Nikon Z6, Z7 and Canon EOS R low-light ISO scores?

Started Dec 4, 2018 | Discussions thread
Slaginfected Contributing Member • Posts: 702
Re: Nikon Z6, Z7 and Canon EOS R low-light ISO scores?

Maarten Droogne wrote:

Slaginfected wrote:

Maybe another note: Its funny how the topic of high ISO is always approached with "noise" (although the actual meaning is more along the lines of "grain" or "graininess"). The reason why I mention that is that actual noise is causing color distortions and limits your post-processing latitude.

Is this "actual noise" a different set of specifics than the ones were talking about here? Or what do you mean?

You do have like 2 major noise "sources" in digital photography. One is the shot noise, which is a property of the light, and is the major contributing factor to what people call noise (aka grain) in their high ISO images. All things equal (sensor size, tech of the sensor, exposure, output size), regardless of the resolution of the sensor you should get the same perceived noise (= grain) in the end in your images. Note that this is within bounds, because of ...

Read noise, which is the second noise type and a combined noise out of many different actual noise sources along the processing pipeline in the camera. That is the one which is a limiter for the post-processing latitude and also responsible for the color distortions. If you use the studio scene here at DPR, you will see blacks not showing black anymore in the low-light scene: Read noise is saying hello, even though the perceived noise might still be the same compared to cameras which show black there.

But, as said, 4-digit ISOs are ok-ish for all options; but especially if you start processing ISO6400+ (real world) images out of an R and an A7III/Z6 you should perceive the differences during post-processing.

I am planning on doing post processing when needed, and when I say I wont need the higher ISO ratings, I'm speaking out of experience with a D70/D200 with very limited capabilities, so I could very well end up discover a whole new world of options with the extented ISOs.

Chances are good for that to happen, yes. At ISO6400 you have multiple stops of post-processing latitude into the shadows with the A7III, meaning the colors stay stable while doing so.

Those 2 cameras started to distort almost instantly, a lot of times I shot for long extented times @1600 ISOs, which is a equal to 10 000 settings on an EOS R.. I do have a lot of experience of how "high ISO noise" looks like I have around 5-10000 very grainy captures from my last trip!

Yeah. I've driven enough more recent models beyond their ISO capabilities that I'm now at a point where I actually request a minimum of quality in terms of colors, post-processing latitude etc. Means that talk about "noise" (as in grain) is an outdated quality measurement, if you can call it that. But a lot of people have to pick up on that, yet.

To conclude, although I dont prioritise the higher settings and their noise at that point, it is something I do value very much (which is an extra +point for the A7 III).

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