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Author Topic: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography  (Read 4346 times)

wsmith96

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Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« on: February 18, 2013, 10:58:54 PM »
I would like to solicit opinions here.  I shoot a lot of sports pics of my kids.  I'm currently using a rebel T1i which takes great pictures, but I usually miss some great action scenes due to the slow frame rate of the camera.  I was looking for used cameras that would allow me to maintain my lenses (EF-S) and I found a used canon 40D that looks gently used.   The price is great at around $350.  Of course, I would love to have a 7D, but I'm watching my pennies lately and can't afford it today.  So, what would you do?  Would you save up for the 7D or go ahead and not miss this spring season's shots using a 40D?

Thanks.
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Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« on: February 18, 2013, 10:58:54 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 12:08:07 AM »
If you can, quickly, try to find a 50D.  I think there isn't as much difference between the 50D and 7D.  If you can't find a used 50D relatively quickly for about the same price or slightly more, then the 40D would be fine. 
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Hillsilly

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 01:41:54 AM »
I used to use a 30D for sports.  It worked well.  I'd assume a 40D would be even better.
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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 02:19:28 AM »
Get the 40d now so you do not miss the shots this season. Keep saving on the side and try to upgrade to a 7d next year.

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 02:30:45 AM »
I started shooting with the T1I and saved up for the 7D, which is great for sports. I would say keep shooting with the T1I until you save enough for the 7D. Practice on timing and it will help for when you get the 7D and if possible get the 70-200 F2.8 with it. Great combo.

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 03:29:09 AM »
Get the 40d now so you do not miss the shots this season. Keep saving on the side and try to upgrade to a 7d next year.

I agree.

I remember missing some frames when shooting a snowboarder mid air - I got the frames right before and right after the grab.
This thing is slow compared to a 7D, which is slow compared to a 1DX, which is slow compared to 4k Video, which is...

speaking of Video:
Your camera supports 20fps.

also: thumb dial + AF joystick
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 03:53:42 AM by m »

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 04:20:01 AM »
If you're shooting action and need high frame rates, deep buffer and stellar AF but only have a limited budget, look no further than older 1-series bodies. You can get a very good 1D MkIIn for a few hundred dollars and a 1D MkIII for less than a 7D. I know which body I'd prefer to be shooting action with vs a 40D. No contest.

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 04:20:01 AM »

photo212

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 05:24:03 AM »
http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=canon_eos500d&products=canon_eos40d&products=canon_eos50d

I found the image quality of the 40D and 50D equivalent. More pixels on the 50D, but more sharpness in the 40D. Currently, I use both interchangeably. Either will have a higher shots per second rate.

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 06:07:46 AM »
It's not the body.  And the problems the body has aren't ones that the 40D will necessarily solve.

My 2 cents.

Get a x0D series for the better construction, better viewfinder, better ergonomics and better control.

If you are otherwise happy with your T1i then here's a couple of things to try first.

1: On all EOS cameras the centre AF point has the best performance.  Your T1i is no exception, as it's the only cross point.  Go into P Tv Av or M.  Select the centre AF spot as your only active point.

2: Ai Servo has a better chance of getting the action shot that one shot AF.  One Shot AF will actually prevent you taking a shot, unless the camera thinks it is in focus.  This will make your moderately fast camera much slower,  and the same would be true of a 40D or 7D or 1D.  So go to tracking AF (Ai Servo)  learn to track for a few seconds, burst burst burst, track for a few seconds, burst burst burst.

3: Consider your lenses.  Dark non-constant max aperture lenses are going to really hinder your AF system.  The centre AF spot becomes even more sensitive with lenses brighter than f2.8. Spend some money on a bright USM lens.  The 50mm f1.4 USM or 85mm f1.8 USM will let in loads of light and really boost your AF performance.  And if your AF is fast, your frame rate is up!   You'll get the benefit no matter your shooting aperture.  If you put slow lenses on any body, you are going to struggle.  If you are shooting action, you should be using fast lenses regardless of the body.

4: Consider your format.  Where are these pictures going to end up?  Are they going to be A2 posters?  Or 9x6 prints?  Do you really need to shoot RAW?  JPEGs, particularly smaller JPEGs without in camera effects, will get the most out of your cameras buffer depth.  RAW is a killer, and max resolution is often overkill.

5: Memory card speed. When your 500D came out memory cards were much more expensive.  Treat yourself to a class 10 card, if you haven't got one already.  This won't make your camera physically faster, but it will reduce buffer bottlenecks when you are piling on the frames.

So yes, there are reasons to buy a better body, but I don't think a 40D is the answer to your problems.
Brighter glass will probably be more effective, as will a look at your technique and settings.

I used a 400D for a few years and it was a different camera with bright glass on it.  Centre spot AF. Ai Servo mode. Bright USM glass, faster card.  Exactly the same advice I would give to a 40D user.

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 06:28:54 AM »
If you can, quickly, try to find a 50D.  I think there isn't as much difference between the 50D and 7D.  If you can't find a used 50D relatively quickly for about the same price or slightly more, then the 40D would be fine.

+1 Agreed. The 50D is a very good camera, and much better imho than the 60D. Definitely worth it if there is not too much price difference between the used 40D and 50D.
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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 06:41:46 AM »
It's not the body.  And the problems the body has aren't ones that the 40D will necessarily solve.

My 2 cents.

Get a x0D series for the better construction, better viewfinder, better ergonomics and better control.

If you are otherwise happy with your T1i then here's a couple of things to try first.

1: On all EOS cameras the centre AF point has the best performance.  Your T1i is no exception, as it's the only cross point.  Go into P Tv Av or M.  Select the centre AF spot as your only active point.

2: Ai Servo has a better chance of getting the action shot that one shot AF.  One Shot AF will actually prevent you taking a shot, unless the camera thinks it is in focus.  This will make your moderately fast camera much slower,  and the same would be true of a 40D or 7D or 1D.  So go to tracking AF (Ai Servo)  learn to track for a few seconds, burst burst burst, track for a few seconds, burst burst burst.

3: Consider your lenses.  Dark non-constant max aperture lenses are going to really hinder your AF system.  The centre AF spot becomes even more sensitive with lenses brighter than f2.8. Spend some money on a bright USM lens.  The 50mm f1.4 USM or 85mm f1.8 USM will let in loads of light and really boost your AF performance.  And if your AF is fast, your frame rate is up!   You'll get the benefit no matter your shooting aperture.  If you put slow lenses on any body, you are going to struggle.  If you are shooting action, you should be using fast lenses regardless of the body.

4: Consider your format.  Where are these pictures going to end up?  Are they going to be A2 posters?  Or 9x6 prints?  Do you really need to shoot RAW?  JPEGs, particularly smaller JPEGs without in camera effects, will get the most out of your cameras buffer depth.  RAW is a killer, and max resolution is often overkill.

5: Memory card speed. When your 500D came out memory cards were much more expensive.  Treat yourself to a class 10 card, if you haven't got one already.  This won't make your camera physically faster, but it will reduce buffer bottlenecks when you are piling on the frames.

So yes, there are reasons to buy a better body, but I don't think a 40D is the answer to your problems.
Brighter glass will probably be more effective, as will a look at your technique and settings.

I used a 400D for a few years and it was a different camera with bright glass on it.  Centre spot AF. Ai Servo mode. Bright USM glass, faster card.  Exactly the same advice I would give to a 40D user.
+1,000,000,000
This is the sanest advise you can get. The plus is that as you improve your technique on your current camera, you will be able to save for better lenses. Bodies come and go so you can buy the right one when you have saved enough. Don't compromise because you will regret it later. Also remember that the 7D price is going to drop in the next few months so it will become more affordable.

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 07:03:07 AM »
I used a 40D for five years (and still own it) before upgrading to a 5D3.  I loved it.  Excellent for sports, family, and travel photography.  Highly recommended.

A used 1-series body will probably outperform it, but of course you can't use your existing EF-S lenses on one of those...
5D Mark III, 40D, 1V.  Bunch of strobes, lenses and other bits.
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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 07:53:16 AM »
Everything about the 50D is better except IQ and AF. They basically took the same chip and added 50% more pixels therefore it is pretty noisy. The 50Ds are quite a bit more expensive than 40Ds, I only recently stopped using my 40D loved it. Brilliant camera, in fact I had two both lasted over 250k actuations and I still keep one.

I bought the 7D to replace it and except the AF and the Higher ISO above 1600 I wasnt sold with it. The IQ where it counts 100-400 wasnt there so sold the 7D and got a 5D MKIII it is basically a FF 40D with a crazy good AF system.

The 40D is a great camera and most are under £250 bargain buy one. As for action I used to use it for Automotive shooting.


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I found it great for action the 6.5fps is very helpful, but technique is paramount.

Stick some good glass on it and its brilliant.

« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 07:56:59 AM by tomscott »
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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 07:53:16 AM »

distant.star

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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 09:09:17 AM »
.
Does my heart good to see when someone is generous with time and experience. This is a great little treasure trove here, and I agree.

Thanks, Paul!

My thinking is along the same lines. If you get a 40D now, you may (or may not) have to work a little less for good results. In the end, you'll be sitting there with two old camera bodies, and you'll be no closer to the 7D you really want.




It's not the body.  And the problems the body has aren't ones that the 40D will necessarily solve.

My 2 cents.

Get a x0D series for the better construction, better viewfinder, better ergonomics and better control.

If you are otherwise happy with your T1i then here's a couple of things to try first.

1: On all EOS cameras the centre AF point has the best performance.  Your T1i is no exception, as it's the only cross point.  Go into P Tv Av or M.  Select the centre AF spot as your only active point.

2: Ai Servo has a better chance of getting the action shot that one shot AF.  One Shot AF will actually prevent you taking a shot, unless the camera thinks it is in focus.  This will make your moderately fast camera much slower,  and the same would be true of a 40D or 7D or 1D.  So go to tracking AF (Ai Servo)  learn to track for a few seconds, burst burst burst, track for a few seconds, burst burst burst.

3: Consider your lenses.  Dark non-constant max aperture lenses are going to really hinder your AF system.  The centre AF spot becomes even more sensitive with lenses brighter than f2.8. Spend some money on a bright USM lens.  The 50mm f1.4 USM or 85mm f1.8 USM will let in loads of light and really boost your AF performance.  And if your AF is fast, your frame rate is up!   You'll get the benefit no matter your shooting aperture.  If you put slow lenses on any body, you are going to struggle.  If you are shooting action, you should be using fast lenses regardless of the body.

4: Consider your format.  Where are these pictures going to end up?  Are they going to be A2 posters?  Or 9x6 prints?  Do you really need to shoot RAW?  JPEGs, particularly smaller JPEGs without in camera effects, will get the most out of your cameras buffer depth.  RAW is a killer, and max resolution is often overkill.

5: Memory card speed. When your 500D came out memory cards were much more expensive.  Treat yourself to a class 10 card, if you haven't got one already.  This won't make your camera physically faster, but it will reduce buffer bottlenecks when you are piling on the frames.

So yes, there are reasons to buy a better body, but I don't think a 40D is the answer to your problems.
Brighter glass will probably be more effective, as will a look at your technique and settings.

I used a 400D for a few years and it was a different camera with bright glass on it.  Centre spot AF. Ai Servo mode. Bright USM glass, faster card.  Exactly the same advice I would give to a 40D user.
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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 09:39:15 AM »
It's not the body.  And the problems the body has aren't ones that the 40D will necessarily solve.

My 2 cents.

Get a x0D series for the better construction, better viewfinder, better ergonomics and better control.

If you are otherwise happy with your T1i then here's a couple of things to try first.

1: On all EOS cameras the centre AF point has the best performance.  Your T1i is no exception, as it's the only cross point.  Go into P Tv Av or M.  Select the centre AF spot as your only active point.

2: Ai Servo has a better chance of getting the action shot that one shot AF.  One Shot AF will actually prevent you taking a shot, unless the camera thinks it is in focus.  This will make your moderately fast camera much slower,  and the same would be true of a 40D or 7D or 1D.  So go to tracking AF (Ai Servo)  learn to track for a few seconds, burst burst burst, track for a few seconds, burst burst burst.

3: Consider your lenses.  Dark non-constant max aperture lenses are going to really hinder your AF system.  The centre AF spot becomes even more sensitive with lenses brighter than f2.8. Spend some money on a bright USM lens.  The 50mm f1.4 USM or 85mm f1.8 USM will let in loads of light and really boost your AF performance.  And if your AF is fast, your frame rate is up!   You'll get the benefit no matter your shooting aperture.  If you put slow lenses on any body, you are going to struggle.  If you are shooting action, you should be using fast lenses regardless of the body.

4: Consider your format.  Where are these pictures going to end up?  Are they going to be A2 posters?  Or 9x6 prints?  Do you really need to shoot RAW?  JPEGs, particularly smaller JPEGs without in camera effects, will get the most out of your cameras buffer depth.  RAW is a killer, and max resolution is often overkill.

5: Memory card speed. When your 500D came out memory cards were much more expensive.  Treat yourself to a class 10 card, if you haven't got one already.  This won't make your camera physically faster, but it will reduce buffer bottlenecks when you are piling on the frames.

So yes, there are reasons to buy a better body, but I don't think a 40D is the answer to your problems.
Brighter glass will probably be more effective, as will a look at your technique and settings.

I used a 400D for a few years and it was a different camera with bright glass on it.  Centre spot AF. Ai Servo mode. Bright USM glass, faster card.  Exactly the same advice I would give to a 40D user.
+1
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Re: Beginner considering a canon 40D for sports photography
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 09:39:15 AM »