Hi I am looking at buying a used Canon 5d Mk1. I currently have a Canon 50d I know there is a megapixel difference and I need some advice on if I should upgrade to the 5d mk1 or stick with the 50d? 50d is crop sensor but has more megapixels than the 5d MK1.


I wouldn't think too much about the pixel difference, you will probably not really notice it (if your not truly into testing of course). Here is a link that compare the two camera bodies: http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon_EOS_50D-vs-Canon_EOS_5D/detailed

However, the two bodies are getting old, the 5D mk1 is over 11 years old by now and they are getting outdated. The 5D mk2 is better than the two other bodies in every way and is now getting really cheap on the used market! Here is a link showing the differences between the MK1 and MK2: http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon_EOS_5D-vs-Canon_EOS_5D_Mark_II/detailed

I have had the 5D mk1 myself, and it's still good imo. But it's really up to what you are into photographing. If you like photographing portraits with a prime lens, it's still doing its work well. If your into sport photographing, or anything fast phased where you might need to handhold your camera a lot, maybe you should reconsider.

  • Agree. One big diference with the Mk2 is the Iso sensitivity. That would be one of the best reasons to upgrade a camera body.
    – Rafael
    Oct 11 '16 at 11:08

Megapixels In my opinion is not that significant, except in the case you really need them of course, but the jump needs to be double, for example from 12 to 24.

In my opinion, the best reason to upgrade a body is ISO sensitivity and noise. That difference can open you some new doors to use ambient light in a new way.

Changing from a smaller sensor to full frame could mean that you might not be able to use some of your current (EF-S/crop body) lenses, so take a look at that.


You don't just look at megapixels claim - you test the two cameras and make a decision. I have rather poor experience with a camera that has impressive 20 megapixels claim but the fact is if I open the image in Paint and zoom it to one hundred percent I see tons of noise everywhere and the image is barely usable and I have to downscale it four times each dimension (25 percent height and 25 percent width) which basically means the pixels count gets 16 times smaller and I actually get a 1,25 megapixels image. The 20 megapixels claim is worth nothing in this case.

So first look at the numbers, then test yourself, then make a decision.

  • Do you realize that when you zoom in to 100% with the 20MP image you are enlarging 16X more than when you zoom in to the 1.25MP image? If you enlarge both by the same amount, the 1.25MP image zoomed in to 100% would be the same enlargement as the 20MP image zoomed in to only 6.25%.
    – Michael C
    Nov 11 '18 at 17:52
  • @MichaelClark Yes, and does that help against noise?
    – sharptooth
    Nov 12 '18 at 11:00
  • What happens when you only zoom the 20MP image to 6.25% and compare it to the 1.25MP image of the same shot at 100%? What do your eyes tell you?
    – Michael C
    Nov 12 '18 at 16:15
  • @MichaelClark It looks more or less the same then.
    – sharptooth
    Nov 13 '18 at 14:17
  • Exactly, so the increased magnification is the real culprit, not the higher resolution. If you enlarged both images by the same amount to view the 20MP image at 100%, then the 1.25MP image would be enlarged at 1600%. How do the two images compare then? Which one looks "more impressive?" How much is the additional resolution worth in that scenario?
    – Michael C
    Nov 13 '18 at 21:10

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