How does the D3 achieve such high ISO?

Started Feb 17, 2008 | Discussions thread
Anastigmat Forum Pro • Posts: 12,686
Re: no it can't

Nikon's high ISO is done through aggressive noise reduction through software. Nikon learned to use heavy handed noise reduction on APS-C cameras like the D200, D2X, D80 and D50. It applied what it learned from those exercises to the high ISO settings in the D3. Canon has traditionally not applied as much noise reduction because its sensors have clean high ISO images. But as sensor resolution increases in the future while sensor size stays unchanged, Canon would almost certainly use more aggressive noise reduction. One Canon exec. hinted at that. We may see that in the upcoming 450D.

There is more noise in the images of the 5D at ISO 3200 than in the Nikon D3 at ISO 3200, but the 5D images retain more detail, especially color detail. Nikon tends to wipe away color noise with its noise removal software. The D3 is no exception.

SDRebel wrote:

Thanks for the comments.

If I understand you, Nikon won't be able to duplicate the high ISO of
the D3 if and when Nikon matches the sensor density of the 1Ds3.

As for the 5D, I don't recall it having better ISO performance than
the 1Ds3 that I just traded up to.

Naturally, I hope you are wrong because I want a firmware upgrade

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