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Canon 5d good upgrade or poor

Andy_Britten Junior Member 11 96 England
20 Nov 2005 1:11PM
Canon release another new camera the 5D full frame well almost. I currently have the 20d a nice piece of kit, as do many folk on here. Is the 5d an upgrade worth considering, and will it work well with the following lenses.
Tamron 90mm 2.8
Sigma 24-60mm 2.8 apo dg
Sigma 70-200 2.8 apo dg
sigma 170-500 4.5-6 apo dg {on order}
I would really apreciate your views.
Cheers Andrew

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Mitzi 11 1.0k
20 Nov 2005 1:43PM
I will be interested to read any replies. I am thinking of moving to Canon and probably the 5D. Lenses become the immediate problem! There are so many and I don't want to go the suitcase route again as I did with my Nikon film SLR.

Sigma is a possibility but the story I get is that they are not a patch on the Canon lenses and there ain't much point in having a very good camera body and then sticking cheapo lenses into it!
barnowl 11 697
20 Nov 2005 1:47PM
It would seem that the 5D needs the very best of glass.
strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2005 2:01PM
From what I have read, the camera shows up weaknesses in lenses, so I would be worried that you may have a camera that can exceed the abilities of the lenses you describe.

What do you use your 20D for mostly? and how many prints above 10x8 size will you make?

Having looked at your portfolio you do lots of wild life so going full frame may not be for the best. Also the 20D may be faster reacting.
Andy_Britten Junior Member 11 96 England
20 Nov 2005 2:06PM
I photograph all sorts. Favourites if put on the spot would be birds of prey. I have never produced a picture larger than 8x10 ins yet.
Mitzi 11 1.0k
20 Nov 2005 7:51PM
Strawman - are you saying that the 5D is no good for moving subjects due to shutter lag or focussing problems? And the 20D is better?

When I first went to digital I just assumed that everything worked much the same but the film was replaced by some kind of sensor! I now discover that my 8080, for instance, ain't much good for moving subjects because it is too slow to focus! Hence my thought about going the 5D route.
Mitzi 11 1.0k
20 Nov 2005 8:34PM
Reading the reviews I begin to wonder if the 20D isn't a better buy than the 5D. Hmmmmmm. Much cheaper and it has a built in flash. Help!
stevie 13 1.2k 2 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2005 8:57PM
Hi Andrew
I bought a 5D a few weks ago. I also have a 10D.
No question, the 5D is very good indeed, excellent in fact but not perfect. In my view the good points are:

1. Superb image quality, subtle differences in colour very well captured, really comes out when you print large (say, A3) Significantly better than the 10D
2. Lack of noise. This is very evident at higher ISO (say 800) where the 5D produces virtually none even at A3. The 10D was very noisy at over 400.
3. Full frame. Ability to use Canon L-series wide angles to their full potential. The 17-40, for example, really comes into its own at full frame. To get the same view on a 10D I use a Tamron 11-18 but although it's good, it's not quite L-series quality.
4. Large viewfinder, very bright. Seems enormous after the 10D Excellent in low light such as dawn landscapes (I do quite a bit of landscape work so I may be biased) One reviewer -I think it was in Amateur Photographer - didn't like the viewfinder but I disagree(!).
5. Large screen, excellent for reviewing images easily. Particularly good for a forty-something like me who doesn't see the small print as well as I once did.
6. Light (relatively) and 'normal' SLR sized. I do use the battery grip quite often but in certain circumstance - city visits, for instance - I tend to use just the normal battery. The battery grip is excellent by the way, beautifully made and nice to use.

Negative points (my view!):
1. The frame rate on 'continuous' is slower than the 20D. If the frame rate was higher the camera would be almost perfect as an all-rounder.
2. Definitely needs top-quality glass otherwise many of the benefits are wasted
3. You need a longer lens to get the same view for sports & wildlife photography
4. Leads to a 'need' for upgrades! I'm thinking about larger CF cards, a 100mm sized filter system (Cokin P vignettes annoyingly up to about 20mm focal length), a 500mm lens (when 300mm seeemed fine on the 10D)..........
5. I'm having quite a dust problem on the sensor - I know this happens with all DSLRs but it does seem slightly worse than on my 10D.

Having said all that I'm very pleased with my 5D. I've quite a few examples in my porfolio (although 1000K still doesn't quite tell the whole story). Still keeping my 10D, though.

Hope this is some help. Regards.

21 Nov 2005 3:10AM
If you're not printing big, and not using prime lenses or top of the range zooms, then you're not likely to notice the difference. You'd be better investing in top quality lenses - faster, quiter focusing, sturdier build quality, sharper etc.
strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
21 Nov 2005 3:25AM
Just for reference. According to reviews the 20D and 5D have very similar noise performance, (need some more experienced people to confirm/deny this). So equal there but the 20D has a better frame rate. If you are only printing 10x8 then I doubt the extra pixels will help. If you do a lot of landscapes then providing you buy top not lenses the 5D should be king. Look at andytvcams for examples.

But then for wildlife the crop feature may well help you, and the extra frame rate may well work better for birds of prey in flight for example.

So if I were starting with your kit and thinking wildlife then I would be thinking about just living with what I had or upgrading the lenses, perhaps some L series primes or the 100-400L. Ask klewis about his 600mm baby.

If you wanted landscapes then the 5D leaps ahead. but if its only 10x8 prints then think of getting some decent wide angles.

Given you have gone through 300D to 20D since 2004 do you need another camera body? And if your budget is that good is the sigma 170-500 the best buy?
strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
21 Nov 2005 3:28AM
To answer Mitzi's questions in my view.

If you are going to print big and can afford L series lenses then the 5D is good, but there are better fast frame rate camera's. If you want fast frame rates etc then the 1D range come to mind.

If you want a decent all rounder at a more modest price the 20D sounds fine.
agoreira 13 6.0k Wales
21 Nov 2005 3:43AM

Quote:If you are only printing 10x8 then I doubt the extra pixels will help.

Possible, but I would have thought that anyone looking seriously at a 5D, would be intending to print much larger than that. I've never printed that small with a 10D, so with double the pixel power of the 5D, I would not be looking at prints that size.
UserRemoved 13 4.2k
21 Nov 2005 4:05AM
I remember my photography teacher in school telling us to get a camera body and buy the best lenses we could afford as its the lenses that make the difference to the final image and not the body.

That was in 1982. I dont think that advice has changed much since then.

I really dont see the logic in buying a 2 grand camera and sticking a 200/300 quid lens on it. Honestly.

With those lenses I would seriously doubt that a 5D would be any improvement over a 10D never mind a 20D.
JohnHorne 12 1.0k
21 Nov 2005 4:29AM
What are 5D users' experiences of its battery life ? Without the extra battery grip, I mean.

chris.maddock 15 3.6k United Kingdom
21 Nov 2005 5:47AM
From what I've seen so far, better than the 10D - although I haven't done any controlled testing.


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