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Canon 40D

So I've been puttering around with the new Canon 40D for the last week now and I've gotta say I'm quite impressed. The following two photos are resized crops taken with a Canon 50mm f/1.4, shot straight as JPEG, Standard Picture Style preset with no post-processing whatsoever.

White Flowers
50mm @ f/5, ISO200

50mm @ f/1.4, ISO800

And the following two are 100% crops of the full-sized JPEGs of the same photos:

White Flowers 100% Crop

Curtis 100% Crop

Not too shabby.

I have yet to do an ISO 1600 and 3200 comparison between this and the 5D but from I've read on the photography sites, the 5D is still just a little bit better when it comes to low-light noise. Ergonomically the 40D grip and thumb groove are a tiny bit deeper but that tiny bit makes a pretty good impact as I feel like I get a firmer grip on the 40D. And Canon finally decided to show ISO on the top LCD at all times along with displaying it in the bottom strip of the viewfinder. You no longer have to hit the ISO button just to see what you're set at. It is a bit disconcerting to see all those modes on the mode dial (I think there's like 1 blank spot left on the thing) though.

So I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to do with this thing. Originally I bought it cause I thought it'd be nice to have two bodies. I figured I'd stick the Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS on the 1.6x crop 40D to get the extra range and then use the 5D for everything else. Then I thought well, maybe I can also use the 40D as a lighter vacation body where I can pair it with the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS and Canon 35mm f/1.4. Only problem with that is that I don't own either of those lenses. =p

So ok, maybe I'll just stick with one body. But which one? I really like the AF for the 40D as it feels to me that all the outer points work better than the ones on the 5D since each point is high precision cross-type as opposed to being just high precision on the 5D. Although the 5D has those 6 additional points clustered around the middle that makes tracking moving targets more accurate, I don't currently take all that many photos of moving objects. The cross-types help more with low-light AF which I find myself doing more often. The new Highlight Tone Priority mode on the 40D also appears to work pretty well.

On the other hand, I really do like full frame. It's nice that the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 actually gives me a range spanning from decently wide to short telephoto. On a crop body like the 40D, the 24-70 would be all telephoto. I suppose it wouldn't be difficult to swap the 24-70 for a Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS but even that gives me an actual range of 27-88mm which is not as wide. Although from my experience the 17-55 IS is a much sharper lens.

On another hand, going back to a crop camera will stop me from constantly wondering whether or not it's a good idea to pick up the Canon 50mm f/1.2, backfocus issues and all, as I can just repurchase the Canon 35mm f/1.4 which I had absolutely loved but had to reluctantly give up because it was too wide on a full frame.

And the final advantage of possibly keeping the 40D and selling the 5D now is that Canon will most likely upgrade the 5D in 2008 and chances are high I would upgrade to that, especially if the AF points are upgraded as well as the addition of the now-standard dust cleaning mechanism. So I can still get a decent amount now for the 5D on the used market as opposed to having to try and sell it when the price tanks even more after the next 5D is announced.

But if I do swap back to a crop body, that means I'll have to flip my lenses as well which, while not overly difficult, can be time consuming. Maybe I'll just return the 40D and take my chances on the 50L. *sigh* Guess I'll do a couple of more tests in low light situations before making a final decision. Thanks to Amazon's super 30 day return policy I've got another few weeks to play around.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 14, 2007 12:27 AM.

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