ISO Shouldn't Be So High

Started Mar 27, 2014 | Discussions thread
Alastair Norcross Veteran Member • Posts: 6,387
Re: ISO Shouldn't Be So High

Erik Stouffer wrote:

I'm shooting weddings in churches and I needed 2500 ISO at the last wedding I shot. I admit to have been shooting at f 4.0 or 5.0 and at 1/50th. But we need depth of field so that we don't get the groom out of focus. It seems like as cameras advance we need higher iso's. Maybe I was just in an incredibly difficult situation.

Sounds about right. In a church with no flash, shooting 1/50 at F4 or F5, you're definitely going to need a really high ISO. By way of comparison, in a well-lit basketball arena, to shoot 1/1000 at F2.8 I need ISO 3200. That would be 1/400 at F4 at ISO 2500. I would expect a church to be three stops worse, which is what you're getting. It's not a question of needing higher ISO as cameras advance. That lighting was always bad. As cameras advance, we can actually use higher ISO. If you want to get better results in those conditions, you have to go to full frame, which will give you about a 2 stop advantage over the 7D and other 18MP cameras. Some people claim the 70D has an advantage over the 7D at high ISO, but if so, it's only about half a stop.

Edit: I just looked at the DPR comparison tool for the 70D and 700D (which has pretty much the same 18MP sensor as all the recent Canon APS-C DSLRs, until the 70D). Viewing RAW at ISO 3200 there's almost no difference, certainly less than half a stop. I've seen some people claim that their 70D was a stop or more better than the 7D at high ISO, but I suspect that that's wishful thinking.

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