40D's quality limit was ISO 1250 and 1600 in a pinch. The 7D takes it another stop. However if your venue is mainly mids and highs (few shadows), typical ball field, 7D ISO 3200 and 6400 are surprisingly good. A typical bar or night street scene is mainly deep shadows and lower mids, so those ultra high ISO are too noisy for me.
    If it was me, I'd spring for the 7D over a 1D series. The 1D brick is just too hard on my wrist and 130LB frame.
     
  3. Having had a 1Ds, gone thru a 1DS MkII and on to the MkIII, I will tell you that the dynamic range on the 1Ds imho was poor and I would not buy one, especially now. If my 1DS MkIII were a woman, I would propose marriage to it tho. I think it is simply super, AF has never been a problem for me, although you must adjust to suit your photography, the noise is non-existent or tolerable, at least at the ISOs that I use (up to 1600, but rarely) , dynamic range is greatly improved and the transitions between light and dark are somehow more "fluid".
    The MkII was (and still is, I still have it as my second) a super performer, not sure if you would get the FPS you need, but the noise levels are pretty low and still a great performer.
    Sorry I have never used a "plain" version, that is without the "S", but I suspect that what I am trying to warn you about, the lousy dynamic range on the 1D would be similar.
     
  4. Send the 40 in for an estimate. Then decide. (Unless you are rich and just want to justify the purchase of a new camera. If so, Send the 40 in for repair AND get the 7.)
     
  5. Thanks for the input guys. Peter, I'm curious about your comments on noise. I'm not sure if I'm less tolerant or if perhaps I've got some technique issues. I find the noise creeping in at ISO 800 on the 40D annoying. Of the examples, the fourth shot, the one titled Morning Shade, is shot at 800. Is this your experience or are there some settings or steps I am not taking advantage of?
    Yup, the 40D's on its way in, and I am definitely waiting for an answer. I guess I'm just fearing the worst. I think I'm on the same page price wise. If the repair is $200 or less, the question's moot, and I'll just get the 40D fixed.
     
  6. Thanks for the input guys. Peter, I'm curious about your comments on noise. I'm not sure if I'm less tolerant or if perhaps I've got some technique issues. I find the noise creeping in at ISO 800 on the 40D annoying. Of the examples, the fourth shot, the one titled Morning Shade, is shot at 800. Is this your experience or are there some settings or steps I am not taking advantage of?
    Yup, the 40D's on its way in, and I am definitely waiting for an answer. I guess I'm just fearing the worst. I think I'm on the same page price wise. If the repair is $200 or less, the question's moot, and I'll just get the 40D fixed.
     
  7. Michael,
    The 7D and 1D MkIIn seem to compare fairly well with regards noise, though I am sure people are going to get better and better at wringing out detail in 7D files. The 1D MkIII is in a different league, even with the AF improvements and whistles and bells that the 7D has the 1D MkIII with a bigger sensor and true pro AF (if you get a good one and most of them are) will out perform it. The disadvantages of the 1 series, apart from the over commented on size (as most people put grips on their cameras anyway), is the lack of Canon wide angles for the 1.3 crop. 16-35 becomes an effective 21-46, still a very useful lens but not an ultrawide. The 7D can use the 10-22.
    If it were me I would go for the 1D MkIII, but get a money back warranty and only get one from a reputable dealer (not just B&H and Adorama, any proper camera shop), test the thing to pieces when you get it, read and reread all the focus white papers and setup notes and go through the micro af adjustment procedure, if it works for you you will be very happy, if it doesn't then get your money back.
    I did that with my 1Ds MkIII, I got a 30 day money back warranty, it all worked out for me and I am very very happy.
     
  8. Thanks Scott. I realize the 1D is in a totally different category, but I wasn't really disappointed or frustrated with the AF I get out of the 40D. I guess that begs the question, for what I shoot and how I shoot it, will I see much difference with a 1D. I'm not competing with other photographers to take better pictures so that I can sell more. This is purely for my own enjoyment. I think it's a completely fair statement, and no one will hurt my feelings, to say that for what I shoot and how I shoot it, the 40D is fine (if this is what you think). This is one of the reasons I posted some examples.
    Thanks again for everyone's input thus far. As expected, it's causing me to think about things I previously had not.
     
  9. Remember that when you shoot at higher ISOs you really need to avoid under exposure to keep the noise as low as possible. In the shot titled morning shade the main subject is really underexposed. Personaly I would give more exposure to the main subject even if the background would blow out at bit. Programs like Neat Image can be a great help in handling noise too.
     
  10. Michael, I shoot youth soccer and baseball with a 40d, and as of 7 months or so now with a 1d-2.
    Let me say that for BOTH models, the AF in servo mode for action, the autofocus was drastically improved by setting a custom function (I forget which number, go to Canon and download the pdf about using 1 series cameras) whereby i autofocus with the thumb on the back, rather than typical shutter release button.
    I had the 40d first, and the 1d-2 purchase about a year later was an impulse buy, one of those ebay deals i couldnt turn down, around a grand with 11,000 activations, used by a studio photographer that is apparently OCD regarding his equipment. That being said, the 40d is a pretty snappy camera for action (way better than my older 10d but did work which is all I had at the time), but if i had to go with the 40 or 1d-2 the 1d wins hands down. With two kids playing soccer I shot a ton of games this fall, I believe I took and used the 40d once when I wanted to dink around with two lenses. ;)
     
  11. Stuart, I assume what you mean is to avoid under exposure when the shot is taken (versus changing exposure of a RAW image in PP), is that correct? I'll have to give that a try.
    WT, thanks for the direct comparison between the 40D and the 1D. What would you say makes the 1D a hands down winner? Is it AF, noise handling at higher ISO, other things, the complete package?
    On a related note, I currently use Lightroom and/or Photoshop. Are there better applications when handling noise? At a simplistic level, am I better off using DPP instead of Adobe to handle noise?
     
  12. Michael,
    If you are doing it for yourself then you are the only one you need to please. I think the real world difference between the 7D and the 1D MkIII for your kind of shots (i.e. not Superbowl touchdowns, or FA Cup goals that absolutely can not be missed) where you are doing it "for your own fun" then the 7D really is a difficult camera to beat.
    It seems reviews are mixed so far but I believe that is mainly down to flawed testing and comparison methodology, the 7D seems like a great camera and taking the time to learn how to get the best out of it will surely pay dividends. The AF in particular takes Canon 1.6 crop camera performance into new realms and the noise at high iso, once everybody works out the best programs and methods for processing the RAW files, will certainly improve on the 40D though maybe not by as much as some people had hoped for.
    So whilst if I was you I would go for a 1D MkIII (well I kind of did!), I am not you, and as you point out I don't use a camera and the resultant images like you do. I think you make a very fair point and the truth is I wouldn't expect you to see $500 more value in your images from a used 1D MkIII over a new 7D. As you are basically happy with the 40D the 7D would seem to be a more logical step for you if the 40D does prove too expensive to fix, just don't expect huge improvements in high iso performance from one.
    Hope this helps, Scott.
     
  13. WT, thanks for the direct comparison between the 40D and the 1D. What would you say makes the 1D a hands down winner? Is it AF, noise handling at higher ISO, other things, the complete package?​
    Michael, for me, and this is just my opinion, it's the ergonomics and handling, solid feeling in the hand. I've previously and currently still use 1-V and 3 with the booster, the 1d/v is much heavier than a 40d. I also like the vertical grip of the 1 series, I shoot a lot of verticals . . . er ah portrait orientation. The 1-d2 menu does take a bit of getting used to, and there's other quirky stuff like the tiny lcd screen that doesnt zoom in, yes true. I haven't done side by side comparisons bet 40 and 1d, and I'm usually at iso 400 or lower, i dont do nights yet.
    No way I would buy a 1-d series without handling first. Like I said i was used to 1v and 3 with pbe2, at least pick up one in a shop. Maybe I'm different than the avg gear head here, I'm ok with using "old" digital technology.
     
  14. Definitely consider the 7D. The AF is simply outstanding, provided you take the time to read the manual and learn how to use it, and the metering is superb as well. High ISO performance is very good; I'm quite comfortable shooting at ISO 3200 and 6400 is surprisingly good and highly usable. On my 30D I would never comfortably go above 1250 or 1600 in a pinch, but my 7D is often set on 3200 or the "A" ISO setting. The number of ways you can customize the camera is also frighteningly amazing, including the AF. Not only is the 7D the best crop-sensor camera on the market IMHO, I think it's one of Canon's best cameras period!
     
  15. Based on the photos you posted, I would go with the 1D, read the reviews on it. I have a 7D, a 50D, a 1D and for those type of photos during daylight hours the 1D is the camera I would take with me, the autofocus on it is fantastic (better than the 7D), the CCD sensor has fantastic colors. It is heavy, the batteries take a while to charge and don't last as long the newer ones, but I have had great luck with Lenmark batteries. I am referring to the original 1D not the II versions.
     
  16. Manuel,
    I have a 1D (original) and whilst it is a superb camera that I still use a lot there is no way 1600iso is going to keep Michael happy. Time has moved on a long way in the sensitivity department since the 1D. In good light or with flash at low iso I agree it is still a very very good camera, and at around $500 for a reasonably good one a bit of a bargain, though I still think the 1Ds MkII is the best secondhand 1 series buy out there, but it is not a high iso performer and that was one of Michael' concerns.
    I am surprised that you think the 1D out performs the 7D AF, I believe you, but it surprises me. I haven't even seen a 7D yet, I know the 1D is superb but had assumed the 7D had caught up given all the hoopla.
    Take care, Scott.
     
  17. I did not read the topic fully, assumed, made an ass of myself, that based on the daylight photos that were posted that is what he is shooting, at higher ISO the 40D or 7D are better cameras.
    You are correct as to the ISO of the 1D not going to make him happy, I have found that 1250 on the 1D is very fixable with noise ninja, depending on the subject matter, birds and fine feathers not well at all. I bought the 7D for the video as I often do events (dance group) where a combination of video and still works best. As to the 7D and focusing let me just state that I usually put in on center point, while I am not as likely to do that with the 1D.
     
  18. No ass made of anybody Manuel :)
    Did you notice on the threads on SportShooter that the 1D (original) is becoming popular for high iso (800-1600) B&W? Now years after I was saying the same thing people are realising that it gives great grainy B&W portraits etc that print out like old fast films. We own a digital cult classic :)
    Take care, Scott.
     
  19. Two cameras I will not get rid off, the 1D and the 1Ds. The 1Ds has a fine grain pattern (very film like) when converted to black and white, but I like the colors that I get from that camera. I have noticed that as people are buying some of the old cameras that they are amazed what old technology is capable of doing.
     
  20. Of course Canon figured out my breakpoint and estimated the cost to fix right on it: $200. Now I'm really conflicted. If anyone's still reading this thread, what would you do, upgrade or fix it?
    Thanks.
     
  21. Michael,
    Fix it for sure, for $200 you get a great camera you are happy with. Don't forget about the upgrade, just do it when you have a little more time and money, you will still have the 40D as a second camera that you could keep another lens on so you lose nothing. I still think the 7D is your logical "upgrade" camera but repairing the 40D gives you some time and the 7D price will surely ease.
    Take care, Scott.
     

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