Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D

Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D

Canon recently released the latest of its successful EOS series of digital SLR cameras: the 50D. It is an excellent camera. The 50D comes out less than a year after the previous EOS model: the Canon EOS 40D. It, too, is an excellent camera.

Being how both models are so excellent the question becomes: Which is the more excellent? Or, more accurately phrased: Is the 50D worth the extra $250~400 above what the 40D costs? Spot Cool Stuff compares the two Canons and provides the answer . . .

Camera Body Build & Design

In terms of look and feel, the Canon 40D and 50D are virtually identical. The bodies of each have the exact same dimensions, though the 50D weighs in at 822 grams (1.8 lbs) or a minuscule 14 grams lighter than the 40D. The 50D also has slightly better weatherization (including sensors that are more dust-resistant), an HDMI output jack, and a significantly more vibrant LCD display. (The 40D screen is a little hard to see in direct sunlight).

But the biggest design difference is one you can’t see or feel: The 50D will take approximately 800 shots on a single battery charge while the 40D will take a whopping 1,100. In other words, the newer 50D can only take 70% of the photos the 40D can on a single charge.

Camera Features

If Canon’s marketing is to be believed, the 50D’s most significant upgrade is its 15 megapixel sensor; the 40D’s sensor is 10 megapixel. Spot Cool Stuff, however, encourages you to ignore this difference. A photo taken at 15 megapixels isn’t any higher quality than one taken at 10 megapixels. Indeed, all those extra pixels can cause a photo to be of lower quality (see below). Above 6 megapixels the only thing more pixels really gets you is the ability to make a larger print. A10 megapixel shot, such as those taken by the 40D, can produce a full-resolution 13 x 19 inch (33 x 48 cm) print. Unless you want to make prints larger than that you’ll be fine megapixel-wise with the 40D. The 50D, however, does have some other features that the 40D does not. Here are some of them from most to least important (as judged by Spot Cool Stuff):

  • The 50D has more intuitive controls including a Quick Control screen that gives you access to the most frequently changed settings.
  • canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
  • The auto ISO goes to 1600 on the 50D, versus to 800 for the 40D. In manual mode, the 40D works in ISOs from 100 to 1600 with a 3200 “high” setting. For the 50D, those figures are 100 to 3200 with two “high” settings: 6400 and 12800.
  • canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
  • The 50D’s auto mode now includes facial recognition that  will adjust photo settings accordingly.
  • canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
  • The 50D takes photos in a new sRAW format, or a RAW image that’s half the size of the full fledged RAW.
  • canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
  • The 50D offers Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction. In other words, the 50D’s software makes sure that the lighting at the edges of your photo matches that in the middle.

It is unlikely that you find any of those new features earth-shattering. Click here for the complete list of the feature differences between these two EOS models.

canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D

canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D

Photo Quality

The photos produced by both the Canon 40D and 50D are excellent, as good or better than any professional-amateur digital SLR currently on the market.

Photographers who have extensively used both cameras are divided on which produces the better images, though almost all would agree that the differences are slight. Some say the 50D’s more advanced processor produces the better result. Others say that the 50D’s photos are a little darker and less colorful. From our own use Spot Cool Stuff is ready to call it a tie. In normal conditions, the 40D and 50D take virtually identical photos.

It is in low light conditions where the differences become a little more apparent. At least to some eyes. While the 50D can work at higher ISOs than the 40D, the high-ISO performance of the 40D might be a bit better. To the extent this is true it is because the 50D has an additional 5 megapixels to process. Check out the difference for yourself . . .

. . . below are two photos taken under the most similar conditions possible. The left half was taken with a 50D, the right half with a 40D. Both photos were taken at 3200 ISO, the speed at which the quality difference between the two cameras is greatest (and the photos are at their most noisy). If you can’t tell the difference, or don’t care about the difference, then consider the these two EOS cameras equally capable of taking great photos.

canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D


So which camera should you buy? The Canon EOS 40D. Probably.

For most people there are not enough new features on the 50D to justify the extra expense. This is particularly true if you have a fixed budget for all your camera equipment. For you, it would be a far, FAR superior strategy to get the 40D and then put some of that savings into a higher quality lens. A good lens on a 40D will easily produce higher quality photos than an average lens on the 50D. Certainly, if you already own a 40D it is not worth upgrading to a 50D.

That said, there is one significant group for whom we would recommend the 50D. If you’ve never owned a digital SLR camera, are looking to get into SLR photography in a semi-serious way, and have enough money to purchase a decent lens for your camera then you’d be better off with the 50D. This is because the user controls on the 50D are significantly more intuitive and because, in auto mode, the 50D behaves more like the point-and-shoot you are used to than does the 40D.

CANON 50D: BUY BODY ONLY | CAMERA & KIT (*two* lenses + extras) | BEST MANUAL | CHEAT SHEETcanon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
CANON 40D: BUY BODY ONLY | CAMERA & KIT (better than standard kit) | BEST MANUAL | CHEAT SHEET
canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D

Buy local in . . .
  USA: 40D | 50D
  THE UK: 40D | 50D
  GERMANY: 40D | 50D
  FRANCE: 40D | 50D
  JAPAN: 40D | 50D

Regardless of which camera you select Spot Cool Stuff suggests you buy the body only and NOT the starter kit. The lens that comes in the standard Canon kit is rather mediocre. You would be better off purchasing lenses a la crate. Here some of the lenses we suggest (lenses are interchangeable between the 40D and 50D):

  • Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS – If you are looking for one great all purpose lens that won’t explode your budget, this is it.
  • canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L – Semi-expensive but still the best telephoto lens with image stabilization. Very highly suggested.
  • canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
  • Sigma Zoom Super Wide Angle AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 – Superb value in a wide angle lens. This Sigma, combined with the Canon telephoto (above) makes the perfect lens duo for your new Canon, giving you a combined zoom of 17-200mm.
  • canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM Super Telephoto – Our dream lens. Very expensive but unbelievably good for sports and animal photography.
  • canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
  • Lens set: Tamron 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 and 75-300mm f/4-5.6 – We hesitated mentioning this two-lens set because neither one of these lens are outstanding. However, they produce about the same quality of photos that the lens that’s included in the standard Canon kit does while providing a much greater range of focal lengths. This Tamron lens set is an ideal purchase if you are starting out in photography or if you absolutely can’t afford one of the better, more expensive, lenses above.
  • canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D
  • 50mm f/1.8 – No zoom but super fast, very light and an amazing value at only $80. We carry it along with a $1,000 lens and when both are at 50mm this cheap lens might even be better. It is a must-have 2nd or 3rd lens no matter what your budget is.

Read more about our recommendations for the best Canon EOS lenses.

Related Posts:
The Best Backpacks For SLR Cameras
The Ratio of Megapixels to Photo Print Size
Why the Olympus Evolt E420 Should Be Your First Digital SLR
The Cool, Pocketable Flip Mino Camcorder (HD)
Professional, Super HD with the Sanyo Xacti HD1010 Camcorder

canon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50Dcanon digital camera reviews  Canon EOS Digital SLR Showdown: 40D vs 50D


  1. Canon 55-250mm says:

    October 24th, 2011at 11:16 pm(#)

    Thanks for article, Now I used Canon 50D and 55-250mm Telephoto Lens for travel with 50mm 1.8 is perfects.

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Dexter says:

    September 22nd, 2011at 1:23 pm(#)

    Thanks for the article!
    What is your opinion on either getting my 40D repaired at a cost of $300 or purchasing a barley-used, mint 50D – battery grip included – for $400?
    I use the fire out of my gear and my 40D’s shutter button has been a problem since I purchased the cam.
    Now the shutter button will not function at all so it’s either replace or repair. Thanks for your input!


    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Ken says:

    July 10th, 2011at 12:15 am(#)

    Hey… it’s 2011 and I’ve just upgraded my XSi to a 40D. They both share a lot of similar features, but the 40D is in a completely different class than the XSi. Sure the XSi is 12.2MP while the 40D is only 10.1MP, but I think this will have very little bearing in the real world.

    I was initially torn between the 40D and 50D, but seeing as I was able to find a used (almost new — 300 shutter actuations) 40D on eBay for a song, it was a no brainer. Plus, a lot of the features on the 50D would not have been all that useful to me anyway.

    40D all the way!!!!!


    [Reply to this comment]

  4. T.Unter says:

    June 14th, 2011at 4:59 am(#)

    Hi there!!

    Here’s hoping you still read this topic. I’m in a difficult situation, I recently purchased (as a gift) a Canon 550D for last Xmas for myself (cheeky I know!) and was not very impressed at all. The camera body feels to small and plasticy, the shutter noise is incredibly annoying and I have no use at all forthe video feature, and on top of that there is little manual shooting ability on the camera whatsoever! (I didn’t choose this by the way, was a gift but I was told to pay for it :/ ).

    My question is, in 2011 is it still worth having a look at either of these cameras to upgrade to? The 40d is now next to impossible to find and the 50d (which seemed the worse of the two anyway) is harder to find also. The 60d appears to be a massive step down – plastic body and twizzly breakable screen… It’s fair to say I have a dilemma.

    What camera do you suggest? Similar level to these two or higher aroun the same price mark (up to £700) and I dont mind of it’s nikon!

    Thanks so much in advance!!!


    [Reply to this comment]

  5. john says:

    March 17th, 2011at 11:50 am(#)

    I thought your pictures were different enough in IQ to get a 50D (I own neither.) The left one looks out of focus at best.

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. tamkun says:

    November 22nd, 2010at 11:34 am(#)

    are you sure that 40d is better than 50d??
    did i make a wrong decision by having a 50d?

    [Reply to this comment]

  7. TY says:

    June 15th, 2010at 3:55 am(#)

    I’m in S’pore and have a 40D too.
    The AF motor in the Canon EOS range is built into the lens and not the body. Any EF or EF-S mount lens will work on a 40D.
    As for the price, honestly it might be hard to find a new 40D now. There plenty of good used ones for sale at (a S’pore photography website). They sell for between SIN$750- 900. The upper number usually includes the optional battery grip. Digital cameras depreciate like crazy in gadget crazy S’pore.

    [Reply to this comment]

  8. Yve says:

    June 14th, 2010at 3:07 pm(#)


    I’ve been using a Canon Powershot S45 for years and years and years! I would like to purchase my first dslr camera so I can take pictures:

    (1) at home during the holidays
    (2) when we travel
    (3) at school/sport activities. My children are involved in middle and high school baseball, volleyball and basketball. Baseball shots would be taken in the day from the sidelines, and volleyball and basketball pictures would be taken in the school gym (without a flash). I will also take photos of my child singing on a well lit stage in a dark auditorium.

    Could you recommend a camera and the lens I would need to accomplish my goal.

    Thank you very much!

    [Reply to this comment]

  9. kris says:

    May 20th, 2010at 9:01 am(#)


    i really find your review comparison between 40D and 50D very helpful. plus you also reply to questions posted in this website forum. i hope you would reply to mine.

    i currently own a Nikon D5000 but currently its being sold to my sister in law as i needed money for my pregnant wife. now im in the brink of looking for my 2nd DSLR. before i met this site i was leaning towards 50D. i went to a Canon showroom here in singapore and took a feel on it and i find it to have a better grip than the D5000. the screen resolution was also superb. what i like in it most is its fast AF compared to my D5000 which is that slow. i mean i dont have to nagged over and over again by the people im taking a photo in keeping waiting.

    now after i read your comparison review, somehow my world tilted towards the 40D. probably because its cheaper than the 50D. not that its a cheap camera but because testimonies from your reviews and users say that its a better value to money compared to the 50D. not counting that 50D is not a worthy upgrade for those who are already 40D users.

    please give me some advice.
    i would like to ask, would you consider me still new to photography?
    would the 40D suit me after my D5000? is it a worthy upgrade from it? im interested in portraits, nature, some wildlife and sports and low light photography.

    i find the 18-200mm IS way above par my budget,i mean its expensive here in singapore. would the 18-135mm IS a good alternative?
    can the canon 40d autofocus on lenses which has no motor inside (unlike the nikon D5000)
    can the canon 40D play with nikkor lenses? can it also suit nikon speedlight flashes?

    please help me decide. thank you so much!!!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Tech Stuff Reply:


    Just from the way you write about photography it seems like you are not at all new to photography. However, it also seems like you are on a tight camera budget. Given that, I’d definitely go with the 40D instead of the 50D.

    If you can afford a 40D I think you will find it an upgrade over your current Nikon. So, if you are looking for our advice that is it: Go with the 40D. The 40D does have a built-in autofocus motor and you’ll notice a much faster focus as a result. You’ll also find better resolution and sharpness in your photos. In making that switch you will lose video capability, but as you’ve probably already found the video on the D5000 isn’t very good.

    As for lenses, that 18-135mm will be great to start. For your wildlife and sports photography you’ll eventually want another lens with more zoom. But that can be a purchase for another day.

    Unfortunately, to use a nikkor lens on a 40d you will need a converter. My only experience with this was not good, but that was with a very cheap converter (literally around US$5) bought on eBay. A higher quality converter might or might not do the trick.

    Hope that helps!

    [Reply to this comment]

  10. Aggie says:

    January 26th, 2010at 9:49 am(#)


    Thank you for the review. After reading everything from top to bottom stil not sure should I buy 50D or 40D. Is the IQ and noise really worst with 50D?
    It would be my first DSLR. I don’t like to use flash if I don’t have to, but I’m not sure what would I like to photograph yet. For the start a bit of everything.
    Also I found a website on which the price difference between 50D an 40D is only £100 so not so much. It’s


    PS Hope you still have a look here sometimes.

    [Reply to this comment]

  11. suhas says:

    December 10th, 2009at 5:32 am(#)


    This is a great review on the 40D/50D topic and also with the recommendations provided. I am new to DSLR photography and after going through your description and the review, I finally got a 40D body. I wanted to buy lenses for the same. My interest lies in capturing landscapes, potraits, macro (flowers, insects, bees, butterflies) and capturing birds/animals. I am also very much interested to take low light photography of people gathering , portraits etc for example a party on a beachside with campfire on, or a dinner with my family, visiting a museum or a historical place with very less available light. I am now confused with what lens I need to choose. I see that the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 is reasonably priced and produces good results but I also see that the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 is also good but expensive. I am confused in deciding on which of these lenses i need to go. If I go with a Sigma 17-70mm right now, will I repent that I should have gone for the canon 17-55 f/2.8 instead? Is it worth going for 17-55mm for that money? What would be the advantages or disadvantages by going with either of these? I’ve decided to go with the canon 70-200 f/2.8 for tele but I am confused with the other part of the combo.

    Your suggestion is highly appreciated.


    [Reply to this comment]

  12. Julia says:

    November 13th, 2009at 6:55 pm(#)

    OK, I see that it’s not worth to upgrade 40D to 50D. I have Rebel XT and ready for an upgrade. Should I get 40D or new 7D? I read that 7D has some focusing issues.
    Thank you

    [Reply to this comment]

  13. ahlken says:

    October 24th, 2009at 7:03 pm(#)

    hi im currently using canon 500D…if its ok to upgrade to 40D…i dont think upgrade or downgrade to call that…tnx in advance

    [Reply to this comment]

  14. Marika says:

    October 22nd, 2009at 2:45 am(#)

    Hi. Thank you very much for this article. And after reading it, I decided to go with 50D. It is my first DSLR. I used to have Canon 10s film camera and at that time I bought 3 different lenses. I haven’t used them since late 90′s.
    My biggest question are they still good enough to be able to get a great picture quality or they are outdated and can be put back in the box? If this is the case, then which ones would be a good replacement?
    They are
    Canon EF 35-135mm 1:4-5.6 USM
    Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6
    Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8 II

    Your suggestion is greatly appreciated.

    [Reply to this comment]

  15. MahtaB says:

    October 13th, 2009at 12:39 am(#)

    Going to Take Canon 50D with 35-200 mm 3.55.6/f

    Please suggest best sellers in India-Gujarat.

    I am Bigginer for Wild Photography.


    [Reply to this comment]

  16. Lawrence says:

    August 25th, 2009at 8:22 am(#)


    Nice review, which I think covers all the differences well. Bah, I still can’t decide! :D

    Currently I have a 10D, but now 6 years on I think I need to upgrade. I’m sure either of the 40D or 50D will be a massive upgrade for me. The reviews generally point to 40D as being the better choice for image quality imo, but I don’t like to think of buying the older model as I probably won’t upgrade again for another 5 years.

    I don’t have anything in the way of particularly good lenses either, mostly I stick with my 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens, although I am in the market shortly for a 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 prime.

    Hmmmm I wish I could make a decision :(

    Also, there seems some rumour of a 60D or 7D shortly too, just to complicate things further.


    [Reply to this comment]

  17. Mike says:

    July 26th, 2009at 2:50 am(#)

    After all this great info I’ve started to lean towards the 40d. I like to do landscape photography mainly but I still find myself shooting in low light situations other than doing landscape. I’m going to get the 50mm are there any other lenses you suggest? I was also wondering about fish eye lense and will they work well on the 40d or better on the 50d?

    [Reply to this comment]

  18. Eggy says:

    July 23rd, 2009at 8:55 pm(#)

    Thank you for the great review.

    I’ve always love photography… but this is my first time buying an digital SLR camera, decided on cannon for the better lenses. I’m planning on getting the D50 and the set of lenses you recommends (Sigma 17-70, Cannons 70-200 and 50mm)…and back pack.

    My main purposes are the following events… my daugther school plays and upcoming graduation activities, and my son’s track and field events… My question; is the “IS” on the 70-200 worth the extra $$$? Why don’t you recommends the “IS” option?

    Lastly, what flash should I get?

    Again, thank you for a great article…

    [Reply to this comment]

  19. Robert says:

    July 14th, 2009at 9:17 pm(#)

    Thanks for this Great Review. You really stated all the important details regarding these two Cameras. I’m going to buy a canon body soon… And upon reading this review, I choose to buy a canon 40D body. That’s also my Brother’s Advise.

    Great Review…FIVE STARS!
    God Bless

    [Reply to this comment]

  20. lancruizer says:

    July 4th, 2009at 8:54 am(#)

    Hi SCTS,
    Nice to read your comments about EOS 40D and 50D. Well I am planning to buy a digital camera as this is going to be my first digital SLR camera ever and I am interested in Macro and Wildlife photography. I like both the cameras(pls don’t suggest me to buy both:) I am really confused about the final decision. Could you please suggest me to find the best out of these two as I am not planning to switch my gears for some time.
    Thanks in advance.

    [Reply to this comment]

  21. Mohd Ajmal says:

    July 4th, 2009at 4:43 am(#)

    Hi there,
    I’m really stunned with your comparison about 40D and 50D. Its really worth stoping at your site as its indescribably informative, hats off to you.
    Infact I was also in a big dilemma like others about the same topic. In these past few weeks I have been breaking my head on reading reviews about 40D & 5OD. Quiet confusing(HUH). Eventually I decided on 50D and I was there in best buy luckily it was sold out(thank god). Came back home and started my research as usual. As destiny I landed up in your blog, your comments really helped me clarifying loads of doubts, thanks very much indeed. Now I have decided about 40d :) with Canon 100mm macro lens and a good walk aroud lens.
    Well, I would like to know your comments about:
    1. Refurbished camera and lenses. Is it worth for a long run? How reliable it will be?
    2. Is there any big difference between USM and NON USM lenses?
    3. Which is the best 28-135mm lense or 18–200mm f/3.5–5.6 IS Lens??
    5.A friend of mine told me about tax refund in the states. Is it possible to refund sales tax in NY and DC if I am buying it from a store or online??
    Looking forward to hear your great comments soon.
    Thanks once again to you and your crew for doing an incredible job.

    [Reply to this comment]

  22. david says:

    June 18th, 2009at 9:38 pm(#)

    I just wanted to say that I currently use the 20D and I print fabulous prints at 20×30…..excellent….beautiful….quality prints @ 20×30…i take the file right from the camera and print them off…….

    [Reply to this comment]

  23. xgirl says:

    June 7th, 2009at 6:20 pm(#)

    Okay–I have read the info–great debate. I have found your site only after just purchasing the 50D yesterday. I think I got a deal–but have 14 days to return if I change my mind. I purchased the 50D with the 28-135 lense and a 3 year extended warranty for $1200. The warranty sold me as it covers falls, breaks etc.
    Anyway, I am moving up from a film Canon EOS Elan. And have the Canon 28-80 and the Promaster 72mm 28-200.

    Not sure if these are good lenses or if I need to invest in better lenses. I plan on shooting at kids sporting events, candid shots of family and onse I get better at my camera work, portraits of extended family. So here is my questions: Was my purchase a good deal, do I have descent lenses and do I need additional lenses.
    Thanks–again I have 14 days to return if I need to invest in higher end lenses. Appreciate your help.

    [Reply to this comment]

  24. Josef Y. says:

    May 26th, 2009at 1:36 pm(#)

    1st of all great review sir, i have a 450D and which i will give to my sister. is 500D a great camera for me? here in ph 500D and 40D are just in the same price. i am shooting portraits, still life, landscape. although i am still new to this kind of hobby, and to be honest being a med student, this is a expensive but fulfilling hobby. aarrggghhh..

    which camera will suit me? 40D or 500D? thank you sir.

    [Reply to this comment]

  25. Cesar says:

    May 22nd, 2009at 4:31 am(#)

    Great review and totally right to the point… cheers!

    [Reply to this comment]

  26. zetlow says:

    May 21st, 2009at 5:39 pm(#)

    I’m interested in buying 40D, but I think 60D will be out soon and I would like to know if it’s worth of waiting. Becouse if you look at the 50D, it has lower picture quality (details) and worse higher ISO performance than 40D, does that mean that for 60D it will be the same? Becouse they’ve said that 60D will have the same megapixels and sensor size like 50D. Is it possible that 60D could have better picture details at normal or higher ISO as 40D?

    Thank you

    [Reply to this comment]

  27. Anthony_Rock says:

    May 20th, 2009at 8:30 am(#)

    Hello. I like this page, a great interactive resource for many people, I shall pass on the word to friends.

    Sir Patrick,

    perahps you may be best suited in investing in the ”’Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM”’ and when time/money allows, you can invest in a very handy 2x or 1/4 teleconverter which will give you a great 140- 400mm lens(with the 2x) that will really get you close to the action! This is a great solution as if gives you the better glass and it will be as if you have two lenses!

    I am in a funny boat as I am trying to decide between old Canon 5d(like full frame), a new Nikon D700(like full frame for lenses working as I am used to) or a D300(like the price but going wide Like I can with 700 costs more[but... what will the price difference truly be between d700 + 24mm and a d300 + 18ish.. mm?]) .
    I have kept to film and my Hasselblad 6×6 film camera. I worked in places that always had a digital slr for me to use so I never botherd getting one for myself but now I work for myself I am looking at my options. I have for happy snaps a Canon PRO1 that is fun(8megapixel raw images) I am waiting until the balance of a good gig comes along and a little more cash to work with..

    Hmmm tooooo many decisions. I had a Nikon F3 with a 24mm( Loved this lense for street photography) and a 50 mm lens(great for Low light) that I really liked ( gave all three away to a friend who was interested in getting into photography) so now I am not to worried about trying to stick to a system as I know both canon and Nikon are fantastic (nothing photoshop cant balance color wize).

    Step 1….. must unscramble my desires..

    I love the idea of video as I have been watching the progress of RED scarlet cameras and there perpetually “comming soon” way of dealing with there releases, I am tired of waiting them out. I will just get a dedicated HD solustion (just hate fiddling with strange media workflows to edit the video from proprietary codecs not working with my operating system etc.)

    Thank you for listening to my ramblings..

    My photographic/ animated and music ramblings can be found here

    [Reply to this comment]

  28. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    May 5th, 2009at 8:53 pm(#)


    Thanks for getting back to us with your choice. I really hope (and think) you’ll like your new camera. The 50mm won’t disappoint you either. It is especially great for portrait work.

    Your question on which of those lenses is better for you is a tough call. For sports photography a 300mm will give you shots a 200mm can’t. The 70-300mm you are considering isn’t as fast as the 70-200mm one, but that’s compensated for somewhat by the IS. The thing is, the 70-200 l-lens absolutely has the better glass–it is a professional lens whereas the 70-300 is more for amateurs.

    Add up those factors and the 70-200 is the one I’d personally choose if I were in your position . . .

    [Reply to this comment]

  29. Patrick Gomez says:

    May 5th, 2009at 8:19 pm(#)

    I ended up going with a 40D. The local Best Buy had one remaining in stock and sold it to me for $999 with the 28-135mm lense.

    Now I’m getting the 50mm f/1.8, ordered it off your link above from Amazon.

    My question is which is a better lens for me for a zoom? the:

    70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

    or the

    Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

    Both are relatively the same price. As I stated above, my main reason for a zoom would be for taking pictures of my sons in Baseball. Both are Pitchers and going into High School. So I’m not as close to them taking the pictures as I used to be. Most times I’ll be shooting with the zoom outdoors, with a fair mixture of day/night games.


    [Reply to this comment]

  30. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    May 4th, 2009at 4:51 pm(#)


    Based on your description, if you deciding between the 40D and 50D it sounds like you’d be best off going with the 40D and then saving up for that higher-end lens you’ll be later.

    [Reply to this comment]

  31. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    May 4th, 2009at 4:45 pm(#)


    Thanks for your kind words (and your stumble).

    IS = Image Stabilization. On some lenses the IS doesn’t work very well (and can even result is worse photographs!) but on the most recent Canon lenses the IS is really fantastic. The IS is especially important in low light situations and when using a high zoom.

    USM = Ultra Sonic Motor, eg. the motor the drives the autofocus. The primary benefit to an USM is that it is quieter than a non-USM lens. In theory, a USM motor also reduces the vibration to the camera thus resulting in a longer operating life (though, personally, I’m a bit dubious of this claim).

    Based on what you wrote, I’d say that IS would be quite useful (but not essential) for you, the USM I’d put in the unimportant-but-nice-to-have category.

    At this point I should admit that I have a bit of a bias against Best Buy. Canon did make an old (and not at all good) 18-200mm lens that has neither IS or USM. If Best Buy is trying to pawn that lens off on you stay away!! Far away.

    A new version of the 18-200 Canon lens just came out as it happens, the EF-S. It does have IS, but not USM. On Amazon, they are selling the 50D + the latest version of this lens + case + tripod + extras for $1,675. That’s a good deal.

    Can I suggest, since money is not an overriding factor for you, that you get the 50mm f/1.8 when you buy your new camera. It is only $100. And, besides it being an unbelievably good lens for the money, simply having a second lens is vital for becoming accustom to what your camera can do. In a weird sort of way, playing around with the 50mm lens will make you a better photographer on the 18-200mm one.

    Good luck. Hope that helped.

    [Reply to this comment]

  32. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    May 4th, 2009at 4:00 pm(#)


    The 24-105 f/4 L is a fine walking around lens. It isn’t particularly fast and, in my own opinion, is not at all good value considering you can get a 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 for less than half the price.

    I’m not sure what sort of photography you do, but assuming it is of the general variety and assuming you can stretch your budget a little could I suggest you get these two lenses instead:

    70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS
    EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

    At current prices those two lenses together will cost $400 more than the one lens you are considering. BUT, combined they will give you a much wider focal length and a lot more zoom capability.

    Also that 17-55 lens is a lot faster (and significantly sharper) than the one you are considering. It’s a true professional lens that I consider a good deal at its normal $1,700 retail tag, and a downright steal for the current $960 discounted price.

    Just a thought.

    [Reply to this comment]

  33. Ricardo says:

    May 4th, 2009at 11:26 am(#)

    I bought one 450d with 18-55 lens is my first slr camera, and i´m loving it, and want to progress in this world. I saw some samples of fast sports with the 450d and the image quality is good, but on the unfocus part of the photo is has some noise. (almost every photo i saw have it)
    In the same gallery i saw the some type of photos with the 40d and where the image is unfocus it simple is unfocus, dont have any noise.
    I still can trade my camera for one 40d or a 50d( i bought it one week ago), but i dont know wich one… almost every body problem heheh.
    I will buy expensive lens latter i´m thinking on 70-200 f/2.8 and the sigma 17-70 as you recommend.
    I´m not a pro, just want to take some nice pics and have a nice camera for some years and I like sports photos and animals, plants macros.
    What´s your recommendation in my case.
    This is the best article i´ve read about this two cameras. Thank you

    [Reply to this comment]

  34. king lo says:

    May 4th, 2009at 8:15 am(#)

    Hi Spot,

    Just found a good deal for those looking to buy, figure I would post it for those still wanting to buy it.
    I believe it’s first come first serve..

    Canon 50D SLR Camera Body + EF-S 18–200mm f/3.5–5.6 IS Lens for $1396

    Amazon has Canon 50D SLR Camera Body for $1,100.85. They also have Canon EF-S 18–200mm f/3.5–5.6 IS Lens for $595. Add both to cart for $1695.85 – automatic $300 off during checkout = $1395.85 with free shipping.

    [Reply to this comment]

  35. Patrick Gomez says:

    May 4th, 2009at 3:24 am(#)


    Great article, stumbled on it and its bookmarked now! I too like everyone am trying to decide between the 40D or 50D. My understanding from reading here is the 18-200MM Lens is a better lens than the 28-135mm kit? Best Buy running promotion on 50D with the 28-135, with extra battery and Bag and Mem Card for 1499. I asked them to just sell me the body and the 18-200mm in the case, they also matched bag and put the mem card in as well, price came up to 1899. So basically 400 more to get it with the 18-200mm.

    One thing I noticed on the lens description was the 28-135 is called a Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. Where as the 18-200 is Canon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom Lens.

    What I don’t see on the 200 is the IS USM statement. What is that, and is it important? I’ve read a couple of places that the 18-200mm isn’t as good as the 28-135mm.

    I should state, my purpose of camera is taking pictures of my Son’s baseball games as well as family picture taking around the house and all around. My goal was to get a camera with one all around lens, and then in future perhaps get a nice Zoom and maybe even that 50mm you recomment.

    With all of this stated, I found a Best Buy that still had a 40D in stock with the 28-135 lens for $1049. Would I be better of with that and adding that 70-200 F4 at some point or skipping and buying the 50D body and adding the 18-200?

    Money isn’t the overriding factor.



    [Reply to this comment]

  36. John says:

    May 3rd, 2009at 7:20 pm(#)

    hi,i’m very pleased with your comments,it’s very helpful for me. i have been confused by many comments from other forum about 40D and 50D, now i decide to buy 40D with the lense 24-105 f4L. what do you think of the lense?

    [Reply to this comment]

  37. Kam says:

    May 3rd, 2009at 3:34 am(#)

    Loved this article. I’m kind of on a low budget though, so I going to choose between a 40D and a Rebel XSi. Do you think it’s better to get the XSi with a uber good lens or get a 40D with an okay lens?


    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Tech Stuff Reply:

    Kam: Excellent question! As it happens, we are in the middle of testing the Canon XSi now. Would you mind if we hold off on answering your question until we are done with that. We might be up with a post about this sometime in the next week or so.

    [Reply to this comment]

  38. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    May 1st, 2009at 8:55 am(#)


    Camera prices seem to change almost as often as stock prices. When I checked on Amazon just now the 50D body was $200 more than the 40D body.

    If you are on a tight budget, if choosing the 40D allows you to invest an extra $200 in a higher quality lens then the 40D is the way to go. Also, if you take a lot of low light shots then the 40D might be the (very) slightly better camera for you even if money were no object.

    If none of those cases apply to you then, yeah, read over the advantages of the 50D our reviewed outlined and consider getting that.

    Hope that helps.

    [Reply to this comment]

  39. Dean says:

    April 30th, 2009at 5:19 pm(#)

    Ok, so I’m hearing you say that the best value is the 40D. When I go on the Canon web site, the difference in cost between the 40D and the 50D is $100….not much. Please advise as to where you would feel most comfortable purchasing a 40D. I’d like to make this purchase soon, and am very interested in your thoughts.


    [Reply to this comment]

  40. Kate says:

    April 30th, 2009at 11:47 am(#)

    Thank you for this research. I have been in the market for this very camera and was unable to make a decision on which to purchase. This will be my first digital SLR and I have been totally confused on which to buy. Your extensive research has helped me understand the differences. I may still need more help, but at least I have a start. Thanks again.

    [Reply to this comment]

  41. Glenn says:

    April 29th, 2009at 6:26 pm(#)

    Im somewhat an amateur Photographer and currently using a Rebel XTi/SLR,looking to upgrade to 40d or 50d.
    My question is would a Canon 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 is/usm compatible with either 40d or 50d ?

    Thanks Glenn

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Tech Stuff Reply:

    Glenn: Yes. All of the lenses that work on your Rebel will also work on the 40D and 50D.

    [Reply to this comment]

  42. Trevor says:

    April 26th, 2009at 4:58 pm(#)

    Firstly I must thank you for such a detailed and informative review which I have read end to end.
    Having read and taken in all that’s been said, I am still weighing up which way to go, 40 or 50.
    I currently have a 400D which has given quite good results, this used together with a Canon 17-85 IS, Canon 50mm 1.8, and a Tamron 70-300 (non IS), plus of course the 18-55 non IS kit lens that doesn’t see daylight now.
    My main interest is nature photography and I find I am concentrating more and more on macro work.
    My dilemma is whether to go for a 40D and better lenses, or a 50D and do a lot of saving for lenses in the future. This has been answered before in your forum and I was more in favour of the 40D, but with macro work I do a fair amount of cropping, so again wonder if the 15 megapixels with my existing lenses would be preferable to the 10 meg of the 40D with better glass.
    I would really appreciate your opinion on this please.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Tech Stuff Reply:


    There are exceptions, of course, but the vast majority of times a photo taken with a worse camera and better lens is superior to one taken with a better camera and worse lens. (And, as we’ve outlined, the 40D is not a worse camera than the 50D from a photo-quality point of view).

    Your point about cropping is a good one. A 15mp image leaves more room for cropping than a 10mp one, obviously. But when I think of the nature macro photography I’ve personally done it is almost always in situations when I’m able to get as close to my subject as I want. There might be some circumstances that I have to keep my distance (with an animal, for example) but even in these cases I’ve rarely needed an extra 5mp of cropping room.

    So, our advice would be to think back on your past photography experience and consider how many times you’ve really had to do a severe crop to get a great macro shot. If those are numerous (and they may well be in your case) choose the 50D. If those cases are relatively rare you’ll find happiness in your 40D + better lens plan.

    [Reply to this comment]

  43. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    April 24th, 2009at 1:29 pm(#)

    Sorry to take a while to reply. It has been insanely busy on several fronts here at SCS.

    ADAM (comment #72):

    Thank you, thank you for your comment. So very appreciated.

    LARRY (#73):

    So far, Spot Cool Stuff has purposely avoided comparisons between Nikon and Canon because most consumers are already dogmatically locked into one camera brand. And so writing a post about which is better, Nikon or Canon, would read to a lot of people like a post about which religion is the best one.

    You mentioned not knowing what Nikon lens you would get. Our advice is to imagine for the moment that you were going with the Nikon D300. Which lens(es) would you buy? Now compare your Nikon lens choices with your Canon ones. Which lenses do you like most?

    On the surface, making your selection of camera body based on your lens preference doesn’t make much sense. But chances are you’ll be using your lenses far longer than you will the camera body. And once you buy an expensive set of camera lenses you are sort of locked into a camera brand.

    BTW, we have a review of Nikon lenses:

    To answer your question, Larry, we’d also say this:

    In our opinion:

    At 1600 ISO, the Canon 40D has slightly lower noise than the Nikon D300.

    At 200 ISO, the D300 and 40D take equally sharp photos but the D300 are more colorful/saturated, which some people (myself included) like but others don’t, pointing out that saturation can easily be edited in.

    At 100 ISO . . . you can take photos with the 40/50D but NOT with the Nikon D300. This is one of our biggest gripes with the D300: the lowest ISO setting is 200. As it is, I feel limited by the 40D’s 100 ISO. (Back in the day, when I was taking photos with film, many of our best photos were at an ISO of 50, or even 25). Sadly, to get a DSLR with an ISO lower than 100 you are talking big bucks. The Nikon D3x, for example:

    Hope that helps.


    The 40D sounds perfect for you. Adding a good 10-22mm to your lens collection would be smart, especially since it sounds like you often take photos in tight spaces (like crowded parties).

    You asked: “Do you think there’s any degree to which other photographers would take you more seriously if you have a 50D over a 40D?”

    Half of me agrees with what Mike said. Photographers (and people who buy photos) care about the end result, not the gear used to obtain it. Literally, I once made a fair bit of money selling a film photo that I took with an oatmeal container and a piece of duct tape!

    That said, I’d be lying if I said that photographers didn’t compare cameras and judge each other by the cameras they have. If you are hiring out your photography services, what camera you use may well fit into your potential client’s decision (whether or not it should).

    The thing is, you aren’t going to wow any photographer with either a 40D or 50D. They are great cameras, don’t get me wrong, but they are in the “prosumer” class and not purely professional models. You’d have to get something like Mark III . . .

    . . . to have other photographers be really impressed with your camera model.

    Our advice is: Go with the 40D and let your photography skills do the talking.

    [Reply to this comment]

  44. Mike says:

    April 23rd, 2009at 7:45 am(#)

    No info on the camera question…

    Why would you care what “other” photographers think ab out your camera? I use a Fuji s100fs. I get great results prints up to 20×24 on 11m fine, 28 to 400 2.8 lens.

    So what I am saying is. Get the camera you like and feel comfortable with and be happy.

    It doesn’t matter what the camera snobs think.


    [Reply to this comment]

  45. Mallory says:

    April 22nd, 2009at 10:49 pm(#)

    okay so I’m looking to finally upgrade my Rebel XT and deciding on if I should get the 40D or 50D, if the 50D only means a week or two more of saving up. But after reading all of this, is it safe to conclude the 40D would actually be a better camera for me? If I mostly use it for shooting concerts, and “party pictures” I take a lot of pictures usually 500-1000+ in a night, and as long as my battery for my camera and 580 ex II flash are fully charged they never run out.
    and as for lenses I have the 17-85 IS lens and the 80$ 50mm one as well which I never use, I pretty much always have my lens on 17mm. so I think I want to get the 10-22 next.

    also do you think there’s any degree to which other photographers would take you more seriously if you have a 50D over a 40D?

    [Reply to this comment]

  46. Larry says:

    April 22nd, 2009at 8:38 pm(#)

    just had a look at your comparrison of the nikons…another great write up…now my question…I’m following your recommendation on the 40D…with a good lens on the 40D (17-55 f2.8 is the one I like)…how does the IQ compare between the two…40D vs D300 (i’m not sure on the nikon lens)…if the price differential is not too great which is the better buy…I don’t plan on going over ISO 3200 unless necessary, so low ISO quality is more important…you guys give great info…

    [Reply to this comment]

  47. Adam says:

    April 15th, 2009at 6:31 pm(#)

    I asked for advice on this page and got it. I wrote a proverbial book about my post purchase experience but in the end, I trashed it because I didn’t really write anything that you couldn’t find on this page or elsewhere…. okay, that’s not entirely accurate – I wrote about photographing a satellite in orbit with a 40D and an $86 ( 50mm F1.8 lens. I’ve never seen ANYONE write about that so I had to mention it here. (ISO 3600, F/1.8, 30 seconds) I was just playing around and tried photographing the flight path of a jet in a sea of stars… I never thought a satellite would be seen in the image.

    Bottom line – there is good advice on this page and I haven’t read anything here that I disagree with. Several weeks with a new 40D, 50mm F/1.8, and 70-200m F/4 L and several thousand shots are still proving their words were true.

    Happy hunting to the future photogs and a big thank you to the crew!

    [Reply to this comment]

  48. simon gott says:

    April 12th, 2009at 6:25 am(#)

    Also meant to add I use a 60mm efs macro lens with my 30d and it is excellent – f2.8 and “true” macro at 1:1 imaging.

    [Reply to this comment]

  49. simon gott says:

    April 12th, 2009at 6:23 am(#)

    I agree with your comments with respect to DSLRs and video – if you want to shoot movies buy a video camera !
    One point also worth noting is the new 500d has a much slower fps rate than the 50d so for sports photography the 500d isnt as good as the 50d.

    [Reply to this comment]

  50. Andrea says:

    April 11th, 2009at 12:35 pm(#)

    Hi there

    Firstly add me to the list of those that stumbled across your website & are very thankful for your review!! Upon saying that I’ve had a good read of your article, along with many others, and all the comments on your article but am still feeling stuck!!

    Basically I’m going to be a first time DSLR owner after owning a Canon IXUS and S3 IS (I am a Canon girl through & through!), but looking to take photography more seriously and go to the next step. At this stage it’s going to be a learning hobby more than anything else so taking photos in all situations, but I love macro photography & am a great nature lover & love travelling. I intend to take some courses to get the best out of having a DSLR as I’m new to it, and maybe at some point down the line look at taking it more seriously and make some sort of career out of it if I’m good enough!!

    Money isn’t really an issue in terms of what I buy, but upon saying that I also know I don’t want to go jumping for the 5D range as I know I won’t make the most of having a piece of kit like that at this point in my “camera career”.

    So any thoughts / advice would be appreciated, including the option of potentially waiting for the 60D to appear (any idea when that might be)??

    Thanks!! Andrea

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Tech Stuff Reply:


    In general, we don’t suggest waiting for camera that hasn’t come out yet (unless the release date is certain and very soon, eg within two or three weeks). There’s always some new, supposedly better, camera on the horizon. In the case of the 60D, it isn’t really clear how much better it will be. The rumored specs don’t make it sound like much of an upgrade. The biggest new feature (rumor has it) is the inclusion of video. But the video on the one SLR that currently has it (the Nikon D90) isn’t that impressive. If you want to take video you are better off getting a Flip Mino HD and sticking with whatever DSLR takes the best still photos for you. The 60D is, supposedly, going to be for sale in early 2010, maybe as early as Christmas this year.

    So, for you, as mentioned in our review, since this is your first DSLR I’d strongly recommend the 50D. It will be a little easier to use than the 40D right out of the box (because the menus are a little more intuitive). However, the 50D is a really high-end camera. It has a professional feature set. As you take your course you’ll grow into it and learn just how much it can do. It will serve you well for years and is the sort of quality camera you could launch a career with.

    BTW, definitely get yourself at least one high-end lens. For macro work, the best lens for the money is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8.

    Good luck! Let us know what you end up with.

    [Reply to this comment]

  51. Larry says:

    April 8th, 2009at 6:23 pm(#)

    I see Canon has announced a new Rebel series that has basically the same specs. as the 50D, but costs alot less..whats your opinion on it…just another thing to think about when trying to choose….too many camera choices and not enough money!!!!!
    Thanks again for your time

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Tech Stuff Reply:


    “Too many camera choices and not enough money.” How true!

    The new Rebel is marketed as the 500D. You can actually pre-order through Amazon.

    The stated specs of the 500D do seem impressive. The most intriguing of them might be that the 500D will be able to shoot video. If you read our Nikon D90 vs D300 post you know that we were not at all impressed with the video quality of the D90. We have higher hopes for the 500D.

    The thing is, if we’ve learned anything from doing these camera reviews it is that how a camera works in real life never quite matches up with the stated specs. Will the 500D have decent built quality? How much noise will there by at higher ISOs? Etc. If you are looking to buy a camera, we’d still suggest pulling the trigger on a 40D or 50D . . . there’s always some other camera around the corner.

    That said, we’ll absolutely be reviewing the 500D once we get our hands on one.

    [Reply to this comment]

  52. Larry says:

    April 8th, 2009at 12:57 pm(#)

    Thanks for the info on the refurb 5d. is the reason the 50d takes so many less shots because of the extra work the processor does with the 5 extra the way great comparrison between the 40 and 50.

    [Reply to this comment]

  53. Larry says:

    April 6th, 2009at 6:04 pm(#)

    Just stumbuled on you website, it’s now on my favorite list. I’ve been comparing the 40d and 50d also but in checking prices i’ve come across a canon factory refurbrished (spelling?) 5d for almost the price of a 50d. Now the quandry begins. The 40d and 50d have better processors for less noise than the 5d but the 5d has the full frame sensor. Would be using for sports and possibly for weddings. What do you think
    Keep up the great work

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Tech Stuff Reply:


    Thanks for the Stumble. Your help spreading word of our work is hugely appreciated.

    The Canon 5D is a really fantastic camera. You pointed out the big draw of it over the 50D: the full frame sensor. The downside isn’t so much the noise (which is very low) but that the 5D isn’t weatherized. The 50D is. That might not be so important for your wedding work; it could be very important for your sports photography.

    My personal feeling — and please, take this for what it is worth, a feeling only and not based on the sort of objective testing SCS strives to bring to our reviews — is that buying refurbished high-end cameras is NOT a good idea. A camera is a really precise piece of equipment. If the shutter speed is set for 1/30th of a second then it has to be exactly that; if it is 1/10th or 1/50th a sec your photo won’t come out well. And you are expecting your camera to be that precise over and over, tens of thousands of times. While a refurbished 5D will almost certainly be okay for a year, maybe two or more, I myself wouldn’t trust it in the long run. Add to that the lack of weatherization and I can’t recommend a refurbished 5D.

    So, Spot Cool Stuff’s official advice: Better to get a brand new & shiny 40D or 50D (the brighter screen of the 50D might be helpful in your sports photography) and rest assured that you have a quality product.

    [Reply to this comment]

  54. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    April 5th, 2009at 11:41 pm(#)


    Thanks for your kind words about the site.

    If you are just looking for a good camera you can rest assured that either the 40D or 50D will service you well. You can’t really make a bad choice.

    But since you have to make some sort of choice . . . we did some looking around for you and found on Amazon the Canon 50D + the 18-200mm lens you want + case + tripod + 8gb memory card + a few more things all for a hair under $1800.

    This is the lowest we’ve ever seen for a kit like that!

    Our suggestion is you pounce on that.

    [Reply to this comment]

  55. Jeanie Graham says:

    April 4th, 2009at 8:14 am(#)

    I love your website, but after reading every bit of it, I still don’t know which camera to buy. I was all ready to buy the 40D with the 18/200 lens that you suggested. With buying the 40D body only and the lens separately, it is going to cost me about $1800.00. I found the 50D with that lens sold as a kit for $1824.00. If I going to spend this much money on a camera, would you go for the 50D for 25 more dollars? I just want a good camera—I am not a professional or even an amateur.
    Thanks for you help……

    [Reply to this comment]

  56. Larry says:

    April 1st, 2009at 6:33 pm(#)

    Thank you so much, you really get to the point.
    So, it seems that those 5 MP are crucial. Having read many reviews saying that 40D was better and that these 5MP didn’t make a big difference in quality, I was really in doubt if the result of a small interpolation on a 40D image would have been the same of a 50D pic…

    So, in this case, size does matter ;)

    Thanks again, I really appreciated your comments!


    [Reply to this comment]

  57. simon gott says:

    April 1st, 2009at 4:10 pm(#)

    Like many others I came upon your site by chance and have found all the comments very intersting – and share the same issue – 40d or 50d ! I currently have 30d with a 24-105l lens as my carry around lens. I also have the 70-200 f2.8 l is lens which is an excellent lens.
    What would you recommend as the best upgrade route to compliment the lenses?
    Why has no-one suggested the 24-105 lens for a good upgrade lens its superb on the 30d !

    [Reply to this comment]

  58. Zac says:

    March 31st, 2009at 11:45 pm(#)

    I find this website to be very beneficial, but most of all honest. I appreciate the straight up advice. I am currently a Graphic Designer preparing to start a small local High School Sports and Senior Pics Studio. I am torn on the decision of the 40D or 50D Canon Camera. I plan on taking photos of football games under Friday night lights, along with all other High School sporting events. To my understanding the 40D has a slightly better fps and does better in low light, so I’m slightly leaning towards that with a nice lens. However, I also plan on doing poster size images on gatorboard (18×24), so I hate to give up the 15 MP that the 50D offers. I suppose I could print the smaller photo and scan it properly to increase the image size for poster dimensions? I have Photoshop CS3 to pull this off correctly I think. I feel the 40D test image compared to the 50D test image looks better on the Photo Quality test within your website. I think the color is better for some reason, but can still see a very subtle darkness on the edges. Anyway, I do not care to spend the extra money on the 50D if it pay off for my needs in the long run. I just want what is best for the upcoming studio. So what do you recommend for my situation?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Tech Stuff Reply:


    Thanks so much for the kind words!

    I was all set to recommend you to select the 40D—until you mentioned wanting to print the 18×24 posters. I don’t know if you saw our post on megapixel-to-print-size ratio . . .

    . . . but to make a print that size at 300dpi you’d need a 40 megapixel image. Of course, you can still print a high quality image at 200 dpi. At 200 dpi, the 50D will give you an image as big as 16.5 x 22.5. That’s close enough to your desired size that you can get the rest of the way with some good PhotoShopping. The 40D will give you a 13×20 print a 200dpi, too small for your needs probably. In short, get the extra 5 megapixels and go for the 50D.

    [Reply to this comment]

  59. Larry says:

    March 31st, 2009at 7:58 pm(#)


    now it’s up to me. As everyone here, I’m getting mad with this choice between 40D and 50D. My point is:
    I’m going to buy my first digital reflex, I had a Canon EOS 650 (the first EOS!) and a digital compact (Canon A710is)

    I have two lenses, not really good quality: 35-70 (that came with the EOS 650) and 70-300 (the very basic one, not even USM)

    Having said that, I would like to try to shift from amateur to professional, trying to sell some pictures on Alamy or other stock photography websites.

    I like strong contrasts, well saturated colours and sharp images (I prefer to have these characteristics, rather than more functions)

    I mostly do outdoor photography (travels, nature, architecture) but I used to do also some studio portraits (mostly black & white)

    What’s the best choice between 40D and 50D, considering that websites like Alamy or Getty require very high image quality, that probably I would need to buy one or more new lenses and that I can’t afford a 5D?

    Thanks a lot in advance!


    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Tech Stuff Reply:


    I’ve been in a situation very similar to the one you are in now, wanting to switch from photography for fun to selling stock photos and treating it as a more professional activity. And you hit upon one really important point: That many (though not all) stock agencies want very large images. In general, the more they pay the larger they require their images to be. This is especially true of Getty. And selling to Getty (and Corbis) is where you can make the real money. So, given that, between the 40D and 50D you MUST go with the 50D. Those extra 5 mp is critical to you. In your case, this isn’t even a question. Yes, having a Canon 5D would be optimal but the 50D is absolutely capable of taking professional photos. So, don’t worry about that.

    Your larger issue seems to be the lens. As it sounds like you already know, neither of your current lenses will work. I’d absolutely pick up a Canon 50mm because what other lens will give you professional quality for under $100? (I’ve sold several images to stock agencies using that lens). After that, you’ll have to make some hard choices about what you can afford. I’d suggest getting one other professional quality lens that fits your work and then working on selling some images. You can then use some of that money to get another lens.

    Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.

    [Reply to this comment]

  60. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    March 26th, 2009at 9:58 pm(#)


    Thanks for your kind words (and for the prospect of kisses).

    Yes, the 40D is slightly better for low light (see the comparison photo, above). On the other hand, the 50D has a significantly brightly screen, which you’ll appreciate when doing your sunny sports photography. So, in your case, it sounds like you have the perfect plan: go for the 50D along with the Sigma 17-70mm lens . . .

    . . . that will compliment your current zoom lens very well.

    The links we use on this site are always ones we’d use ourselves. When I first started buying camera gear I went through those ultra-budget shops (almost always located in Brooklyn). I had several bad experiences before giving up on them. Those shops have a tendency to sometimes tack on unexplained fees, not honor return policies and (more insidiously) replace genuine cameras with cheaper knock-offs. For the combination of price, convenience and safety Amazon is hard to beat when buying camera equipment. Plus, they have a very good return policy. So you don’t have much to lose; if you order through them and find you don’t like the 50D (which you won’t) and/or the Sigma lens (which you’ll like too) you can always return them.

    Let us know what camera/lens you decided on and how it worked out for you.

    [Reply to this comment]

  61. Cathy says:

    March 26th, 2009at 3:25 pm(#)

    WOW!! What a find this website is!! It is a good thing you aren’t here, or I’d kiss you. I currently have a Canon XT with a kit lense. Have used the XXX out of it without even learning anything beyond auto. Got the Canon 70-200 2.8 last fall. “Promised” I would make the body work forever. Well……So the big debate between the 40 and 50. Again, THANK you for your website. I am leaning toward the 50. I have $1450. That was the price of the 50D kit. But if I did the body and the 17 to 70 Sigma lense, I am paying the same for the kit. I am shooting mainly kits activites. Sports and play productions, so both need to be good in low light. It sounds like the 40D would be better, but my friend just bought the 50D and I know I’ll get more out of the camera if we are learning together. Would you agree?? And then where to buy. Is Amazon safe? Are the links you are using to the best dealers? THANK YOU!!

    [Reply to this comment]

  62. Adam says:

    March 25th, 2009at 9:18 am(#)

    Thanks for the recomendation. I have a 35mm Elan, $50 (with lens) from eBay. I bought it for a college class and got the photo bug.

    I know I want the F2.8 over the F4 but I’m not one to disregard good advice. The F4 is reasonably cheap and will hold it’s value so it looks like I’ll be selling it after I have the money to upgrade to the 2.8 – though I’m sure I’ll replace the 28-80mm first.

    I’ve been doing some thinking about the recent price increase. I wonder if it is related to the tax season and an increase of disposable income as returns roll in… I want my kit badly, it looks like their pricing strategy might work.

    Thanks again!

    [Reply to this comment]

  63. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    March 24th, 2009at 8:14 pm(#)


    Of the options you proposed, absolutely stick with your original plan and go with the 40D and F4 L lens . . .

    . . . especially since you already have a 28-80mm lens. A 70-200mm compliments that perfectly!

    As a general rule, it is almost always better to go with a better lens at the expense of a worse camera. And in this case, you aren’t giving up much by going with the 40D over the 50D.

    Since you already have a lens we presume you already have a Canon. Out of curiosity, which model?

    [Reply to this comment]

  64. Adam says:

    March 24th, 2009at 3:56 pm(#)

    I had been doing research and was settled on the 40D body with a 70-200mm F4 L to start my kit. I already have a cheap 28-80mm lens to cover the lower range (will upgrade ASAP) and I was really thinking I was off to a great start.

    I wanted “to try before I buy” so I rented the 40D with the F2.8 version of the 70-200mm L because F4 wasn’t available. Of course, I got hooked on the faster lens which is way out of my budget.

    So I went back to the drawing board to figure out the least expensive path to get the 40D and a versatile lens with the intent to upgrade later to fast L glass. This put the body+28-135mm IS USM kit on my radar even though it duplicates the 28-80mm range I already own.

    My tax refund just came in and I was about to pull the trigger when I noticed Amazon’s price on the kit jumped up! Now the 40D kit is priced a slant $140 less than the 50D kit with the same lens!! I can easily justify the expense if the camera is an upgrade but I am really torn because I see the 50D as a side-grade and not a true upgrade. The 50D does have some very appealing additions but most are at the expense of features I liked on the 40D.

    Pro 50D
    Increased LCD resolution
    Sensor coating
    Higher ISO
    MP (HAH!)

    Pro 40D
    Faster shooting
    Longer battery life
    C3 – why on earth would the 50D only have C1 and C2?
    Allegedly better ISO/image performance

    Given a limited budget, the proximity of pricing between models, and my love for fast L lenses – which would you recommend the 40D or 50D? Or should I just go back to my original plan of 40D body with the F4 L?

    PS – sorry for the book!

    [Reply to this comment]

  65. David G Whatley says:

    March 15th, 2009at 4:18 pm(#)

    I think your article and following forum is great with ‘honest to goodness’ advice. I have canon 10d and was considering the 50, but I feel the 40 will do much better than 10d, Would you agree

    thanks for good stuff and advice


    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Tech Stuff Reply:

    Thanks, David. Absolutely, the 50D and 40D are both significantly better than the 10D. We think you’d find an upgrade to either well worth it. As you probably already know, your 10D lenses will work the the 40/50Ds too.

    [Reply to this comment]

  66. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    February 27th, 2009at 9:19 am(#)


    No, we meant the 5D. Follow this link:

    The 5D has the same full-sized sensor (and much of the same internal technology) as the 2x more expensive mark ii. For all the camera you are getting it is actually a rather good value.

    The main drawback of the 5D is that the weather sealing is only average. Sadly, weather sealing is even worse on the D90 (which is otherwise a wonderful camera). So if you are going with Nikon and longevity of use is a major factor in your choice then we’d highly suggest moving up to the well weather-sealed D300:

    Of course, that’s a more expensive camera, maybe prohibitively so. Maybe the price will send you back to a Canon 40D. Or not.

    There are three grand questions about which humans will never agree:

    1) What’s the correct religion?
    2) What’s the most healthy diet?
    3) Is Canon or Nikon better?

    We won’t wade into that third question (at least not yet) except to say that you can’t go wrong in either choice. Our suggestion is to look first at what lenses you’d get for each, Canon and Nikon. Chances are that you’ll be using the lenses longer than the camera. Whichever of the two brands would result in you getting the better lenses, go with that one.

    [Reply to this comment]

  67. king lo says:

    February 27th, 2009at 9:10 am(#)

    I finally decided to go with the 50D, I thought the extra 200 bucks was worth the money. Found the camera at Circuit city the day it dropped their prices down to 30% bought the kit for an excellent price of around 1,120 plus tax. The extra MP and the live view finder will come in handy when I get better with the many different amazing functions on the camera. I only have the Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, looking to purchase either the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM or EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM when I save some more money to purchase it(SCS, any comments to either one or helping to decide? I am contemplating do I need another expensive zoom lens but it’s so cool or do I want a very good portrait lens where i use my legs as the zoom but both are very good respectively in their own way). But this is an amazing camera. It’s sharper, faster and cooler than my previous XTI model, though that was a good starter camera for the money.

    In response to Prashant, The camera works best with faster cards, but of course you can buy any other brand like lexar.But if you search for deals they will come. As far as technology, I’d like to stick with brand names like canon and sandisk and sony. I think you get what you pay for, always. For SLR’s I prefer Canon, for camcorders I prefer Sony, for Tv’s I prefer Samsung, etc.. But it’s a matter of preference.

    Thank you SCS for your help and comments.

    [Reply to this comment]

  68. Prashant says:

    February 27th, 2009at 2:38 am(#)

    Hi SCS,

    Wow, many thanks for that greatly detailed response, really appreciate that! I see your point, especially since getting all that professional gear for the sake of getting one-for-ever, including the 5D (and did you mean Mark II?!) with the really high-end 70-200mm not just totally throws me out of gear (and breaks the bank) but also makes me feel so undeserving of them just now, besides exposing my flawed approach to how technology grows from year to year

    So after much research, it’s the solid 40D that I too had arrived at (and thanks for your lens recommendations above!), when — and this goes outside the scope of the current page — I just happened to notice the Nikon D90 with albeit lesser build quality but comparable, if not superior, IQ that totally gives the 40D a run for the money. Besides, it also shares a good many features with the D300 which I just adore but cannot afford. I’d also arrived at a very decent starter package to get along with it — the new 18-105mm kit lens and the 70-300mm, and then to add the nifty 50 a little later, all of which have received great reviews and fit in quite nicely in my budget too. So it’s now just about picking the one set above the other and it’ll be all over. And, to tell you the truth, after having accepted that I would mostly have to just deal with some more plastic on the D90 than the magnesium alloy on the 40D, I find myself leaning more towards the D90 for all the other features and reasons, not excluding ergonomics. So once we also throw the D90 into the mix, which one would you go for? Any other suggestions for stuff like memory cards, kit bags, flashes, filters for a first-timer to get? And thanks again for all the help!

    [Reply to this comment]

  69. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    February 26th, 2009at 4:47 pm(#)

    Hi Prashant,

    Sorry to take a bit to get back to you.

    If you really want a “camera for life,” and really need to stick to your budget, then we’d suggest going a step up from the 40D and getting yourself a Canon 5D:

    A lot of serious professionals use the 5D. It is a superb camera.

    However, I guess we’d also discourage you from having the mindset that this camera you are buying now has to last for the whole of your life (unless you are really old). The march of technology means that $1 buys more and more camera as time goes on. For example, we bought a Canon 20D several years ago for $1,600. Today you can get a significantly better 50D for less than that.

    A 40D is going to hold you in find stead for 5~10+ years. At which point, who knows what sort of camera deals you’ll be able to get. Perhaps 50 megapixel cameras will be available for $19.95 by then. Who knows?

    Lenses, on the other hand, tend to hold their value much more than cameras do. A high-end lens today is likely to be a high-end lens 10 years from now. This is another reason to reduce your camera budget and increase your lens budget.

    If we had to give you one lens, and only one, in the $1,500 range it would be the 70-200 L we reviewed:

    Among the professional photographers we really admire every single one has that lens in their arsenal. Every one. There’s no better review than that.

    The thing is, unless you want to specialize in a particular sort of photography (portraits, for example) you are going to need/want more than one lens. This is especially true if you are still finding your photographic niche.

    So, consider getting a combination of these three lenses:

    Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS for $400

    Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS for $600

    And the 50mm we mentioned

    That would give you one very fast lens (the 50mm) and two very high quality lenses with IS that cover the whole 28 to 300mm focal length. Those lenses, and a 40D, and we think you’ll have exactly the sort of camera equipment you are seeking.

    Hope that helps. Let us know what you decide.

    [Reply to this comment]

  70. Prashant says:

    February 23rd, 2009at 1:58 pm(#)

    Thanks for your response! Let’s say I was initally looking for something in the vicinity of at most 1500. But as I said, I could try pushing it up to another couple hundred if really required, while sticking to Canon/Nikon.

    [Reply to this comment]

  71. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    February 23rd, 2009at 12:43 pm(#)

    Hi Prashant,

    We’d love to help. You mentioned the the Nikon being too expensive. What’s your budget for the camera and lens?

    [Reply to this comment]

  72. Prashant says:

    February 21st, 2009at 11:25 pm(#)

    Hi There! Just wanted to let you know this page has been of such a great help to me already, thanks! But I seek a personal advice from you on similar lines, if you don’t mind reading my long story…

    For a few years, I’ve been developing lots of photography ideas (especially for Nature shots and portraits) and clicking some really good-looking pictures on my Sony and a few Canon point and shoots I’ve been borrowing from friends. So I decided to make the plunge into the DSLR world and had already zeroed in on the Canon 40D and the Nikon D300 as the two models to choose from (the 50D has only recently entered into the picture, and I’m now open to it too). I of course know these two cameras are worlds apart in terms of features and especially price, not to mention that they belong to the top two different families of non-interchangeable optical systems that I’ll soon be wedded to for life.

    But since photography for me is just now only a hobby — an expensive one, but one in which I would like to develop great standards in, and if ever an opportunity presents, to also work it up into some sort of a part-time profession — which is that _one_ camera you would recommend me to get for life, one that I could do with without upgrading for years, and never feel too outdated and crippled using? And, for starters, which _one_ lens could I go for that would serve me well for most situations (of course, I would look into investing in lenses later, but not for some time to come). I know for Nikon, their 18-200 would be that perfect lens for me, but online reviews of the equivalent Canon variant that you recommend haven’t been that impressive it seems, one of the biggest negatives being that it’s not equipped with USM, while even the 28-135 mm kit lens that’s standard with the 40D does have the USM feature.

    However, of course I’m aware the Nikon with my preferred lens is still too expensive and the 50D doesn’t pack in that much punch over the 40D to justify the price difference. But again, it’s a matter of making a life-time investment for me, so I just might be able to save enough to somehow get either of the two more expensive ones.

    Eagerly looking forward to your opinion on the above. Your recommendation would go a long way in helping me make my decision. Thanks a lot in advance!

    [Reply to this comment]

  73. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    January 29th, 2009at 2:18 pm(#)

    KING LO:

    Thanks for your kind words. Tell your friends and visit us often.

    Your lens is a fine choice for walking around. Not high end but far from low end too. I just checked on eBay and those lenses seem to be going for around $200 . . .

    . . . so the question is: Would that extra $200 let you get a significantly upgraded lens in a similar focal length range? Not knowing your budget, I can’t really answer that for you.

    I’m also not sure what sort of photography you do or what other lenses you have. If your 28-135 is your only lens then I’d suggest keeping it and spending your money instead on a top telephoto and/or wide angle. That will give you a wider range of focal lengths to shoot in. And a lens like the Sigma 17-70 . . .

    . . . would compliment your current lens well.

    Let us know what you decide. And good luck!

    [Reply to this comment]

  74. king lo says:

    January 29th, 2009at 12:39 pm(#)

    I currently just sold the XTI but I kept the lens that came with it. Is the lens model sufficient for the 50D (Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens)?

    I am thinking really deciding between the 40d and 50d but I understand you are leaning more to the 40D and your points do suggest that. But with the difference of around 200-300 bucks I might just go for the 50D but am wondering should I sell my lens too?

    By the way, this is by far the best review I have seen.

    [Reply to this comment]

  75. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    January 29th, 2009at 2:30 am(#)


    You are totally right. Amazon UK dropped its prices on Canons from when we did our price research.


    Welcome. We’re so glad you like our site. (We work hard at that).

    For what it is worth, when I travel I always take an SLR *and* a point-and-shoot. The SLR is for the “good” pictures, the point-and-shoot is for carrying around in my pocket when I can’t have an SLR with me. (But then I’m the sort of traveler who likes to always have a camera handy).

    So, I would suggest an SLR to you. The 40D is outstanding. Although, for your case, if you want to go a less expensive SLR route consider the Olympus Evolt. Our review:


    Sounds like you have it all worked out. The 40D with a good lens or two is a *great* way to go. You’ll be happy with your choice.

    The Amazon link you asked for:


    The 40D is probably good for you. Our review has all the details.

    I am NOT a fan of the 17-85 lens that comes with the kit. For a walking around lens I’d suggest getting the camera body along with either the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS . . .

    . . . or the Sigma 17-70mm . . .

    . . . depending on your budget.

    [Reply to this comment]

  76. Gavin Weaver says:

    January 28th, 2009at 2:13 am(#)

    Hi, I’ve just got my hands on a canon 100-400 l lens, which I will use for aircraft and wildlife. I now need to know which body to get 40d or 50d? And also I require a everyday walkaround lens, is the 17-85 kit lens ok for this?

    [Reply to this comment]

  77. LISA says:

    January 27th, 2009at 4:17 pm(#)

    Thanks for all the great advice. The choice between the 40D and the 50D is the exact spot I’m currently in and I am researching myself to insanity. Spot tech, are you an amazon seller? If so please send me a link to your page for the 40D. I have seen this camera on amazon but I do not know any of the reputable sellers there and I don’t see a body only shipping directly from Amazon. I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking I was going with the 50D (it’s my first DSLR) but I need to be practical and I don’t think I can justify paying the price difference for the new features of the 50D which I may end up not even knowing how to enjoy. That said I’d prefer geting the 40D and pairing it with a nice good lens. I want to take a nice range of photos, but would be using it a lot for sports (baseball) so I’m hoping someone will recommend a good all purpose lens that will also cover sports. I’ll probably get the 50mm macro lens too since I can save $$ on the body. Thanks in advance.

    [Reply to this comment]

  78. Jay says:

    January 27th, 2009at 2:39 pm(#)

    I take wildlife photographs and commonly need to crop my photos and enlarge just a section of the photo. Would the 50D be better for this type work as it has the larger pixel count, or would it be noisier than the 40D?

    [Reply to this comment]

  79. Tom says:

    January 23rd, 2009at 4:17 pm(#)


    This is the best forum i’ve found on the 40d/50d subject.

    I’m just getting into photography, and I currently have a Leica Dlux3 (supposedly the best point&shoot) which has 10mp. It takes good pictures, especially with the 16:9 ratio selected.

    But – I’m always jealous of the results of my friends’ Canon SLRs, and I’m considering the upgrade if it’s worth it. I have about $1200 stowed away (about 870 pounds).

    I must confess, I mainly shoot automatic at this point, but I’m learning.

    Anyway, just looking for advice.



    [Reply to this comment]

  80. James says:

    January 20th, 2009at 7:46 am(#)

    Thanks for the advice,

    Have gone for the 40d (£569 on amazon at the moment, which means I can also afford a cheap flip mino as well). Will look into the 28 – 105 zoom, too.

    All the best


    [Reply to this comment]

  81. Paul Bratby says:

    January 19th, 2009at 2:13 pm(#)

    Hey guys jut wanted to say again thank you for the advice and really just letting you know what I went for in the end. I ended up going for the 40d and also did go for the 18-200mm unfortunately I also lost my job on Boxing Day which wasn’t the greatest but ended up buying the camera anyway then decided to go on holiday too haha. Must say I have been very very impressed with the 40d, the lens is a great walkbout too and covers a great range for a great price, have noticed it does vignette a little but for the price and range it’s great.

    If you want to check out some of the pictures I’ve got so far with the 40d then here is a link to my Deviant art gallery

    this shot so far is my favourite

    Must say I’m loving experimenting with the long exposures and the high ISO end on it is so so good, I’ve jumped from a Olympus E-1 which was awful past ISO400, must say tho the E-1 was alot better build quality it just felt more rugged then the 40d but then the 40d is alot better on the inside so I can see the trade off that canon have made with this

    Hope my words help other people out too on here, must say that I did get a bargain on the 40d here, with the £60 cash back too!

    [Reply to this comment]

  82. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    January 19th, 2009at 12:46 pm(#)

    Thanks so much for the kudos, James!

    There are two groups for whom the 50D is best: people with large enough budgets buying their first SLR. And people (also with large enough budgets) who do a lot of shooting in sunny places who really need the 50D’s brighter LED screen. Sounds like you aren’t in either group.

    So you can happily choose the 40D. That will be £690:

    You already have an excellent 50mm lens. You might also want a walking around low-budge zoom lens too, something like the £250 Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5.

    Hope that helps!

    [Reply to this comment]

  83. James says:

    January 19th, 2009at 10:01 am(#)

    This is (almost) the most useful review I’ve found after weeks of research … and I only say almost because I still can’t decide between the 40D and 50D.

    I’ve got a budget of around £1000, but will happily spend less. I’m looking at body only, and the f/1.4 50mm lens – I’ve been shooting on an old Canon A1 for years and love Canon’s prime 50mm lenses.

    Thanks, and what do you reckon/recommend?

    [Reply to this comment]

  84. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    January 14th, 2009at 9:12 am(#)

    Hi Andreas,

    I touched on this a bit in comment #8. In our opinion, the lens with the best mix of performance and value for macro work is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM:

    Perhaps the best overall lens (though it is expensive) is the Canon EF 180mm f3.5L.

    Both lenses offer a 1:1 magnification ratio, which is what you want in macro work.

    The 50mm lens is NOT your best lens for all around photography simply because it is stuck at the 50mm focal length. It is an incredible bargain (we’ll probably be writing a post dedicated to this lens soon) — its 50mm shots are as good or better than the shots from some really expensive zoom lenses.

    For you, our suggestion would be to get:

    1) One of the two macro lenses above.
    2) The Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

    3) If you have a bit of money left over, the 50mm.

    Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.

    [Reply to this comment]

  85. Andreas says:

    January 13th, 2009at 7:53 pm(#)

    Thanks for the review!

    I’m considering the 50D for my first DSLR purchase. Been into photography for years but never had the chance (money) to buy a decent camera.
    I’m into macro photography but i can’t decide what lenses i should go with.
    I was thinking on buying the 50mm/f 1.8l which you recommend and i wanted to know which other lenses i should buy for my initial purchase.
    Is the 50mm fine for allround photography? Should i compliment with a normal zoom lens, and if so, which one?
    I’m trying to work out a budget but i don’t have enough knowledge to decide what lenses i should go with.
    When i got my first digital camera (Minolta dimage Z1) i never really had any use of zooming. At the time when it got out it was a decent P&S camera, and it served me well.
    I don’t want to go out and buy all theese different lenses in the beginning, that i might find not as useful later on.

    [Reply to this comment]

  86. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    January 13th, 2009at 2:41 pm(#)

    Thanks for the continued comments! A bit of self promotion: over in the travel section we have a review of the four best backpacks to SLR cameras:

    We now take you back to the regularly scheduled comments . . .

    Ron: You shoot dog agility?? Wow. Are any of your photos online, per chance? Be interested in seeing them. For low-light, flash-free shots you would be a bit better off with the 40D.

    Matthew: Thanks. I’d give you the same answer I gave Ron. The difference between the two cameras is slight, though. So if you need to make larger prints don’t hesitate to choose the 50D. At 300dpi, shots from the 40D print at a max size of approx 13″x9″. Shots from the 50D print at 16X11. For more on that see:

    Kelley: I’m so glad that the 40D is working for you and happy we could help. I myself use a Satechi wireless shutter remote:

    It works perfectly and seems well built, so I feel good about suggesting it to you. However, at Spot Cool Stuff one of our mantras is to compare products when possible. No one here has tested out the various wireless remote shutter options for the 40D. So, I’m not declaring the Satchi to be your very best option, just that I’ve been happy with it in my personal use.

    [Reply to this comment]

  87. Kelley says:

    January 12th, 2009at 2:02 am(#)

    Thank you so much for your advice in December. I did buy the 40d and love it!! So far I am very pleased with the quality of pictures. I am now in the market for a remote (wireless) shutter release. Do you have any advice? I was absolutely shocked at the price of the canon LC-5. Is there anything out there that will not break the bank.

    Thanks for all the help!!

    [Reply to this comment]

  88. Matthew says:

    January 11th, 2009at 10:17 pm(#)

    First, very well-written and balanced comparison of these two cameras. I’m pretty sure you’ve steered me in the right direction. I was caught between Nikon and Canon and have been told by several professionals to stick with what I have used before.

    40D seems to be right for me because I try to use flash as little as possible. What I’m wondering is, is there any distinction over which camera is better speed-wise? A lot of my work deals with quick-moving subjects, panning and other techniques.


    [Reply to this comment]

  89. Ron says:

    January 9th, 2009at 12:55 pm(#)

    I currently shoot a lot of dog agility, which is very fast and requires fast focus and low light ability when indoors. Do you feel that the 40D or 50D has an advantage of the other for this type of shooting?

    [Reply to this comment]

  90. Mike McGinnis says:

    December 19th, 2008at 6:57 pm(#)

    That helps a lot. The Sigma is an canon mount so that should work fine. I will let you know how my 20X24 print comes out from my Fuji 9000. I was surprised at how good the 16X20′s came out.

    Thanks again for the info.


    [Reply to this comment]

  91. Alisa says:

    December 19th, 2008at 5:41 pm(#)

    Ok, thank you. Unfortunately, I’m from Romania and lenses or cameras are way more expensive here but luckily I can get them from the US as I got my a700. I do want to switch to Canon, it’s just a matter of money. Thank you for your time and appreciation of my photos!

    [Reply to this comment]

  92. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    December 19th, 2008at 5:38 pm(#)


    Based on what you’ve written, yes, I’d switch up to a 40 or 50D. You do need a reasonable quality lens for your steady shots but there are a large varieties of these. I mentioned one of my favorites in the review, the 50mm. It is excellent for portrait work and very fast, so perfect for your low light photography. And it is only €94:

    BTW, I like your photos a lot.

    [Reply to this comment]

  93. Alisa says:

    December 19th, 2008at 5:09 pm(#)

    So, should I change it for a 40d or 50d? The thing that bothers me about Canon (i’ve only read about it) is that apparently you need specific lens for steady shots, an advantage that Sony a700 has incorporated in the body. In the end I would need a camera that would help me take lots of potraits or wedding shots, photos like these : >> my profile … but better quality..

    [Reply to this comment]

  94. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    December 19th, 2008at 4:39 pm(#)


    You should be able to take vibrant pictures with your A700 — that you can’t might be your lens or might be the camera settings you are using.

    One area that the 40/50D is really superior to the A700 is taking photos in low light conditions. I almost never use my flash with the 40D and still get great photos from it. And, of course, you can get vibrant colors with the 40/50Ds too.

    So, based on what you’ve written, I would suggest getting yourself a new Canon EOS for the holidays.

    [Reply to this comment]

  95. Alisa says:

    December 19th, 2008at 3:28 pm(#)

    I don’t know. I can’t seem to be happy with the way it takes pictures in low light conditions. And the colors don’t seem to be that vibrant. Is Sony a700 better than Canon 40d or 50d?

    [Reply to this comment]

  96. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    December 19th, 2008at 12:16 pm(#)

    Hi Mike,

    On your first question: You’ll be good to go with your Canon USM. Sigma makes that lens for both the Canon and Nikon, so with that it depends which one you have. As for your Sunpak, it *should* be compatible — I know one person who had a issue with that lens on the 20D but don’t know what the cause of that was. I suggest purchasing your camera from a store you can return it to (like Amazon) in case one or more of your lenses don’t work.

    As for the print size . . . funny you should ask. We’ve been working on a post on that exact topic:

    Hope that helps,

    ~ SCS

    [Reply to this comment]

  97. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    December 19th, 2008at 12:10 pm(#)


    We are all pretty agreed here that the A700 is a fine camera. We like the Canon 40D/50D more but the A700 is comparable to them. Can I ask what about your a700 is making you unhappy? It might be that you need to move up to an even higher grade of camera, something like a Canon 5D Mark II:

    [Reply to this comment]

  98. Alisa says:

    December 19th, 2008at 9:33 am(#)

    Hi! I currently own a Sony A700 but I would like to buy a Canon 40D or 50D. Do you think that’s a good idea? I’m not really happy with my a700 but maybe if i would buy new lens i would be happier. Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

  99. Mike McGinnis says:

    December 18th, 2008at 4:36 pm(#)

    I am going to buy either the 50d or 40d. I have a Sigma 28-80 1:2.8lens and a Canon USM 70-210 1:3.5-4.5 and a Sunpak Power Zoom 4000AF flash. Will these be compatible with these cameras? Also, How much bigger of a sharp print can I get from the 50d compared to the 40D? I am currently using the FUJI 9000 9 mega pixel camera and I am can print get excellent 16X20 from this camera. I havent tried and larger then that but am going to soon.

    Thanks for any info you can supply

    [Reply to this comment]

  100. Paul Bratby says:

    December 16th, 2008at 6:56 am(#)

    Cheers for the advice guys think thats what i’m going to do then, have found on ebay the 18-200mm going for £385 all in (new As Well)which is really good, think that and maybe a second hand sigma one 17-70mm will be the winners then obviously the fast 50mm too. Really good site and big thanks for the advice again guys.

    [Reply to this comment]

  101. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    December 15th, 2008at 6:03 pm(#)

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your question.

    Whether the lens that comes with the standard 40D kit is good (as the people you’ve spoken with claim) or merely OK (as is our experience) there’s little doubt that it is really generic lens. So . . .

    If you are going to be buying a better lens (such as the Canon EF-S 18-200mm) — and we suggest you do — then there’s no circumstance under which you’d use the standard kit lens. So why get it?

    If you aren’t going to be buying an upgraded lens, we still think there are better options than the kit. Eg. for around the same price as the standard 40D lens kit you could buy the 40D body plus those two Tamron lenses we mentioned at the end of our post.

    As for the 50mm f1.8 lens, you’ll be really happy with it! And you’ll find yourself using it even if you have very high end lens that shoots at 50mm. You should be able to find the lens in England for under 100 quid. Eg:

    Good luck!

    ~ SCS

    [Reply to this comment]

  102. Paul Bratby says:

    December 15th, 2008at 3:18 pm(#)

    Hi I have some friends who work at Jessops and am going to purchase the 40D, this is my upgrade and change over from the Olympus E-1. I am a profeesional family/makeover photographer in my day job( i work in a studio with all there equipment ) this 40D will be mine for personal projects and hoepfully travelling in 6 months, my only concern is that you guys have said the standard lens (mine will be 17-85mm) isn’t very good when infact I have been told the opposite. My plan was to possible buy a 50mm f1.8 for about 100 pounds later on if I find this lens too slow but was assured it actually was a really good one? Any help and advice would be great guys. Paul Bratby

    [Reply to this comment]

  103. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    December 14th, 2008at 6:49 pm(#)


    It sounds like the most important thing for you is to get the better value model. That’s absolutely the 40D.

    Don’t worry about having to upgrade in a year. You’ll be taking great photos with the 40D for a much longer time than that! And you’ll be getting a very worthy upgrade over your current XTI.

    Plus, with the savings you’d see choosing the 40D over the 50D you’d have the extra money to put towards an extra lens (that ultra-cheap 50mm I mention above is a superlative value) or towards a Flip Mino HD video camera . . .

    . . . or, perhaps, treat yourself to a photogenic trip:

    Good luck!

    [Reply to this comment]

  104. Kelley says:

    December 14th, 2008at 9:33 am(#)

    I am upgrading from an xti and am not sure which of these to buy. Can you offer any advice or do I fall into the relatively new to photography group. I like the price of the 40D and do not have a lot of money to through into my hobby; however, I also don’t want to feel the need to upgrade again in a year. Thanks so much for all your help.

    [Reply to this comment]

  105. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    December 13th, 2008at 9:50 pm(#)

    Balachander -

    You need to photograph slime molds!?? I’m so sorry to hear that.

    If you are going to be doing a lot of close-up photography, and making large prints from those photographs, you’d be slightly better off with the 50D because of the increase in megapixels. Also, since you will be working in the field (and thus, presumably, in a lot of sun light) the 50D’s brighter LCD screen is important.

    However, for you the more important choice is what lens to use. For macro work the best lens of the money is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM:

    If you can afford it,an incredible macro lens is the Canon EF 180mm f3.5L.

    Both lenses offer a 1:1 magnification ratio, which you might find helpful in your work.

    Good luck. And let you know what you decide.

    [Reply to this comment]

  106. balachander says:

    December 13th, 2008at 9:17 pm(#)

    I would be thankful,on advise to field photograph bark,leaves and habitats with Myxomycetes.I need take close-ups of these slime molds.Which is a better camera?or otherwise stated,which gives best resolution,clarity and true image with finest focus?

    [Reply to this comment]

  107. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    December 11th, 2008at 1:19 pm(#)

    J Montilla-

    We covered that (or tried to) in the “photo quality” section. The 40D is *great* in low light. I myself use my 40D more than any other camera I own and hardly ever feel the need to use a flash with it.

    Based on my testing, I’d say the 40D is maybe very slightly better than the 50D in low light. But the difference is so small as to be negligible.

    Thanks for the question.

    Spot Cool Stuff

    [Reply to this comment]

  108. bobby says:

    November 28th, 2008at 12:28 am(#)

    You have demonstrated the whole camera so well. Great job!…..

    [Reply to this comment]

  109. J. Montilla says:

    November 20th, 2008at 9:45 pm(#)

    Hi, I think the 40d has problem shooting in low light(in Manuel Mode), someone has an advised…
    Thanks a lot

    [Reply to this comment]

  110. Jimmy says:

    November 18th, 2008at 1:13 pm(#)

    Great review. I totally agree

    [Reply to this comment]

  111. Spot Cool Tech Stuff says:

    November 18th, 2008at 1:12 pm(#)

    Thanks for the comment, Kevin.

    Actually, we did make mention of each of those three difference. The screen on the 50D, we noted, was “significantly more vibrant.” We also mentioned the face detection and the dust resistant sensor.

    Of those three, the screen is probably the most significant to most people. In the bright sun the LCD screen on the 40D is REALLY hard to see. Of course, if you are the sort who snaps away and doesn’t peak at the photos until later that doesn’t matter so much.

    [Reply to this comment]

  112. Kevin says:

    November 18th, 2008at 8:45 am(#)

    You missed out on 3 major difference’s between the 40d and 50d.

    The LCD on the 50d has 3x as many pixels. This makes it easier to see if your picture is actually tack sharp or not.

    their is a flourite filter on the Image sensor to help keep dust off, and in conjuction with the sensor cleaning system, makes sure your sensor is relativly dust free, this is a huge thing for people new to dslr’s as manually cleaning the sensor is not to be taken lightly.

    Also live view gets contrast-detect AF and face detect AF.

    [Reply to this comment]

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