Open question to DPR- Scene Comparison Tool and high ISO samples

Started Feb 23, 2013 | Questions thread
bob5050
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Re: Open question to DPR- Scene Comparison Tool and high ISO samples
In reply to cptobvious, Mar 2, 2013

cptobvious wrote:

They all go down to at least f/5.6 though. Max aperture doesn't matter as long as the tested aperture is consistent across cameras. It would be better to have all tested cameras stopped down anyway, to minimize the lens' influence on a strictly sensor-related test.

I suppose that's the issue for me: why does sensor sensitivity matter? If it's a component of the camera's low-light capability, then fixing on an aperature of anything other than lowest available makes no sense at all. If I were tryng to photograph a scene (say a sleeping child lit by a nightlight), then the last thing in the world I'm going to do is stop down my lens. I'm going to use every bit of light the camera can capture.

If the point is to measure high-ISO induced noise for its own sake, howevr, then using a common aperature might make sense, but you might as well compare cameras on width or the exact weight of the camera body. Those don't really reflect camera capability either, and they're easy to measure and verify.

I agree that the lighting should be controlled. I disagree that aperture should be varied because what is the point of comparing noise at particular ISOs if the exposures are different?

I'd argue that there's no point in comparing identical ISOs if, given the same scene, different cameras wouldn't actually need to use those ISOs. A high ISO setting is an attempt to compensate for light starvation. But to go back to my example, if one camera can go to f/1.8 and another only to f/4.3, then the latter is going to be light starved much sooner. Whether they both have equal performance at 3200 doesn't matter when, given the same scene, the one with the faster lens isn't ever going to need to BE at the same ISO.

but to the gearheads that base cameras purchasing decisions in part on sensor performance,

But do you really? Or is it for low-light performance? Personally, I never take a picture and prize if for the EXIF information. Ultimately it's the picture that matters, not the ISO that the camera had to go to to get it.

The only way to 'reveal' a cheating camera

I'd argue that the only reason for a camera maker to cheat on ISO ratings is that people make a fetish of it. Imagine a poorly lit side alter in a Spanish Gothic cathedral. Can the camera get the shot? The only way to cheat a legitimate low-light test is make a better camera.

bob

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