50d, 5d, or 5dm2 for low light?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Flynnstone, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Flynnstone

    Flynnstone TPF Noob!

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    i am going to be upgrading from my Canon XTI. i will be purchasing a 85mm 1.8 to take indoor shots of my daughter on stage during dance performaces mainly. i also would be using this camera for portaits, landscaping, and arcitectual photography.
    my main concern is that with my current camera, at ISO levels of 800 or more, the grainyness and noise are just unacceptable.
    i will not be able to use a flash, so that is not an option. i will not be able to move around during the performance, nor do i have the room for a tripod.
    i have learnt from another thread, that this is the lens i need. but what body would help me out too? i will be sitting in darkness, shooting a subject that is moderately lit.
    perhaps a combination of a new body and an IS lens would be another option? anyone with photos to post would also be appreciated. that way i can judge first hand on what to get.
    thank you in advance!!!
     
  2. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    I would respectfully submit that before you buy the new camera and 85 1.8, that you take a SERIOUS look at the Nikon D700.

    From what I've seen, totally usable ISO 6400.

    I'm trying to dig up a few tests on the Canons right now but AFAIK the D700 is the high-ISO king still
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Midrange I think Nikon have the upper hand at the moment 0 however if you want to remain with Canon then I would say that the 5D or 5DM2 are going to have better noise performance at higher ISOs than the 50D. Of course you have to remember that the 5D and 5DM2 are full frame cameras rather than crop sensor - this is something that you really want to see in test shots in a shop (most shops should allow you to test bodies and also to see some results on a computer - make sure to take a memory stick to take the shots off their computer and home with you to have a closer look at).
     
  4. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    The comparisons I've seen put the 5D2 pretty much neck-in-neck with the D700/D3, which means that with the resolution difference taken into account the Canon has the clear edge.
     
  5. rdzmzda

    rdzmzda TPF Noob!

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    honestly i love my 5d.....so im biased...with that being said...go with the 5d :D
     
  6. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    I've been looking at updating my XTi also and low noise at high iso is one of my main criteria. The 50D is better than the XTi in this aspect, but not much better than the 40D at low iso and is a bit better at high iso. The Nikons win out on high iso at this level.

    The new Canon 5D MKII is another matter. It blows away the D700 at high iso. Check out the reviews at PopPhoto.com. If you're serious about high performance and have $2500 to spend on a camera body, this is one you should consider.
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Now you need to understand with 21MP you MUST use either prime lenses or L glass because 21MP looks like junk on anything else.

    If you're shooting low light, more megapixels won't help much because the picture is most likely going to be blurry anyway, which is where lower pixel density like the D700/D3 hides things like that and you can get away with poorer technique. With 21mp you need to be perfect, 12 you can get away with some things, 6 you can get away with anything.

    If you can afford the lenses to go with the body, the 5DII is amazing.
     
  8. TBAM

    TBAM TPF Noob!

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    I'm surprised that you think an 85mm prime would be ideal for shooting your daughter dancing on a dimly lit stage, especially when you say you can't use a tripod, flash or move around.

    I would have recommended (for Canon) a variable-focal-length f2.8 L series lens on a good High ISO body, especially if you're willing to spend as high as a 5d mkII. Something like the EF 24-70mm f2.8L.

    The 85mm is good for portraits, but if you're primarily shooting your daughter, I think it would make the majority of your use very inconvenient. Especially because at large apertures you're going to get barely any DoF and you're going to have to rely solely on your MP to be able to crop the image down to the composition you want.

    Perhaps get a used 5d (due to people buying the mk II) and get a really good lens to match with it.
     
  9. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Having shot a lot of stage performance, a fast 85 is an excellent choice for that kind of shooting. At the distances you'd be working, there would be more than enough depth to isolate a single person while keeping their features in focus.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    TBAM - an 85mm f1.2 can be stopped down to other apertures - its max is at f1.2 which is the aperture you will have availible to view through the viewfinder and also the amount of light that the AF system will have to work with. Since its more light than f2.8 it really helps in dimmer conditions where even f2.8 might struggle.
    Then when you shoot the shot you can stop down to a smaller aperture for the depth of field (making sure of course that shutter speed is fast enough)

    The only advantage that you get with the zooms is the variable focal range
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why would the picture be blurry with low light? High ISO and the appropraite settings to get a good shutter speed will stop the blur. MP have nothing to do with that. And with you're logic, you're saying less MP are better. The pixel density of the 5D MKII is equal to that of a 30D. On a 1.6x sensor it has about the same amount of pixels in the same area as a 21mp ff sensor. And past that, if you have a camera with high ISO performance that's 21 mp that is equal to that of a 13mp camera, the 21mp camera has the advantage in that the files can be downsized for better quality. Plus, as a file is downsized, you get the effect of having a sharper image.
     
  12. drdimento

    drdimento TPF Noob!

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    For whatever its worth, I've had the lower MP cameras from Nikon and all I can say from experience (not as an expert) there is NO comparison in image quality to the 5DM2.

    I have been a Nikon (only) since before most of all who are in here were born and it was a hard decision for me to sell all my Nikon gear but that's what I'm doing. I picked up the 5DM2 about a month ago and even slightly experienced DSLR user like me can have this camera singing even with 1920x1080 video and take amazing shots and by far this camera's imager, digic processing, and MP are blowing away the images I took with my Nikon's for the same range lens, ISO, and f stops and thus I would pick the higher MP and especially CMOS where possible since it is richer in light energy excitability just not good on fast panning . . in other words avoid fast panning to avoid J E L L O wobble.
     

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