50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

Started Sep 26, 2008 | Discussions
Michael G2
Michael G2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,150
50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

I picked up the 50D yesterday and made a few tests to compare to the performance of my 1DmkIII. My first impressions are:

The good: Lightweight, quiet, decent ISO 800/1600 performance, Micro-focus is greatly appreciated. AF feels reasonably quick. It's not a 1D, but it's no slouch.

The not so good: The resolution is about on par with my 1DmkIII, so all those extra megapixels only match or barely exceed the 1DmkIII ( an upres-ed shot from my 1DmkIII looks pretty close to the 50D output), but on the other hand, at this price, that's still pretty good.

The bad: The shutter lag feels very long after being spoiled by the 1DmkIII, I lost a lot of first shots. The fps feels slow compared to the 1DmkIII. File size, this is going to eat hard disk...

Here are a few samples taken at lunch, the crops are 100%, no sharpening, no pp, no noise reduction, the full images are resized, no pp, no noise reduction. Converted from raw with DPP and saved as JPEG quality 10 in PS CS3

Please note that these examples are noisy because NR is off, with pp they clean up nicely.

All shots taken with 50D+500/4 +1.4 ext. at f/8

ISO 1600

ISO 800

ISO 1600

If the weather holds I will try to post some better samples tomorrow.

sidepocket
sidepocket Regular Member • Posts: 413
Yikes

Nice shots, but 500mm + 1.4X ?!?!?! Geez, can you see my house from there?

jonrobertp Forum Pro • Posts: 12,878
Cool !!
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jdavis37 Senior Member • Posts: 2,395
Re: 50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

Thx for posting and nice shots.. even the cat I never turn NR on with my 40D so comparing the 2 I'd have to say , in short, so much for the 1 1/2 stops of better noise performance. Not saying the 50D noise is bad but it certainly will require nR software to help it out. Seems the details hold though which is a good sign. Packing a lot o fpixels in 1 small sensor doesn't do noise justice.. but given that, they did an ok job with doing what they did. Would be nice, though , to have ISO1600/3200 shots be clean enoough to not need noise reduction via software though that is a tall order!

Michael G2 wrote:

I picked up the 50D yesterday and made a few tests to compare to the
performance of my 1DmkIII. My first impressions are:

The good: Lightweight, quiet, decent ISO 800/1600 performance,
Micro-focus is greatly appreciated. AF feels reasonably quick. It's
not a 1D, but it's no slouch.

The not so good: The resolution is about on par with my 1DmkIII, so
all those extra megapixels only match or barely exceed the 1DmkIII (
an upres-ed shot from my 1DmkIII looks pretty close to the 50D
output), but on the other hand, at this price, that's still pretty
good.

The bad: The shutter lag feels very long after being spoiled by the
1DmkIII, I lost a lot of first shots. The fps feels slow compared to
the 1DmkIII. File size, this is going to eat hard disk...

Here are a few samples taken at lunch, the crops are 100%, no
sharpening, no pp, no noise reduction, the full images are resized,
no pp, no noise reduction. Converted from raw with DPP and saved as
JPEG quality 10 in PS CS3

Please note that these examples are noisy because NR is off, with pp
they clean up nicely.

All shots taken with 50D+500/4 +1.4 ext. at f/8

ISO 1600

ISO 800

ISO 1600

If the weather holds I will try to post some better samples tomorrow.

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J A K Forum Pro • Posts: 15,833
Re: 50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

Michael G2 wrote:

Please note that these examples are noisy because NR is off, with pp
they clean up nicely.

Hi Michael:

First, thanks very much for taking the time to post your pictures, I really appreciate it. That said, and I'm not trying to be argumentive here, IMO the pictures do NOT clean up nicely. I shoot a lot of feathers and spend some time playing with your two 100 percent bird shots; too much fine feather detail is lost even with a minimal amount of noise reduction (using NI at various settings for spatial frequency and percent reduction).

Maybe setting NR (to whatever) in DPP will do a better job than what I was able to accomplish using NI. If you get a chance and have the time, please post the best you can get using NR in DPP from the standpoint of noise reduction without badly compromising the feather detail, thanks. It's entirely possible the great NR that I saw on the in-camera JPEG files is exactly what you can get out of your new copy of DPP converting shots in RAW format.

FWIW I'm starting to get really discouraged. Early on, when only 50D in-camera JPEGs were shown worldwide and then compared to "my" JPEGs straight out of "my" 40D I was a believer in Canon's claim of a 1.5 stop improvement in noise; now, if the converted RAW files are gong to look like what I've seen so far ... well, I beginning to feel like the victim of a REALLY BIG lie on Canon's part.

Regards,

Joe Kurkjian

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olderbob Senior Member • Posts: 1,051
Joe,

I've had that feeling since early on..They did a fair job with noise considering the MP increase but I see little if any decrease compared to the 40D..Not a put down,just physics...I'm going back to keeping my 40D and getting an "old" new 5D like I had before..The 50D will be a good cam,I can't justify it for my needs however,Bob

Michael G2
OP Michael G2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,150
Re: 50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

Joe I think we need to be realistic about what to expect, I was not trying to defend the 50D, but rather demonstrate exactly what it is capable of, so let me mention a couple of other things.

I rarely use ISO 1600 on birds with the 1DmkIII, because it does create a lot of noise and you have to be close in order to have enough detail to be able to clean the picture up. So I really didn't expect ISO 1600 on the 50D to be a useable speed. But I do think the ISO 800 is not bad compared to the 1DmkIII, when taking price into consideration.

Second, I never use a 100% crop anywhere, I downsize by at least 50% for web pictures, and if I were printing this it would also be at 200, 300 or 600 dpi, not 72, so a 100% crop is just for pixel peeping.

Finally, allthough you can take that 100% crop and try to clean it up, I think you will have better success starting from raw and do some work with layers to apply the NR selectively, otherwise there will be too much feather detail lost. The noise in the feathers is really not distracting. Let's face it, the jpeg straight from the camera is not going to be the best option at ISO 1600.

All in all it's not a bad camera, I think the micro-focus is the feature I appreaciate the most, since the 500/4 has such a shallow depth of field, and I suspect mine is slightly miscalibrated, since I had trouble getting sharp pictures on the 40D. I had to set it to -10 on the 50D to get proper focus.

I will try to post some true comparisons between the 1DmkIII tomorrow, weather permitting.

J A K Forum Pro • Posts: 15,833
Re: 50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

Michael G2 wrote:

Joe I think we need to be realistic about what to expect, I was not
trying to defend the 50D, but rather demonstrate exactly what it is
capable of, so let me mention a couple of other things.

I rarely use ISO 1600 on birds with the 1DmkIII, because it does
create a lot of noise and you have to be close in order to have
enough detail to be able to clean the picture up. So I really didn't
expect ISO 1600 on the 50D to be a useable speed. But I do think the
ISO 800 is not bad compared to the 1DmkIII, when taking price into
consideration.

Second, I never use a 100% crop anywhere, I downsize by at least 50%
for web pictures, and if I were printing this it would also be at
200, 300 or 600 dpi, not 72, so a 100% crop is just for pixel peeping.

Finally, allthough you can take that 100% crop and try to clean it
up, I think you will have better success starting from raw and do
some work with layers to apply the NR selectively, otherwise there
will be too much feather detail lost. The noise in the feathers is
really not distracting. Let's face it, the jpeg straight from the
camera is not going to be the best option at ISO 1600.

All in all it's not a bad camera, I think the micro-focus is the
feature I appreaciate the most, since the 500/4 has such a shallow
depth of field, and I suspect mine is slightly miscalibrated, since I
had trouble getting sharp pictures on the 40D. I had to set it to -10
on the 50D to get proper focus.

I will try to post some true comparisons between the 1DmkIII
tomorrow, weather permitting.

Thanks for your reply and consideration of my request. Do you still have a 40D?

OBTW, good luck on the 500 f/4 calibration ... probably should be sent to Canon ASAP.

Regards,

Joe Kurkjian

Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/jkurkjia

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midmadn Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Re: 50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

Did you by any chance have to increase exposure in DPP?

If so - that would explain the seemingly excessive noise for these paticular shots.

Thanks,

Jack

J A K Forum Pro • Posts: 15,833
Bob, it's impossible to find fault with your logic.

The first thing I'll do when the 50D arrives is compare it's high ISO noise to that of my 40D. If the 50D's RAW files don't support Canon's hype then back it goes for a refund and ... well, it just a guess but I'll probably have to order another 40D (by far the best bang-for-the-buck camera on the planet AFAIC).

I don't know about you but from my perspective the higher MP count of the 50D was of secondary importance (actually it didn't make my top two list); "the" primary interest (by a far margin) was 1.5 stops improvement in high ISO noise.

Regards,

Joe Kurkjian

Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/jkurkjia

SEARCHING FOR A BETTER SELF PORTRAIT

olderbob Senior Member • Posts: 1,051
Absolutely Joe,

What I wanted was a 40D with close to the 5D noise at near 3200...I was willing to accept a bit more but it isn't there....Darn it....Again the 50D will be a nice camera but I don't care about the MP's if there is no less noise than the 40D...So it's off to FF land,again,and sensor cleaning once a month...Bob

jdavis37 Senior Member • Posts: 2,395
Re: Absolutely Joe,

Based on the one close up of the first bird ( ISO1600 ) it appears the noise is mostly luminance.. odd for a Canon camera. I'l have to take a look at some of the other shots posted as they seemed to be more chroma in nature. Using noiseware I saw a lot of high frequency noise in it but it seemed to be mostly all luminance.. thus when trying to clean the noise up, so, too, went the details

olderbob wrote:

What I wanted was a 40D with close to the 5D noise at near 3200...I
was willing to accept a bit more but it isn't there....Darn
it....Again the 50D will be a nice camera but I don't care about the
MP's if there is no less noise than the 40D...So it's off to FF
land,again,and sensor cleaning once a month...Bob

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R Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 3,269
40D shot in RAW with no NR IS noisey at ISO 1600.

But I have to agree that shots in RAW do not represent any noise improvement.

But they are not worse either.

So with the 50% increase in pixels there is a REAL improvement in the level of noise.

Too much complaining about nothing. Canon makes a real and noticeable improvement but yet it still is not good enough?

Mind boggling.

Gene

gml Senior Member • Posts: 1,023
Re: 50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

First of all, thanks a lot for posting.

Michael G2 wrote:

The not so good: The resolution is about on par with my 1DmkIII, so
all those extra megapixels only match or barely exceed the 1DmkIII (
an upres-ed shot from my 1DmkIII looks pretty close to the 50D
output)

Well, a lot of people don't believe it but the 50D is out-resolving most lenses (obviously even the 500mm + 1.4 TC combo), so the extra megapixels are just empty magnification.
I bet 5D shots upres-ed to 15mp will have better resolution than the 50D.

Too bad. Canon should have stayed at 12mp and worked on better ISO, not bragging rights.

jdavis37 Senior Member • Posts: 2,395
Re: Absolutely Joe,

Actually I stand corrected.. the previous samples I had used Noiseware on were also luminance noise in terms of clean up. How interesting.

JDavis37 wrote:
Based on the one close up of the first bird ( ISO1600 ) it appears
the noise is mostly luminance.. odd for a Canon camera. I'l have to
take a look at some of the other shots posted as they seemed to be
more chroma in nature. Using noiseware I saw a lot of high frequency
noise in it but it seemed to be mostly all luminance.. thus when
trying to clean the noise up, so, too, went the details

olderbob wrote:

What I wanted was a 40D with close to the 5D noise at near 3200...I
was willing to accept a bit more but it isn't there....Darn
it....Again the 50D will be a nice camera but I don't care about the
MP's if there is no less noise than the 40D...So it's off to FF
land,again,and sensor cleaning once a month...Bob

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Hawkman
Hawkman Veteran Member • Posts: 7,847
Me too Joe

Joe,

I too am getting pretty discouraged. I had hoped the 50D would be a long crop high ISO companion to my 1D Mark IIN. I am seeing no way forward now. I would like a second body I could shoot higher ISO with. I don't trust I will get a good 1D Mark III, the 5D Mark II is too slow and probably just as dubious in noise (we'll see), and the 50D doesn't appear to be great shakes on high ISO now. My 1D Mark IIN does better at ISO 1600 than these albeit at lower resolution.

Sigh. I may turn to the dark side even if it costs me my long (500mm) lens. I'll just shoot something else other than wildlife (thanks Canon).

Gene

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Michael G2
OP Michael G2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,150
Re: 50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

no exposure adjustments in dpp, just transfer to photoshop and conversion to jpeg.

Sold the 40D a few weeks ago after I bought my son a 450D and thoght those images looked better than the 40D images.
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Michael G2
OP Michael G2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,150
Re: 50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

More testing might be required since the 1.4 extender does degrade the image, so maybe a better test will be with the bare 500.
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Luke Kukovica Senior Member • Posts: 1,808
Re: 50D + 500/4 + 1.4X a couple of birds at lunch

thanks for putting up the pictures

question ...what kind of in camera default sharpening is used and what are the pictures like without any sharpening? I am not looking at high ISO and don't normally shoot over 800 since the pictures are generally too noisy for me.

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jdavis37 Senior Member • Posts: 2,395
Re: 40D shot in RAW with no NR IS noisey at ISO 1600.

Not sure why constructive posts get interpreted as complaining and "mind boggling". I am sure many 40D owners will be looking for the improved high ISO that Canon put out in it's press release and will simply try to determine if it is true. Others who may be trying to decide on buying a 40D at roughly $950 USD or a 50D at roughly $1400 USD will be trying to determine if the price difference is justified.. not everyone needed or wanted a 50% increase in MP.

At least on my end I'm not saying Canon did a bad job with the noise, and yes, given the 50% they did well.... but I would have preferred 10-12 MP and really clean ISO3200 straight from cam even in jpg.. one can dream!

As a 40D owner I will wait and more than likely bypass it, just as I bypassed the 30D when I owned my 20D, and wait to see what the future holds for the 1 series and hoping maybe they will introduce a smaller bodied 1 series camera.

Am sure the 50D will do well... a 40D with more MP, some nice additions such as the micro adjustment for lenses, a better lCD, but none of these really will impact what I shoot. Just a personal thing, nothing negative meant.

If the high ISO does prove to be 1 1/2 stops better than my 40D I will be interested though not sure if I'll pull the trigger.. waiting isn't always abad thing and the 40D resell is already low. I would, though, love to have better high ISO capabilities as I'm often at ISO1600 and would go higher if I felt my 40D could easily do it ( it does ok at 3200 ).

But, I'm concerned that we have once again entered the MP race and wonder what will happen as we continue to approach diffraction at F5.6 ( still a ways away but approaching ).. if the 50D begins showing diffraction at F8-9, it may change how we take pictures. My 40D seems to show some diffraction at F11 though only alittle. And to think I'm not even a pixel peeper!

The 50D wil be fine.. will dissappoint others and will impress some even more. No one camera is everything to everybody of course. It's noise thus far doesn't look to be significantly worse than the 40D and especially if downsampled to same size it shouldn't be.. but am still a doubting Thomas on the 1 1/2 stops better claim Maybe in RAW it will be!

R Valentino wrote:

But I have to agree that shots in RAW do not represent any noise
improvement.

But they are not worse either.

So with the 50% increase in pixels there is a REAL improvement in the
level of noise.

Too much complaining about nothing. Canon makes a real and noticeable
improvement but yet it still is not good enough?

Mind boggling.

Gene

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