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Author Topic: Is an old Canon 1DS full frame superior to a new Canon APS-C sensor?  (Read 1969 times)
miked789
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« on: April 07, 2013, 07:18:29 PM »
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Hello

I have found a Canon EOS 1DS for sale for about $700, I was wondering if the old Canon full frame is superior to a modern Canon camera of about the same price?

I've always wanted a full frame Canon, but I don't know enough to know if it would really be a bargain, or if I'm just getting old technology that's past it's prime. I almost never take video so I'm not going to miss that feature of the newer cameras. Most of my work is outdoor available light photography. I currently have a Rebel 1000D and an Olympus E-PM1.

Any thoughts?

Thank you
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k bennett
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2013, 08:35:02 PM »
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The 1Ds was a pretty amazing camera at the time. Getting it for 1/10 its initial price seems like a great deal. However, given the sensor technology, the files required a lot of work to get the best images, in my experience. If you want a full frame camera, the original 5D is often available for less than $1K and would provide better images, and the 5D Mark II is well under $1500 used and is a far better camera for landscape work. Compared to APS-C canon sensors, I think I'd take the latest small sensor over the original 1Ds at this point -- there have just been so many advancements in sensor tech in the last 11 years.
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Equipment: a camera and some lenses.
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2013, 09:16:58 PM »
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Why not check DxOMark data?

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/813%7C0/(brand)/Canon/(appareil2)/516%7C0/(brand2)/Canon

It shows that the 650D has basically exactly the same level of performance as the 1Ds.

Now, the look will of course be different due to DoF impacts and the difference in terms of lenses, so it is not just a matter of sensor performance.

So the way I would use these results is simply to pretty much ignore the sensor performance aspect and just focus on the photographic side to take this decision.

The bulk and shooting experience is also of course at 2 opposite ends.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Paul2660
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2013, 11:23:11 PM »
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I shot the 1ds for almost 3 years and then moved the 1ds MKII.  The sensor in the 1ds really can't begin to compare with any of the newer APS-C Canon's out there.  Plus as already posted, the used 5D MKII is a much better value.  They are on the market right now from around 950 on up. 

Issues on the 1ds I would consider,
1.  Not much good past 800 and 800 is push in most instances.  800 will show considerable noise.
2.  shutter count and repair.  My 1ds went in 2x for shutter repair, 2nd time it was replaced.  The 1ds seemed to have a shutter repair issue.
3.  Dust, on the 1ds no small issue.  Mine was very dusty and especially in the corners.  My 5D MKII's both of them in 3.5 years I have never had to wet clean them.  The 1Ds was pretty much a wet clean after every shoot. or every other.
4.  No video
5.  No ability to really handle a very long exposure much past 25 seconds.  The sensor just got too noisy.  I also can't remember if the 1ds had a dark frame option, I know the 1ds MKII did.  As I recall the 1ds did, but it did not buffer the dark frame like the 1ds MKII and all other Canon's do.
6.  Terrible, small LCD, pretty much worthless except for histogram info
7.  Bad battery life.  I can't remember if they were Lithium but mine were not  long in the field.  The 1ds MKII had a much better battery life and worked better with the older 1ds batteries.
8.  Pretty slow shutter on continuous
9.  More than likely will have problems with more modern Compact Flash cards


Image quality is 11mp and in 2003 was amazing.  But it's 10 year old technology and when you look at the price of a used 7D, 5D MKII, or even a 5D MKI, they are all better all round cameras.  The DxO spec on the 1ds should be pretty low also. 

I liked the WB on the 1ds better than the 1ds MKII it seemed to be a more even read out, but I sure would look to a newer used camera system. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
Little Rock, Arkansas U.S.
Photography > http://photosofarkansas.com
Blog> http://paulcaldwellphotography.com
FredBGG
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2013, 11:27:24 PM »
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There is something to the 1Ds compared to the 5D and the 1Ds II and 1Ds III

The 1 DS has quite a weak anti alias filter that gives it a bit of a different look compared to smaller sensors and even the 1DS III and 5D II.
I had both and sold them, but have kept the 1Ds even though I am shooting with the D800 and Nikon these days.

The Build quality of the 1Ds is really good.

At low ISO it is really nice, but newer crop sensors will have better high ISO.

Here is an example shot with the 1Ds and the 100mm f2 (a non L lens)


100mm f2 at f2

and a crop from the same shot:



and a color one:

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6166/6199503901_5aca430edc_o.jpg
200mm 2.8L at 2.8.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 02:39:32 AM »
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I shot the 1ds for almost 3 years and then moved the 1ds MKII.  The sensor in the 1ds really can't begin to compare with any of the newer APS-C Canon's out there.  Plus as already posted, the used 5D MKII is a much better value.  They are on the market right now from around 950 on up. 

Issues on the 1ds I would consider,
1.  Not much good past 800 and 800 is push in most instances.  800 will show considerable noise.
2.  shutter count and repair.  My 1ds went in 2x for shutter repair, 2nd time it was replaced.  The 1ds seemed to have a shutter repair issue.
3.  Dust, on the 1ds no small issue.  Mine was very dusty and especially in the corners.  My 5D MKII's both of them in 3.5 years I have never had to wet clean them.  The 1Ds was pretty much a wet clean after every shoot. or every other.
4.  No video
5.  No ability to really handle a very long exposure much past 25 seconds.  The sensor just got too noisy.  I also can't remember if the 1ds had a dark frame option, I know the 1ds MKII did.  As I recall the 1ds did, but it did not buffer the dark frame like the 1ds MKII and all other Canon's do.
6.  Terrible, small LCD, pretty much worthless except for histogram info
7.  Bad battery life.  I can't remember if they were Lithium but mine were not  long in the field.  The 1ds MKII had a much better battery life and worked better with the older 1ds batteries.
8.  Pretty slow shutter on continuous
9.  More than likely will have problems with more modern Compact Flash cards


Image quality is 11mp and in 2003 was amazing.  But it's 10 year old technology and when you look at the price of a used 7D, 5D MKII, or even a 5D MKI, they are all better all round cameras.  The DxO spec on the 1ds should be pretty low also. 

I liked the WB on the 1ds better than the 1ds MKII it seemed to be a more even read out, but I sure would look to a newer used camera system. 

Paul Caldwell


I shot with mine for four years and agree with a lot of this - though not with number 2, and personally never had a lot of problem with dust, but then I shoot mostly wider apertures.  I also agree that in the most part the original 5D will give a cleaner look and is a more user friendly camera.  However the 1Ds is a well built beast and it all depends if you want the weight and build of a pro-camera.  I remember when my wife bought a 5D while I was still using the 1Ds.  The 5D was so much more pleasurable to use.  The controls were much more user friendly for a start.  However I then bought a 1Ds mk3 in late 2007 and what a transformation.  And it is still my main camera.
In short, the 1Ds produces great pictures, but in my opinion is not much fun to use.  Buy a 5d for the same money if you can.

Jim
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eronald
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 08:47:40 PM »
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The 1Ds is a Canon pro camera with superb focus and very interesting image quality at ISO 100; it can focus the fast Canon telephotos and short teles eg. 200/1.8 and 135/2 and 85/1.2. If you are going to be working in decent light and don't need to enlarge above A3, then it will reward you with interesting pictures, with good sharpness, good color, and *character*.

Edmund
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 08:49:35 PM by eronald » Logged

Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
miked789
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 06:28:02 PM »
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Thank you everyone for your input. You've given me a lot to think about. I'm leaning towards the 5D mark ii now, but I'll have to save some more first.

Again, thank you all.
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