What is this fascination with iso6400?

Started Feb 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
mosswings
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Re: You don't shoot events - and you don't travel
In reply to panos_m, Feb 11, 2013

panos_m wrote:

Adventsam wrote:

rhlpetrus wrote:

If you did you'd know why there's no such a thing as too much high ISO.

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Renato. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhlpedrosa/ OnExposure member http://www.onexposure.net/ Good shooting and good luck (after Ed Murrow)

85mm f1.4/1.8's, 200mm f2.8's, what event are you shooting that is so dark!

Even with constant f/2.8 camera meter desperately asks for 3200 and beyond because you have to use a high enough shutter speed to freeze motion. So I will second that: there's no such a thing as too much high ISO :).

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Panagiotis

Travel photographers like myself must travel quite light but also need equipment that can handle the opportunistic shot and whatever lighting conditions exist for the brief and singular moments that we encounter on our travels.  We often have just the one chance, and nothing better than f4 with which to work the light. We don't use ISO 6400 necessarily, but the fact that ISO6400 is of acceptable quality translates into higher quality at the ISOs we do use, and it means that we can use smaller lenses, smaller sensors, and therefore smaller equipment that makes carrying and pursuing our craft more convenient and discreet. Part of the reason that the OMD EM5 is so dang exciting is because it's using the same technology that got all of the DX crowd excited at ISO 100; travel photogs can now carry a u4/3 system that equals a D90 up to about ISO 800, a very useable ISO range. For the substantial fraction of travel photogs like myself who won't give up the responsiveness of their SLRs, great ISO6400 means superb ISO1600 and shutterspeeds adequate for us to shoot handheld in sketchy lighting conditions without massive lenses. That means, by the way, 1/250-1/400, not 1/60-1/30.

To be specific - since EXMOR, ISO100 is a common base ISO.  That's great for landscapes on tripods, but of little advantage when shooting handheld with travel appropriate lenses - ISO400 is far more common in typical lighting conditions, and f4 lenses often push me to want to use ISO1600 to get shutterspeeds up into the 1/400 range.  I won't do that with my D90...but I'd be quite willing to with a D5200.  The result of nosebleed ISOs is better quality shots under a wider range of conditions.

Couple that with higher sensor resolution that permits lower noise and greater acuity for the 2-4MP prints that we typically view on paper or on-screen, and we travel photographers get very happy.

I will third Renato's position: there's no such thing as too much high ISO - as long as it's great high ISO.

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