ISOless sensors, read noise and photography - many questions!

Started Oct 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
Steen Bay Veteran Member • Posts: 7,092
Re: am happy with your starting this helpful thread

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

original poster boardsy wrote: ...if the sensor is effectively ISOless then is base ISO always optimal ...or are you as well off raising it in camera (providing highlights are preserved) rather than in RAW/pp?

Boardsy my takeaway a few weeks ago from our tortuous thread, was to notice that a Nex C3 sensor has minimum read noise at around ISO 800. Which you made so easy to see by including a handy noise graph in your original post.

Now the C3's read noise is not a lot less at ISOs besides 800, but hey why not use the sensor at that most efficient-in-some-ways ISO, even if you theoretically "need" a higher ISO to make the little preview look "good"? Since you can so easily "raise the ISO" (i.e. move an "exposure" slider in say Lightroom) after the fact. The only downside is that the LCD does indeed get dim.

Note that the graphs in the OP are a bit inaccurate at the highest ISO settings. If a camera has reached its lowest read noise (e-) at for example ISO 800, then the read noise will be the same at higher ISOs. The read noise will always decrease or remain the same if the ISO is increased, it'll never be higher at a higher ISO than it was at a lower ISO.

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