Quite grainy @ auto-iso 6400 on d7000 - Indoor sports

KeemoKeemo Posts: 11Member
edited October 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Let me start by saying that I didn't own ANY camera equipment about 6 months ago & i had an equal amount of experience. Now I own a d7000, the kit lens, Nikon 24-70 2.8 & a Sigma 70-200 2.8. Oh yeah, Lightroom 4, a new PC, a new 27" Dell monitor & a couple of books on indoor sports photography that weren't that helpful. I have about 5-6000 shots, so still not a lot of experience. I ramped up the learning curve as quickly as spare time has allowed. I started out by seeking some advice here about camera, lenses, monitor, etc., so thanks for that.

I shoot indoor sports for my kids-gymnastics & volleyball. I don't know what insect bit me, but I've been infected with the disease of pursuing the best results possible. Getting some great stop-action shots, catching the emotion on the faces of the kids & MANY things the camera sees has been awesome! I've fought many battles to get to this point, but I can't seem to get rid of the "grain."

I've been reading about better high-iso performance on the d3s & d4, so I'm wondering if I should go ahead & plan on stepping up. OR, is there some magic camera setup that I missed in my late night reading that I should try. Or should I devote more time to LR4? That program has been a huge challenge for me though, since spare time is at a premium.

Any input is appreciated.


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Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    Their is not question that the latest Nikon FX bodies have better ISO performance in addressing noise..where lighting is not so pleasing. Thus, the performance of the D3s or D4 will blow your mind. However, this all comes at a cost in getting the right body. Thus, proceed with caution if funding is an issue.

    HOWEVER, before we go and get ourselves into adding a new equipment, post a link to some of the images you find not "pleasing" to you so that we can give you some feedback on them. In addition, lets us know about the lighting in the venue you shoot at, your distance to subject, the lens you use most, and if you own a tripod or monopod. In short, we maybe able to assist in the manner you shoot without having to spend funds on new equipment.

    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,199Moderator
    My own experience with the D7000 is that you need a good amount of light to use very hi ISO like 6400. Personally I never use more than 3200 as a last resort and 1600 is my normal top.

    Before you do anything, you do need to learn to use Lightroom but don't just jump in there, spend an evening learning catalogues and file management then go through the work flow to noise reduction, then sharpening. When sharpening. use edge masking and the alt key so you minimise sharpening artifacts in areas of the image that show them worst.

    HTH.
    Always learning.
  • KeemoKeemo Posts: 11Member
    @ Golf007sd - I'm so green that I know of Photobucket, et.al., but just haven't Aiken the time to learn how to use any of them. It's on my list though, so I can share with the other parents that wish I would hurry because they see some of the stop action when I'm reviewing some shots.
    The lighting changes from one gymnasium to the next & I haven't learned enough about white balance yet, so I leave the camera on auto-wb. Distance changes a lot at gymnastics meets, but I get quite close at the volleyball tourneys.
    I guess I use the 24-70 2.8 most & normally zoomed in all the way. During gym meets, that requires a big crop to get a good view of the gymnast. If its too far, I'll change to the sigma. I always use my monopod.

    @ spraynpray - I've spent quite a few hours watching the Adobe instruction videos online by Julianne Kost. I think I'm getting the cataloging down but I'm still weak on the develop mode. Working with this program reminds me of working in the old DOS computer operating system with all off the "top secret" key strokes. Lol.

    I guess typing my all this out has helped clarify my problem like going to a psychologist. I've catalogued so many shots with too little time to spend in LR developing, especially since i haven't become very accomplished. I guess I'm hoping that IF/when I would be able to upgrade my camera, would doing so allow me to spend LESS time in LR develop mode? From the sound of things, it would, but in the interim, if I spent more time in LR, I could get a reasonable amount of improvement in the final printed picture. Are these reasonable assumptions?

    Signed,

    Old dog trying to learn a lot of new tricks!
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    I use my D7000 at 6400 quite frequently. There is no way to eliminate the grain but there are ways to reduce it. Spraynpray has some great advice which is to learn lightroom... The Shaperning and Luminance controls are great for working with grain. Make sure to shoot raw and turn active D lighting off. Also keep your NR in camera at low or medium.
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    There is a little trick I use very frequently on my D800, not sure how well it'll work on a 7k, almost assuredly not as well, but worth a shot. When I'm doing anything action, of course I set my aperture as wide as it will go, I let the camera pick a shutter speed, and tell it to under expose by 1-1.5 stops, or if the lighting is complete &$%#, 2 stops under exposed, and set my ISO to auto between 100 and as high as I feel comfortable. The reason for under exposing is that I've found that my shadow recovery on my 800 is really quite astounding. I can very easily bring back detail into ridiculously under exposed shadow areas. This 99 times out of 100 nets me better results than trying to eliminate noise in an image, and allows me a faster shutter speed to freeze action.
    Again, not sure about the shadow recover of the 7k, but I'd be surprised if you couldnt under expose by at least .7 or a full stop and recover in post.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    Mine (D7000) is almost permanently set at -0.7. Auto ISO set to a max of 3200. Of course I override these often but that is my base setup. (but i don't shoot sports so .. )
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    There is a little trick I use very frequently on my D800, not sure how well it'll work on a 7k, almost assuredly not as well, but worth a shot. When I'm doing anything action, of course I set my aperture as wide as it will go, I let the camera pick a shutter speed, and tell it to under expose by 1-1.5 stops, or if the lighting is complete &$%#, 2 stops under exposed, and set my ISO to auto between 100 and as high as I feel comfortable. The reason for under exposing is that I've found that my shadow recovery on my 800 is really quite astounding. I can very easily bring back detail into ridiculously under exposed shadow areas. This 99 times out of 100 nets me better results than trying to eliminate noise in an image, and allows me a faster shutter speed to freeze action.
    Again, not sure about the shadow recover of the 7k, but I'd be surprised if you couldnt under expose by at least .7 or a full stop and recover in post.
    I do the exact same thing! Now that is funny. I have found that doing that, the auto ISO naturally picks a lower ISO than lowering the shutter. It works the same with A or S. I have experienced similar results with the same settings in M as well, but haven't used it that extensively. I don't like going much below -1.5 though, I find I lose a bit more color than I would like. I found the D300 acted in the same way - but I only would go -1 comp at most and generally kept it at -0.5.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I've been reading about better high-iso performance on the d3s & d4, so I'm wondering if I should go ahead & plan on stepping up. OR, is there some magic camera setup that I missed in my late night reading that I should try. Or should I devote more time to LR4? That program has been a huge challenge for me though, since spare time is at a premium.
    ISO 6400 was not possible just a few years ago so the expectation that is should be "clean" is really unreasonable. Most beginners have an incorrect correlation that just because the camera has the setting, it should be clean or that images should be great at high isos. Photography just doesn't work that way. If you are pixel peeping, you should expect "clean" at iso 400 and below. By clean I mean that Hair (eyelashes, top hair) should be nice, sharp and crisp. Up to iso 800/1000ish you should expect to see strands of hair but are not "crisp." At 1600 you should expect to be able to see texture in a clump that is easy to know it is hair but difficult to pick out single hairs in a group. Above ISO 2000 most detail is only color changes between clumps. Zooming all the way in, it looks like an abstract collage by a 5yr old. That is basically the same from any camera even the D800 in general. The better/newer the camera, the larger the sensor, the more detail you will see. If you are willing to spend $6,000 for a D4, then yes the images will be significantly better.

    Let's be clear, no camera is perfectly clean above ISO 800, not even a D4 (although it is a lot better than any other nikon out there.) Most sport shots were taken with a D3 and even DX camera's that couldn't come close to the extreme isos like 6400. Not too often do I see spectacular shots over ISO 800. What you need is more light (i.e. flash) if you can. Even popping a single strobe from 100ft will lower the iso 1-2 stops and if you use what aquarian_light and I do that will get you another ISO stop. That will get you in that 800ish range. Also use spot metering and most times that will get you another ISO. Sports of any kind are just not forgiving at all to shoot. If I can, I use an 85mm f1.8 to get the lowest ISO with a high shutter speed (1/100+) that I can.

    My guess you are pixel peeping way too much. What you need to consider is at what size you will print them at. If you are not cropping at all, you will be stretched to see a difference between iso 100 to iso 800 on a 8x10. On 4x6 prints even iso 3200 looks good. IF you are zooming to 100% on your screen, that would be the equivalent of a 16"x24" poster print you are looking at from 12 inches away.

    Example shots would help to see what you could change more.


    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,199Moderator
    It is so wierd that D800 users are learning to expose to the left whereas the usual way (which works well with my D7k) is exposing to the right.

    @keemo: if you shoot a bracketed set of three at normal and +/- 1-2 stops then brighten the darker shot using the exposure slider in the develop module and darken the lighter image in the same way so all three look normal then zoom in and check out the noise - you will see the darkened image is waaay less noisy than the lightened one.
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    @spraynpray I think you have mentioned this before .. but I find that "darkening" does not recover blown highlights at all. while "lightening" does recover details from the dark areas.. When I was shooting with my S5pro that was of course different. That kit was incredible at getting details back from highlights. Nikon sensors .. not so much..
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,199Moderator
    @heartfisher: If any area of the image is pitch black or blown-out white, there is no data so of course you will not get anything from either end of any image that has those - even a D800 image. ETTR does not mean blown out highlights, it means that the histogram is placed to the right on the axis without hitting the end. If the histogram hits the ends, you got the exposure wrong (unless you are doing an HDR set). Where you have a fairly narrow curve rather than one which is very broad and naturally takes up most of the axis, moving the curve up in camera then down in PP is what I'm talking about.
    Always learning.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,117Member
    Yes, that would be normal for the D7000. You'd be surprised how far cameras have gone- go back 3 generations of cameras to 2008 and check out a D40 at ISO 1600 or the H1 option.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,199Moderator
    I don't disagree with you @NSXTypeR. @Aquarian_light offered advice based on what works for a D800 and @heartyfisher jumped in and said he routinely under exposes his D7K so I offered my experience with my D7K as the opposite of what I hear a lot about D800's and heartyfishers D7K. In fact, I started a thread about getting the best from it at high ISO here on NR in which I learned that the way to get the best from high ISO on that camera is to use it in conditions that you don't need it in! Kind of counter intuitive, but D7K high ISO works really well if there is plenty of light around but not in low light conditions. :D
    Always learning.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    @spraynpray - I think you have misunderstood what we were talking about. We were not talking about 'Proper" exposure at all (at least I wasn't). For proper/prefered exposure in normal settings, I have my compensation always beginning at +0.3-0.5.

    What I have found is that in very difficult shooting environments, the trade off of ISO vs. exposure vs. detail, I found that the IQ (better detail retention) was better when I underexposed and pulled the exposure back, than shooting at a ISO 2-stops higher - especially when at 3200+. Can doing that can be a little dangerous though - will will have a bunch of "lost" frames that are way too dark to do anything with.

    One thing is for sure, the D800 retains more shadow detail than any system I have ever used. That is of course is in RAW and Low ISOs. Above 1000, shadow detail is not retained as well.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    I don't quite know what it is, but the 800's shadow detail retention is... staggering.The thing can see in the dark I swear.
    Anyway, yes Tao is right. We're simply discussing the trade offs of dropping exposure vs rocketing ISO. and in most cases if not all cases, bringing back shadow detail is absolutely preferable than losing detail across the entire image due to High ISO noise.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,199Moderator
    Sorry guys, but I understand the words that are written above, but if what you actually meant is something different, then I didn't understand that!

    keemo's original post is a question about noisy shots from a D7K @ up to ISO 6400 and a few posts up aquarian_light told us how he under-exposes his D800 by 1-1.5 stops, then heartyfisher said he 'almost permanently has his D7K set -0.7', followed by you claiming best results too @ 1-1.5 stops under on your D800. Whats to misunderstand? Aside from the fact that what works with a D800 looks like it will crucify the results from a D7K (difficult to get past), I am saying that my D7K HATES to be under exposed in poor light then bought up in post. In fact, I do the exact opposite - a stop or so over then bringing back in post. That process (over exposing) fights against what keemo needs though (fast shutter speeds to stop action).

    @keemo: I think you are indeed 'mismatched' to the D7K for low light action photography and like you said, the D3s or D4 is the right fit for your usage. I do suggest you try the bracketed set I suggested above and then you can evaluate for yourself how the 1 stop over shot gives better results after bringing down in post than the 1 stop under will after pulling it up. I realise you need the faster shutter speed to stop the action and it is that conundrum that makes me agree with you that you need a body with much better high ISO performance. All this talk of D800's is distracting and irrelevant as they are not sports cameras because the frame rate is way too slow.
    Always learning.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    edited October 2013
    I thought what you meant was exposing to "save" detail - that's wasn't what I was describing, just saving the whole image. :) What I do in those situations is to try to get the fastest Shutter with the lowest ISO. In those horrible situations one expects to loose out on "something" I just found that provided the best results for my liking. As a note, I could also do the same with my D300 but by only 1 stop, and certainly not at the higher ISOs.

    Maybe the OP will return with some examples.
    Post edited by TaoTeJared on
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 469Member
    edited October 2013
    So are those of you suggesting underexposing by 1-2 stops & pushing/lighting dark areas post process saying it gives better results than shooting at correct exposure at a higher ISO ?

    Never tried it but doesn't it just defy what we know about how ISO works ? How can shooting (let's say ) at ISO 1600 and pushing 2 stops in PC give better results than shooting at ISO 6400 ? What is the point then talking about high ISO performance of a camera if you can simply better it by underexposing and pushing at post process ?

    This is in a way saying you are doing a better job yourself in PC than what Nikon can acquire with its sensor ( in a way naturally ) at the time of shooting. As I said, never tried it but it just doesn't seem right to me :-/ :-/
    Post edited by Paperman on
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    edited October 2013
    I dont know about 1-2 stops.. maybe it works but i dont know .. what I believe to be the case (and to my eyes and testing) is that the way the magnitude of light is stored in the RAW (and Jpg) is not linear ie the brighter the area the less number of bit are stored for any level of difference in tone. Thus you can recover more from the darker areas than from the lighter areas. Of course perfect exposure is best but some of the lower end cameras like the D7000 and below tend to expose brighter for more "punchy" images (probably more to the taste of the less experienced photographers). I expose at -0.7 because I feel that that gives me the most latitude in the RAW.

    How this relates to the extreme high ISO end I am not very clear. Maybe over exposing a bit and pulling it back works better there.. but I have not tried it at high ISO. I don't like shooting at high ISO anyway, and if I have to shoot at high ISO I don't complain about the grain, its the compromise I made to get the shot. Still I can see that if you do shoot at high ISO all the time you may want to optimize your results.. ( I would get a D4 !! lol ) Still it would be interesting to work out the best option at the highest ISOs.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited October 2013
    ...When I'm doing anything action, of course I set my aperture as wide as it will go, I let the camera pick a shutter speed, and tell it to under expose by 1-1.5 stops, or if the lighting is complete &$%#, 2 stops under exposed, and set my ISO to auto between 100 and as high as I feel comfortable.
    @aquarian_light & TaoTeJared: Very interesting procedure...will have to give this a try.

    Question: 1) When you do this are you in Shutter Aperture priority? 2) When you set ISO to auto, what is the limit you would consider the max in order to get the best results by the procedure proposed?
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    edited October 2013
    @Paperman and @heartyfisher the purpose of under exposing if you'll read my earlier posts is that the High ISO is a SIGNIFICANTLY worse way to degrade the image quickly than is to under expose. And by setting the exposure compensation DOWN a stop or two this allows the camera to work at a LOWER ISO that inturn provides a better image. It's not saying that the computer in post can do a better job than the sensor itself, it's simply a work around for the known limits of the sensor. A cheat if you will, to get better images from the camera than if you were to leave it in full auto alone. Say we're in a dim situation, 70-200 2.8 at 100mm and f2.8, ISO 3200, Shutter Speed at 1/100th. Your image is going to be pretty grainy and depending on your camera maybe unusable. Say we raise that shutter speed to 1/200th and lower the ISO to 1600. One stop each way, a net loss of 2 stops of light. This will obviously leave us with a darker image no doubt, BUT the key here is that we AVOID the high ISO grain. A shadow area can be brought back up, detail and color depth lost due to high ISO can not be put back in.

    @Golf007sd
    1) Aperture priority.
    2)Depends on the camera. With my D800 I feel safe shooting events all the way up to 6400. Those prints never get printed bigger than 8x10 or 9x12 so detail isn't all that important. Otherwise just out and about I set it to limit at 1600 cause I never know when I'm gonna want to print a 20"x30" lol You'll have to test out your camera's limits to see what you're comfortable with.
    Post edited by aquarian_light on
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @aquarian_light: Thank you...I wanted to say Aperture vs. Shutter priority. 8-} 8-} 8-}

    Some sample images with this method would be nice to add to have for users to compare them with. One with and one without. A little PP technical detail would be welcomed as well. And if your are bold enough: How about making a video showing this in action.

    Cheers...
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    +1 what Aquarian_Light said - my thoughts exactly.

    @Paperman - Make sure not to over generalize what we are describing. In general, I would prefer and yes, the image is generally better at a higher iso, but for the times when you need to stop motion (human participants) I find I have to have 1/250th (give or take a bit) to freeze the motion. Also, cropping is almost mandatory, and noise artifacts/noise reduction overriding details can be an issue. On the D800, I can shoot up to ISO 800 and not see any major difference to be concerned with. 800-2000 is ok. At about ISO 2500 the NR starts to really kick in and details are lost. I find a pulled image from 1600 looks better than 3200 and depending on the situation I can pull a ISO 800 image a couple of stops. It is all situation dependent and for me, it all depends on the amount of expected detail (which includes "post crop") is needed. The only time I consider it is when a correct exposure is something like @f/4, 1/100th, ISO 6400. It is not a great way to do it and you will loose some shots, but a good little trick opposed to blotchy shots.

    Overall if I can keep images at iso 800 or below (lighting a bit dependent) I can pull damn near anything into usable shots - especially if B&W work. Where stuff gets tricky is if there are a lot of dark colors, and bright specular highlights and heavy contrast in the scene. Then not much works at all.

    @Golf007sd
    I shoot mostly Aperture Priority. Something about auto ISO and "A" works better/different for auto iso. (usually my min shutter is 1/100th)

    What I have done for Shutter Priority is to set the auto ISO to 1600, shutter to 1/80th and the shutter speed to 1/250th at -0.5 comp. That is my base point and it will push it dark quickly.

    D800 - I let mine go to 3200 and sometimes to 4000 max.
    I really don't like shooting above iso 800 if I can help it. It's not so much the noise as the loss in detail.
    Take into consideration though that I just shot a baptism in a hellatious lighting in a church and I was at 3200 with a flash, without any concern. It all depends on the situation.

    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,327Member
    I understand your situation: been there, done that. My D7000 wasn't satisfactory either. Here is what worked for me and will give you acceptable results. You f2.8 lenses are fine. But you do need a new camera body. Both the D600 and the D800 worked for me and I am sure the new D610 will work equally well. You can get a D600 at a great discount now but you better study up on how to clean the sensor: it isn't hard, there have been plenty of discussions about it on NR. Once you have the new body (D600, D610, D800) set it to auto ISO (check owner's manual if you don't know how) to the range of from 1,600 to 6,400. The camera will use the ISO is needs. You want to stay around (or even below) ISO 3200 as much as possible but that all depends upon the light available. Shoot at either A or S. If shooting on A set your f-stop to f2.8 and the camera will select the needed shutter speed and ISO. If shooting on S set your shutter speed to 1/250 of a second and the camera will select the needed f-stop and ISO. Review you images and see what f-stop, shutter speed and ISO you find have the best image quality to your eye. Then fine tune your settings. Maybe you like f4 or f3.5 better than f2.8 for added depth of field or clarity. Maybe you need a minimum shutter speed of 1/500th of a second to stop action. Maybe you need to keep the ISO from going no higher than 3.200 for acceptable image quality. Try also working with your Picture Controls settings to see what you like. Vivid will make the colors of the uniforms "pop" but the skin tones may get too red. If so, try Landscape which lets colors pop but keeps the red down. You will just have to fiddle with all those adjustments to find what works best for you. BUT there is on thing that you definitely will need which is a new body. You will have to spend between $1,600 and $3,000 to get one of the three mentioned above which will work. There is no getting around it. If you have the money you can get a D4 which will be better than the three I mentioned but will cost about $6,000. The D3s is still fine but now one generation old.
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 469Member
    I just did an internet search about this subject and there seems to be quite some discussion on it. Where as many like me believe correct exposure ( at higher ISO ) gives better signal to noise ratio, there are many who favor underexposing and then correcting in post process.

    @TTJ
    " In general, I would prefer and yes, the image is generally better at a higher iso, but for the times when you need to stop motion (human participants) I find I have to have 1/250th (give or take a bit) to freeze the motion. - "

    That is a different story - underexposing for freezing motion; it serves a different purpose which no one can object to.. My argument was if better IQ due less noise is obtained by underexposing/pushing or not.

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