Stupid High ISO Values

PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,433Member
edited February 28 in General Discussions
Once again I read a review of a new camera with great high ISO. Stick it in front of a well illuminated target and wind up the ISO..oh look a great picture at 25600 ISO or whatever.Now that might be usefull if you photograph birds and need to wind up the ISO in daylight to raise the shutter speed but is it a helpfull test ?
What I do is go into a 13th century church lit with 5 watt low engergy bulbs and small windows with dense stained glass.
No flash just enough light to read a bible with the aid of the lectern light and I take pictures. about iso 6400 is your limit.
So lets see some sensible iso tests where they reduce the light to push the iso up. Black suited people of course to test the noise in the "Shaddows" and a bird all in white for tonal range.
The only usefull figures are DXO to compare cameras.
Anybody agree?
Post edited by Pistnbroke on
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Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,621Moderator
    As a nightscape shooter I've always said high ISO isn't any help. Fact is, it doesn't multiply photons hitting the sensor, it only amplifies the signal coming off it and uses software to reduce the noise. Even the best cameras are only good to 1600 ISO on moonless nights in a dark area. Much lower and you can get colour banding, much higher and you just increase noise.
    Always learning.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 211Member
    Is it possible to achieve higher ISO by reducing camera resolution? So each pixel in the image has more area to collect light, by using several pixels worth of sensor? Today's cameras have enough resolution that it could at least be an option (assuming it works).
  • HankBHankB Posts: 128Member
    mhedges said:

    Is it possible to achieve higher ISO by reducing camera resolution? So each pixel in the image has more area to collect light, by using several pixels worth of sensor? Today's cameras have enough resolution that it could at least be an option (assuming it works).

    That would be averaging adjacent pixels. Isn't that essentially what noise reduction does?

    Though the camera marketing department would conjure up contrived, obfuscating superlatives, wouldn't you really end up with the same final product as with noise reduction?
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 2,895Member
    edited February 28
    Pistnbroke: I agree, although if you shoot jpegs, as I often do in the studio where I have control over the light, to save time the newer Nikon cameras do a great job with higher ISOs. The new Sony A7III also seems to do quite well with high ISOs and shoots with complete silence. See Ken Rockwell's review in the making. I am surprised how good 6,400 and 10,000 ISO looks. Also, I lust after Sony's full coverage focusing points and nearest eye auto focusing ability.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 211Member
    HankB said:



    That would be averaging adjacent pixels. Isn't that essentially what noise reduction does?

    Though the camera marketing department would conjure up contrived, obfuscating superlatives, wouldn't you really end up with the same final product as with noise reduction?

    Yeah it may just be the same as what you get today with NR. I just thought I'd ask.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,699Member
    Clean from ISO 10-12800 would be nice, haven’t found much use beyond that. Even when shooting sports at night I rarely go beyond 6400, simply due to the loss of fine detail and DR at higher ISO.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,433Member
    It was Rockwell report on the Sony that prompted the post ..for me and it seems others it just does not represent the real world
  • Ton14Ton14 Posts: 215Member
    As Pistnbroke wrote, very high ISO's in "dark": situations are useless and I agree. With the D600 (still one of the best 24mp sensors), 6400 ISO is my top, using the 24-70 f/2.8mm, still one of the best lenses in difficult light situations with this lens, it seperates light very well. And 6 stops is not too bad.
    User Ton changed to Ton14, Google sign in did not work anymore
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,621Moderator
    @mhedges: I believe if you compared two equivalent technology sensors, one (say) 12mp and one 36mp at various high ISO's the larger pixel would be better due to the larger number of photons hitting the sensor BUT, with the 36mp sensor, at normal viewing sizes and distances the noise is less apparent on the larger mp sensor.

    @donaldejose: I haven't read krockwells review, but I doubt he is shooting in really low light, perhaps not even so low that he also has to use a longer shutter speed than normal. As you may recall, when I got my D7100 many years ago, I was blown away by how good the noise was at normal sitting room illumination levels throughout its native range.
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 2,895Member
    Ken has one outside shot of a well lit hotel at 10,000 ISO. The others are inside Sony set-ups with monolights. He is still working on his review. Usually he includes a set of images taken of a fireplace in a living room. I don't think flash is used on those photos. Maybe somebody does know. He has not published those shots yet. They are a better indicator of high ISO performance because they are in lower light but I don't know the normal light levels in that living room.
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 353Member
    edited March 7
    Ton14 said:

    As Pistnbroke wrote, very high ISO's in "dark": situations are useless and I agree. With the D600 (still one of the best 24mp sensors), 6400 ISO is my top, using the 24-70 f/2.8mm, still one of the best lenses in difficult light situations with this lens, it seperates light very well. And 6 stops is not too bad.

    I'm not completely sure they are "useless," I guess it depends on the use. I've taken photos at several auto endurance races and some of the most dramatic situations happen at night. At a race back in 2016 I used a D7200 with an older 70-300VR and shot as high as 25,600 but most were taken at 6400 to 12,800. The shots at 25k were quite noisy, but NR made them somewhat useable. The ones at 12.8 cleaned reasonably well in LR. (for pictures of 200mph cars in the middle of the night.) ;)

    6400

    LSLM 2016-134

    12800

    LSLM 2016-236
    Post edited by Capt_Spaulding on
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 284Member
    Love the glowing brakes and blue exhaust flames..

    Very Well shot Capt Spaulding.

    Denver Shooter
  • Ton14Ton14 Posts: 215Member
    edited March 9
    @Capt_Spaulding

    Yes I know, but you made it with ISO 6400, f/8, 1/100, then you can do more in LR. Here is an example for what I mean. ISO 1600, f/1.8, 1/80, lens 50mm f/1.8, it was dark in there.

    I made a print from this photo. No way to use ISO 6400 and higher here, only if you want the photo for yourself. In the dark churches Pistnbroke wrote, you need to make photo's to print a wedding album.

    Further, what DOF do you want, is there movement (dancing) in this sort of (hardly any) light. There are so many factors.

    Nikon forum example
    Post edited by Ton14 on
    User Ton changed to Ton14, Google sign in did not work anymore
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 353Member
    edited March 9
    @Ton14

    Great image. I think I completely agree. I guess that was the point I was trying to make. To label a particular iso setting as "useless" overstates the case. It depends very much on the situation and the intended use(s) of the image(s). I could probably have shot the Toyota P1 car at 3200 but wanted to go at f8 to get as much dof as possible and to balance the higher iso against the lens' better shapness at f8.

    The P2 car was moving substantially faster and in a difficult (for me) lighting situation (backlit by trackside lighting). The lens was wide open and /320 was about as low as I could take the shutter given my equipment, location and speed of the cars. So, it was ramp up the iso or try to pull detail out of the shadows. I ramped up the iso. The image is useable, but clearly could use improvement. I'd love not to have to shoot through the catch fence, but ... I'm still very much a neophyte and would love any critique you have. Thanks
    Post edited by Capt_Spaulding on
  • SamkoSamko Posts: 101Member
    I use a D7100, and I push it as far as it can 6400/Hi1 if I need to. For me its better to have a bad/noisy photo then no photo.

    I have never used a flagship dslr, but if the D5s 6400iso file is not A LOT better then D7100 6400iso, then I dont understand what the price is about. AF and fps and all of that can not be the reason for the price, becouse at the end of the day we look at a singel photo and want the best base for PP.

    After all of that I look back and see all the old film photos in bad light and pushed film to 3200iso, and realise that in reality I should be more than happy for my D7100 and its 6400 file :)
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,591Member
    Samko said:

    I use a D7100, and I push it as far as it can 6400/Hi1 if I need to. For me its better to have a bad/noisy photo then no photo.



    I have never used a flagship dslr, but if the D5s 6400iso file is not A LOT better then D7100 6400iso, then I dont understand what the price is about. AF and fps and all of that can not be the reason for the price, becouse at the end of the day we look at a singel photo and want the best base for PP.



    After all of that I look back and see all the old film photos in bad light and pushed film to 3200iso, and realise that in reality I should be more than happy for my D7100 and its 6400 file :)

    It is a lot better. My D800 whips my wife's D5500 which is basically the same sensor as yours. My D850 whips my D800. And at hi ISO, the D5 is a little better than my D850.

    But ISO is just one aspect of what a D5 is about. If Nikon came out with a D5x with the same sensor as my D850, I would have bought the D5x in a heartbeat.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,621Moderator
    Plus the D7100 is APSC and the D5 Full frame, so you cannot compare.
    Always learning.
  • BVSBVS Posts: 322Member
    Samko said:

    I use a D7100, and I push it as far as it can 6400/Hi1 if I need to. For me its better to have a bad/noisy photo then no photo.



    I have never used a flagship dslr, but if the D5s 6400iso file is not A LOT better then D7100 6400iso, then I dont understand what the price is about. AF and fps and all of that can not be the reason for the price, becouse at the end of the day we look at a singel photo and want the best base for PP.



    After all of that I look back and see all the old film photos in bad light and pushed film to 3200iso, and realise that in reality I should be more than happy for my D7100 and its 6400 file :)

    D7100 vs D5 vs D750 vs D500 @ 12,800:

    https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison?attr18=lowlight&attr13_0=nikon_d5&attr13_1=nikon_d7100&attr13_2=nikon_d750&attr13_3=nikon_d500&attr15_0=raw&attr15_1=raw&attr15_2=raw&attr15_3=raw&attr16_0=12800&attr16_1=12800&attr16_2=12800&attr16_3=12800&normalization=full&widget=1&x=0.11474275832252497&y=-0.9723656407900781
    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,591Member
    BVS said:

    Samko said:

    I use a D7100, and I push it as far as it can 6400/Hi1 if I need to. For me its better to have a bad/noisy photo then no photo.



    I have never used a flagship dslr, but if the D5s 6400iso file is not A LOT better then D7100 6400iso, then I dont understand what the price is about. AF and fps and all of that can not be the reason for the price, becouse at the end of the day we look at a singel photo and want the best base for PP.



    After all of that I look back and see all the old film photos in bad light and pushed film to 3200iso, and realise that in reality I should be more than happy for my D7100 and its 6400 file :)

    D7100 vs D5 vs D750 vs D500 @ 12,800:

    https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison?attr18=lowlight&attr13_0=nikon_d5&attr13_1=nikon_d7100&attr13_2=nikon_d750&attr13_3=nikon_d500&attr15_0=raw&attr15_1=raw&attr15_2=raw&attr15_3=raw&attr16_0=12800&attr16_1=12800&attr16_2=12800&attr16_3=12800&normalization=full&widget=1&x=0.11474275832252497&y=-0.9723656407900781
    Yup, that is a pretty good demo on the differences.
  • SamkoSamko Posts: 101Member
    Ou shit I need a new camera. :sweat_smile:

    Btw, what a great site for comparison
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,591Member
    Samko said:

    Ou shit I need a new camera. :sweat_smile:



    Btw, what a great site for comparison

    Or maybe you just need a new lens. While I am oversimplifying because there is more to a faster lens besides lowering ISO, if you go from 2.8 to 1.4 that will lower the ISO you need by four times.

    Something to think about.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,621Moderator
    That shows what a great camera the D750 is. Interestingly the file sizes for the smaller mP sensors are larger which shows the magic sauce is in the processor and software.

    Great post @BVS.
    Always learning.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,591Member

    That shows what a great camera the D750 is. Interestingly the file sizes for the smaller mP sensors are larger which shows the magic sauce is in the processor and software.

    Great post @BVS.

    I wonder if the raw settings were consistent across all of the tests? Makes me wonder.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,882Member
    edited March 13
    I wish I could take photos at higher ISOs, my D7000 kind of maxes out at ISO 1600. ISO performance increased so much between the D7000 and D7500 it's pretty insane.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
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