Real/Practical high ISO difference between 5D MKII and MKIII?

Started Jun 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
Teila Day
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,239
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Re: there can be
In reply to bronxbombers, Jun 10, 2012

I agree that there is a difference. I also agree with you that generally speaking people will realize less than a full stop of useable difference in typical use, hence why the OP used a very, very important word... "Practical" (difference).

Various backgrounds, etc., can make or break a high iso photo as has been said, however the practical difference between the newest generation of cameras and the last generation (D700, D3s, 5D2, etc...) isn't alone worth upgrading over in my mind.

When 6400 iso looks like 1600 iso on the 5d2 (at the absolute worst) without software intervention, that will be a difference that I can really appreciate. The 5D3 (a camera that I think is excellent) Just doesn't offer enough over the 5d2 (other than AF) that warrants upgrading in my opinion. I do think the 5d3 is however a great by for those that don't have a 5d2, or those that need additional 20-something megapix bodies.

Right now I see 2/3 of a stop difference at 6400 iso and higher, merely a technical difference as opposed to a real-world benefit.

I reiterate- I give the 5d3 two thumbs up.

bronxbombers wrote:
5D3 and D4 and D800 are about 2/3rds of stop better SNR than the 5D2

moreover they all have a lot less banding in the darkest parts of high iso images so even if you don't care much about a bit of a difference in random noise sometimes the lack of banding mess can be a deal breaking difference, if the scene doesn't have too much in the depths that won't matter, but a scene where much of it is near 0 level and the difference can be very noticeable since banding and junk like that just leaps out at the eye like a sore thumb

Teila Day wrote:

I'll cut to the chase. There is no practical difference between the high iso performance of the Nikon D4, Nikon D3s, Nikon D800, Canon 5d2, or Canon 5D3... and unless Canon pulls a rabbit out of their rear-end in order to make the 1Dx something "great" as opposed to merely a camera "nice-to-have", the high iso performance it will give isn't likely to be that much better than the aforementioned either, even though I hope Canon throws everyone a curve ball on that note... However I'm not holding my breath.

The bottom line is that once you get up to 3200 iso, basically you're entering the zone where stuff starts falling apart and getting gritty. Depending on who you are, depends on how much grit and noise you can stand, but generally speaking 3200 iso and upward are used with a bit of care (being cognizant that different backgrounds can make or totally break a high iso photograph).

Once you get into the 6400 iso range, it's basically a crud shot going north of 6400 iso in most/many cases, and for most paid work not an option (excluding sports, journalism, etc..) a which you're at the point where all the cameras look crummy unless you're converting to black & white/grey scale, even though some report great color shots at 50,000+ iso... good for them!

I think the new 5D3 is a wonderful and competent body, but a reason to pick it over the 5d2 (or any other premium camera from the last generation) is not the high iso performance... practically speaking...

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