What is it with this high ISO thing

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
lorenzo de medici
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What is it with this high ISO thing
8 months ago

I keep reading over and over, in between the excuses about the bad ergonomics, about how the Df has such great high ISO performance, 3200 and up.  So?  What does that get you?  Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400?  No.  Do amateurs and enthusiasts shoot their best images at ISO 6400?  No.  It's an emergency setting on the camera for dire low light situations when you have no other options.  It sure as heck isn't a reason to spend $2800 on a camera.

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Simon Garrett
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

I would not expect my highest quality images from high ISO. However, by no means all of my photography is "art" photography (in my case I use the term in a very very loose sense). I shoot amateur theatricals and other events where the light level is pretty low, and the ability to use ISO 3200 or even 6400 on the D800 is an enormous benefit to me. Sure the DR isn't as good as at base ISO, and it's a bit noisier - but quite good enough for the purpose intended: mainly web images. And if I could use even higher ISO with good DR and no noise, I'd use that too. It would mean shorter shutter speeds.

The two or more stops improvement in high ISO performance over my previous D300 is one of the major advantages to me of the D800.

Oh, and by the way: shooting at ISO 3200 and up for me includes weddings. People often want pictures of dances or evening entertainment at weddings. Of course, the quality isn't as high as for set piece photos of the bridal party - that it's fit for purpose, and quite good enough to print in wedding books etc.

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NTNphoto
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

I keep reading over and over, in between the excuses about the bad ergonomics, about how the Df has such great high ISO performance, 3200 and up.  So?  What does that get you?  Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400?  No.  Do amateurs and enthusiasts shoot their best images at ISO 6400?  No.  It's an emergency setting on the camera for dire low light situations when you have no other options.  It sure as heck isn't a reason to spend $2800 on a camera.

Umm sports, concerts(no flash allowed), theatre, weddings where flash is often not allowed during church services, night photography, street photography.

Having cleaner high ISO is good for just about everything.

For instance I just got married and we didn't allow flash during the ceremony and I was happy my photographer was able to shoot at 6400 reasonably clean.

Maybe it's not useful for you, but she got a client out of it and so have many others.

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Rumle
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

Yess, the ISO argument is blown out of proportion, just like megapixels where 5 years ago.

That said -and could be said then with megapixels, its not entirely without reason. For the majority the high ISO would not matter, no.

I join the two other reply'ers saying, in situations like theatrical stuff, which I do quite often. The ISO can NEVER be good enough.

For me also Video plays in, with video I'm always locked with a shutter speed of 25/30 or 60. so with a 2.8 lens that means I quite often wanna bump up higher than 3200 ISO.

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sgoldswo
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

lorenzo de medici wrote:

I keep reading over and over, in between the excuses about the bad ergonomics, about how the Df has such great high ISO performance, 3200 and up. So? What does that get you? Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400? No. Do amateurs and enthusiasts shoot their best images at ISO 6400? No. It's an emergency setting on the camera for dire low light situations when you have no other options. It sure as heck isn't a reason to spend $2800 on a camera.

First of all - who said there are bad ergonomics? They are great - if you want to take a different view that's fine, but don't pretend you represent the wider world. Almost everyone I know who owns a Df is very happy with the ergonomics. For me the ergonomics and controls ARE a reason to buy the camera.

It's not just a high ISO thing above 3200. It's more nuanced than that. First of all the noise that exists below ISO 3200 isn't as destructive either (not usually an issue though because with some judicious noise reduction with a D600/D800 file you can achieve a nice image). But that in itself means I'm happy enough to push ISO up when shooting in dank conditions like the northern hemisphere winter. Further, it isn't just a question of noise. Many have observed that with the high MP sensors you introduce a certain flatness to files at higher ISOs - you don't get that with the Df/D4 sensor.

Another point where this feature really comes into its own with files shot at say ISO 2500-3200 in mixed lighting (like restaurants, pubs or even the vintage train ride I took last week). It's partly a question of white balance to get the lighting right, but if ambient light is changing and you are shooting at higher ISOs, good luck on getting attractive results in colour with most cameras. Somehow the Df is unfazed by those kind of conditions.

If you don't get any of the above, good on you, be happy with what you have. But don't try and imply others are crazy - maybe they are happy with what works for them?

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user_name
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In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

it is another facet of the tool that extends the photographer's reach.

Why do you have an issue with that?

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Charles Currey
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

I shoot events, many indoors and my average ISO is 6400 in order to achieve a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second to stop action and an f stop of 4.0 for depth of field. When I go into a location and see that I can use an ISO of 5000 you can hear a cheer from my corner of the building. The new Df is not in my future because the burst rate is not high enough by about half. I'm waiting for someone to say that the D700 work around to get 8fps without the battery grip add-on also works on the Df. Then, I would be placing my order.

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Alpha Tech
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

lorenzo de medici wrote:

I keep reading over and over, in between the excuses about the bad ergonomics, about how the Df has such great high ISO performance, 3200 and up. So? What does that get you? Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400? No. Do amateurs and enthusiasts shoot their best images at ISO 6400? No. It's an emergency setting on the camera for dire low light situations when you have no other options. It sure as heck isn't a reason to spend $2800 on a camera.

You are obviously new to the world of photography. In the old days of film we enthusiasts wanted to eliminate grain. Film quality became better and better over the years, but the grain problem never went away until digital photography arrived. Now all that remains to be done is eliminate the remaining noise. Good cameras like the Df and D4 do this well already. In a few years all cameras will have excellent high ISO performance. This again makes one wonder about the future of DSLRs.

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clarnibass
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

lorenzo de medici wrote:

Do pros shoot....... anything at ISO 6400?

Yes.

Do amateurs and enthusiasts shoot their best images at ISO 6400?

Sometimes yes, it depends.

It's an emergency setting on the camera for dire low light situations when you have no other options.

Any ISO is always the lowest ISO I can use in the situation. Sometimes (often enough) that is 6400.

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Biggs23
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

lorenzo de medici wrote:

I keep reading over and over, in between the excuses about the bad ergonomics, about how the Df has such great high ISO performance, 3200 and up. So? What does that get you? Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400? No. Do amateurs and enthusiasts shoot their best images at ISO 6400? No. It's an emergency setting on the camera for dire low light situations when you have no other options. It sure as heck isn't a reason to spend $2800 on a camera.

Bwahaha. It's obvious you aren't a pro or you wouldn't make such comments. What happens when the church is barely lit and flash is not allowed? Answer: your shoot at whatever ISO you need to in order to get the shot. It's not an uncommon occurrence, either. Fortunately, with the D4 (and now Df) ISO 6400 is no longer an emergency setting and produces quite acceptable results!

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Any opinions I express are my own and do not represent DPReview. Have a good one and God bless!

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bm bradley
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

lorenzo de medici wrote:

I keep reading over and over, in between the excuses about the bad ergonomics, about how the Df has such great high ISO performance, 3200 and up. So? What does that get you? Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400? No. Do amateurs and enthusiasts shoot their best images at ISO 6400? No. It's an emergency setting on the camera for dire low light situations when you have no other options. It sure as heck isn't a reason to spend $2800 on a camera.

think of it like a bunch of  kids 14-16 reading kung fu magazines....  comparing all the evil wicked kung fu moves, and tough guy stuff... like yanking the beating heart out of a bull BUT not one of the kids actually studies kung fu.... see?

this is a gear forum, not a photography forum, so the guys/kids, like to talk about the  latest greatest wicked moves, like high ISO ... see? and like the kung fu kids most of these guys will never take a picture or buy the camera $.02

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bm bradley
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to Rumle, 8 months ago

Rumle wrote:

Yess, the ISO argument is blown out of proportion, just like megapixels where 5 years ago.

I'm not finding MP blown out of proportion at all... as someone that started shooting digital in 2001 at 3mp I can say from experience the more MP, the better the dynamic range.... looking forward to 54 MP myself

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bm bradley
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to Alpha Tech, 8 months ago

Alpha Tech wrote:

lorenzo de medici wrote:

I keep reading over and over, in between the excuses about the bad ergonomics, about how the Df has such great high ISO performance, 3200 and up. So? What does that get you? Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400? No. Do amateurs and enthusiasts shoot their best images at ISO 6400? No. It's an emergency setting on the camera for dire low light situations when you have no other options. It sure as heck isn't a reason to spend $2800 on a camera.

You are obviously new to the world of photography. In the old days of film we enthusiasts wanted to eliminate grain. Film quality became better and better over the years, but the grain problem never went away until digital photography arrived. Now all that remains to be done is eliminate the remaining noise. Good cameras like the Df and D4 do this well already. In a few years all cameras will have excellent high ISO performance. This again makes one wonder about the future of DSLRs.

remember shooting with 400 asa film and worrying about the grain

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bocajrs
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to bm bradley, 8 months ago

Nothing wrong with shooting my D800 at ISO 6400 - Heck I even shot it at H 1.0 with descent results!!!

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Rick Knepper
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The Df marginally beats the D3s at DxOmark
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

lorenzo de medici wrote:

I keep reading over and over, in between the excuses about the bad ergonomics, about how the Df has such great high ISO performance, 3200 and up. So? What does that get you? Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400? No. Do amateurs and enthusiasts shoot their best images at ISO 6400? No. It's an emergency setting on the camera for dire low light situations when you have no other options. It sure as heck isn't a reason to spend $2800 on a camera.

Sure, it has 4 more MPs but it also has 4 years of component improvements under its belt (not sure why the D4 wasn't as close to the D3s as the Df).

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The Andy G
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What I've wondered about are the people demanding above 6400
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

I shan't be searching and linking to threads, but periodically one sees demands for cameras in discussion threads for ISOs above 6400. I mean, jesus, how often do you need to go above 6400? Moreover, once you're above the sensor ceiling, the camera is basically pushing the image post. Far better to do it at your work station.

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lickity split
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to bm bradley, 8 months ago

lorenzo de medici wrote:

I keep reading over and over, in between the excuses about the bad ergonomics, about how the Df has such great high ISO performance, 3200 and up. So? What does that get you? Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400? No. Do amateurs and enthusiasts shoot their best images at ISO 6400? No. It's an emergency setting on the camera for dire low light situations when you have no other options. It sure as heck isn't a reason to spend $2800 on a camera.

think of it like a bunch of  kids 14-16 reading kung fu magazines....  comparing all the evil wicked kung fu moves, and tough guy stuff... like yanking the beating heart out of a bull BUT not one of the kids actually studies kung fu.... see?

this is a gear forum, not a photography forum, so the guys/kids, like to talk about the  latest greatest wicked moves, like high ISO ... see? and like the kung fu kids most of these guys will never take a picture or buy the camera $.02

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One thing I am pretty sure about is that at 14 I was reading plenty of magazines, but they were surely not about Kung Fu.... :))
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LMCasey
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Op just trying to make waves (nt)
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

no text

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Grig
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

lorenzo de medici wrote:

I keep reading over and over, in between the excuses about the bad ergonomics, about how the Df has such great high ISO performance, 3200 and up. So? What does that get you?

Shutter speed!!!

Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400? No.

Yes... But - Df cant be compared to D3s (2 of them in my cease for weddings) because of single card slot, FPS, Size and Grip (for big zooms) and durability of the body in general. I shoot D3s since the day of its release (replaced D3) and IMHO - Df would be DEAD 3 times if it would go through use and abuse of my D3s bodies with high clicks... And those are still working flawlessly...

Also - how does it matter what Pros are shooting? Who cares? Every camera body has its main purpose! D3s/D4 - sports and events, D800 - Studio and Landscape, D600 - travel light, etc...

To me - Df is a perfect tool for the street/low light/family/leisure photography with primes... Sure it can be used at studio or travel, but high megapixel count of D800/D600 with better dynamic range at base ISOs are better for this purpose... etc...

And BTW: I was looking last night at 5DIII with 24-105IS for little more than Df kit at B&H to get my feet wet with Canon... LOL...

God bless,

K.Grigoryan

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John Motts
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Re: What is it with this high ISO thing
In reply to lorenzo de medici, 8 months ago

lorenzo de medici wrote:

Do pros shoot weddings, or portraits, or products, or architecture, or landscapes, or anything at ISO 6400? No.

Actually wedding pros quite often need high ISOs for some of their shots, even up to 6400.

Certainly in the UK flash (quite rightly) is rarely allowed in church ceremonies and 3200 is used a lot, with the occasional 6400.  So high ISO performance (not just grain, the importance of which is generally over-stated) is extremely important to us.

Even if we don't use 6400, good performance at 6400 means good / better performance at 3200.

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