Upgrade EOS 500Dset to Improve low light performance


here’s the situation. We have an old Canon EOS 500D with three lenses, which we like. We are shooting a lot of images inside in winter and are quite unhappy as the 500D is hardly usable above ISO 800. So most of the shots of our kids are either shaky or ugly because of high ISO.

What is the best and cheapest way to improve low light performance?
I was thinking:

  1. Get a EOS 800D - improved usable ISO range and can use all the lenses we have
  2. Get another camera, maybe use it with an adapter?
  3. Get a flash and keep the old camera

Do you have any suggestions??


Morning, @McCap,

I do understand your dilemma – I’ve been there (all right, I had an EOS 600D, but that is about the same as yours).

Cheapest way? Get a sturdy tripod and a release cable.

Better low light performance? I’d say a flash (or two!), and web read a lot about Strobists, McNally and Syl Arena.

BTW: Is there a Magic Lantern version for the 500D?

I had a lot of manual lenses and adapters -> EOS. Great fun, but that will hardly give you much better low light functionality.

Then I “developed” into the Fuji X-T1 world, where even ISO 25600 can be usable(!).

But what about all my manual lenses and adapters to EOS?
Luckily, I just had to buy one additional adapter (EOS -> FX) to make all the semi-antique treasures work with my X-T1 :slight_smile:

(This means that I use two adapters in each setup: Industar 61L/Z M42 lens | M42 -> EOS adapter | EOS -> FX adapter | X-T1 body, for example.)

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden


Do you already have a fast prime lens ?
I used to have a canon 350d with a canon 50 f1.8 This kind of lens is really helpful to have good results even with low light.
A flash is a good option too.


Even modern cameras shot at ISO6400 and a fast prime will not help with shooting your children indoors in all circumstances. I would recommend a TTL flash shot against the ceiling. At least that’s what I do.


Thanks for your thoughts!

We already have the 50mm 1.8 lens and it helps, though when making portraits you almost cannot use 1.8 because the depth of field is so shallow that only part of the face will be sharp.

I decided to get a Yongnuo 560 IV and to either direct it on walls and ceiling or use it detached as a slave triggered by the on camera flash.


I have the same issue as @McCap. Never used a (modern) flash attachment before. Started reading about TTL and then moved on to reading about epilepsy. I digress: 560iv doesn’t have TTL; would that matter?


I chose the 560 because it can be triggered old style by the on camera flash (…and it is cheap).
You can also connect multiple flashes and the mark IV acts as a controller (a friend has the same so we can couple them)