How does the D3 achieve such high ISO?

Started Feb 17, 2008 | Discussions
tissunique Veteran Member • Posts: 3,327
Re: WRONG Canon 1D3 has better ISO than the D3

i have used both in low light concerts and this is not my experience. the Nikon D3 was clearly better ISO wise, and IQ wise. I had 2 MKIIIs and was so disappointed I sent them back. My 5D is great and my 40D is very so-so
tony

PerL Forum Pro • Posts: 14,458
Re: Ha, ha

papparazzi wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anyway, the success of D3 works for most people because they were not
from photography background and do not have the capability to judge
image quality using thier own eyes. Thus the cheat from Nikon works
for them.

So most people who buys a D3 for 5000 dollars doesnt have any
photographic background? Sounds probable.

go back to your hole TROLL

Should I read that as you agree with the poster that most people who buys Nikons 5000 dollars pro camera doesnt have any photographic background?

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raoulJ Contributing Member • Posts: 701
Re: Reduce your 1DsIII image to 12MP (about 50%)

Hans Kruse wrote:

Eric Sorensen wrote:

...then compare with the D3 and tell us how the noise looks at the
new and equal 100% level. This is the difference you will see when
the same framed image is printed the same size. I bet it's close, if
not in Canon's favor.

As mentioned in a previous post I see the noise when down sampling to
the same resolution of the 5D, that the 1Ds3 and 5D is pretty close.
So not quite up the level of the D3.

A German Photo Magazin made a test with results that can be shown in
the following charts

and on the pixel level

This basically shows that there is no free lunch. The D3 achieves the
performance at the expence of details and resolution on the basis of
this test. RAW files from the D3 look less detailed and sharp than
pictures from the 5D is what I have seen. But this is an area where I
have seen no camera reviews really look at (other than the German
Foto Magazin). This is a bit surprising as one would think that a
camera reviewer would be critically looking at this area.

Well, in the last issue of french magazine "Chasseur d'images", they compare the results on same size print for D3 and 1DS3 at 1600 ISO.
The 1DS3 wins with head and shoulder.
They rate the 1DS3 at 185 against 137 for the D3.

More resolution helps a lot when big prints are the goal. And big prints is what matters, after all, isn't it ?

To be honest, 1600ISO seems the limitation for the 1DS3 however. Above that, the D3 seems to perform better. They don't give a figure for higher sensitivity.

They probably will in the future, as it's their brand new high ISO resolution test...

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Raoul

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ohyva Veteran Member • Posts: 6,342
Re: Reduce your 1DsIII image to 12MP (about 50%)

raoulJ wrote:

Well, in the last issue of french magazine "Chasseur d'images", they
compare the results on same size print for D3 and 1DS3 at 1600 ISO.
The 1DS3 wins with head and shoulder.
They rate the 1DS3 at 185 against 137 for the D3.
More resolution helps a lot when big prints are the goal. And big
prints is what matters, after all, isn't it ?

To be honest, 1600ISO seems the limitation for the 1DS3 however.
Above that, the D3 seems to perform better. They don't give a figure
for higher sensitivity.
They probably will in the future, as it's their brand new high ISO
resolution test...

I guess that why Canon has the 1DsX and 1DX/5D serieses. The first one gives you the absolute best resolving power while the latter pair is better suited for low light (5D taken here only becvause it shares the sensor properties with 1D2).

If rumored "5D2" share the same sensor structure as 1D3 then we can expect a 16MP FF camera with similar low light performance, and thus about same performance as D3.

MirkoK Contributing Member • Posts: 741
Re: I want high ISO

i said probably

Hans Kruse wrote:

MirkoK wrote:

nikon redesigned so called microlenses, which seemed to be also one
part of causing noise so.....NO canon cannot provide a firmware
upgrade to reach the level of low noise as the D3.......the 1dsIII is
"probably" using the same microlenses technology like the 5D, and has
a MUCH higher pixel density and the 2nd to smallest pixel size of all
cameras, i think the new 450D has even smaller.

See the Canon white papers on micro lens design and you will see that
it was optimized in the last generation over what was done for the 5D.

http://www.google.dk/search?hl=da&q=canon+1ds+white+paper&meta=

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gingerbaker Senior Member • Posts: 1,510
Re: Nikon is the best in noise reduction. YES!

TheVoIP is on to the crux of the matter, I think.

It ain't just a slightly larger sensor, or pixils, or microlenses.

Nikon is now using a CMOS sensor yet the camera produces virtually no chrominance noise. Pretty much like their efforts with their CCD sensors.

There is still a fair amount of luminance noise showing up, just like their results previously with the CCD sensors. ( I would bet that the luminance noise of the D3 is equivalent to Canon's cameras? )

This magic is not inherent in CMOS technology, it is internal PP removing chrominance noise. And doing it very well indeed, as the color looks great.

Whether this in-camera NR degrades the final image significantly is beyond my speculations.

What I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW is how to replicate the D3 chrominance noise NR using a Photoshop action!
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Hans Kruse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,432
Re: I want high ISO

MirkoK wrote:

i said probably

Since you said probably, it was clear you didn't know, so I guided you to the information ...

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OP SDRebel Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Summary possible?

Several threads have contended that the answer to how the D3 achieves high ISO have been answered, but I'm not so sure.

Is there a definitive agreement on this question?

If I set a D3 to ISO 12800 and then set a 1Ds3 to H (ISO 3200) and, using the D3 aperture and shutter settings, set the 1Ds3 aperture and shutter speed to that of the D3, can I push the 1Ds3 RAW file in postprocessing to ISO 12800? Let us also assume that both cameras are using 50mm lenses.

If so, will the 1Ds3 file retain the advantage of high pixel count?

My question assumes that if aperture and shutter speed are identical, that the same number of photons will strike the sensors of the two cameras. Would this assumption be correct?

Again, the fundamental issue is whether or not Nikon has with the D3 implemented a breakthrough in the processing of a fixed number of photons, i.e., given the same amount of light in a low light environment does the D3 produce a photograph that is not possible for the 1Ds3? Or, is it just a function of the processing algorithm?

Thanks, because I still am not sure all the threads of provided an answer, certainly not one that I have understood.

bullet1 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,326
You should not compare these two on high ISO speeds

The 1Ds3 has more smaller pixels. A better comparison would be D3 vs 5D as both have the similar pixel count and size. The D3 is better for about 1-2 stops because it is newer with the latest electronics. The 5D follow-on might be a better one to compare with the D3.
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Scott Larson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,040
Re: Easy: large CMOS sensor, large pixels and good electronics

bullet1 wrote:

Is the buffer not large enough or the RAW processing slowing you down?

Yes and yes.

If you are shooting pro basketball games with ceiling/catwalk mounted
strobes, you really cannot shoot faster than the strobe refresh time.
It would be like 1 to 2 frames per second.

I'm not doing that.

If you are shooting with existing light, the buffer still
should not be a problem unless your style is machine gun all the
time. I tend to time my shots at the right moment and get 2 or 3 in
succession. The buffer is never a problem with shooting 100% RAW.

I've had much more success with the machine gun style. Too damn much happens in basketball in a tenth of a second. Also I can never predict what's about to happen.

If the RAW process is slowing you down, you don't have the right RAW
processor. Capture One Pro can load, adjust and process a large
number of files in a hurry.

Not on my laptop.

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Marianne Oelund Veteran Member • Posts: 7,788
The bottom line

SDRebel wrote:

If I set a D3 to ISO 12800 and then set a 1Ds3 to H (ISO 3200) and,
using the D3 aperture and shutter settings, set the 1Ds3 aperture and
shutter speed to that of the D3, can I push the 1Ds3 RAW file in
postprocessing to ISO 12800?

Yes, you can readily do the required 2-stop push.

Let us also assume that both cameras are using 50mm lenses.

If so, will the 1Ds3 file retain the advantage of high pixel count?

Yes, unless/until you perform down-sampling.

My question assumes that if aperture and shutter speed are identical,
that the same number of photons will strike the sensors of the two
cameras. Would this assumption be correct?

Yes.

Again, the fundamental issue is whether or not Nikon has with the D3
implemented a breakthrough in the processing of a fixed number of
photons, i.e., given the same amount of light in a low light
environment does the D3 produce a photograph that is not possible for
the 1Ds3? Or, is it just a function of the processing algorithm?

It's a function of elbow grease, really. If you are willing to do the work, you should be able to obtain an image with your 1Ds3 that is comparable to the D3's image. For my type of work, the beauty of the D3 is simply that it makes high IQ at high ISO settings very easy; it's a matter of the time and effort savings which become extremely important at my volume.

You must consider your output medium, also. It's easy to get carried away with the smallest detail differences in images, viewing them at 100% on a monitor. I do not print many of my images, but I did print some comparisons that I made recently. On monitor, the differences were very plain, but in print at about 220 dpi, even with +3 diopter reading glasses, they were quite hard to see.

Unless you are printing at well below 150 dpi, the detail differences between images from today's generation of dSLRs are simply not very noticeable. Color, tonality and the creative input you make in arranging the photo are far more important.

Thanks, because I still am not sure all the threads of provided an
answer, certainly not one that I have understood.

OP SDRebel Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Thanks

The ease of use of the D3 at high ISO seems to be the real issue.

It would be nice if one could tweak the Canon firmware accordingly ourselves or if Canon would offer the same ISO settings as the D3.

Meanwhile, back out into the field to see what I can get with what I have.

Thanks for all the input.

tony field Forum Pro • Posts: 12,064
How dare you....

Marianne Oelund wrote:

You must consider your output medium, also. It's easy to get carried
away with the smallest detail differences in images, viewing them at
100% on a monitor. I do not print many of my images, but I did print
some comparisons that I made recently. On monitor, the differences
were very plain, but in print at about 220 dpi, even with +3 diopter
reading glasses, they were quite hard to see.

It is totally unreasonable to make a simple, easy to understand statement that accurately represents the basic final analysis of two excellent camera systems That totally removes all of the reason why DPreview fora exist!!!
--
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http://www.tphoto.ca

D3 pusher Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: How does the D3 achieve such high ISO?

hehe... I didnt know you were a deciple I end my case!

PIXmantra Senior Member • Posts: 1,637
Something seems wrong...

From your updated computations:

Sensor DR at ISO 200 illumination limit:
D3 full-scale e- count = 65,600 (Roger's number)
D3 read noise = 6 e- (my number, more conservative than Roger's)

Mk III full-scale e- count = 38,000 (Emil's number)
Mk III read noise = 4 e-

D3 sensor DR = 65,600/6 = 11,000 = 13.4 stops
Mk III sensor DR = 38,000/4 = 9,500 = 13.2 stops

Let us take a look at something:

Assuming 7.2^2 surface for 1D3 and 8.4^2 for the D3, and assuming that there are light-collection capabilities are unformely distributed on the sensels' area, and proportionally equivalent between each cam's sensels, we then have:

Surface % of D3 to 1D3: 100*(8.4^2/7.2^-1) = 36.11%
Light-gathering % of D3 to 1D3 @ ISO200: 100*(65,600/38,000-1) = 72.63%

So here we have a 36.11% advantage of actual sensel's surface, yet we have a 72.63% advantage in collected electrons @ ISO200.

This does not seem to be right... Not in my watch.

PIX

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PIXmantra Senior Member • Posts: 1,637
Well, if we look at it this way...

PIXmantra wrote:

Let us take a look at something:

Assuming 7.2^2 surface for 1D3 and 8.4^2 for the D3, and assuming
that there are light-collection capabilities are unformely
distributed on the sensels' area, and proportionally equivalent
between each cam's sensels, we then have:

Surface % of D3 to 1D3: 100*(8.4^2/7.2^-1) = 36.11%
Light-gathering % of D3 to 1D3 @ ISO200: 100*(65,600/38,000-1) = 72.63%

So here we have a 36.11% advantage of actual sensel's surface, yet we
have a 72.63% advantage in collected electrons @ ISO200.

This does not seem to be right... Not in my watch.

D3 Electrons per sensel's surface unit @ ISO200: 929.7052
1D3 Electrons per sensel's surface unit @ ISO200: 733.0246

Or, in summary: D3 comes with a boost of sensel's light-gathering surface of 36.11%, yet it yields a proportionally lower increase of 26.83% of electrons/surface unit (or sensel).

Another way of looking at it.

PIX

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bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 69,811
Re: Well, if we look at it this way...

PIXmantra wrote:

PIXmantra wrote:

Let us take a look at something:

Assuming 7.2^2 surface for 1D3 and 8.4^2 for the D3, and assuming
that there are light-collection capabilities are unformely
distributed on the sensels' area, and proportionally equivalent
between each cam's sensels, we then have:

Surface % of D3 to 1D3: 100*(8.4^2/7.2^-1) = 36.11%
Light-gathering % of D3 to 1D3 @ ISO200: 100*(65,600/38,000-1) = 72.63%

So here we have a 36.11% advantage of actual sensel's surface, yet we
have a 72.63% advantage in collected electrons @ ISO200.

This does not seem to be right... Not in my watch.

D3 Electrons per sensel's surface unit @ ISO200: 929.7052
1D3 Electrons per sensel's surface unit @ ISO200: 733.0246

Or, in summary: D3 comes with a boost of sensel's light-gathering
surface of 36.11%, yet it yields a proportionally lower increase of
26.83% of electrons/surface unit (or sensel).

Another way of looking at it.

PIX

Two different things, surely.
1) Larger surface area per pixel (36.11%)
2) More efficient microlenses, no gap vs. reduced gap (28%)
Total per pixel gain = 1.36*1.28 = 1.74 = 74% (some rounding errors here)
--
Bob

Amin Sabet
Amin Sabet Veteran Member • Posts: 6,781
Re: Who doesn't get it

ejmartin wrote:

So if one is not fixated on the pixel (which corresponds to a
different spatial scale depending on the pixel size) but rather looks
at a fixed scale, pixel size is essentially irrelevant within a wide
range, its major effect is on resolution, not noise. Unless of
course you print images based on pixel size and so different sizes
for different cameras, rather than some standard size where smaller
pixels are a smaller percentage of the image.

Emil, what you say here makes sense, and I've seen you post this before. In practice, I don't think it works out quite right. There is no doubt that the apparent noise advantage of large pixel cameras based on evaluation at the pixel level is highly misleading. However, even when compared at the same overall print size, the large pixel cameras enjoy a noise advantage in my experience. Low light 1Ds II files against 5D files, both ISO 1600 pushed to ISO 3200 and printed at 12 x 18" - the 5D files have better detail/noise from the examples I have seen. Same goes for pocket cameras, eg Fuji F30 vs Canon G7 (granted the Fuji sensor is a touch larger) when compared at ISO 800 and up at any given same print size. Same for low light high ISO D3 vs 1Ds Mk III examples I have seen on the web and printed for my own evaluation at equal output sizes. I don't know why practice should deviate from the theory you are putting forth, but this is what I am seeing in the prints.

Regards,
Amin

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ejmartin Veteran Member • Posts: 6,274
Re: Who doesn't get it

Amin Sabet wrote:

ejmartin wrote:

So if one is not fixated on the pixel (which corresponds to a
different spatial scale depending on the pixel size) but rather looks
at a fixed scale, pixel size is essentially irrelevant within a wide
range, its major effect is on resolution, not noise. Unless of
course you print images based on pixel size and so different sizes
for different cameras, rather than some standard size where smaller
pixels are a smaller percentage of the image.

Emil, what you say here makes sense, and I've seen you post this
before. In practice, I don't think it works out quite right. There
is no doubt that the apparent noise advantage of large pixel cameras
based on evaluation at the pixel level is highly misleading.
However, even when compared at the same overall print size, the large
pixel cameras enjoy a noise advantage in my experience. Low light
1Ds II files against 5D files, both ISO 1600 pushed to ISO 3200 and
printed at 12 x 18" - the 5D files have better detail/noise from the
examples I have seen. Same goes for pocket cameras, eg Fuji F30 vs
Canon G7 (granted the Fuji sensor is a touch larger) when compared at
ISO 800 and up at any given same print size. Same for low light high
ISO D3 vs 1Ds Mk III examples I have seen on the web and printed for
my own evaluation at equal output sizes. I don't know why practice
should deviate from the theory you are putting forth, but this is
what I am seeing in the prints.

The quantitative point being made is that the 5D and 1Ds2 are collecting about the same number of photons per unit area, and both have about 4 electrons of read noise per pixel at high ISO (so there is a slight advantage to the 5D, but very slight). So there won't be a difference in the noise properties of raw, out to the limits of resolution of the larger pixel camera (after that, the two can't be compared, of course).

So when you see a difference in the printed result, it has to be a difference in the processing -- for instance, raw conversion, sharpening, or resampling to the final print resolution. Any of these could introduce a difference in the noise spectrum and sharpness that would favor one camera over the other. But you bring up a good point, and I don't know what the best method is to ensure that the equal quality that is available in the raw data is maintained through to the final result.

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Amin Sabet
Amin Sabet Veteran Member • Posts: 6,781
Re: Who doesn't get it

ejmartin wrote:

So when you see a difference in the printed result, it has to be a
difference in the processing -- for instance, raw conversion,
sharpening, or resampling to the final print resolution.

The opints you are making seem perfectly reasonable, but I find it hard to reconcile them with the prints. I don't believe that the slight but consistent detail/noise advantage I'm seeing from the large pixel cameras in any given format (5D vs 1Ds II, F30 vs G7, 30D vs XTi, D3 vs 1Ds III, etc) comes down to differences in processing. I'm pretty familiar with RAW conversion, sharpening, and resampling, as are the many other photographers whose work I have observed.

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