Is it worth it to upgrade from 40D to 50D?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by michaelsmiller, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. I am a semi professional photographer who started with a 20D. I have been using a 40D for the past 2 years for my work and love it. I am looking to get a 2nd camera body for my weddings so I wanted some advice on an upgrade.
    I am not sure what is the best option, even with the exhaustive research I have done. I would love to hear some opinions from fellow photographers. I don't really have the money to go full frame right now(I plan to go this route within the next 2 years) and purchase all new lenses since I already have 8 or 9 EF/EFS lenses already. Is moving to a 50D a good move or would a 7D be a better upgrade?
    As an FYI, I shoot about 10 weddings per year, do mostly commercial(corp website photos, headshots, corp exec portfolios), and editorial modeling portfolios. I shoot outdoors for most of my portrait work and rarely use a studio unless it is for a client specific shoot. I love to shoot landscapes and really want to start doing more night photography(fireworks, full moons, very low light) so I want something that is better served for higher ISO.
    Any help is greatly appreciated. I understand it is only opinions but I want some other perspectives.
  2. Michael,
    The key question that you need to answer is: what is it you consider lacking in the 40D that the 50D (or some other camera) would provide?
    Answer that question and you should know whether or not to upgrade.
  3. The 50 is an upgrade albeit minor. The main improvement is a much better LCD, better implemented Quick Control Screen interface, more intelligent auto ISO and better metering algorithms in backlighting. High ISO in the 50D is not an upgrade. At best it is equal to the 40D. The 7D is a major upgrade in nearly every feature, but most notedly AF, high ISO, resolution, FPS, interface customization, flash options, VF and build quality. If you shoot video, add that to the list.
    I especially like 7D spot AF and having dedicated buttons for the Quick Control Screen and VF. And high ISO beats the 40D and 50D silly.
  4. Hey Ben.
    I need a 2nd body regardless so I figured it would make sense to upgrade versus just buying another 40D. I really love the 40D but need another body for weddings and as a backup/upgrade so I am looking at my options.
    The 40D does lack in low light situations for me so I don't know if the 50D is a huge improvement because I have heard the noise is very prevalent in the higher ISO's like 3200/6400.
  5. I would UPGRADE to the 7D were I you. 50D's excellent, but the 7D a TRUE upgrade!
  6. There will be a slight learning curve before you'll be able to get the results from the 50D that you get from the 40D. But in the end some shots should be better with the 50D.
    (I found that canon uses too much noise reduction in the 50D. In my macro's -and a moonshot I took today- I set NR to 0. Even at ISO 400. This is but one example. I also use different picture styles for my 50D than for my XTi/400D.)
  7. I would just echo Puppy Face with respect to the 50D. I used this camera quite extensively and found its better LCD a joy compared to the 40D. I don't think you would see much improvement (if any) in image quality over the 40D.
    Now the 7D is in another league IMHO. It will definitely show an edge at higher ISO delivering usable images right up to 6400 with careful PP and good noise reduction. The AF system is outstanding!
  8. I did this upgrade you are mentioning and regretted it immediately. I wanted my 40d back so bad but I had sold it.
    My 50d was noticeably worse in low light conditions. The LCD was only slightly better.
    I sold it as fast as I could, bought a 40d back and then a 7d. The 7d is much, much better.
    However, if I were shooting what you are shooting I would also give some consideration to a 5d.
    I shoot similar as you are and use my 5d for that and the 7d for sports, birds, wildlife, etc...
    This works out best for me and the 5d has great low light capability, high enough resolution great IQ.
    I think Canon jumped the gun on putting out the 50d when they were fixing to put out the real upgrade, the 7d.
    I would not consider the 50d at all for what you do and the IQ is no better than the 40d. The only reason I see to go that way is for the higher resolution ONLY if there is very good light. If you don't need to print super big or crop a lot stay with the 40d and get the shot correct in the camera and you will not need the 50d.
    This has been my experience having owned the 40, 50, 7 and 5d Canons.
    Best Wishes
  9. You wrote:
    "I don't really have the money to go full frame right now(I plan to go this route within the next 2 years) and purchase all new lenses since I already have 8 or 9 EF/EFS lenses already."
    Do you really have 8 or 9 EF-S lenses? Canon only makes 9 of them and most overlap each other.
    I'm guessing you maybe have three or four of them? I say keep those lenses for your 40D and pick up a near mint/used 5d (mk1) for about $1,000-$1,200. I had purchased the 50D and returned it as I was disappointed in its high ISO/low light capability. The 5D classic handles both much better. And when you mention landscapes, well this is certainly an area where the 5D shines as well as wedding and portrait work.
    The 5D shares the same battery as the 40D/50D/30D abd the same CF cards.
    What lenses do you have?
  10. Hi,
    strangely enough if you look at the overall quality of the images and Signal To Noise Ratio, Tonal Range, and Color sensitivity:
    you will see that 20D is the best camera, followed by 40D, then by 50D then the newest 7D takes last place :)
    The reason is simple 20D Pixel pitch size is 6.3 µm, 50D is 4.7 µm and 7D is 4.3 µm. The camera with fewer but bigger pixels will capture a greater tonal range, and will produce a better image. So get back your 20D I would say ;-)
    About going full frame there are lenghty discussions about vigneting (used wide open the full frame sensorwill have significantly more vignetting) and how actually you can utilize much better lenses with smaller sensor, for example 300mm lens is 480mm on smaller sensor, so I am not convinced this is the right route either :))
    My point is on certain ocassions you can do better picture with 20D then with 50D or 7D and of course there are times you can do better picture with 7D ;-)
    Is it worth paying more money for new bodies? I do not think so.
    Is it worth paying more money for better lenses - absolutely :))
  11. I'm not sure I understand what you're doing. You say you want a 2nd body, but then you talk about an upgrade. An upgrade to me would be trading one body for a better one. If you plan on keeping the 40D, I would get a 1st gen. 5D. A used one is not much more than a 50D and having one FF and one APS-C can be very beneficial because it virtually doubles your lens set. Also the 5D is a great portrait/wedding camera. It creates beautiful background blur (with the right lens) since it takes in more of the image circle.
    I would not sell the 40D to get a 50D. I personally like the 40D better than the 50D and wouldn't take a 50D on an even trade for my 40D. As for the 7D, its amazing. If you only have one camera to do it all, and you have the money, this would be it. A FF body would be ideal for portraits, but the 7D will do great and it is also incredible for sports and nature.
  12. Spend the extra money and get the 7D. The 7D will give you image quality equal to the 5D mkII at low to mid ISO for all intents and purposes. Pixel peepers will say the 5D mkII is slightly better, but nobody can tell them apart in print.
    At high ISO the 5D mkII has noticeably superior IQ, but I would rate the 7D as better than the original 5D at high ISO.
    Beyond that, the 7D is simply one of the best bodies Canon has made in terms of feature set and build quality. You will not be disappointed.
  13. Valko Yotov - if you look you can find that dxomark also claims some entry level DSLRs are superior to some medium format digital backs! If this doesn't illustrate to you how ridiculous their claims are, nothing will. Their testing methodology is severely flawed, and their test results a joke. While the 20D was and continues to be a fine camera, the 40D, 50D, and 7D will always produce technically superior images and prints, with the 7D being at the top of that list.
    7D files are more "grainy" than 5D mkII files at 100% on screen (pixel peeping). In print nobody could tell them apart, and there is no visible loss of tonality or color due to the smaller pixel size, despite dxomark's predictions.
  14. What Puppy Face, Nathan and - especially - Daniel says.
    Valko - seriously - you'll do better by keeping as far away from the arbitrary nonsense DxOMark comes up with as you possibly can - it is drivel .
    I currently own a 30D, the 40D (I happily skipped the 50D - it did nothing for me) and now own a 7D and I can tell you unequivocally that the 7D has better IQ than the 40D (which is itself excellent) and it performs well at ISOs the 40D can only dream about.
    And both the 40D and 7D are much better in IQ and noise terms than the 30D, which has the same sensor as your 20D.
    And as we're slinging around links that "prove" the importance (or not) of pixel size:
    This article very closely mirrors the Real World experience of many of us: simply put, sensor size matters, pixel size/density doesn't matter much at all.
  15. The 7D is clearly a substantially better camera in all respects than any of the xxD series (I recently bought one for my wife, so I've nad a chance to check it out), but it also costs a lot more thab a 50D. I upgraded from a 40D to a 50D as my 1.6-factor body when the 50D was released because the 50D had a number of features that were valuable to me over and above the increased pixel count. They included LCD quality, contrast-detect AF in Live View, and AF micro-adjustment. I have encountered no feature or performance aspect on the 50D where I have fount it to be inferior to the 40D. If these features are important to you and you want a relatively inexpensive upgrade, go for the 50D. If you want all the latest features in a major upgrade and you are prepared to pay for them, go for the 7D.
  16. Get a 7D, forget the full frame for weddings as it makes no sense with the eight ef-s lens that you already have. The IQ difference between the crop cameras and the full frame is not worth the price, my 2 cents. I may add that I went full frame a long time ago and returned to crop (I still have two full frame cameras). I listened to all the crap about how the crop camera was going to go away and we would be throwing away our money. Yes I read it here at PN. I have the 50D and the 7D, the 7D is a heck of a much better camera.
  17. i have both, and the 40D is better. you won't "love" the 50D. 7D is better choice for what you say you need it for IMO. i recently got the !d mark III and love it, but i do mostly sports. good luck.
  18. I just sold me 40D. I hated that camera! The LCD is awful and even at lower ISO the grain was too much. Plus my shutter button was starting to stick! The files at low ISO were not that bad but I also shoot full frame, and even the 5D mk 1 blows the doors off of the 40D. The only reason I kept the camera around was for aviation pictures. The 40D with my 100-400 IS at ISO 200 did a great job maintaining focus and shutter speed. Other than that, it never got used. So now my crop body is a 7D, Skip the 50D. v/r Buffdr
  19. even at lower ISO the grain was too much​
    Sorry Buffdr, but that is unquestionably user error: either you're underexposing the files or your conversion and processing decisions are poor.
    The following are all from my 40D. This is 3200 ISO, this is 5344 ISO (equivalent), and this is 12800 ISO (equivalent).
  20. Since this has so rapidly derailed into megapickle wars, permit me to attempt to clarify a few misconceptions.
    Simply stated, all else equal, more megapickles is good, but not as good as a larger sensor.
    Unless one’s goal is to pickle peep, in which case megapickles are eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll.
    You see, as the density of the photosites increases, of necessity, the surface area of the individual photosites decreases. A smaller photosite is more subject to noise and other undesirables. So, when you compare a 100% crop from a 40D and a 100% crop from a 7D, the 7D will look worse.
    But that completely totally ignores the flip side of the coin. Namely, even though the 7D’s pickles are smaller and uglier than the 40D’s, you don’t have to enlarge the 7D’s pickles anywhere near as much as you do the 40D’s.
    The way the math works out, same-sized prints from the two will have the exact same amounts of noise, but the 7D’s noise will be much finer-grained and less objectionable. And, at the same time, the print from the 7D will show much more fine detail.
    And, as a bonus, the 7D doesn’t merely have a higher-resolution sensor than the 40D, it has a newer and better sensor. The engineers at Canon are pretty smart, and they learn new things all the time. If they were to make a sensor the size and resolution of the 40D today, it would outperform the one in the 40D. But part of their braniacness tells them that that wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as making a better sensor also with more megapickles.
    It should also be obvious now why a larger sensor is even better than a denser one: even less need for enlargement. If you were to make an 8″ × 10″ sensor with the same quality pickles as found in a cheap phone camera, it would be the best quality sensor ever made on Earth. It would be so much better than anything ever made by Canikon that it would make the 1Ds Mark IX look like a child’s toy…except, of course, that you’d need a magnifying glass to tell the two apart unless the print size is measured in feet.
    And now you know why pickle peeping is dumb. If you want to compare cameras, compare prints, not pickles. After all, who cares how many frobnotzes one camera has? It’s the prints that matter. (Or the Web JPEGs, if that’s how you swing.)
  21. You might be right, I might not know how to process my shots, I do know one thing...files from my full frames and 7D look a lot better than my old 40D. Sure, taking a picture of green shrubs or a green bottle using flash will render you some useful shots. But in real time, I'm sorry even my old 5D MK1 produces better pictures than my newer 40D. I don't have the camera any longer so I'm happy. If the 40D is THAT good I wonder why the OP wants to upgrade? Bottom line is; 50D is not much of an upgrade over the 40D (except for the LCD). v/r Buffdr
  22. Both my sons have cameras that I gave to them, several years ago, they have yet to print a photo. They, however, have uploaded a ton of images to myspace and facebook. As to newer and better sensor, I don't think so. The sensor on my 1D keeps getting better as the technology gets better to remove noise. Most noise reduction for the newer cameras is via software built into the camera. Don't take me wrong, I am using my 7D more often than my 1D now especially for birds and macros, pixels do matter in regards to that. Also love the self cleaning.
  23. I see no point of getting a 40D over a 50D for the second body. True, there is no point of upgrading from 40D to 50D unless the micro-adjust and LCD quality is worth for you, but since you are just buying a second body why not getting the 50D ? (I have tried them both and that "40d is better than 50d" is mambo-jumbo to me). If you have the money, get the 7D.
    However, if I were you I'd get a used and in good condition original 5D, and I would use it with the EF lenses you already have, and leave the EF-s's on the 40D. Just my 2 cents ...
  24. Hi Mike, tough choice. I've been doubting about the same upgrade for weeks now.
    Then I decided to go with new lenses, which everyone always claims is a smart choice. So, despite feeling really smart, Im still doubting :)
    I like everything about my 40D but what keeps me going back on my decision are two things: I just love that screen of the 50D/7D. I use the screen all the time, so it's an important feature. The other thing is that I sometimes feel my 40D front focuses and I cannot correct that. The 7D can.
    I like both the pixelpeepers and the user reports. The user reports (check out puppy face's) teach me what I'll like. But when they tell me they like the good AF performance, the statistical approach of real tests and the DXO, tell me how come. They also tell me that, maybe, they like it because they want to like their new camera. Popphoto tests show that the 7D has the second to worse AF performance (worst being the 5DII). The 40D should be faster.
    To DXO's defense, they are just measuring the chip, the sensor. They also have a whitepaper on their site, that explains that more pixels can offset higher noise. If someone with more knowledge could read that and measure out for me what that means effectively for the 7D compared to the 40D, that'd be great because Im not smart enough. But still... I get that it off sets for noise.
    To your original question though. I find it hard to understand that you consider a 7D over a 50D, but dont consider a 5DII ***now***. Given your needs and the fact that you already have a 40D that you seem to love, I'd say: wait a bit more to find that extra 1000 bucks and finally get your dream camera.
    Meanwhile, I think Im going for that 7D because I like APS-C and really, really want that screen (a lot of money for a better screen though :) I know!
    Good luck!
  25. The 7D is the obvious choice for a real upgrade form the 40D. If you have the cash go for the 7D.
    Good luck.
  26. Save up for the 7D or else go full-frame with the 5D II.
  27. Michael, I am a hobby photographer, so am hardly qualified to give advice, but I like to expose on the dark side and take back-lit photos. I find the 50D problematical in these situations. This is at normal ISO. It may be my technique or the scenes I choose, but another photographer recently told me the 40D was better. I wish I had waited a bit and tried out the 7D before I bought. Regards, Adrienne
  28. Michael, I just said above that you should save for the 7D or else go full-frame.
    Adrienne's comment makes me want to be a bit more circumspect. I have been shooting full-frame (5D, 1Ds II, and now finally the 5D II) for the last three and one-half years., but I wanted a cropped sensor camera to use with my Orion telescope.
    I settled for the 50D because I knew that it would give me more detail than the 40D. I went back and forth between the two. I wanted the 7D but could not justify it to myself, given my other purchases. I did use the 50D to shoot the moon, as in this photo:
    It is not too bad, given my lack of experience in astro-photography. I might have gotten even better results with the 7D, since it has even more pixels (although I have to say that the limitations of the shot I just posted are not because of the 50D but because I cropped too narrowly and blew it up too much, trying to get closer and closer).
    Even so, as Adrienne said, there are other considerations. Shooting the brilliant moon through a telescope does not tell me a thing about how the 50D would do with back-lit subjects. I guess that what I am really saying is that the 50D is incrementally better than the 40D--for some subjects and lighting situations. It might not be for others.
  29. I just want to thank all of you for your responses to my quandry. I was just wanting to know if with my limited funds for a 2nd body($1400 currently) where would you go up from the 40d for a 2nd body. I will still be keeping the 40d but want another camera for improvement. I love the 40d and plan to keep it as a backup or for certain specific ops.
    I want a new camera to be my primary that will allow me more flexibility and range for different types of work. From hearing your comments I think that I will wait and save a little bit more money and either purchase the 7d or 5d which I know are superior to the 50d. I guess I just wanted to know if it was worth it to upgrade to the 50d or wait another month or two and get the 7d or 5d.
    Thanks again for all the wonderful tips and help. I greatly appreciate it!
  30. I had a 50d and upgraded to a 5DMKII. It was a great move and if you can afford it, it makes more sense, particularily if you are going to keep your 40d.
  31. do not take it personal all guys with 7D, but as I said my personal opinion is I would spent the money for good lens, rather upgarding to 7D now. Having said that I almost bought it last week :)
    So to answer the question beteen 7D, 50D and 5D I would go for 7D.

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