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Author Topic: Canon 5D Mark III @ ISO 25,600  (Read 6150 times)
Ellis Vener
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« on: March 12, 2012, 08:57:36 PM »
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These were taken in some really ugly available ambient light just to see what the 5D Mark III can do in an extreme situation. First up a full frame view
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 09:17:58 PM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 09:01:11 PM »
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Next: a 100% crop. Noise reduction in Lightroom 4 is turned off
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 09:03:14 PM »
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This next one has Luminance noise reduction off in Lightroom 4 but noise reduction set to 25/50. Cleans it up a bit don't it?
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 09:05:18 PM »
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Now  Lightroom 4's Luminance noise reduction is in play as well.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 09:08:08 PM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 09:07:18 PM »
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Finally, I've added a little Clarity (+14)  and increased Lightroom 4 sharpening to 60/0.8/35/0
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2012, 09:15:24 PM »
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In case you were wondering: all versions were exported as full size sRGB PSDs from Lightroom 4, captioned and either cropped or resized down to 1000 x 1500 pixels in Photoshop CS 5 and saved as maximum quality JPEGS.

I look forward to your comments.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2012, 11:33:26 PM »
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Well, it should make a passable wallet-size print or you could reduce it to 500x400 pixels for web use.
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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2012, 11:41:47 PM »
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Yes, I can't get particularly excited.

I presume it's better than the mark II ??
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2012, 02:18:44 AM »
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I look forward to your comments.

It seems excellent to me. Part of this is the 5DIII that seems like a very good low light camera, part of that is LR4 whose new engine shines.

It seems to be a bit ahead of what the D800 can do, but I guess we will need a 1:1 comparison at a given print size to cast a final judgement.

Either way, both cameras are clearly able to tackle any real world scenario without any problem and a bit better than their predecessors. The question for 5DII owners is whether this is worth 2,000+ US$ or not (assuming they sell their 5DII).

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012, 04:36:49 AM »
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Many thanks for posting these high ISO crops from RAW.
They are the first I've seen.

I've just compared with 5DII shots taken at ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 both put through LR4 using the same settings.
The ISO 6400 results are pretty close in terms of visible noise and retention of fine detail.
Arguably at ISO 6400 the 5DII shots have the edge, but it is close.

The results back up what everyone has been saying....
The 5DIII has getting on for two stop less noise at high ISO.

I know I can produce an acceptable A3 print from the 5DII at ISO 3200 with no luminance noise reduction and default chroma (25/50). Not perfect, but good enough to sell in a gallery.
It's possible that the 5DIII may be able to produce an acceptable A3 print at ISO 12800.
Could post some samples please so I can check Smiley
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 07:43:34 AM »
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Well, it should make a passable wallet-size print or you could reduce it to 500x400 pixels for web use.


Actually it makes a pretty decent 8.5 x 11" print @ 300ppi. Would i want to work at anything above ISO 1600 or 3200 (and even then only in available darkness) with  this or any comparable camera? Not unless it was an absolute necessity , but it is good to know that the headroom is definitely usable in extreme cases.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 07:46:17 AM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2012, 08:16:45 AM »
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Actually it makes a pretty decent 8.5 x 11" print @ 300ppi. Would i want to work at anything above ISO 1600 or 3200 (and even then only in available darkness) with  this or any comparable camera? Not unless it was an absolute necessity , but it is good to know that the headroom is definitely usable in extreme cases.

Hi Ellis,

It would be an interesting exercise to also compare the results of an ISO 25600, to an ISO 6400 but underexposed by a -2 EV exposure compensation and subsequently pushed 2 EV in postprocessing, or ISO 3200 underexposed an pushed 3 stops, or even ISO 1600 with 4 stops underexposure and pushed 4 stops.

Once the sensor gain is increased beyond "unity gain" by the ISO setting, the benefits are often minimal or even negative for quality. Depending on how the new sensor design (with additional noise reduction transistor per sensel) is implemented, it may benefit the more extreme ISO settings more than the lower ISO settings, unlike the 5D2 or the 1Ds3 which do benefit from underexposing and pushing.

Underexposing and pushing in post also has the benefit of avoiding highlight clipping, a common risk with ambient light only situations.

Cheers,
Bart
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BJL
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2012, 09:07:25 AM »
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Once the sensor gain is increased beyond "unity gain" by the ISO setting, the benefits are often minimal or even negative for quality. ...

Underexposing and pushing in post also has the benefit of avoiding highlight clipping, a common risk with ambient light only situations.
Naively, it would make sense for a high-end DSLR to have an option like this: limit actual analog gain to the useful limit, which with good modern sensors seems to be relatively low (1600 or less?) and then handle more extreme low light situations by choosing aperture/shutter speed as indicated by the higher EI (like 35,600) but with analog gain only up to the lower useful limit, and then (a) with in-camera JPEG, gain-up in the digital domain, with simple bit-shifting, and (b) in raw files, simply indicate the intended digital gain (again, just a recommended bit-shift) as the default for conversion, leaving room for better manual handling of extreme "highlight range": when you have more than the typical three stops or so between metered mid-tones and the brightest highlight regions.

In fact, I believe that something like this has long been done with so-called "HI" ISO settings, beyond the normal range, and is down at most or all EI settings by DMF backs, but it could actually kick-in at much lower EI on modern DSLR's. I suspect that marketing gets in the way: people call this digital shift "fake ISO" and create the impression that amplifying as much as possible in the analog gain is more "real" and therefor better, and this leads to analog gain being pushed beyond its useful limits.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 01:35:16 PM by BJL » Logged
NikoJorj
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2012, 09:13:26 AM »
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Is it me, or is this some thermal amplificator noise in the lower right corner (red+blue)?
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2012, 09:15:56 AM »
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Hi Ellis,

It would be an interesting exercise to also compare the results of an ISO 25600, to an ISO 6400 but underexposed by a -2 EV exposure compensation and subsequently pushed 2 EV in postprocessing, or ISO 3200 underexposed an pushed 3 stops, or even ISO 1600 with 4 stops underexposure and pushed 4 stops.

Once the sensor gain is increased beyond "unity gain" by the ISO setting, the benefits are often minimal or even negative for quality. Depending on how the new sensor design (with additional noise reduction transistor per sensel) is implemented, it may benefit the more extreme ISO settings more than the lower ISO settings, unlike the 5D2 or the 1Ds3 which do benefit from underexposing and pushing.


Just a side note -- it's not the 'unity gain' which determines when pushing lower ISO competes with 'normal' exposure at higher ISO; rather it's when read noise in electrons stops decreasing.  'Unity gain' is a bogus characteristic; for instance it dropped by a factor of four when Canon went from 12 to 14 bit encoding, while the ISO beyond which it made no sense to go stayed at 1600 -- and that was because it was at that point that read noise leveled off, stopped decreasing with increase of ISO.
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emil
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« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2012, 09:22:49 AM »
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I look forward to your comments.

It can make recognizable photos.
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ejmartin
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« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2012, 09:24:09 AM »
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Naively, it would make sense for a high-end DSLR to have an option like this: limit actual analog gain to the quite modest useful limit, which with good modern sensors seems to be relatively low, like maybe 1600 or less?, and then handle more extreme low light situations by choosing aperture/shutter speed as indicated by the higher EI (like 35,600) but with analog gain only up to the lower useful limit, and then (a) with in-camera JPEG, gain-up in the digital domain, with simple bit-shifting, and (b) in raw files, simply indicate the intended digital gain (again, just a recommended bit-shift) as the default for conversion, leaving room for better manual handling of extreme "highlight range": when you have more than the typical three stops or so between metered mid-tones and the brightest highlight regions.

In fact, I believe that something like this has long been done with so-called "HI" ISO settings, beyond the normal range, and is down at most or all EI settings by DMF backs, but it could actually kick-in at much lower EI on modern DSLR's. I suspect that marketing gets in the way: people call this digital shift "fake ISO" and create the impression that amplifying as much as possible in the analog gain is more "real" and therefor better, and this leads to analog gain being pushed beyond its useful limits.

The D800 is halfway there; analog gain ends at ISO 1600.  Now all Nikon engineers have to do is realize (doh!) that there is nothing to be gained by bit-shifting the data and throwing away all that highlight info, and put the ISO setting in metadata.
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emil
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« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2012, 09:57:29 AM »
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Just a side note -- it's not the 'unity gain' which determines when pushing lower ISO competes with 'normal' exposure at higher ISO; rather it's when read noise in electrons stops decreasing.  'Unity gain' is a bogus characteristic; for instance it dropped by a factor of four when Canon went from 12 to 14 bit encoding, while the ISO beyond which it made no sense to go stayed at 1600 -- and that was because it was at that point that read noise leveled off, stopped decreasing with increase of ISO.

Hi Emil,

I know that "unity gain" is not the whole story, because the amplifier noise and other design characteristics also have their influence on total noise. However, as far as I can determine from the 5D3 Raw files on Imaging Resource, the unity gain level (where 1 electron changes the DN or ADU by 1) is approx. at ISO 800. This means that multiplying the signal by 2, 4, 8, etc, will not add real (un-combed) signal levels, but signal levels from (read- and other) noise at the intermediate new levels. Some of those noise sources are related to the actual signal levels, but it makes no sense to interpolate with noise when the interpolating noise exceeds the shot noise level that a real signal level would have produced. It then becomes a matter of postprocessing pushing to keep the noise as low as possible.

That is, unless the new sensor design kicks in at elevated ISO settings and does a significantly better job of keeping the noise down, QED.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 10:05:08 AM by BartvanderWolf » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2012, 10:04:53 AM »
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In terms of the results, I’m wondering how this pans out with the new camera compared to the 5DMII in terms of what Eric Chan at Adobe had said:

Quote
When shooting raw, there is no reason to shoot at above ISO 3200 on the 5D II because the noise levels will be the same (possibly worse) compared to if you shot the image at ISO 3200 and just boosted the Exposure slider in Camera Raw.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2012, 10:45:45 AM »
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In terms of the results, I’m wondering how this pans out with the new camera compared to the 5DMII in terms of what Eric Chan at Adobe had said:

Andrew, if you want to send me a 5D mark II to directly compare it to, I'll be happy to check that out  Grin
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
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