Upgraded from an XSi (450D) to a 5D Mark II. Thoughts and pics. (corrected)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ish, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Ish, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011

    Ish macrumors 68000

    Ish

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    #1
    I’ve been using a Canon XSi / 450D and have just upgraded to the 5D mark II. It’s the first time I’ve had a full frame camera since changing to digital.



    [​IMG]



    It all started when I decided to upgrade my lens! (No wonder they say lenses can be expensive :)) I was impressed with the IQ of photos taken with the 17-55 f2.8 IS USM but I looked at the price and noticed it was a good chunk of the price of the 24-105 L. The 17-55 didn’t have a lens hood either and when you added that, the price wasn’t that different. (At the moment the prices are about the same without the hood.) Then I wondered about getting the 24-105 instead and just using that on my 450D for a while. However, I’m going on a special visit to Israel in about a year, and felt that that lens wouldn’t be wide enough on my existing camera, so after several weeks of deliberations, and having had in mind that I would eventually go FF when I could, I decided to change now.

    VirtualRain did a thread comparing his T1i / 500D with the 7D he’d just bought and as I found that very interesting and useful I thought I’d do a (very subjective) follow up with this pair of cameras. I tried to keep it to a similar theme as VR’s.

    Random thoughts:
    • I love the IQ of the photos from this camera. Really looking forward to getting out and about with it.
    • The 5D mark II is almost exactly the same weight as the 7D, and about twice as heavy as the 450D. It’s interesting, I always thought I wanted a small camera as I’m a petite person with small hands but I have to admit, the 5DII feels very snug and the grip is very comfortable. In fact, I also handled the 7D in the shop but much preferred the feel of the 5DII. The grip is a bit different and there’s a slight groove in it where your middle finger naturally settles and gives it that made-to-measure feel! It’s a camera I can really grow into.
    • The viewfinder is much brighter than the 450D. It covers 98% as opposed to 95% on the 450D (and 100% on the 7D).
    • I don’t like the strap. I put up with using the one with Canon printed down the length of it for the 450D but it seems a bit pretentious to brandish a strap saying Canon 5D Mark II so it’s still in the box.
    • I really like the quick control dial and the multi controller at the back. They make changing the settings very intuitive. The LCD panel at the top’s pretty nifty too.



    The following photos were all taken at f5.6 for 10 seconds on manual. Tungsten White Balance. The ones taken with the 5DII were resized using Preview on my MBP before uploading. The illumination is one tea light which I put in a bowl on the table and positioned the camera so that the flame could not be seen. There was a small amount of reflected light in the clouds outside from the nearby town which is behind you as you look at the scene in the photograph. Not as much as these photos would have you believe though. Default noise reduction was used. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions!

    XSi/450D at 1600 ISO (max)
    [​IMG]


    5DII at 1600 ISO
    [​IMG]


    5DII at 3200 ISO
    [​IMG]


    5DII at 6400 ISO
    [​IMG]




    I took the 5DII with me when I went to London recently. Granted it was in a bag that was slung over one shoulder but I was surprised how light it felt in the bag when I set out. I was also surprised at how heavy it felt by the time I got home! A friend has got me a Domke F-5XB bag which I’ll pick up when I go to the States next month which I can wear cross-body. Need to get out and get fitter!

    I was going to keep the 450D. The above photograph may be a little unfair as it was pushing it to its limits and I’ve been happy with it, but I think I’ll have to sell it for a new tripod. The current one (which ‘arrived’ when we got married!) isn’t up to supporting the 5DII. It was okay for the purpose of this shot, but as soon as I point the camera downwards the head won’t hold it.

    Hope this is useful to someone. Any questions, please ask, or comparison shots while I've still got them both. I've only just got the 5DII so I'm deep into learning at the moment.
     
  2. jabbott, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011

    jabbott macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Very nice comparison! I really like your ambient light photos with the 5D Mark II, especially the one at 3200 ISO. Thanks for posting. My dream combination is a 5D Mark II (or Mark III when it comes out) with 35, 50 and 85mm L-series primes.
     
  3. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

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  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    A better comparison shot would be with the same exposure values- it's also nice to have an equivalent field of view for a more direct apples-to-apples comparison, but there's really not much to be learned if the exposure isn't the same (yes, a more underexposed shot is going to look worse and have more noise at high ISO.)

    Paul
     
  5. Ish thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ish

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    #5
    I agree, there wouldn't be much point in having different exposures, but unless I've made a mistake, they were both shot for 10 secs at f5.6 at ISO 1600. Did you mean something different?
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #6
    No, but they're clearly not exposed the same- is it possible you had exposure compensation set on one camera? I suppose the ISO settings could be different between the cameras, though I'd not expect to see such a large difference between cameras from the same manufacturer.

    Paul
     
  7. jabbott macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I think I figured out what the issue is... the 5D Mark II photo at ISO 1600 actually points to the ISO 3200 image (the filename is "5dii320010secs56.jpg"). The 5D Mark II photos for ISO 3200 and 6400 are both pointing to the ISO 6400 file. Good catch, Paul. Ish, can you repost/relink the images so that we can get a more accurate comparison? Thanks!
     
  8. Cliff3, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011

    Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #8
    Different metering modes - the old body is center weight while the new body is matrix. It's in the EXIF. The speed is also not an apples-to-apples comparison, and that information is also in the EXIF.
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #9
    Metering modes are used to select exposure- once that's done then exposure should be exposure, though ISO values tend to be a bit off for most cameras. Really though, for a side-by-side the cameras should be shot in manual mode with an equivalent angle of view to get the same light- just in case the meter rounds up/down by 1/3 or 2/3rds of a stop.

    According to DXOmark, the two models differ - with the Rebel always being closer to the actual line ISO value than the 5DII.

    Here are their test results

    ISO Rebel 5DII
    100 86 73
    200 151 143
    400 303 285
    800 606 564
    1600 1165 1093

    That's not 1/3 of a stop once you get away from the ISO 100 setting where it's very close to a 33% difference in the light. But if one camera was set to auto expose and the other was set to manual, then we'd see this difference added to whatever rounding difference we'd get for each exposure.

    Thinking more about it, it'd probably be best to set the ISO and one other value and spot meter on the same area with each camera to get a closer comparison, then the camera should bias itself accordingly.

    Paul
     
  10. Ish thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ish

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    #10
    Sorry guys! I thought I'd been careful but jabbott spotted it. I messed up which photos I put where and missed out the 1600 ISO comparison. Nice catch Paul! Sorry for the mess. :(

    That post was misleading, so rather than leave it like that and repost here I corrected it and left an editing note that I'd done it.


    As jabbott says below, nice catch Paul. Apologies. Thanks for spotting it and pointing it out. The photos all had the same manual exposure, only the ISO changed. The confusion was caused by the wrong photos being labelled. The field of view was wider with the FF but the cameras were both on a tripod in the same position. I debated whether to zoom in a bit with the 5D but thought I'd leave it to show the difference.

    Thanks for finding the problem jabbott!

    Thanks for helping find the problem! The pictures were all shot on manual so the metering wouldn't matter. They were all 10 seconds at f5.6, only the ISO changed.

    Can we go back to the beginning and start again? :eek:
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #11
    I really do think that setting say Aperture and ISO and spot metering on the same location would be an interesting test- that should allow the camera to bias out the ISO differences. The only thing with not zooming or moving to frame the same is that you're going to get more light in the wider shot too. If you're really thinking of starting again, that's how I'd shoot it.

    Comparing a crop and FF camera turns out to be a good bit of work- I did some informal comparisons between my D2x and D3x to try to quantify the differences and came up with the conclusion that I'd need at least a week to do a credible job of it.

    Paul
     
  12. Ish thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ish

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    #12
    ^ ^
    Two possibilities:
    1. Doing a spot reading with each camera and looking at the difference in exposure values
    2. Doing a spot reading with one camera and taking the photo manually at that setting with both cameras

    Zoom in with the FF to give the same field of view. I don't think it would have made a lot of difference to the first pictures given the single light source and the dark surroundings, but it'll remove a source of error.

    I don't have a week to do it either, but I don't mind doing a few comparisons. :)
     
  13. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #13
    I would be interested in seeing comparison shots between the XSi and the 5D using the same lens and default ISO. Not technical shots, just field work. I'm interested in seeing if the FF camera produces a finished product that is notably better in the way that most of us use cameras, taking photos and posting them on the net. I know that FF is the way to go if you sell prints, but I question the expense difference between the XSi (my camera) and the FF. I used to think I wanted a FF, but the 7D looks like it will fill my needs.

    Dale
     
  14. Ish thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ish

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    #14
    ^ ^
    Dale, I'll do some tomorrow. You should take the advice that's often handed out here: go and have a play with them in the shop! :) I found the feel of them quite different. VirtualRain has made some cracking shots with the 7D so it's certainly not lacking in the IQ department.
     
  15. nonameowns macrumors regular

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  16. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #16
    The amount of image circle used doesn't change the bokeh. The physics are the same no matter how much of the image circle you're using. You *can* change the bokeh by changing the focal length, so if you're shooting at different FLs to get the same AOV then it'll be different, but shoot the same FL at the same distance and it'll be the same.

    Paul
     
  17. Ish, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011

    Ish thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ish

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    #17
    Second time out with the camera and I lost the lens cap! :(

    Took a bit longer than I thought. I tried to find some grass and trees though everything's still wearing its winter colours. Grass is just beginning to green up a bit. They're not terribly interesting photos I'm afraid, I was aiming for generic photos for comparison so no C&C please! :D It's interesting to see that the two cameras give a different exposure even when I tried to get the same field of view. In the tree shots below, the 450D gave 1/400 and the 5DII gave 1/500. ISO 200, centre weighted metering.

    Went out on Sunday, rather a grey day. All photos taken with the 24-105 L.

    450D @ 24mm
    [​IMG]

    5DII
    [​IMG]


    There was a bit of sun at the end of the afternoon today so I popped out for half an hour. I don't have the wild places nearby that you do so I found some local trees and a bit of grass! :)

    450D @ 24 mm
    [​IMG]

    5DII
    [​IMG]


    Just to show the difference in the field of view:

    5DII @ 24mm
    [​IMG]

    The photos were too big to upload so I resized them in Preview first.
     
  18. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #18
    Thanks. I can see the improvement in detail and saturation with the bigger sensor. As for myself, I can't justify the expense for a hobby. I may change my mind in three years, but the 7D is still my next stop.

    I lost a lens cap, too. It fell into a tiger enclosure... They can keep it...:cool:

    Dale
     
  19. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #19
    Thx Ish for doing this, I have the T1i (500D) 1.5 yrs now, and this is useful for my thought process on 5D mkIII or 7D mkII come late 2011 or early 2012.
     
  20. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    #20
    Now you've had the camera a bit longer I was wondering whether you had any real world differences between the cameras? Also you have you done any more pushing it to the ISO low light extremes?

    When my next student loan comes in hopefully canon will have announced a 5Diii and depending on the body only price it will be that or hunting eBay and gumtree for a 5Dii.

    I don't really have a camera at the moment (only a Hasselblad film camera) so I am really looking for something that works really well in low light where the film just can't keep up.

    Also I am studying film at university and with a 5D I would probably be able to make improvements to some videos I am making on DLSR's like this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJwcreczL4A

    A question on depth of field. I realise that full frame is said to have shallower depth of field but is that due to the wider angle? For example if you where using a 50mm lens on a crop and FF and framed them the same the FF would have a shallow depth of field because you would have to be physically closer and I think depth of field follows the inverse square law? Or is it something completely different?

    Cheers!
     
  21. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #21
    At this size, the differences will be minimal, you need to evaluate large prints or extreme crops to see any real differences. That's why output matters and those espousing the benefits of extreme resolution are normally spouting wishful thinking. For 90% the shots fir 90% of the people, the differences are minimal and processing will take care of at least 5% of what's left.

    Personally, I don't see much saturation difference, I see exposure differences, which are either an effect of the meter or the larger amount of light in the slightly larger field of view of the FX sensor and some contrast differences, which could be moot if these were shot in raw and converted as raw converters tend to do different things for different imaging sensors.

    Paul
     
  22. raymond lin macrumors regular

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    #22
    I never bothered with "tests", just take it out and take pictures. Pictures that you normally take, and if you don't see a difference in quality and improvement then either you are not pushing the camera (the older one too) to its limits and the upgrade wasn't worth while.

    If your photography improves with the upgrade then it's worth it.

    It's that simple.
     
  23. VirtualRain, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #23
    Awesome. The low light differences are stunning which is not surprising. It's one of the obvious benefits of the 5DMII. I've been thinking of moving to FF and this is not helping! :eek:

    Enjoy your new kit, and hope to see some of your work with this setup in the POTD thread!

    EDIT: You mentioned your discontent with the supplied strap... I recently replaced my strap with the Canon L6 strap (it comes with the 1Ds)... it's much nicer than the standard strap, doesn't have the camera model embroidery, but does have nice red racing stripes! Got mine off ebay. However, even this might seem pretentious. :)
     
  24. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #24
    If you don't test your equipment you don't know (a) if it's fully functional, (b) its limitations and (c) its strengths. Just because you don't bother doesn't mena there's not value from testing.

    Paul
     
  25. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Bingo.
     

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