ISO vs. Image Quality

Started Feb 21, 2014 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,146
Fact & Perceptions

The fact is that every increase in ISO above base for your camera model will result in a measurable decrease in parameters such as dynamic range and colour sensitivity, and an attendant increase in noise.

How far you go before you cross a line where those things are no longer acceptable to you is a matter of perception - personal taste. Another consideration is output - what is acceptable for a small downscaled image used for web display might not be acceptable for a large high-gloss print.

I'm happy with images out of my FX camera all the way up to ISO6400 provided I get the exposure correct in-camera. But coming from 35mm film I find the luma noise acceptable as is, and don't think the small amount of chroma correction required is problematic. But my typical output is pretty undemanding and allows a much greater latitude for error than a commercial landscape or architecture photographer.

Lastly, how important is the shot to you? Is it better to get that image of the Lesser-Crested Knuckle Farter albeit with some noise and additional post-processing ahead of you, or to go home and try again another day?

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