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Thread: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

  1. #1
    Equilibrium8's Avatar
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    Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Hi

    I know the camera vs lense upgrade has been discussed a lot on many forums and the consensus is always to buy better lenses. However, I want to check your opinions on this, as my main problem right now is the ISO on the 450D being pretty much unusable at 800 and above. Does the the 60D or 7D perform better at higher ISO settings?

    I live in Taipei, and even daylight shots often need higher ISO due to the constant overcast conditions and polluted sky. Also for night time events, it becomes a problem. I thought it had something to do with my poor technique (which I'm sure is part of it), but searching it does seem to be a common complaint with the 450D.

    Since, the lenses I was thinking of getting are in the same price range as a camera, I want to make sure before I get the lenses.

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    well thats a tough one. but if you can get the shot you need cause your iso cant get high enough for all your shots than id go for a new one that you can reach the iso you need, if your lucky enough to do so.

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Hi Kenny,

    As long as you;
    a) don't under expose and
    b) don't crop (to obtain a closer view like a telephoto lens)
    noise shouldn't, after downsizing for the web, be too much of a problem, but I don't have personal Canon 450D experience, it is true.

    Even if it is a problem, it can, for many subjects, be dealt with using a third party application like Neat Image.
    Here's a post with a rather extreme (from a bridge camera) example and how Neat Image can help.

    That said, there would be other advantages to a new body, especially if you move to the higher spec. ranges you suggested. i.e. don't just get a 600D.

    You could post an example photo perhaps?

    Cheers,

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Hi Kenny,

    I shoot a 7D. The sensor is the same in the 600D and the 60D. I have found the ISO performance to be variable. However I am usually happy shooting up to 800. With some careful post-processing I find 1600 and 3200 are usable. Of course this depends on how large you view your images. (Most of mine end up at 27 inches on my desktop.) If you want to crop into the image the noise will get more noticeable. If you take photos with large regions of smooth tone, e.g. a blue sky, the noise will be more noticeable. On images with lots of small detail the noise gets lost.

    In low light getting the exposure right is critical. Underexpose the shot and you will see more noise, especially in the shadows. In this case you can just clip the blacks and go for some creative shots. For example the following shot at different ISO:

    Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    200mm @ f2.8 @ 1/200s @ ISO 3200

    Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    165mm @ f8 @ 1/2000s @ ISO 1600

    Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    80mm @ f5.6 @ 1/160s @ ISO 800

    Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    55mm @ f8 @ 8s (Hand held) @ ISO 100

    If you are viewing entire-frame (no crop) images at 5x7 inches then any noise will pretty much be invisible.

    Shooting in raw will help you as well. In this case you can perform more careful noise reduction than that possible in the camera. Getting a copy of Adobe Lightroom would be a good option right now since it is heavily discounted at the moment. It has very good noise reduction.

    You could also use a flash when in low light. Sometimes this is not possible. However a mid-range flash will open up new creative possibilities for you with your current camera.

    Regards,

    Alex

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    Equilibrium8's Avatar
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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Hi, thanks for the replies.
    As long as you;
    a) don't under expose and
    b) don't crop (to obtain a closer view like a telephoto lens)
    noise shouldn't, after downsizing for the web, be too much of a problem, but I don't have personal Canon 450D experience, it is true.
    I do have a tendency to underexpose. My personal preference veers towards underexposing rather than overexposing (Which may just be a stupid mistake on my part). And my photos are mainly on the Web, but since some of them may be used for commercial use soon, it would be better for me to think in terms of bigger prints just in case.

    That said, there would be other advantages to a new body, especially if you move to the higher spec. ranges you suggested. i.e. don't just get a 600D.
    Sure! I don't believe in incremental upgrades. I'm even a bit reluctant to think about 60D. I will probably go to 7D or wait.

    Here is an example Another camera vs lense upgrade thread
    125 @ f5.6 ISO 800

    Compare that to being close enough to use flash and ISO 400
    Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Is there a problem using Facebook links? They are not showing, but only good examples I have.

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    Equilibrium8's Avatar
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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Quote Originally Posted by herbert View Post
    regions of smooth tone, e.g. a blue sky, the noise will be more noticeable. On images with lots of small detail the noise gets lost.

    Shooting in raw will help you as well. In this case you can perform more careful noise reduction than that possible in the camera. Getting a copy of Adobe Lightroom would be a good option right now since it is heavily discounted at the moment. It has very good noise reduction.

    You could also use a flash when in low light. Sometimes this is not possible. However a mid-range flash will open up new creative possibilities for you with your current camera.
    Hi Alex.

    Thanks for advice. I do shoot RAW, with flash and use Lightroom. I tried the noise reduction in LR, but probably need to learn to use it better; I'm finding skin starting to look like plastic before grain is reduced enough.

    I'm using a cheap Yongnuo flash which works for most of the time. Would better flashes make a difference?

    BTW, that first photo is awesome; hard to believe its shot at 3200.

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Kenny,

    IMO, camera or lens choice could depend very much on which lens or lenses that you are shooting with now.

    I absolutely LOVE my 7D but, was quite happy shooting with a 30D and 40D combination because I had top-line lenses mounted: 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS. See my China galleries shot with those two cameras and lenses at: http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/

    In reality, if you are shooting with the kit lens that came with your 450D, I am pretty certain that a better lens would provide more noticable quality increase than a different camera.

    I don't know if a better flash would help you get better quality imagery. However it "might" provide more consistant exposure. I work with two older flashes 550EX and 430EX and am quite satisfied with their performance...

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I absolutely LOVE my 7D but, was quite happy shooting with a 30D and 40D combination because I had top-line lenses mounted: 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS. See my China galleries shot with those two cameras and lenses at: http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/

    In reality, if you are shooting with the kit lens that came with your 450D, I am pretty certain that a better lens would provide more noticable quality increase than a different camera.
    Thanks Richard. I'm using a Canon 17-85mm now, which is not great, but is better than the kit lens. I'm looking at getting the 70-200mm IS L lens, but first making sure about the ISO problem.

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium8 View Post
    I'm using a cheap Yongnuo flash which works for most of the time. Would better flashes make a difference?
    Light is light. I don't think it will make much difference. The Canon flashes just offer Evaluative Through-The-Lens (eTTL) metering that will work with Canon cameras. Not sure about the Yongnuo. If you are shooting on manual flash then in fast changing situations you may get better results with the eTTL set-up.

    The 17-85mm is a good walkaround lens. It is the precursor to the 15-85mm that I use. A very versatile focal length. However an upgrade to the 17-55mm f2.8 will give you a fixed aperture. This opens the possibility for easier work with manual exposure settings given that you can zoom to any focal length and not have to adapt the aperture setting. It may help you get good shots in low light if you force yourself to use manual to configure the exposure. A constant aperture is something I will seek on my next lens. Here are the apertures for your lens:

    17-25mm = f/4.0
    26-37mm = f/4.5
    38-46mm = f/5.0
    47-85mm = f/5.6

    Think what you could do if you had f2.8 available at 38mm (3.18x more light) or 47mm (4x more light).

    Since you have Lightroom you could use it to see at what focal lengths you shoot your lens. You can do this with the metadata filters on a large set of images, or use this plugin:

    http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/data-plot

    I use the 55-85 range quite a lot. In my case a drop to the 17-55mm makes no sense unless the longer lengths are covered with another lens. This is what Richard uses (17-55 + 70-200) and it works well for him. However you do not have the luxury of two cameras at the current time.

    As for the 60D vs 7D then that is a much debated discussion. You will have to evaluate what features are the most important to you. However the 60D is still a good step up and will provide a very satisfying upgrade.

    Alex

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    Equilibrium8's Avatar
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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Light is light. I don't think it will make much difference. The Canon flashes just offer Evaluative Through-The-Lens (eTTL) metering that will work with Canon cameras. Not sure about the Yongnuo. If you are shooting on manual flash then in fast changing situations you may get better results with the eTTL set-up.
    I have the YN-468, which does have eTTL, but my wireless triggers do not transmit TTL, so I can only make use of that when using it on camera.
    The 17-85mm is a good walkaround lens. It is the precursor to the 15-85mm that I use. A very versatile focal length. However an upgrade to the 17-55mm f2.8 will give you a fixed aperture. This opens the possibility for easier work with manual exposure settings given that you can zoom to any focal length and not have to adapt the aperture setting. It may help you get good shots in low light if you force yourself to use manual to configure the exposure. A constant aperture is something I will seek on my next lens. Here are the apertures for your lens:

    17-25mm = f/4.0
    26-37mm = f/4.5
    38-46mm = f/5.0
    47-85mm = f/5.6

    Think what you could do if you had f2.8 available at 38mm (3.18x more light) or 47mm (4x more light).
    Thanks for the detailed feedback! I was debating (camera vs lens aside) between the 28-135 and 70-200 L lenses, both are f4 as far as I remember. All 2.8s are out of my price range for now. For those, I thought since I already have a semi-decent lens that covers most of the 28-135 range, that the 70-200 would be a better choice (I was going to start a separate thread on this)

    Since you have Lightroom you could use it to see at what focal lengths you shoot your lens. You can do this with the metadata filters on a large set of images, or use this plugin:

    http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/data-plot
    THANKS!! I was wondering a few days ago if something like that exists, and thought it is probably too much to ask for... Will check that out ASAP!

    As for the 60D vs 7D then that is a much debated discussion. You will have to evaluate what features are the most important to you. However the 60D is still a good step up and will provide a very satisfying upgrade.
    Opinions seem divided here. A lot of reviews I read about them, say that neither gives a huge improvement in image quality, but the differences lie in the feature sets and ergonomics. But seeing the higher ISO photos taken on 7Ds, I think they look MUCH better.


    You could post an example photo perhaps?
    After not seeing my links work with FB photos, I tried tinypic way, but I'm getting a message saying I cannot because my IP is banned for violating terms of use. I have contacted and waiting to hear, because I have no idea which terms I violated. If I can sort it out, I'll post the examples.

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Kenny, I believe the sensor in both the 7D and the 60D is the same, although there is more processing power in the 7D.

    Another thing that allows me to shoot in lower light situations is a tripod--and a decent one is probably cheaper than a lens.

    I agree with the comment that a fast lens will make quite a difference--you might consider a non-Canon lens such as the Tamron 17-50 mm, f/2.8. I use it and find very nice IQ even with the lens wide open, or stopped down just to f/4.

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium8 View Post
    After not seeing my links work with FB photos, I tried tinypic way, but I'm getting a message saying I cannot because my IP is banned for violating terms of use. I have contacted and waiting to hear, because I have no idea which terms I violated. If I can sort it out, I'll post the examples.
    It probably depends upon whether you Internet Service Provider uses fixed or dynamic IP addresses, if the latter, the infringement could have been caused by someone else, so I wouldn't worry unduly, hopefully they'll sort you out.

    You could try the albums or attachment method here, for images up to 700px on longest side.

    From earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium8
    I do have a tendency to underexpose. My personal preference veers towards underexposing rather than overexposing.
    Mine too Kenny, but only by upto half a stop, so insignificantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium8
    (Which may just be a stupid mistake on my part).
    Depends how far under
    Hence my desire to see an example

    That said, metering for night scenes can be error prone, so maybe they're coming out too dark - how many stops does Lightroom say you are correcting exposure by?

    Cheers,

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Hi Kenny,

    I haven't read through all of the above, so this may have already have been mentioned, but High ISO modes don't cause noise per se - when they do is progressively decrease the dynamic range that the sensor is able to handle. At low ISOs noise isn't a problem because there is a relatively big safety margin -- so even if you under-expose by a couple of stops (which is pretty common) then the safety margin is still sufficient to keep you away from the noise floor. At higher ISOs though, you don't have that luxury - it's ESSENTIAL that you push the exposure as far as you can.

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium8 View Post
    I want to check your opinions on this, as my main problem right now is the ISO on the 450D being pretty much unusable at 800 and above. Does the 60D or 7D perform better at higher ISO settings? I thought it had something to do with my poor technique (which I'm sure is part of it), but searching it does seem to be a common complaint with the 450D.
    It is very most likely your technique.

    It is a common complaint by many photographers using many cameras - as many do not have correct High ISO / Available Light Techniques.

    As said before in this thread you CANNOT underexpose when using High ISO, but a quick glance of the thread and none yet have a 450D to exhibit.

    This is a 400D (previous model to yours), purposely chosen as this image was made shooting INTO the light whilst in dark area and the scene has a large dynamic range:
    Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    ©Image copyright JVW 2010, used with permission
    "Solo Prayer - Turkey 2010"
    Tech: EOS400D EF35F/2
    Shooting: F/3.5 @ 1/100s @ ISO1600 Hand Held, Available Light.

    And the Crop:
    Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    ***

    The EOS60D and EOS7D will perform better at high ISO, than the EOS450D

    WW


    Footnotes:
    1. Ref 400D vs. 450D High ISO Comparison.“There's little visible (or measurable) difference between the EOS 450D and its predecessor [EOS400D] at higher ISO settings, and both show Canon still has a slight edge over its rivals at this end of the market (thanks to superior processing and a more light-handed approach to noise reduction.” (www.dpreview.com)
    2. REF: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos450d/page32.asp

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    Equilibrium8's Avatar
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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Donham View Post
    Another thing that allows me to shoot in lower light situations is a tripod--and a decent one is probably cheaper than a lens.

    I agree with the comment that a fast lens will make quite a difference--you might consider a non-Canon lens such as the Tamron 17-50 mm, f/2.8. I use it and find very nice IQ even with the lens wide open, or stopped down just to f/4.
    Thanks Richard. I have a semi-decent tripod, a National Geographic designed by Manfrotto. Not professional quality, but is reasonably good.
    I will try hire the lenses you mentioned and explore that option.

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    It probably depends upon whether you Internet Service Provider uses fixed or dynamic IP addresses, if the latter, the infringement could have been caused by someone else, so I wouldn't worry unduly, hopefully they'll sort you out.
    That makes sense, the TW ISP Hinet is one of the top 10 spam-friendly ISPs, so could very well be just that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Mine too Kenny, but only by upto half a stop, so insignificantly.
    Depends how far under
    Hence my desire to see an example
    That said, metering for night scenes can be error prone, so maybe they're coming out too dark - how many stops does Lightroom say you are correcting exposure by?
    Cheers,
    I'll try upload again. For the most part, not underexposing too much, I try keep the detail in shadows (sometimes... I been doing some darker for effect).
    "How many stops does Ligthroom...?" Erm.. Where do I see this? If I use auto, it goes up by between 1.5 and 2.3, but overexposes far too much.

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    Equilibrium8's Avatar
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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Kenny,

    I haven't read through all of the above, so this may have already have been mentioned, but High ISO modes don't cause noise per se - when they do is progressively decrease the dynamic range that the sensor is able to handle. At low ISOs noise isn't a problem because there is a relatively big safety margin -- so even if you under-expose by a couple of stops (which is pretty common) then the safety margin is still sufficient to keep you away from the noise floor. At higher ISOs though, you don't have that luxury - it's ESSENTIAL that you push the exposure as far as you can.
    Thanks Colin. I usually try push that as much as I can, since LR does a great job of bringing exposures up. But sometimes it seems necessary to push the ISO. My technique and knowledge has a long way to go!

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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium8 View Post
    Thanks Colin. I usually try push that as much as I can, since LR does a great job of bringing exposures up. But sometimes it seems necessary to push the ISO. My technique and knowledge has a long way to go!
    Hi Kenny,

    It's OK to push the ISO you'll get less noise than under-exposing at a lower ISO), but the higher the ISO, the more you have to push push push your histogram to the right hand side.

  19. #19
    Equilibrium8's Avatar
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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    It is very most likely your technique.

    It is a common complaint by many photographers using many cameras - as many do not have correct High ISO / Available Light Techniques.

    As said before in this thread you CANNOT underexpose when using High ISO, but a quick glance of the thread and none yet have a 450D to exhibit.

    This is a 400D (previous model to yours), purposely chosen as this image was made shooting INTO the light whilst in dark area and the scene has a large dynamic range:
    Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    ©Image copyright JVW 2010, used with permission
    "Solo Prayer - Turkey 2010"
    Tech: EOS400D EF35F/2
    Shooting: F/3.5 @ 1/100s @ ISO1600 Hand Held, Available Light.

    And the Crop:
    Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    ***

    The EOS60D and EOS7D will perform better at high ISO, than the EOS450D

    WW


    Footnotes:
    1. Ref 400D vs. 450D High ISO Comparison.“There's little visible (or measurable) difference between the EOS 450D and its predecessor [EOS400D] at higher ISO settings, and both show Canon still has a slight edge over its rivals at this end of the market (thanks to superior processing and a more light-handed approach to noise reduction.” (www.dpreview.com)
    2. REF: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos450d/page32.asp
    Thanks William. This is one of those times, I would be very happy if it bad technique on my part (definitely cheaper to fix )

    Looking at your examples. I know it has to be possible to get my shots better!

  20. #20
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    Re: Another camera vs lense upgrade thread

    Image linking and uploading still not working. You can copy and paste if its not too much trouble.
    https://plus.google.com/photos/10303...06344792123617

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