D800 ISO 1600 and above

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
primeshooter
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D800 ISO 1600 and above
7 months ago

I read a while back that above 1600, is the same as taking an ISO 1600 shot and boosting exposure in post. Ie, taking a shot at ISO 1600 and boosting +2EV in software is the same as shooting at 6400 native in the camera? Is it better in post or in camera, as I believe it (or was told), boosting in post is better? I hope Marianne is about (I think this is her name). Thanks in advance.

Nikon D800
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Scott McMorrow
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to primeshooter, 7 months ago
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Marianne Oelund
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JPEG is an exception
In reply to primeshooter, 7 months ago

primeshooter wrote:

I read a while back that above 1600, is the same as taking an ISO 1600 shot and boosting exposure in post. Ie, taking a shot at ISO 1600 and boosting +2EV in software is the same as shooting at 6400 native in the camera? Is it better in post or in camera, as I believe it (or was told), boosting in post is better? I hope Marianne is about (I think this is her name). Thanks in advance.

The advantage of using the ISO 1600 setting and boosting in post, is that you can retain 2 more stops of highlights, relative to setting the camera to ISO 6400.  However, if you are sure there will be no highlight clipping at the ISO 6400 setting, it may be more convenient to use it, rather than pushing in post; either approach will be equivalent.

The other reason to use ISO settings above 1600, is if you are shooting JPEG-only.  Pushing JPEG files in post, of course, gives results inferior to pushing RAW files.

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WIMorrison
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to primeshooter, 7 months ago

The main advantage of using 6400 in camera is that you gain 2 stops of shutter speed - assuming you keep the same aperture and in low light I find that it is getting a shutter speed that is high enough is the challenge rather than aperture.

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Marianne Oelund
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to WIMorrison, 7 months ago

WIMorrison wrote:

The main advantage of using 6400 in camera is that you gain 2 stops of shutter speed - assuming you keep the same aperture and in low light I find that it is getting a shutter speed that is high enough is the challenge rather than aperture.

The usage cases we're discussing - ISO 6400 or ISO 1600 underexposed two stops - yield the same shutter speed.

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primeshooter
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Re: JPEG is an exception
In reply to Marianne Oelund, 7 months ago

primeshooter wrote:

I read a while back that above 1600, is the same as taking an ISO 1600 shot and boosting exposure in post. Ie, taking a shot at ISO 1600 and boosting +2EV in software is the same as shooting at 6400 native in the camera? Is it better in post or in camera, as I believe it (or was told), boosting in post is better? I hope Marianne is about (I think this is her name). Thanks in advance.

The advantage of using the ISO 1600 setting and boosting in post, is that you can retain 2 more stops of highlights, relative to setting the camera to ISO 6400.  However, if you are sure there will be no highlight clipping at the ISO 6400 setting, it may be more convenient to use it, rather than pushing in post; either approach will be equivalent.

The other reason to use ISO settings above 1600, is if you are shooting JPEG-only.  Pushing JPEG files in post, of course, gives results inferior to pushing RAW files.

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Thankyou...it was yourself i read this from initially just wanted to check. I basically for the last few months have not exceeded 1600 and boosted exposure later if required. Rarely as i tend to work from 100 to 1600 mostly but the highlights benefit greatly from this technique in my low light shooting.
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primeshooter
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to WIMorrison, 7 months ago

The main advantage of using 6400 in camera is that you gain 2 stops of shutter speed - assuming you keep the same aperture and in low light I find that it is getting a shutter speed that is high enough is the challenge rather than aperture.

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Iain Morrison LRPS CPAGB
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No you don't properly understand this. Switch out of aperture priority to manual and just put whatever shutter speed you require in low light with your iso at 1600. It matters not how dark the shot is as you simply boost in post and you maintained the shutter speed and more highlights data than shooting at 6400.
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ormdig
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to primeshooter, 7 months ago

primeshooter wrote:

The main advantage of using 6400 in camera is that you gain 2 stops of shutter speed - assuming you keep the same aperture and in low light I find that it is getting a shutter speed that is high enough is the challenge rather than aperture.

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Iain Morrison LRPS CPAGB
wimorrison.co.uk

No you don't properly understand this. Switch out of aperture priority to manual and just put whatever shutter speed you require in low light with your iso at 1600. It matters not how dark the shot is as you simply boost in post and you maintained the shutter speed and more highlights data than shooting at 6400.
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I have been using this method for several months and love the results. I have been trying to find the post someone wrote about the information lost  when raising the ISO above (I think) 1600 in camera compared to info retained when boosting in PP since I don't really understand the "why" of it and wanted to reread the post. Does anyone remember and have a link? Thanks,

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Luke Kaven
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Re: JPEG is an exception
In reply to primeshooter, 7 months ago

Equally as well, you have your choice of what to do with the lowlights.  You might prefer to keep some of the lowlights where they are or boost then to a lesser extent, and without further penalty.

If all that were involved would be multiplying by 4 (boosting ISO 2 stops exactly), then dividing by four (reducing again 2 stops exactly), there might be no penalty, but this is rarely how it works out.

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Luke Kaven
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to ormdig, 7 months ago

ormdig wrote:

primeshooter wrote:

The main advantage of using 6400 in camera is that you gain 2 stops of shutter speed - assuming you keep the same aperture and in low light I find that it is getting a shutter speed that is high enough is the challenge rather than aperture.

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Iain Morrison LRPS CPAGB
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No you don't properly understand this. Switch out of aperture priority to manual and just put whatever shutter speed you require in low light with your iso at 1600. It matters not how dark the shot is as you simply boost in post and you maintained the shutter speed and more highlights data than shooting at 6400.
--

I have been using this method for several months and love the results. I have been trying to find the post someone wrote about the information lost when raising the ISO above (I think) 1600 in camera compared to info retained when boosting in PP since I don't really understand the "why" of it and wanted to reread the post. Does anyone remember and have a link? Thanks,

At settings above ISO 1600, the camera itself uses only digital gain, and no further analog gain.  By applying digital gain in post, rather than in the camera, the results would be mathematically identical.  By deferring the decision to boost until later, as a matter of choice, you risk losing fewer highlights that might otherwise have been sacrificed.

A typical case might be shooting buildings at night.  The matrix meter might elect to sacrifice a few highlights (e.g., from light bulbs) in order to give balance to the rest of the scene.  Dialing back the gain will help to preserve the highlights without penalty to the rest of the scene.  Boost the parts that you want to boost, and leave the parts that you don't want to boost where they are.

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Iliah Borg
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to WIMorrison, 7 months ago

D800 is using the same mode of the sensor and same mode of ADC for all ISO settings starting 1600 and to 25600. Please see Nikolay Dudrenov's work here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/87243963/Nikon%20D800%20RawDigger%20ISO%20TEST.pdf

That means for any shutter speed / aperture dialed on an D800 the results at ISO 1600 setting in a decent raw converter are better compared to any higher ISO setting because noise is the same but highlights are less clipped. If you need shutter speed like at ISO 6400 set ISO 1600 and dial -2EV for the shutter speed. Now you have an option to use a curve in raw conversion to compress highlights instead of just clipping them in the camera.

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lickity split
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to Luke Kaven, 7 months ago

Luke Kaven wrote:

ormdig wrote:

primeshooter wrote:

The main advantage of using 6400 in camera is that you gain 2 stops of shutter speed - assuming you keep the same aperture and in low light I find that it is getting a shutter speed that is high enough is the challenge rather than aperture.

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Iain Morrison LRPS CPAGB
wimorrison.co.uk

No you don't properly understand this. Switch out of aperture priority to manual and just put whatever shutter speed you require in low light with your iso at 1600. It matters not how dark the shot is as you simply boost in post and you maintained the shutter speed and more highlights data than shooting at 6400.
--

I have been using this method for several months and love the results. I have been trying to find the post someone wrote about the information lost when raising the ISO above (I think) 1600 in camera compared to info retained when boosting in PP since I don't really understand the "why" of it and wanted to reread the post. Does anyone remember and have a link? Thanks,

At settings above ISO 1600, the camera itself uses only digital gain, and no further analog gain. By applying digital gain in post, rather than in the camera, the results would be mathematically identical. By deferring the decision to boost until later, as a matter of choice, you risk losing fewer highlights that might otherwise have been sacrificed.

A typical case might be shooting buildings at night. The matrix meter might elect to sacrifice a few highlights (e.g., from light bulbs) in order to give balance to the rest of the scene. Dialing back the gain will help to preserve the highlights without penalty to the rest of the scene. Boost the parts that you want to boost, and leave the parts that you don't want to boost where they are.

Your description is exactly what happened to me last night,the scene was dark,matrix metering ,I never checked the histogram,sure enough the light in a clock tower were blown out(clock hands gone) I'm gonna go back tonight and see if this helps.

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coronawithlime
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to Iliah Borg, 7 months ago

Iliah Borg wrote:

That means for any shutter speed / aperture dialed on an D800 the results at ISO 1600 setting in a decent raw converter are better compared to any higher ISO setting because noise is the same but highlights are less clipped. If you need shutter speed like at ISO 6400 set ISO 1600 and dial -2EV for the shutter speed. Now you have an option to use a curve in raw conversion to compress highlights instead of just clipping them in the camera.

Excellent   An explanation suitable for a simple non technical sort such as myself.

Sir, would you be able to comment on equivalent numbers as they regard, perhaps, the D3, D3s, D3x, or D700 cameras?  Thanx.

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primeshooter
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to Iliah Borg, 7 months ago

Iliah Borg wrote:

D800 is using the same mode of the sensor and same mode of ADC for all ISO settings starting 1600 and to 25600. Please see Nikolay Dudrenov's work here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/87243963/Nikon%20D800%20RawDigger%20ISO%20TEST.pdf

That means for any shutter speed / aperture dialed on an D800 the results at ISO 1600 setting in a decent raw converter are better compared to any higher ISO setting because noise is the same but highlights are less clipped. If you need shutter speed like at ISO 6400 set ISO 1600 and dial -2EV for the shutter speed. Now you have an option to use a curve in raw conversion to compress highlights instead of just clipping them in the camera.

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Thanks for posting, an informative thread.

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olyflyer
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Re: D800 ISO 1600 and above
In reply to primeshooter, 7 months ago

primeshooter wrote:

The main advantage of using 6400 in camera is that you gain 2 stops of shutter speed - assuming you keep the same aperture and in low light I find that it is getting a shutter speed that is high enough is the challenge rather than aperture.

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Iain Morrison LRPS CPAGB
wimorrison.co.uk

No you don't properly understand this. Switch out of aperture priority to manual and just put whatever shutter speed you require in low light with your iso at 1600. It matters not how dark the shot is as you simply boost in post and you maintained the shutter speed and more highlights data than shooting at 6400.

Well, it isn't entirely true. The only truth is that this work flow will no doubt result in a lot of extra PP work, so if it is meaningful at all, it is only usable if you only take a few images at a time and have very few to work with since you can't really keep a constant exposure unless everything else is constant. I mean, when you move around the light will change, resulting in uneven exposure, meaning that each image must be developed individually and if you have many images the work needed might be unreasonably high. In my opinion, if you don't like noise or you don't know how to handle it, stay away from high ISO.

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Marianne Oelund
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A few other cameras
In reply to coronawithlime, 7 months ago

coronawithlime wrote:

 

Sir, would you be able to comment on equivalent numbers as they regard, perhaps, the D3, D3s, D3x, or D700 cameras? Thanx.

D3/D700 have analog-only gain up to ISO 6400.  D3s and D4, up to ISO 12800.

The D3x is similar to the D800; at ISO 6400 the numerical scaling is 3.7x, which implies that the maximum analog gain equates to ISO 1730.  It's worth pointing out that the D3x would be considered essentially "ISO-less" from ISO 200 and up, since its read noise is constant in input-referred units (electrons).

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