Differences between Canon 5D and 50D

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Kwak12r, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Kwak12r

    Kwak12r TPF Noob!

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    Let me start by saying that this is my first visit to the forum and am very impressed!
    I would like to upgrade from my Canon 20d. I am looking at the 50D and the 5d. Knowing that the sensor size is the main difference (at least that is what I am thinking) what other things make set the two apart.
    I am leaning towards the 50D as it seems to have all the things that I need/want but at this price point, I can also look at the 5D.
    Please help me understand the differences and what your opinions are.
    Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome.

    As you know, the biggest difference will be the sensor size. A larger sensor will typically give you better image quality, especially lower noise at higher ISO. Of course, a bigger sensor gives you a wider field of view than the same lens on a crop body. Also, if you have any EF-S or other lenses designed only for 'digital', they probably won't work on a 5D.

    Anther thing to consider is what you will be shooting. The 50D would be much better for sports or action. It's got better autofocus and a faster frame rate than the 5D (I or II).
     
  4. Kwak12r

    Kwak12r TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the quick feedback!
    I am interested in shooting sports and landscapes!
    I do a lot o hiking and trying to get better at landscape photography.

    Do you think that the 50D is significantly better than the 40D?
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    What do you shoot?

    Whoops! The 50D is better for action/sports. The 5D is better for very large prints and low light situations.

    Nope. There aren't many really significant advances even back to the 20D. The LCDs got bigger. The megapixels went up. The menus got slicker. A few new features. But in general you'd have a tough time telling a 12"x18" print from the 20D from one from a 50D.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've heard some say (and I believe) that the 50D is better than the 40D. After all, it's got a new sensor and a new processor. As for just how much better it is, I can't say.

    The common advice is that if you are upgrading or buying for the first time, get the 50D. But if you already have a 40D, don't bother getting the 50D.
     
  7. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

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    To all that have responded, I mean no disrespect, but some things said are really do not give the whole picture (no pun intended).

    First, what is the difference between the 5D Mark II (refered to as the 5D II from here on) and the 50D (for simplisity I am assuming you mean the Mark II)?

    Yes it has a bigger sensor, but what does that mean exactly. Using megapixels to determine image quality is a huge mistake made by many. It is not the number of pixels per se, it is the number in combination with the individual pixal size.

    The 5D II not only has more pixals, but far larger pixals. This make the image way superior to lessor sensors.

    The sensor size of the 50D is APS-C and the 5D is Full Frame. Basicaly, Full Frame means the sensor covers the same amount of physical space as a frame of 35mm film. The croping factor on the 50D comes from its smaller APS-C sized sensor.

    Let me be very clear, none, absolutly none of the EF-S lenses will work with any Full Frame Canon Camera. They are specifically designed for the APS-C sensors. What happens is the glass on a EF-S lens sticks out farther and simply would hit the mirror as you open and close the shutter. All EF-S lenses have a white square insted of the red dot we use to line up lenses and lock them in place.

    Second, there is a huge difference between the 40D and the 50D. There was little change worth noting from 30D to 40D, at least from a technology stand point.

    Both the 5D II and the 50D use the DiG!C 4 chip as opposed to the 3. Both use 14 bit A/D (that stands for analog to digital conversion). The chip provides faster processing and the 14 bit, as opposed to the 12 bit, provides far better tonal gradiations (less noise at higher ISO's).

    Now I could write pages on the differences between current and earlier models let alone two current models, but the real question should be addressed by determining your needs.

    You want a lighter and faster fps (frames per second) all while spending less money; the 50D is your best choice. If you are will to sacrifice the fps speed (I should say is is realativly minimal; look at the 1D Mark III!) and need a more rugged camera, the 5D II is your best choice.

    Either way, you won't be dissatisfide. Canon makes amazing cameras which in turn provide a tool for great pictures.

    If you have more specific questions, just let me know.

    -Nick
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Actually, while the 5D mkI has huge pixels, the 5D mkII pixels must be significantly smaller to cram twice as many in the same area. I can't find specific pixel pitch measurements, but many reviews of both cameras (50D and 5d mkII) speculate that their pixel pitch and pixel density are very similar, at least closer to each other than either is to the 5D mkI's pixel pitch.

    The guys below are super photo geeks, and their official opinion, contrary to what many of us have read and believe (myself included) is that more resolution is better than big pixels for noise reduction in actual prints.

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/Insights

    EDIT: I found it:

    Canon EOS 50D pixel size: 4.7µm

    Canon EOS 5D Mark II pixel size: 6.4µm

    Canon EOS 5D pixel size: 8.2µm

    So a 5D mkII pixel is about 25% larger than a 50D pixel, while the 5D mkI pixel is almost 75% larger than a 50D pixel. A 5D mkI pixel is a little more than 25% larger than a 5D mkII pixel. Whatever any of this really means: I just want to see what 20"x30"s look like.

    At the DXO site I looked at their comparison between the 5D and 1Ds mkIII (they don't have the 5D mkII data up yet) to try and see how more resolution/smaller pixels affects dynamic range vs less resolution/bigger pixels. The 1DS mkIII has more dynamic range below ISO 400, and the 5D mkI more dynamic range beyond ISO 400.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2008
  9. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

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    Very good points. I like your thinking, however there is a reason why Medium Format cameras haven't gone crazy with 200 mp cameras - yet. The reason is to keep the pixel size large until pixel size becomes less relevant.

    In-other-words, the 5D Mark II has a totally different pixel than the Mark I. The sensor is completely redesigned. There are differences between one pixel and another.

    In the end, you are exactly right. Does it look good at 20 x 30? Truthfully I've seen both camera's pictures at that size, both are amazing.

    Thanks for the other take on it.

    -Nick
     

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