LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME

Started Sep 6, 2010 | Discussions
MrClick
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LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME
Sep 6, 2010

Let's play this game. Those who know the answer for sure should not play!

Those who do not know the actual answer can play by guessing at what ISO each of the five images below were shot.

Each of the images has been numbered at the top left corner.

LET'S PLAY! ANSWER WILL BE REVEALED SHORTLY!!

......
Click

ijustloveshooting
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME
In reply to MrClick, Sep 6, 2010

iso80-100

iso 400

iso 800

iso 1600

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ijustloveshooting
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME
In reply to ijustloveshooting, Sep 6, 2010

and 3200

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DigiDan
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME
In reply to MrClick, Sep 6, 2010

1)200iso 2)400iso 3)800iso 4)1600iso 5)3200iso
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MrClick
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME
In reply to DigiDan, Sep 7, 2010

Heh heh!

Here's a hint for others who may wish to play before the answer is revealed. Both of the above guesses were not even close!!

Another hint: These images are from the LX5 guys! Not the LX3!! Not the EX1!! Nor some other camera!!

......
Click

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terryoregon
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Re: Thought These Looked Familiar
In reply to MrClick, Sep 7, 2010

OK, now I remember where I saw these on Sept 6th (hint).

Well yes, the true answer is interesting.

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peter42y
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Re: Thought These Looked Familiar
In reply to terryoregon, Sep 7, 2010

iso80-100 number 1

iso 400 number 3

iso 800 number 2

iso 1600 number 4

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Detail Man
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME
In reply to MrClick, Sep 7, 2010

MrClick wrote:

Let's play this game. Those who know the answer for sure should not play!

Not intending to "spoil the game" (which I do not fully understand the nature of), but:

could the interesting "twist" be that the resultant image Signal/Noise Ratio degrades (in some manner) in inverse relation to changes in the ISO Sensitivity factor, while the resultant image Signal/Noise Ratio improves (in some manner) in direct proportion to the Shutter-Time (or, correspondingly, improves in some manner in inverse proportion to the Shutter-Speed)? ...

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MrClick
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to Detail Man, Sep 7, 2010

HERE'S THE ANSWER:

I had downloaded the original full sized JPEG images from a popular review web site because I was extremely impressed with the high ISO capabilities of the LX5 as compared to the LX3 which I currently own.

I did notice a slight loss of color saturation as the ISO ladder climbed. But whereas other cameras of yester-years had much higher saturation loss, the loss with the LX5 was just fractional.

So I thought... what if I simply add the saturation back in PP? Maybe also tweak the contrast by increasing it a wee bit to hide the noise a bit better in the higher ISO pics?

That's what I did. It took me a second to add a bit of saturation back with one mouse-click. I increased the contrast a wee bit on the higher ISO pics too with another mouse-click.

Here are results with a super-fast very basic two-second PP workflow of saturation + contrast tweaking... nothing else. Judge for yourself!

  • LX5 Image No. 1 = ISO 125 (captured with maximum resolution)

  • LX5 Image No. 2 = ISO 1600 (captured with maximum resolution)

  • LX5 Image No. 3 = ISO 6400 (camera bins output at 3 megapixels)

  • LX5 Image No. 4 = ISO 3200 (captured with maximum resolution)

  • LX5 Image No. 5 = ISO 12800 (camera bins output at 3 megapixels)

@ DM: Hope the above pics speak for themselves and answer your queries!!!

......
Click

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MrClick
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to MrClick, Sep 7, 2010

The above pics prove that the LX5 does a great job of binning down its ISO 6400 output to 3 megapixels. It manages to even make it look nearly as good as its own ISO 3200 output at maximum resolution... which is what all good binning algorithm should achieve.

This is why I ignore the generic reviews of a lot of web sites nowadays. They are dish out the usual mix with the usual amateurish observations. Most of them claim the LX5 output cannot be used above ISO 1600. Nonsense! I could easily use the ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 output whenever I wanted.

Heck... the ISO 12800 output is also usable if one is interested in tweaking it to one's satisfaction. Thankfully Panasonic provided us the option of ISO 12800 for those who wish to use it once it a while.

I'm sure I can easily make the ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 output look even better if I spent a few additional seconds processing them with decent PP software.

The purpose of this thread is to showcase whether the LX5 high ISO output can be processed easily by everyone with the freeware which is easily available OR already on their PC by default. No need to learn Photoshop, Lightroom and similar software!

If Panasonic is smart, they should incorporate such basic post-processing ability in the next upgrade i.e. LX6. Imagine how easy it would be to individually tweak saturation, brightness and contrast in-camera for each capture after the shot has been taken... to user satisfaction.

......
Click

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ijustloveshooting
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to MrClick, Sep 7, 2010

nu 3 looks quite awesome for an iso6400 shot.

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Detail Man
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to MrClick, Sep 7, 2010

MrClick wrote:

The above pics prove that the LX5 does a great job of binning down its ISO 6400 output to 3 megapixels. It manages to even make it look nearly as good as its own ISO 3200 output at maximum resolution... which is what all good binning algorithm should achieve.

Interesting, indeed!

The purpose of this thread is to showcase whether the LX5 high ISO output can be processed easily by everyone with the freeware which is easily available OR already on their PC by default. No need to learn Photoshop, Lightroom and similar software!

If Panasonic is smart, they should incorporate such basic post-processing ability in the next upgrade i.e. LX6. Imagine how easy it would be to individually tweak saturation, brightness and contrast in-camera for each capture after the shot has been taken... to user satisfaction.

But ... would you really want to dink-around with a small, limited resolution, over-saturated LCD display screen as a viewer to base post-processing decisions on? I don't think that I would want to do that (for the stated reasons).

Additionally, dinking-round with the camera buttons to accomplish all that does not sound very "appetizing", either (to me) ...

The (in-camera) processing functionality that I dream of would be to (in later generations of LSI Chip-sets) have a camera that would be able to include the ("raw"-data-level) Deconvolution-Deblurring that DxO performs (I believe) prior to any de-mosaicing of the "raw" data ...

... The "acuity-enhancement" that such would provide would "blow-away" what any existing crude little in-camera Sharpening algorithm can do - and would occur prior to any Noise Reduction. Thus, the phenomena of post-NR Sharpening amplifying the ugly artifacts produced by NR would disappear!

The net results (especially for tiny lens-systems like on the LX3 and LX5 with a lot of lens-blur in addition to barrel-distortion) could be astoundingly positive! ...

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trevmar
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to Detail Man, Sep 7, 2010

Interestingly, the binning fails to add resolution at very low light levels (around 3 lux). There are huge chunks of chroma noise which the LX5 CCD produces at these low light levels which are pretty constant from ISO1600 - ISO 12800 (using a 2.5M 3x2 format image).

Below is an ISO 4000 image at 3-5 lux.

If I select RAW+JPG the image size switches back to 10M. Has anybody any idea how to shoot high ISO RAW?

If somebody could suggest how to get clean ISO 12800 images at circa. 3 Lux I will be eternally grateful
.

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trevmar
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to trevmar, Sep 7, 2010

Sorry I missed this from my previous post - here is the ISO12800 version of the same scene:
.

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Detail Man
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to trevmar, Sep 7, 2010

trevmar wrote:

Interestingly, the binning fails to add resolution at very low light levels (around 3 lux).

"Pixel-binning" is a technique that intentionally reduces resolution (of image-details, of "spatial-frequencies") in the hopes of increasing Signal/Noise Ratio.

There are huge chunks of chroma noise which the LX5 CCD produces at these low light levels which are pretty constant from ISO1600 - ISO 12800 (using a 2.5M 3x2 format image).

As there is (vrtually) no "Signal" to speak of, the paltry ratio of that Signal to the image-sensor Noise cannot reasonably be expected to be "saved" by "pixel-binning".

If somebody could suggest how to get clean ISO 12800 images at circa. 3 Lux I will be eternally grateful

Buy a much more serious (and very likely much more expensive) camera ...

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trevmar
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to Detail Man, Sep 7, 2010

Detail Man wrote:

Buy a much more serious (and very likely much more expensive) camera ...

Cheaper to switch the lights on, I think

Thanks for your input
.

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Jeff Charles
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to trevmar, Sep 7, 2010

trevmar wrote:

...

If somebody could suggest how to get clean ISO 12800 images at circa. 3 Lux I will be eternally grateful

I don't think you're going to do it with the LX5

Also, you applied -0.66 exposure compensation to both of the pictures that you posted. That is the opposite of what's needed to produce a lower noise image at high ISO. Best practice is to increase exposure just short of the point that significant highlights are lost. More light on the sensor increases the signal to noise ratio.

I was able to add two stops of exposure to your ISO 12800 photo without losing any highlights that mattered.
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trevmar
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to trevmar, Sep 7, 2010

Interestingly, when using video mode along with a slow shutter, the LX5 can shoot the scene reasonably well (albeit at 1280x720).

Using 'Creative Video" mode in full Manual, with 1/8 second shutter, and ISO3200max, below is a single frame from the AVCHD video stream (noise reduction is at -2, contrast at -1):

Panasonic claim a 1 Lux sensitivity at this 8fps HD video, and that spec seems to be met by my LX5...

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MrClick
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to trevmar, Sep 7, 2010

trevmar,

your ISO 4000 and ISO 12800 images are actually quite impressive in themselves when you notice that the level of ambient light in the environment is quite low.

And then when I see the brilliant quality of your ISO 3200 image which is, believe it or not, actually a single frame grab from the AVCHD video stream... I could not help keeping my mouth open in awe for a moment... because this is a small sensor camera we are talking about... and that too a single frame grabbed from video... again that too in such low light!

Awesome! Extremely impressive! A really useful feature in itself with the LX5... ironically, which is once again not very heavily touted by Panasonic's marketing team!

My LX3 was reasonably good at grabbing similar video frames in decent light, but your sample clearly shows how the LX5 thrashes my LX3 big time when it comes to this single video frame feature.

Am personally looking forward to a few more video frame grabs from your LX5 - both in decent light and low light. Many thanks for posting these here.

I have another related question for you. How is the focus hunting when you zoom in and out during video in both decent light and low light? Would really appreciate hearing your comments about this.

......
Click

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trevmar
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Re: LX5 - ISO Comparison GAME - ANSWER REVEALED
In reply to MrClick, Sep 7, 2010

MrClick wrote:

your ISO 4000 and ISO 12800 images are actually quite impressive in themselves when you notice that the level of ambient light in the environment is quite low.

Indeed, MrClick, it was the low-light video performance which persuaded me to buy my LX5. I have previously relied upon my venerable Canon HF100 camcorders in low light, but now have a smaller, lighter, backup.

I have placed a short video taken by the camera in total darkness on Vimeo at:

http://www.vimeo.com/14774831

If only Panasonic had decided to allow the LX5 to take 1920x1080 video, this camera would now become the standard for indoors semi-pro video. At the moment the hacked GH1 still takes the crown

I haven't seen any focus hunting. Even in low light. There isn't any in the video (above). There is a smooth change to focus on the cars again after my wife makes her brief appearance
.

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