Downgrading? advice please

Started Oct 26, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Erik00
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Downgrading? advice please
Oct 26, 2010

My first digital SLR was the 10D. I changed this to the 5D which I later changed to the 5D mk,II.

I am an amateur - shooting sceneries, family events, portraits, street fotography, macro etc.

I live in Thailand and travel frequently here and in neighbouring countries, where the climate is mostly very hot and humid.

As I am not young any more I wanted a smaller camera for travel than my 5D II. I would not buy a pocket camera, because I really appreciate the image quality from the big sensors inSLR´s.

I know from experience that if my fhotogear is too big and heavy, I am not bringing it with me on many occations.

So I bought a Canon 550D for the smaller size, weight and the build-in flash, but I expected to se some drop in i.q. compared to my 5D II.

After having owned the 550D 5 months I realized, that I almost never used my 5D II, because I did not se the expected drop in i.q. when using the 550D. (I have some very good/excellent lenses.)

I deceided to make a small real-life test, In good light, afternoon sun, I shot the front of a town house at a distance of about 20 meters. The housefront has large windows with many signs and posters.

I shot 10 photos in raw with each camera. On the 5D II I used my Canon 85mm f1.8. On the 550D I used my Canon 50mm 1.4 so the photos could have almost the same f.o.v. Both lenses were stopped down to f 5.6 and from all reviews I have read and from my own experiance the chosen lenses have almost same resolving power when stopped down to f 5.6.

I converted the sharpest picture from each camera in DPP and did a little ajustments and sharpening in Photoshop Elements. Finally I printed the two photos at A3+ (13x19 inches). At this size I could se no difference in i.q.

Even when I enlarged the photos to 100% in my computerscreen, I could only se a marginal difference. Both photos looked very sharp i.m.o.

My reasons for believing, that it might be correct, that there is very little difference in i.q. in prints up to A3+ (at least up to ISO 1600/3200) in real life use are:

1. Both cameras have a very high resolution sensor and i.q. is more dependent of the quality of the lens than the difference in sensors.

2. The 550D has (according to the reviews in DPR) a wider dynamic range than the 5D II. (8,8 ctr. 8,4.)

3. The 550D can have an advantage in i.q. if used with a high quality FF lens compared to a similar lens used on the 5D II.

F. inst. I have the Canon 24mm f1.4 II L lens. When I use this lens on my 550D I have a f.o.v. close to a 35mm lens mounted on a F.F. camera.

From all the reviews I have seen the 24mm performs much better on the 550D than the Canon 35mm 1.4 L does on the 5D II until the lenses are stopped down to about f 2.8. I am mainly thinking of vignetting and corner sharpness.

This effect should be the same with most F.F. lenses, as the cropped sensor only uses the "best part" of the lens.

I really want to know if there is a - real life - significant difference in i.q. between the two cameras. If there is, I will keep my 5D II and try to lern judging i.q. better.

I would appreciate very much, if I can get response from skilled photografers who own both cameras or at least have been using both cameras for a certan period.

Thank´s on beforehand
Erik

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