Replace 40D with 5D Mk 1, or switch over to Nikon alltogether?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by alex_khudiakov, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Hey guys!
    I'm having a bit of a dilemma here.
    I have a 40D at the moment, but I'm not really happy with it, and thinking about switching.
    The problem is really that I can't afford anything from Canon with noticably better ISO performance (I shoot concerts a lot and would like something that's usable at iso 1600 at least, with the 40 I really have to push my luck to shoot at 1600 and 3200 is out of the question altogether).
    The one thing I can afford without losing the good handling is a 5d classic.
    I only own a 50mm 1.4 at the moment, so going over to the 5d wouldn't hurt my lenses..
    But I was also thinking about going over to Nikon altogether. The store I work in just got a d7000 and its performance is really great! Nikon also has cheaper lenses, and the excellent 35/1,8 would be amazing to have for shows!
    If I'm going over to Nikon I have to sell the body, flash and lens I have, and have to even add abit more to get all the way to the D7000. The 5D I can get quite cheap, and having a 50 as a 50 is tempting. The problem here lies with the more expensice FF lenses (like the L series).
    What do you guys think? How's the high iso performance of the 5d classic over the 40?
  2. I used the 5D/40D combo for 3 years and they compliment one another well. The 5D has about a stop more of reasonably useable ISO. For me, shooting night street, bar and casino scenes with lots of dark shadows and low mids, ISO1600 was the limit. In better or more even light--say fast action on a well lit field--3200 cleans up well. ISO1600 on the 40D was pretty terrible and needed lots of NR.
  3. Indeed the D7000 is a fine machine.
    You don't have a lot invested in Canon so any switch won't hurt too much financially.
    Nikon might have a slight edge in high ISO.
    But... that edge is when comparing at pixel level and only when comparing equal sized formats. (at pixel level comparing is grossly unfair to the higher megapixel camera, and a full frame tends to beat a crop in high ISO quality so a 5D classic versus a D7000 is in favor of the Canon probably.)
    But... stating that Nikon has the cheaper lenses is mostly wrong if I know my prices. I think your 35/1.8 is the exception to the rule. (correct me if I'm wrong)
    So, the bare bones of this is: are you looking at the entire system or at one specific combo?
    A D7000 with 35/1.8 is a great combo and Canon's hard pushed to beat it.
    But the entire Canon line versus the entire Nikon line is another issue entirely! I'd hazard a guess and state that Canon's got the best bang for your buck. Only when you look at specific cases or when you need the absolute maximum high ISO Nikon will have the cost/benefit edge.
    Of course asking this question in a Canon forum will color the responses.
    Post scriptum: Canon has a fine 35/2 (full frame) by the way.
  4. Have you considered keeping the 40D and buying a nice fast moderately telephoto lens? Shooting concerts is one of those things where there's no cheap solution; you're going to need a fast telephoto at some point, and moving to a 5D is going to rob your 50mm f/1.4 of some of its reach. The 80mm f/1.8 is a lovely thing in any format, keenly priced too. Concert photography is an expensive thing whatever flag you fly.
    I know it’s the fashion to include a picture with a response, usually something completely useless or irrelevant to the discussion, such as a tight crop of a street light shot outdoors in daylight (for example). I'm not going to do that however.
  5. Alex, I'm not too sure your reasoning for wanting to switch is sound. When one contemplates a switch or an "upgrade", you must think about the entire system, not just one lens one body. What are your eventual photographic goals? Will you only ever shoot low-light concerts? Do you envision engaging in other kinds of photography? If so, which ones? Timeframes?
    <p>Canon and Nikon both have fine cameras and lenses in their respective line-ups,. Nikon lenses are *not* cheaper than equivalent Canon ones, so you are mistaken there. Much as you are not (yet) heavily invested in Canon, once again I question your reasoning. Give it a bit more thought (and not because I shoot Canon). First thing I would do is set goals, then set a budget. Try out a 5D1 with your 50 1.4 lens, see if that works for you. The 5D also has a bigger, brighter viewfinder...
  6. I think you are making quite a few assumptions that are not likely to be born out in actual use of either brand.

  7. Rent a 5D and also a Nikon kit and see what you like better. What are you using for post processing, LR3 does a great job with noise I get good results from my 40D at 1600 ISO.
  8. Alex, is there any way to get your hands on a 5D to try it out for an event? I don't know what the rental picture looks like in your area, but if at all possible you should give it a try. I would also try out the Nikon combo that you are considering as well. Concert photography is an area where you are really taxing the low light capabilities of the camera so you should be certain that what you buy will be adequate (or preferably very good) for your needs. As far as looking to the future, I'm not sure I'd worry about it that much. Any camera/lens that can perform well in a concert setting will be more than capable of handling most areas of photography. I won't try to push you into or dissuade you from switching to Nikon. In your case, you won't take that big of a hit in terms of money lost and if Nikon really does have the best body/lens combo for your budget then you should go for it. But definitely don't make the move until you are positive that Canon can't meet your needs because if the 5D does work, then it will be much cheaper than switching (as you already know).
    As far as your budget, if you can stretch it just a bit and sell your 40D body to upgrade to a 7D you may be satisfied--my 7D performs quite well at 1600 and not too bad at 3200 (though in very low light it will be marginal at best). And a bit more money will get you a used or factory refurb 5DII and I know you will be happy with that body. Again, see if you can try these bodies out to determine if they will work for you.
    One last thought. I know you might consider it a step backwards, but the T2i has the same sensor as the 7D and it is very affordable. Though it won't have some of the more professional features of the other bodies it will give you what you want right now--better high ISO performance than you already have.
  9. I switched from the 40D to the EOS 5D because I was unhappy with the former's AF accuracy. And I really wanted full-frame because of the great viewfinder and the better bokeh. The 5D with the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is my main kit for small-scale concerts (see my website) -- usually I shoot up to ISO 800. I do not own one L lens but have only very good primes (20/24/50/100/200) and don't see the need for expensive and heavy L glass.
    I feel Nikon's lenses are overpriced and most are not so modern in features (USM/FTM) as Canon. But in the end it all depends on how you feel comfortable with your prospective cameras -- an old full-frame pro body or an up-to-date entry-level camera. I know which one I would take.
  10. Thanks for the responses guys! =)
    When I said that Nikon lenses are cheaper, I meant to say that those I'm looking at are. When i was looking at the Nikon I was looking primarily at the 35mm, 16-85 (which I've read is excellent and here in Norway they're about 100-150 USD cheaper than the Canon 15-85 for example. L lenses for me are out of the question financially at the moment), the 50 1.4 (also slightly cheaper). The 16-85 is mostly for travel and vacation photography, and the 35 and 50 for portraits and street. Also, I work at a camera store here and Nikon gives me 30% off street price (which would come down to about the US street price actually), while Canon gives me squat.
    I could of course get a Sigma 30 1.4 and a Sigma 17-70 OS for my 40D for example, but on the other hand since I'll need better high iso capabilities I'll still have the urge to upgrade to for example 7D.
    My concerns with the 5D were that the quality zooms are expensive unfortunately, but the better viewfinder and alittle better high iso is tempting, plus I guess I'd manage with a 50 1.4 and maybe a 85 1.8.
    It's impossible to rent this kind of stuff here unfortunately! =\
  11. If I'm not mistaken I don't believe the Nikon D7000 is available yet. That said you can get a new Canon 7D (available today) for typically $400 more than a D7000 and it has great low light capability. You can even get refurbished 7D's for only $200 more than the D7000. Even the 50D is only about $900 (less than D7000), and it has ISO capability to about 12000. All prices based on Adorama (B&H is probably around the same). Then you would have a decent spare body and don't have to take the financial hit of trading to a different system. FWIW I use a Canon 1D3 and L primes (35, 50, 85) and get excellent low light results and this camera is only rated to ISO 6400 and is the same vintage (DIGIC 3 processor) as your 40D.
  12. It seems like your options have excluded going to a 7D, which seems possibly to make the most sense. Not only do you stay with the same camera line but you also get more MP and good high iso performance.
    I agree that my understanding, as well as some stated above, is that Nikon lenses are more expensive than Canon these days, so not sure that your suggestion as to the opposite is an actual plus to switching.
    In any case, I personally don't think the 5D, original, would give you the high iso performance you really would want--like the 7000 or 7D. It is a great camera, but noise is a complaint from pros I know using it. But whether you consider the 7D or 7000, I don't think you are so heavily invested in a system that it matter all that much what you choose. But if you want to move to Nikon, be sure you rent one and see how you feel about it in your hands. Eventually, you will get used to it (I went from Nikon to Canon) as we all do to various cameras once we use them. You just need to determine where you want to go with it all and I don't think going to one mfg or another is the solution or a problem.
  13. How about switching to Pentax? There have been rave reviews of their new lines, the k-x and the K-5. They seem to have spectacular low noise performance up to ISO 3200. Plus, they have built-in stabilization that works with all lenses, no need to buy special, expensive Canon or Nikon ones with outboard stabilization.
  14. Nikon also has cheaper lenses​
    I'm not so sure about that.
    The problem here lies with the more expensice FF lenses (like the L series).​
    I love when people refer to them as FF lenses. A lens is not FF or crop, the camera sensor is. The L lenses can work on any EF mont camera and any non-L lens (except EF-S) can work on a FF camera. And if you're shooting concerts, primes will most likely be your lenses of choice and most of the Canon primes, even the non-L ones, have supurb IQ. In fact, the extra money for the L primes is rarely worth the investment. As for zooms, the L's are nicer. They're faster, have faster AF, and are built more solidly, but like I said, you'll probably use primes. And in the case of Canon vs. Nikon, Canon sometimes has more options than Nikon; for example, the staple 70-200mm, Canon has 4 versions all at different price ranges: f/2.8 and f/4, and IS and non IS (and the 5th, 2.8 IS II), Nikon only has one version and its very expensive. The 5D may help your ISO performance and may be the best route for you, but completely jumping ship is a risky thing to do, and I'm not sure you'd be doing it for the right reasons.
  15. "Cheaper" in what context?
    If you have an excellent body, Canon or Nikon, the resolving power of the sensor will show up the shortcomings in even some pro lenses, let alone the consumer lenses. You will think somethiongs wrong when you look at larger prints.
    The 50 and 85 will certainly compliment the 5D, but stepping up to FX in Canon brings with it decide after doing the research.
  16. I'd suggest you not go with the 5D; its old news and does not have the high ISO you want, need; in Canon its a 7D for you.
  17. 1st, you do realize you're asking this on a Canon forum right? If you want to compare camera sensors, go to then click sensors and compare sensors. Pick the D7000, 7D and 5D. For all around performance the D7000 wins, for ISO performance the 5D wins with 1400 vs. 1200 so there is a slight edge with ISO on the 5D, the 7D just gets beat. I don't know how they weigh things, the D7000 even beats the 5DMarkII for all around performance which I have a hard time believing. They put too much emphasis on dynamic range and not enough on ISO IMHO. I find Canon lenses to be a little cheaper, but usually within $50 USD. I find Nikon cameras usually cheaper for what you get so perhaps its a wash.
    I'm going to say if your choice is to go with a 5D or switch to the D7000 your comparison isn't really fair. The 5D is 5 years old, doesn't have live view, no lens adjustment, no video, its autofocus system is prehistoric, metering is generations behind, no built-in flash, no built-in commander, no built-in time lapse, D7000 has a better WB system, color 3D metering, color tracking, more fps... The 5D does have a slight edge to ISO performance and a full frame camera gives you a little over a stop for DOF but without lens adjustment the DOF advantage may not be an advantage at all especially up close. When I shoot at F1.4-F2.2 (my camera doesn't have lens adjustment) what I focus on, and what's in focus in my picture are 2 different things. It's normal for lenses to be slightly off depending on what camera they're attached. What happens with me with my F1.4 is I focus on someone's eyes and in the picture the focus is 16mm - 20mm behind leaving their eyes blurry. It drives me crazy, forcing me to shoot at smaller apertures. I won't get any camera that doesn't have lens adjustment (which saves your setting for each lens) or live view after having one without (I also frequently get into situations I try to take pictures I simply can not fit or get to the viewfinder so live view is important). MP doesn't matter, you have to quadruple them to double the resolution so... if the D7000 was 51.2MP it would be 2x better than the 5D to MP is moot.
    My vote, don't get a 5D... don't get a camera without lens adjustment, live view, and I no longer will get a camera that doesn't have a built-in flash that doesn't act as commander. You can compare the 7D to the D7000, as it stands the D7000 has the edge. Leaving the lenses and flashes to consider... think about what you want to do. Nikon has a better flash system, look over the lenses to see if you like Canons better. I'm not going to say switching to the D7000 is a bad idea, it's probably the best camera going right now but in 3-6 years you'll probably be replacing it... that's why I recommend basing your decision on lenses and flashes which will stay for the long haul.
  18. For what your wanting, FULL frame all the way. The 5D mark I is an awesome camera that will beat the 40D in ISO war. But the 40D will beat it in AF performance. The noise of a Full frame is so much sweeter than any crop frame. v/r Buffdr
  19. If you want to compare camera sensors, go to then click sensors and compare sensors.
    Only if you want to make bad decisions based on worse data. DxO's tests are worthless. They actually rank MFDB's lower than FF DSLRs and even some crop DSLRs. They're a joke.
    For all around performance the D7000 wins, for ISO performance the 5D wins with 1400 vs. 1200 so there is a slight edge with ISO on the 5D, the 7D just gets beat.
    Like I said, bad decisions based on worse data. Look at any other site's test images and data. The 7D has superior high ISO performance to the original 5D, and is very close to the D7000. Admittedly the D7000 does offer a bit better noise performance than the 7D.
    I don't know how they weigh things, the D7000 even beats the 5DMarkII for all around performance which I have a hard time believing.
    You should have a hard time believing it because it's not true.
    The Canon 60D sells new for about what a 5D mkI sells used and it has better high ISO performance. Nikon's 16 MP APS-C sensor is a little better at noise than Canon's 18 MP APS-C sensor, but not by a huge margin. (Part of the observed difference is different trade offs between NR and detail, which you can adjust in camera or RAW. Part of it is a real gain but, again, not a huge one.)

    From experience I can say that Canon's 18 MP sensor is usable up to ISO 6400 for small to medium sized prints, say up to about 13x19 with some NR in post. It's excellent at lower ISOs all the way to 30". I wouldn't buy a used, 5 year old body over a new body with all the newer features and warranty. Personally I wouldn't jump to Nikon over the noise difference between the D7000 and 7D/60D, but that's up to the OP.
  20. Only if you want to make bad decisions based on worse data. DxO's tests are worthless. They actually rank MFDB's lower than FF DSLRs and even some crop DSLRs. They're a joke.
    Since DxO labs is a testing facility I think they have more say than us who have really nothing but our own opinions to go on :) I don't think you read their warning when including medium format and MFDB's, there's a yellow exclamation point next to them clicking says:
    Professional portrait and landscape photographers often use medium-format cameras because of their superb performance under controlled lighting conditions. However, as these cameras are definitely not designed for so-called “action photography” scenarios, they generally do not perform well with respect to DxO Labs’ Low-Light ISO metric. Because of this inherent low-light limitation, medium-format cameras do not receive top marks on the DxOMark Sensor Overall Score, even though they may show outstanding performance with respect to Color Depth or Dynamic Range.
    So there ya have it. Their highest rated sensor IS a medium format :) It does seem FF have advantages over Crop Factors. Like the 7D released in 2009 compared to the 1DS full frame released 8 years ago. The 1DS still rates better in ISO performance, it has huge pixel pitch.
    I possibly found the reason behind the emphasis on Dynamic Range. Seems the MP battle is over and dynamic range is the new battle so maybe that's why they seem to put emphasis on DR. People can post process noise out of the photo or blow up the image with special programs that do a great job making high ISO performance and MP less of an issue. But if you think about dynamic range, it's one thing that can't be added or post processed. If you want more detail out of blown highlights or dropped shadows the more dynamic range your camera captured the more ability you will have to do it, and that's a feature of the camera. Maybe that's why they seem to emphasize DR.
  21. Hi. this is a easy question to answer as you are on a slim budge
    The 50mm 1.4 you have is very good and is hard to improve on and notice any improvement in real life at any price.....FACT 2 the 5D mk1 has the best IQ and noise on this planet AT THE PRICE.. just looked on fle bay (UK) and i see you have a choice of 5d sold from just over £500 to £600 (2 even had battery grips)
    As you work in camer shop how much is your 40d worth if you sell?
    Now the 50mm 1.4 will make a splendid stranded lens on the 5d but it will be a bit short now for concerts, so will recommend the 85mm 1.8 or the 100mm f2, the 85 is i bit cheaper both are very sharp
    let know what you decide

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