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Author Topic: High ISO shooting  (Read 30254 times)
250swb
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2009, 03:12:01 AM »
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Its great to see photographers opening up new ground by being able to now photograph concerts and indoor events due to higher ISO performance. It makes me wonder what happened before photographers needed high ISO??? Was there any concert photography in those days?

Or is it now the case that concert photography (as an example) will end up looking like an outdoor wedding shoot, everybody on stage regularly recorded in minute detail frozen in an instant of time? Sounds good, until you look at what you lose. Its fine having the option of high ISO performance, but most people who ask for it will use it because its the easy thing, and yet again any expression or flair or excitment that used to be generated by a skilled photographer is filtered out into boring pap. There was once a day when great concert photography couldn't be reproduced because not everybody had the flair to do it well, but now, like studio trends in family portraits, overuse of digital techniques mean that even less great work is done, and even more (very) average work is accepted as good by the populace. Its all just one more nail in the coffin of good photography, asked for and abetted by photographers because they consider it a right to make money at photography, rather than a paying outlet for skilled expression.

So, I'm just saying there is more than one way of looking at the apparent benefits of high ISO. Give the monkey a banana and whats likely to happen? Even more people demanding to be called photographers on the basis of a sharp well exposed shot, thats what. And if you can't see the critical downside to that in terms of quality photographs and what gets into the press nowadays then you haven't got a fearful bone in your body. The demise of good journalism and portrait and studio and wedding work has started, and while digital options didn't cause it, nobody is thinking about how to stop it. Its great seeing an upside to even higher ISO performance when you know you can use it skilfully yourself, but lets give a thought to the consequences in the longer term?

Steve


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dwdallam
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« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2009, 04:12:59 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Hello Josh,

I don't remember having written anything negative about the 1ds3 in the recent months Josh, and certainly not in this very post, I was only reacting to the claim that the D3 high ISO performance was mostly software based.

I believe that both are excellent cameras, and my recent posts on the A900 topic were focused on some very specific claims that were simply not inline with my observations. I didn't comment negatively on the A900 in that context by the way.

Anyway, I agree with you that all this is waste of time and will act accordingly in the coming months. A small LL break is probably the best solution.

Cheers,
Bernard


I didn't mean that Nikon was software noise reduced Bernard. What I meant was that the 1DS MKIII can shoot as clean as the D3X after running it through a software based noise algorithm at a properly exposed ISO 1600, and shooting RAW. Do you dispute this?

I shoot Canon, but I do think the D3X is a better camera in some ways, higer MP with lower noise and reliability being two areas, since the DS MKIII had lots of problems in the beginning. I have had my PCB board replaced and several other major things that others have had also. No doubt the D3X is the current king, for sure. Credit due where is deserved. Nikon is back in the game and hitting hard.
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eronald
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« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2009, 04:28:27 AM »
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Actually the D3x doesn't shoot that clean at 1600 ISO -it has grain- but it shoots sharp and has enough DR so that with Dlight all your shots are ok. I don't rate the thing well as a low light camera, I rate it as a normal-light camera that focuses well and can use decent shutter speeds so your 24MP makes sense. Hopefully, the D3Xs or whatever it will be called will be a real low light camera.

I did a set of portraits with available light in the middle of a Paris avenue, at noon, in February, and could not get a single decent shot due to low shutter speed (shake) and insufficient depth of field. The Nikon at least always works at noon in winter daylight

Edmund

Quote from: dwdallam
I didn't mean that Nikon was software noise reduced Bernard. What I meant was that the 1DS MKIII can shoot as clean as the D3X after running it through a software based noise algorithm at a properly exposed ISO 1600, and shooting RAW. Do you dispute this?

I shoot Canon, but I do think the D3X is a better camera in some ways, higer MP with lower noise and reliability being two areas, since the DS MKIII had lots of problems in the beginning. I have had my PCB board replaced and several other major things that others have had also. No doubt the D3X is the current king, for sure. Credit due where is deserved. Nikon is back in the game and hitting hard.
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
dwdallam
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« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2009, 04:33:42 AM »
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Quote from: eronald
Actually the D3x doesn't shoot that clean at 1600 ISO -it has grain- but it shoots sharp and has enough DR so that with Dlight all your shots are ok. I don't rate the thing well as a low light camera, I rate it as a normal-light camera that focuses well and can use decent shutter speeds so your 24MP makes sense. Hopefully, the D3Xs or whatever it will be called will be a real low light camera.

I did a set of portraits with available light in the middle of a Paris avenue, at noon, in February, and could not get a single decent shot due to low shutter speed (shake) and insufficient depth of field. The Nikon at least always works at noon in winter daylight

Edmund


No doubt it's a great camera. I've noticed low light focusing problems too with my 1DS MKIII. I'm not too happy with the 1DS3. I mean I like it, but if I was buying it at the same time the 5D MKII was out, I would be the owner of a 5D MKII right now, and not a 1DS III.
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KevinA
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« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2009, 04:43:34 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Urban legends never die...

Cheers,
Bernard

I just shot 1600iso on a 1DsmkIII in very low light and it does not need any extra noise reduction. I had a 20 x 30 inch print made from one image to check all is hunky dory and it's as smooth as a babies bum.

Kevin.
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Kevin.
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« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2009, 05:04:15 AM »
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Quote from: dwdallam
I didn't mean that Nikon was software noise reduced Bernard. What I meant was that the 1DS MKIII can shoot as clean as the D3X after running it through a software based noise algorithm at a properly exposed ISO 1600, and shooting RAW. Do you dispute this?

I shoot Canon, but I do think the D3X is a better camera in some ways, higer MP with lower noise and reliability being two areas, since the DS MKIII had lots of problems in the beginning. I have had my PCB board replaced and several other major things that others have had also. No doubt the D3X is the current king, for sure. Credit due where is deserved. Nikon is back in the game and hitting hard.

I think the reputation of the D3 carried over to the X version, I don't see it has any great advantage noise wise over the 1DsmkIII. I shot a 700 next to a 5dmkII and 1DsmkIII up to 1600 iso . the 700 had less noise and much less pixels. A slight brush with Noise Ninja and they all looked like the same camera.
I looked at a change to Nikon, excellent cameras they are but not such a gap to toss all the Canon into the bay, besides next month the Canon X will leapfrog the Nikon, the month after Nikon will leapfrog Canon and so it goes on. Right now Canon has the best lens range for me, fast lenses in the f1:4 range that do actually work. I would rather have the option of shooting at lower iso, as it stands Nikon need better high iso than Canon. They only have one fast lens.
These are all tremendous cameras, one camera these days covers areas we once used two or three systems to cover.

Kevin.
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Kevin.
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« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2009, 06:01:34 AM »
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Quote from: 250swb
Its great to see photographers opening up new ground by being able to now photograph concerts and indoor events due to higher ISO performance. It makes me wonder what happened before photographers needed high ISO??? Was there any concert photography in those days?

Or is it now the case that concert photography (as an example) will end up looking like an outdoor wedding shoot, everybody on stage regularly recorded in minute detail frozen in an instant of time? Sounds good, until you look at what you lose. Its fine having the option of high ISO performance, but most people who ask for it will use it because its the easy thing, and yet again any expression or flair or excitment that used to be generated by a skilled photographer is filtered out into boring pap. There was once a day when great concert photography couldn't be reproduced because not everybody had the flair to do it well, but now, like studio trends in family portraits, overuse of digital techniques mean that even less great work is done, and even more (very) average work is accepted as good by the populace. Its all just one more nail in the coffin of good photography, asked for and abetted by photographers because they consider it a right to make money at photography, rather than a paying outlet for skilled expression.

So, I'm just saying there is more than one way of looking at the apparent benefits of high ISO. Give the monkey a banana and whats likely to happen? Even more people demanding to be called photographers on the basis of a sharp well exposed shot, thats what. And if you can't see the critical downside to that in terms of quality photographs and what gets into the press nowadays then you haven't got a fearful bone in your body. The demise of good journalism and portrait and studio and wedding work has started, and while digital options didn't cause it, nobody is thinking about how to stop it. Its great seeing an upside to even higher ISO performance when you know you can use it skilfully yourself, but lets give a thought to the consequences in the longer term?

Steve


Thanks for adding this very well thought out post.
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2009, 06:24:07 AM »
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Quote from: ashley
Thanks for adding this very well thought out post.
You two should get a room.

Gimme a break ... complaining about better tools because you think 'people' don't deserve them because they aren't as 'something' as you think you are ... man ... get over yourselves ... we're all just monkeys.
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ashley
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« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2009, 06:28:25 AM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
You two should get a room.

Gimme a break ... complaining about better tools because you think 'people' don't deserve them because they aren't as 'something' as you think you are ... man ... get over yourselves ... we're all just monkeys.

I think you are taking it the wrong way Jeremy. That certainly isn't what I meant. Just because you make something simpler though doesn't mean the end result will always be better and I think that is a valid point.
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pegelli
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« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2009, 07:14:15 AM »
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Quote from: 250swb
So, I'm just saying there is more than one way of looking at the apparent benefits of high ISO. Give the monkey a banana and whats likely to happen? Even more people demanding to be called photographers on the basis of a sharp well exposed shot, thats what. And if you can't see the critical downside to that in terms of quality photographs and what gets into the press nowadays then you haven't got a fearful bone in your body. The demise of good journalism and portrait and studio and wedding work has started, and while digital options didn't cause it, nobody is thinking about how to stop it. Its great seeing an upside to even higher ISO performance when you know you can use it skilfully yourself, but lets give a thought to the consequences in the longer term?

Steve

Great thought, let's forbid selling DSLR's to non-pro's, they're killing the pro market and inhibit the selling of "real good" photographs  
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pieter, aka pegelli
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« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2009, 09:07:42 AM »
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Quote from: ashley
I think you are taking it the wrong way Jeremy. That certainly isn't what I meant. Just because you make something simpler though doesn't mean the end result will always be better and I think that is a valid point.

Which nobody is arguing against. Having a more capable camera (whether higher usable ISO, greater resolution, or whatever) does not guarantee a photographer will capture better images. Incompetence can trump any technological advancement. But in competent hands, a new or improved capability can be used to do things previously impossible.

The counter-argument that an enhanced capability cheapens the result by making it easier to achieve is of course bullshit. Taken to its logical confusion, we should all go back to pinhole cameras and expose our images on hand-coated glass plates like Real Photographers. The truth is that technical advances raise the bar of what a competent photographer can achieve, and anyone who is content to merely do what he has always done the same way he always has deserves to be left behind.
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« Reply #31 on: October 16, 2009, 01:15:53 PM »
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Quote from: Panopeeper
I guess you are referring to the "color separation". The spectral characteristics of the filters have nothing to do with ISO. Different filter combination have different advantages and disadvantages, equally with all ISOs.
I'm referring to Canon's own marketing materials, which claim "a more advanced color filter that improves light transmission while retaining excellent color reproduction." To me this sounds like they weakened the CFA to allow more light to hit the sensor. They claim color reproduction is still excellent, but according to DXO Mark it's not quite as good as the 1Ds3 at low ISO's.
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2009, 01:40:42 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
I'm referring to Canon's own marketing materials, which claim "a more advanced color filter that improves light transmission while retaining excellent color reproduction." To me this sounds like they weakened the CFA to allow more light to hit the sensor
That's all right, but I don't see how it would have to do anything with ISO.

Quote
They claim color reproduction is still excellent, but according to DXO Mark it's not quite as good as the 1Ds3 at low ISO's.
I don't see anything like that on the DxO site - not as if I regarded those evaluations as the bible.
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Gabor
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« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2009, 03:04:49 PM »
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Quote from: Panopeeper
That's all right, but I don't see how it would have to do anything with ISO.


I don't see anything like that on the DxO site - not as if I regarded those evaluations as the bible.


Sorry, Panopeeper, actually Canon are buying better S2N from the same light at the price of color discrimination; think of it as having non-orthogonal color filters in the interest of getting enough light on the sensor to minimize the effect of read noise. The digital backs have "very orthogonal" filters, which is one of the reasons one can get such good color out of them. The Hasselblad CEO Christian Poulson explained this stuff to me - he's actually quite technical.

Edmund
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
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« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2009, 03:23:56 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
I'm referring to Canon's own marketing materials, which claim "a more advanced color filter that improves light transmission while retaining excellent color reproduction." To me this sounds like they weakened the CFA to allow more light to hit the sensor. They claim color reproduction is still excellent, but according to DXO Mark it's not quite as good as the 1Ds3 at low ISO's.
One such example of differences in spectral response in the red channel, likely introduced to improve global sensitivity of the sensor, is discussed in the DXO comparison of the Nikon D5000 and Canon EOS 500D.
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2009, 03:35:37 PM »
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Quote from: eronald
actually Canon are buying better S2N from the same light at the price of color discrimination; think of it as having non-orthogonal color filters in the interest of getting enough light on the sensor to minimize the effect of read noise
I did not dispute this aspect. Jeff's claim was, that the change of the filters negatively affects the low ISO capability, in other words the effect depends on the ISO. All I am saying is, that there is no such connection.
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Gabor
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« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2009, 04:06:07 PM »
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Quote from: Panopeeper
I did not dispute this aspect. Jeff's claim was, that the change of the filters negatively affects the low ISO capability, in other words the effect depends on the ISO. All I am saying is, that there is no such connection.
Compare 5DII and 1Ds3 at DxOMark. Look at the Color Sensitivity detailed results. At low ISO, the 1Ds3 is better. At higher ISO's this advantage goes away, presumably because of less noise from the 5D2.
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BJL
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« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2009, 04:33:07 PM »
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Quote from: Panopeeper
... improvement in noise levels at high ISO goes together with lower noise level at lower ISO settings; this means greater dynamic range.
Often but not always: increasing quantum efficiency with no change in dark noise levels or well capacity leaves DR the same: it just moves the minimum usable ISO speed up, with the higher base ISO having about the same DR as the lower base ISO did before.

Worse still, consider one hypothetical "high ISO tuning" strategy: keep the total cell size ("pixel pitch") the same, but reduce the well size within it and so reduce full-well capacity, and then use good micro-lenses to steer all the light into the smaller wells. The smaller well capacity could allow smaller amplifiers and other components with lower maximum charge/voltage/current capacity, which could reduce amp. noise (and smaller wells produce a bit less dark current noise too). At high ISO, the wells usually do not get close to full anyway, so you would have equal signal, lower dark noise, and so better S/N ratio. But base ISO speed would be higher (less highlight headroom) and at the new base ISO speed the lower well capacity would likely make IQ worse.

Maybe some sensor technology options do effectively involve this "smaller well in same sized cell" approach, like CMOS vs FF CCD.
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MarkL
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« Reply #38 on: October 16, 2009, 05:16:36 PM »
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High iso has opened up situations that just were not able to be photographed handheld before and is a huge help for sports, weddings etc. It is annoying that people that have never shot film post on forums whining that were is noise in their iso 3200 shots and shouldn't be because they spent xk on their camera. Sorry, the laws of physics still apply
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« Reply #39 on: October 16, 2009, 05:32:16 PM »
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Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
Which nobody is arguing against. Having a more capable camera (whether higher usable ISO, greater resolution, or whatever) does not guarantee a photographer will capture better images. Incompetence can trump any technological advancement. But in competent hands, a new or improved capability can be used to do things previously impossible.

The counter-argument that an enhanced capability cheapens the result by making it easier to achieve is of course bullshit. Taken to its logical confusion, we should all go back to pinhole cameras and expose our images on hand-coated glass plates like Real Photographers. The truth is that technical advances raise the bar of what a competent photographer can achieve, and anyone who is content to merely do what he has always done the same way he always has deserves to be left behind.


LOL.

Put very diplomatically. I agree with this but would like to state it in a different manner.

First, higher ISO capability is a double edged sword: Now the photography has to think about how much light he or she needs, instead of simply not getting the image. In other words, you now have the ability to stop action in low light, but should you stop it, if not, how much blur "should" one have for a particular shot? Or, if you're shooting environmental portraits, you need to decide whether or not the shot would look better with more ambient light (higher ISO) or less ambient light and more flash. If you don't have the option of ISO then you default to flash, and you have no choice in the matter, easier yes, more creative, no.

This makes a "photographer" have to think much more about the artistic aspect of what he or she is trying to create. Most people never understand light, and the best they can do is set up a fabricated light pattern using studio lights or use auto on camera flash and point and pray. Yes, they can get good exposure and sharp images, but that's about it.

So you can see that the ISO thing cuts both ways: Amateurs calling themselves "photographers" is laughable, but so too is a photographer acting like an amateur--just in a different manner.

The same thing goes for technology, as Johnathan pointed out.  When photography was created, artists thought it would put them out of business. When the 35mm was created, same thing. When auto exposure was created, same thing.

One thing that bothers me is that a really good Photoshop expert can put together a stupendous landscape shot comprised of several average shots taken in different parts of the world, composite them, and you'd never know it (such as taking the cloud structure of one shot and laying it over the dunes of another.) But I'm ok with that.

Question regarding whether or not technology cheapens the medium are legitimate, but how many people would be doing photography today if all we had was tintype? I'd suspect that some of us would just not be aroused by tintype or its process, and thus would find other ways to express ourselves.

Last, it doesn't matter what we think or want, technology will continue to change everything. Our only option, as Johnathan pointed out, is adapt to it.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 05:45:11 PM by dwdallam » Logged

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