SIGMA High ISOs ... new findings

Started Aug 8, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Klaus_R New Member • Posts: 22
SIGMA High ISOs ... new findings

Hi All,

you might remember that I once did considerable work on how to improve SD High ISO results and on SIGMA's RED problem and how to cope with it.

Now I would like to report some new findings on SD-X3F High ISO image processing.

Why "new"?

Well, I now recommend a completely different strategy with HIGH ISO X3f-RAWs since there are great improvements now with the introduction of SIGMA's SPP 4.1 RAW-software.

Unfortunately, googlemail, where I host my sample pics, kills all exif-information. So you will have to believe my exposure information. Those who know me, will not believe that I am a liar ..... (smile!)

High ISO performance is no absolute quality of a digital camera. It strongly depends on the lighting conditions. The darker it gets, the more difficult it becomes.

Therefore I would like to have a closer look at "Daylight", "Indoor" und finally low light conditions.

Workflow: I know recommend processing all raws with SIGMA SPP 4.1 first.
Note .... all this will not work with any older SPP Version.

The fine thing new now is that SPP4.1 manages proper WB and proper colours up to ISO1600. I have to mention that I do not have an SD15 by now but I am very much looking forward to have one as soon as prices drop to a considerable level.)
Thus, my SD14 did the job.

1) Do the complete ISO1600 image processing as far as possible within SPP4.1

2) Use maximum noise reduction within SPP (I did an awful lot of tests ... nothing ist better.)

3) Use the sharpening slider without any regards to any decrease in noise performance.

4) The remaining noise ... and there is left too much for my taste ... can be done best with NEAT IMAGE

5) Finally do some fine sharpening with RAW PHOTO STUDIO (ARCSOFT DARKROOM is the same thing)
6) Finally do some fine tuning on lights and shadows with RAW PHOTO STUDIO.

I pretty much believe that this workflow works very well to get rid of X3F HIGH ISO noise and conserving image details as much as possible.


ISO 100: F/8 1/30s

ISO 1600: F/8 1/400s

Quite an amazing result for my opinion .....

INDOOR lighting conditions:

ISO 200: F/1.8 1/30s

ISO 1600: F/1.8 1/200s

LOW LIGHT really sinister lighting conditions.

The next two pics with normal indoor light (for comparism) the third one then is done under real low light conditions. It was that dark that the SD's AF did not work without its focussing light, which I had to switch on....

ISO 100: F/1.8 1/20s

ISO 1600 INDOOR LIGHT: F/1.8 1/250s (same lighting as ISO 100 above)

Finally ....

Lowest light: ISO 1600 really sinister: F/1.8 1/13s


SPP 4.1 is a great step forward in X3F RAW processing. Finally we do have colours and acceptable white balancing even at highest ISOs.
It has never been easier to work out good HIGH ISO results with a SIGMA SD cam.

It remains exciting, what an SD15 can do along these lines. Those who already have one can try to find out ......

One thing to mention ......

With High ISO Shooting, the camera's display (as well as SPP's preview thumbnails) is not worth watching. It displays colours that are ugly as it used to be before SPP4.1. Once read into new SPP, it looks finer than ever .....

Klick it and watch the new magic ..... (smile!)

See you with nice pictures

Klaus Rickert

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