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50D or 40D ?

DB W , Oct 20, 2011; 09:17 a.m.

Hi everybody, I'm new here and this is my first post. Nice to meet you all :)
I want to take up photography as a hobby as I've recently developed a passion and love towards it. Up until now I've been using a Kodak Snapshot 8 megapixel. Now I want to take a leap in to the world of DSLR and phew I have to say it's a jungle out there :) In a good way I mean.
My budget is very limited to start with. I'm tempted by the 5D and the 7D, but that's just a dream for now. I've done a bit of research and found out some pretty interesting offers. I come from Italy and I have to mention that good offers are really hard to come by and it's more of a rip off here, shame! :(
Iv'e looked at a EOS 50D, used of course, body only 500 Euros with a 3 month guarantee. Do you think that it's a reasonable price for a camera that's not in production any more and not knowing the real usage behind it. I'm also on the look out for a 40D if I get a good buy.
Now, the lens. There are a million options out there as you know. I'm a beginner, so do you think its worth to invest on an expensive L lens to start with, like the walk about 24-105 mm L or stick to a decent affordable EF lens like the 17-85 mm IS USM or the more practical 18-200 mm IS? Like I mentioned before, for starters.
Thank you in advance for all your valuable tips and help. Need to make the right decision and spend my hard earned money well :)
p.s. - Anybody selling a 50D or 40D for a "decent price", let me know. Cheers.


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Matt Brost , Oct 20, 2011; 10:15 a.m.

Lenses are the best investment, there are some great EFS lenses that are not too expensive. I have a 17-55 f2.8 IS on a old rebel 450D and it produces great images. A 40D or 50D, both will give great images. I could not tell you which is a better deal. But, I would put more money in to a good lens than a body. And, given the budget I would suggest a good EFS lens than a L lens.

Good luck!

Brian Wallace , Oct 20, 2011; 10:47 a.m.

The 50D has some advantages over the 40D - perhaps the most significant being the fact that the 50D has micro focus auto adjustment which allows you to program the camera to focus more precisely. It has a higher megapixel count (15.1 vs 10.2) and a new Digic 4 processor and interface. It also has a much nicer higher resolution screen.
That being said, it's low light performance is not significantly better than than of the 40D and the tests I looked at said the image quality was comparable. Snapsort does a nice comparison
When I was looking for an upgrade to my 20D I did the same comparison and opted for the 40D because it cost me about $250 (US) less than the 40D (700 vs 450 US). They both shoots at 6-6.5 frames per second. My greatest frustration with the 40D is the metering is not nearly as good as on my T2i and I end up with a lot more over/under exposed shots and find myself resorting to manual mode a lot.

Mark Pierlot , Oct 20, 2011; 10:53 a.m.

Six months ago I faced a similar decision. I was looking for a decent crop body to complement my 5DII, but didn't want to shell out for a 7D, so it came down to a choice between the 40D and 50D. I opted for the latter for several reasons: higher resolution, better LCD screen, AF microadjustment, and similarity in menu and control layout to my 5DII. And I have found the 50D to be a very good performer, particularly at lower ISO's.

As for lenses, I would start with a 17-55/2.8 IS, or with a 15-85/3.5-5.6 IS if you don't the speed and would like a greater focal length range. Both of these lenses are highly touted for their image quality. I had a copy of the 24-105 L; it's a fairly good lens, but reportedly not well suited for crop bodies. The 70-200/4 L IS, on the ohter hand, is my most-used walkabout lens on all my EOS bodies, crop and full frame digital as well as film.

Don Bryant , Oct 20, 2011; 11:24 a.m.

I own the 40D and 50D and my advice straight up is to purchase the 50D unless you can get the 40D at a give away price. The 50D is an all around better camera feature wise and IQ wise.
The noise at ISO 1600 is better on the 50D than the 40D and the 50D can easily be used at ISO 3200 if you use software like the latest version of Lightroom or Photoshop ACR to reduce noise.

Dan M , Oct 20, 2011; 11:46 a.m.

I faced the same decision several years ago, when the 50D was new and the 40D was going out of production. For the reasons noted above, I chose the 50D, and I don't regret it at all. It's a fine camera. But if you can get the 40D a lot cheaper, that would make the decision hard.

not knowing the real usage behind it.

That is always something to be careful about when you buy used. If you can't find an individual seller you trust to be honest about this, you could buy used from a retailer that guarantees the camera.

I'm a beginner, so do you think its worth to invest on an expensive L lens to start with

No! First of all, forget "L". There are a lot of excellent lenses that are not Ls, including both Canon and third-party lenses. It makes much more sense to figure out what kind of lens you need (prime or zoom, focal length, speed) and then look at reviews to see what is the best value for you. Second, L lenses are very expensive. For example, for about the price of my cheapest L lens, you could buy two of my other lenses, both excellent. It makes no sense in my mind to put that kind of money into a lens until you are experienced enough (1) to know which lenses are best for you, and (2) to get the benefit from a really expensive lens. In my opinion, it is better to spread that money over a few good but less expensive lenses, to help you gain experience. You can trade up to L lenses later if it is worth it for specific uses.

I'll be specific. I shoot more macro than anything else. For a long time, my only macro lens was the Canon EF-S 60mm (not an L). I now also have the EF 100mm L macro. They serve different purposes for me, but if you look at my images, you would have a hard time telling which was taken with which. In fact, I doubt you could. I usually can't.

Alwin Lai , Oct 20, 2011; 12:35 p.m.

Your local craigslist might have a few 40d or 50d for sale.
B/t the two, the image quality would be about the same. The 50d has higher MP but noise is an issue for this high density sensor vs. the 10mp 40d. Of course the 50d has a few nice bits to it like MA. I find the 50d body to be quite nice to hold. The 40D is more like a 30d in terms of feel.
Another great alternative is a used 5d mkI. IQ is still some of the best even by today's standard unmatched by the above cameras. It is after all FF. It is older and slower. So it will depend on what you are into.
In terms of lenses, you might want to consider the EF 28-105 3.5-4.5 USM II MACRO. This is an older lens. But it has great optics. A true USM motor allows for silent focusing. But becareful as there are many variations of this lens. Do a bit of research and if you are patient enough you can score a jewel of a lens!

Jim H. , Oct 20, 2011; 12:49 p.m.

if I were you I would buy the 40d I think it's a better camera than the 50d, I had the 50 and it wasn't close to what I expected and , the 60d is a much better than 50d but. It's around 1300 bucks and the 7d. About 2600 a bit high, so. The thing is you can still buy a brand new 40d even though they are not in produttion, try adorama.com or b&h in new York ,the going rate is about 900 or so, and I shoot a massive amount of photos with the 40d, I do own the 7d and the 60d and the other newer rebels, my wife prefers them for the size of her hands, so given the money issue I would by a 40d and the better l glass lens. Such as the 18-55 and do shop around a lot of times there are 400 dollars difference in retail price, and I bought mine for 800. From amazon on sale, and I might add if you get an amazon store card. Any item purchase for 599 and above you get 12 months interest free financing which is a big help when your own a budget and the 7d has 24 months same as cash a lot of times, I do not work for them , I'm a retired freelancer and spend their money and make interest off of mine, if your a good photographer you can make the 40d do wonderful photographs.

Seth DuBois , Oct 20, 2011; 03:04 p.m.

If your budget is limited then find a good deal on a 40D and enjoy it. I just recently bought a used 40D with an EF-S 17-85mm and I'm quite glad that I went that route (I was considering a 5D MKI or 50D - but those stretched the funds). It allowed me a bit of leeway to grab some more equipment. If you're just getting in to the DSLR world there's no need to do too much with your initial investment. Chances are you're going to want to upgrade the body and lenses at some point, so get the most out of what you choose to buy and learn what the most practical choices are for your path.

In terms of lenses, I'd say grab a 50mm 1.8 and a 15-85mm if you can afford to. I really enjoy my 17-85, it's a fantastic lens and if I were planning to get a different walk around I would really consider choosing the 15-85mm over the 17-55mm. Its less expensive, better range, optical quality is supposedly very similar and for a walk around you probably rarely need f/2.8 - and that extra money can go to the 50mm which would be a faster lens anyways.

Whatever you choose will be a fine decision, so whatever it is do it without apprehension and enjoy shooting.

DB W , Oct 20, 2011; 05:56 p.m.

WOW! (I'm allowed only one "!" but more like ten here) I'm amazed at the number of responses! Thanks guys.
I've got another question that's kind of bugging me. Is there a number of shots that I should look for when buying a used camera. Because I read that one guy got an error 99 when he reached 6000 shots and had to pay 250€ to get it fixed as it was out of the guarantee period.
It's hard for me to make up my mind now with all whats said......hehehehehe. Hmmmmm let me think, a Canon EOS 40D with the EF-S 17-85mm f/4.5.6 IS USM sound affordable. Is this a good choice then?

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