Highest recommended ISO using the D800

Started Jun 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Andre Affleck Senior Member • Posts: 2,362
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800 = 1600

Jack Hogan wrote:

Andre Affleck wrote:

Jack Hogan wrote:

mmmmmmmm wrote:

Last weekend I shot a wedding with the D800 and 70-200VRII lens. I notice a lot of noise in the files using ISO3200. I was shooting at f2.8. Any suggestions?

Hello David,

Unless you need your images to look 'properly' bright SOOC, there is no point raising ISO beyond 1600, in fact by doing so you are giving up highlight headroom in exchange for virtually no improvement in IQ.

While in principle you are correct, in practice it can be a little challenging if you are aperture limited and shooting in low light, simply because it is hard to judge your previews if it is severely underexposed. It would have been nice if Nikon would have included an option to digitally amplify (auto adjust) the previews.

Yes it would be nice indeed. On the other hand, all one needs to do in that situation is open up to the widest aperture (or whatever is required by DOF constraints) and set shutter speed to the longest allowed by blur constraints in manual mode, shoot a sample image at the 'metered' ISO, say 6400, check desirable highlights, say they are just clipping, dial ISO back to 1600 and then shoot away concentrating on composition detail and completely forgetting about exposure and the little screen - it is a liberating experience, freeing one to concentrates on the artsy part of the equation.

I suppose some may be willing try that, but I find high DR scenes in dimly lit settings to be highly variable (especially event photography, or weddings). I would either miss the exposure from one shot to the next, or miss the shot intirely having to perform the setup, but that's just me. For static shots I would say no problem, but enjoy your liberation!

That said, we are very close to getting ISO-less cameras IMO. An ISO-less camera would be one where no analog amplification would take place during raw capture, just digital amification post capture. So even though you may have an ISO set in the camera, the camera would essentially capture images at native ISO and just provide you a digitally amplified preview and embedded jpeg. Then all final ISO amplification would take place digitally in the raw converter when you develope the image. You would virtually choose your ISO after the fact.

This can almost be done now with the D800, if only the firmware was updated to support it.

Perhaps they could add a raw histogram while they were at it

Yes, and how many years have we been asking for this? I don't think there has been one manufacturer who has listened, which is remarkable given the value of such a simple feature.

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