450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom

Started Mar 11, 2012 | Discussions
soapstar
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450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
Mar 11, 2012

cant find much on this (none) so i am asking for help here

I have a 450d which i use with a 100-400 l for long range shows. Its only in this respect that i ask for opinions. Blow for blow of course im sure my larger sensor dslr is capable of beter results. however in the specific situation such as birds where the final image is always a crop, with the sx40 at full zoom would the sx40 give mor detail because of the extra reach or would the larger cleaner sensor of the 450 give mor detail when pixel peeping. Could it be you get more detail but a blurrier image (less sharp)?

im wondering whether on travels the sx40 would save me weight and give me comparable results?

Canon EOS 450D (EOS Rebel XSi / EOS Kiss X2)
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Olga Johnson
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to soapstar, Mar 11, 2012

I have the SX40 and have dSLRs as well. I find the SΧ40 frustrating with birds unless they are standing still or in one spot. That's due to the shutter lag of the SX40 even in good light. The EVF and LCD of the SX40 are challenging compared to the OVF of the dSLRs when it comes to tracking a bird in flight or fast motion.
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toomanycanons
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to Olga Johnson, Mar 11, 2012

I was hoping the OP had done this test and we'd see the results.

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Ken53
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to soapstar, Mar 11, 2012

Hi soapstar

Lens vs reach vs sensor vs cropping??? (-:

Here are some old samples from when I was questioning the same scenarios that you might be. These samples were hastily done but might help you. My focus point was the sticker on the pole. These are JPGs SOOC. Feel free to download the full res samples.

Ken

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soapstar
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to Ken53, Mar 11, 2012

thanks for the test images. On that test the extra reach clearly converts to extra detail if one attempt to pixel peep the black sign.

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nolten
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to Ken53, Mar 11, 2012

The SX40 looks surprisingly competitive with the 100-400 at ISO 100. You can see the extra DOF of the small sensor. However, as Olga says, the small sensor camera can't compete. You are going to need much higher ISO than 100 to use 400 equivalent mm quite often and the small sensor won't be able to handle it. As a 100-400 user for wildlife, I often use ISO 400 and 800 and I try to keep the ISO down. And the fast AF and frame rate of a DSLR are really needed as well.

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toomanycanons
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to nolten, Mar 11, 2012

Comparative IQ at low ISOs is just part of the story. Being able to get the shot under various conditions is another.

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Ken53
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to soapstar, Mar 11, 2012

soapstar wrote:

thanks for the test images. On that test the extra reach clearly converts to extra detail if one attempt to pixel peep the black sign.

You are right, it certainly appears that way in these samples.

The SX40 does surprising well. The extra reach of the SX40 lens does even the playing field quite close in bright conditions. As we can see, the long sharp 840mm lens is a clear “ace in the hole” for theSX40. Also the extreme short depth of field from the DSLR can lower the keeper rate compared to the SX40.

That being said, high ISO would go in favor to the bigger sensor though. The 100-400 in these examples is being held back a little by the jpg engine in the T2i. Raw would show a little more of the hidden capabilities of the 100-400 T2i combo. If I get everything perfect, I can crop the 100-400 to 100%, where as cropping the SX40 at 100% is not too often usable.

I use them both, I get super clean images from both and I can get some real clunkers from them both also. (-:

I would recommend them equally. Obviously the SX40 is a lot cheaper and smaller, which can allow it to be more fun. (-:

Ken

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soapstar
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to Ken53, Mar 25, 2012

this guy gets the same result, pixel peep the owl and the sx40 wins for detail. Thats against a 7d and a 400 prime.
http://www.pbase.com/jxsq/lense_test

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sarlo100
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to soapstar, Mar 26, 2012

soapstar wrote:

this guy gets the same result, pixel peep the owl and the sx40 wins for detail. Thats against a 7d and a 400 prime.
http://www.pbase.com/jxsq/lense_test

I see an unholy amount of sharpening in the SX-40 image if we're actually pixel peeping, the 7D image is much cleaner. But, with that being said, unless you're looking to tight crop and blow the owl up, the differences are relatively negligible.

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Bobby Handal
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to sarlo100, Mar 26, 2012

If you look at the post that I did
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=41028041

You will see a comparison against the 50-500mm sigma. The main question is the ability of the camera to focus as fast and as accurate in any given situation.
The next question is in high ISO.

Other than that, for regular posting on the net, for normal size enlargements, I bet you cant tell the difference IF the right conditions are met.

Having said that, if for medical reasons you any longer can continue carrying a 7D w/100-400mm . Or you want to go into birding as cheaply or as light as possible, then the sx40 is a good alternative.

I have a friend that she is having serious issues with her sx40, but mainly not the fault of the camera but it is her fault - she says her camera is bad, that her pictures don't look as good as mine, however, I tell her that not only is the camera but also knowledge of photography, composition, and in deph knowledge of shutter speed / lens interaction, using IS correctly, and hand holding technique, etc.

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soapstar
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to Bobby Handal, Mar 31, 2012

just doing some early testing, just got the camera yesterday. First thing is the camera has to use the CHDK, the canon jpegs are just too processed for noise at all iso's at the expense of detail. Going to raw or superfine jpeg mode brings out so much more detail. Using jpegs straifght from my from my 450d (no pp) i am finding the resulting full zoom image quality lays between the 100-400d and 75-300. So would say at the moment this becomes something like a 450d plus a 350 non L lens. Ive been trying up 400ish isos so far so seems fair test. Not just at iso 100. For the money it has to be good value but where it fits in for use im not sure. Birds in flight? yeah its way too slow for that to be fun surely?

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soapstar
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Re: 450d 100-400 vs sx40 full zoom
In reply to soapstar, Apr 1, 2012

working on the raw filesm does gives results remarkbly close results given decent light.

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