How does the D3 achieve such high ISO?

Started Feb 17, 2008 | Discussions thread
Marianne Oelund Veteran Member • Posts: 7,788
The bottom line

SDRebel wrote:

If I set a D3 to ISO 12800 and then set a 1Ds3 to H (ISO 3200) and,
using the D3 aperture and shutter settings, set the 1Ds3 aperture and
shutter speed to that of the D3, can I push the 1Ds3 RAW file in
postprocessing to ISO 12800?

Yes, you can readily do the required 2-stop push.

Let us also assume that both cameras are using 50mm lenses.

If so, will the 1Ds3 file retain the advantage of high pixel count?

Yes, unless/until you perform down-sampling.

My question assumes that if aperture and shutter speed are identical,
that the same number of photons will strike the sensors of the two
cameras. Would this assumption be correct?


Again, the fundamental issue is whether or not Nikon has with the D3
implemented a breakthrough in the processing of a fixed number of
photons, i.e., given the same amount of light in a low light
environment does the D3 produce a photograph that is not possible for
the 1Ds3? Or, is it just a function of the processing algorithm?

It's a function of elbow grease, really. If you are willing to do the work, you should be able to obtain an image with your 1Ds3 that is comparable to the D3's image. For my type of work, the beauty of the D3 is simply that it makes high IQ at high ISO settings very easy; it's a matter of the time and effort savings which become extremely important at my volume.

You must consider your output medium, also. It's easy to get carried away with the smallest detail differences in images, viewing them at 100% on a monitor. I do not print many of my images, but I did print some comparisons that I made recently. On monitor, the differences were very plain, but in print at about 220 dpi, even with +3 diopter reading glasses, they were quite hard to see.

Unless you are printing at well below 150 dpi, the detail differences between images from today's generation of dSLRs are simply not very noticeable. Color, tonality and the creative input you make in arranging the photo are far more important.

Thanks, because I still am not sure all the threads of provided an
answer, certainly not one that I have understood.

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