D3 and high ISO - IF, WHEN and HOW to use

Started Mar 30, 2008 | Discussions thread
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GaborSch Veteran Member • Posts: 7,203
D3 and high ISO - IF, WHEN and HOW to use

The high ISO capabilities of cameras seem to fascinate many photographers. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about this subject. This post is an attempt to make the subject understandable.

Following demonstration relates exclusively to the D3. I try to organize the related facts in "units". I save the explanation of "sensitivity" in conjunction with sensors.

Six images are used in the demo: one ISO 6400, one 12800 and one 25600, all in 12bit and 14bit. The setting was the same, the results are comparable.

There was an important difference between the two sets, more important than the bit depth. The 12-bit set was created with different exposures (1 EV lower with ISO 12800 than ISO 6400, and two EV lower for ISO 25600); thus, the histograms of these shots look identical, at least at first sight.

The 14-bit set was created with fixed exposure, measured with ISO 6400, thus the 12800 and 25600 images are much brighter than the ISO 6400 image.

The images used in the demonstration are courtessy Albert C. Lee, a fellow poster on this forum and the owner of a D3, unlike me.

This essay is too long for a single post, so the rest is in subposts. For those interested: before reading on, pls download following TIFF, as I will refer to the 25 or so layers in it. File size: 6 MB.

http://www.panopeeper.com/Demo/D3_ISO6400-12800-25600.tif

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