5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

Started Dec 3, 2008 | Discussions
phoman
phoman Contributing Member • Posts: 911
5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

Why everybody praises 5D high ISO as being very low, which is not is beyond me.

Shooting JPEG yes but in RAW it is not any better that the original 5D. After all these claims that Canon made about this new sensor that is "superior" to the the previous models all they actually did was to improve noise reduction in the camera itself so how can this new sensor be any better if it exhibits the same amount of noise compare to original 5D by shooting RAW?

They did the same claim with 50D which I have. Canon says like 2 stops better than 40D but it is not, it is the same. Shooting JPEG again yes, but in Raw no. How misleading!! I am a Raw shooter and I need a low noise in Raw mode so where is that sensor? The define plugin does even a better trick to my 5D high noise then the noise reduction in 5D mark 2 camera. So the video is pointless to me, same old yet proven AF, the 21mpx is beyond lens resolving power. High low ISO noise is misleading though the screen is nice. So basically not much improved from 5D, am I missing something?

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rrcphoto Veteran Member • Posts: 6,173
Re: 5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

if you increase the density of the sensor by n and maintain the same SNR ratio - then effectively your image noise has decreased to support the smaller pixels.

If you are printing from both cameras on say an 8x10 - one camera will have effectively one or more stops lattitude before it meets the noise level of the other.

which isn't false, nor misleading - canon has never stated that at the pixel level, noise has decreased dramatically over a different model.

also canon themselves never stated that, chuck westfall did and he specifically mentioned DIGIC IV noise reduction as being part of the mixture that does the 2 stops IMAGE noise reduction. then people started pixel peeping and then assuming what he said was false. no, it actually wasn't - just a different intrepretation over what's important - the final image.

there's a fair amount of studies that show that SNR has basically remained constant - even with the increase of pixel density on various cameras - in other words, the per pixel noise doesn't change, just the density of the sensor.

however if you printed a 19x13 from a 20Mp sensor versus the 12Mp sensor with the same per pixel noise, it's far less noticable on the higher density than it is on the lower density.

alap Contributing Member • Posts: 672
Re: 5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

You are probably right about noise reduction.

But with the rest I could hardly agree. Answering in short to your last question i might say: besides noise you missed everything.

Taikonaut Senior Member • Posts: 2,513
Re: 5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

Did you switched HTP ON?
At least one tester here had already made that mistake.

Which RAW converter did you use?

Jo' Chambers Contributing Member • Posts: 625
Re: 5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

Quite valid points here.

However, it is not only some of us looking at the pixel level, many of us have agencies which do so as well. And these agencies will not approve photos with the levels of noise on the 5DII even at low ISO's in the shadow areas without noise reduction applied.

Problem is, if you apply a tad too much, they won't accept them for being over filtered.

Canon may have technically not been dishonest, but they have and still do allude to the story that this new camera has significantly less noise. For many of our needs, this is simply not true from what I can see.

JLim22 Contributing Member • Posts: 501
Re: 5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

I think Nikon's RAW files have less noise because they use some kind of noise reduction in camera to the RAW files...

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=30211254

http://astrosurf.com/~buil/nikon_test/test.htm

But either way... if you're looking for less noise, I think Nikon is ahead right now.

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cherrybloke Regular Member • Posts: 161
5DII, D3x, should be used at ISO 200 and under.

Once one starts handholding shots at ISO 400 and above, camera shake, along with noise destroying detail, make the results no better than using a 12MP camera.

These are essentially tripod or bright light cameras.

phoman wrote:

Why everybody praises 5D high ISO as being very low, which is not is
beyond me.
Shooting JPEG yes but in RAW it is not any better that the original
5D. After all these claims that Canon made about this new sensor
that is "superior" to the the previous models all they actually did
was to improve noise reduction in the camera itself so how can this
new sensor be any better if it exhibits the same amount of noise
compare to original 5D by shooting RAW?
They did the same claim with 50D which I have. Canon says like 2
stops better than 40D but it is not, it is the same. Shooting JPEG
again yes, but in Raw no. How misleading!! I am a Raw shooter and I
need a low noise in Raw mode so where is that sensor? The define
plugin does even a better trick to my 5D high noise then the noise
reduction in 5D mark 2 camera. So the video is pointless to me, same
old yet proven AF, the 21mpx is beyond lens resolving power. High low
ISO noise is misleading though the screen is nice. So basically not
much improved from 5D, am I missing something?

Taikonaut Senior Member • Posts: 2,513
Re: 5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

JLim22 wrote:

I think Nikon's RAW files have less noise because they use some kind
of noise reduction in camera to the RAW files...

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=30211254

http://astrosurf.com/~buil/nikon_test/test.htm

But either way... if you're looking for less noise, I think Nikon is
ahead right now.

What make you think Nikon is ahead?

Jamie H. Senior Member • Posts: 2,793
Of course its better...

Per pixel, about one stop better than the original 5D. Per given output size, about two stops better.

Let the whining stop.

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JamesMor Veteran Member • Posts: 3,283
Re: 5DII, D3x, should be used at ISO 200 and under.

Would you care to elaborate more on this?

-James

cherrybloke wrote:
Once one starts handholding shots at ISO 400 and above, camera shake,
along with noise destroying detail, make the results no better than
using a 12MP camera.

These are essentially tripod or bright light cameras.

phoman wrote:

Why everybody praises 5D high ISO as being very low, which is not is
beyond me.
Shooting JPEG yes but in RAW it is not any better that the original
5D. After all these claims that Canon made about this new sensor
that is "superior" to the the previous models all they actually did
was to improve noise reduction in the camera itself so how can this
new sensor be any better if it exhibits the same amount of noise
compare to original 5D by shooting RAW?
They did the same claim with 50D which I have. Canon says like 2
stops better than 40D but it is not, it is the same. Shooting JPEG
again yes, but in Raw no. How misleading!! I am a Raw shooter and I
need a low noise in Raw mode so where is that sensor? The define
plugin does even a better trick to my 5D high noise then the noise
reduction in 5D mark 2 camera. So the video is pointless to me, same
old yet proven AF, the 21mpx is beyond lens resolving power. High low
ISO noise is misleading though the screen is nice. So basically not
much improved from 5D, am I missing something?

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Sal Baker Forum Pro • Posts: 11,518
Re: 5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

phoman wrote:

Why everybody praises 5D high ISO as being very low, which is not is
beyond me.
Shooting JPEG yes but in RAW it is not any better that the original
5D. After all these claims that Canon made about this new sensor
that is "superior" to the the previous models all they actually did
was to improve noise reduction in the camera itself so how can this
new sensor be any better if it exhibits the same amount of noise
compare to original 5D by shooting RAW?

My hope was that Canon could produce a 21mp sensor that had no more noise than their 12mp sensor. My 20x30 prints would then have more pixels to work with at the same noise level, and prints reduced to the size of the 12mp sensor prints would look even better.

Even though for at least a year people said it was beyond the laws of physics to almost double the pixels on the same size sensor without adding noticeable extra noise, Canon did it and I'm very excited.

If you want something over 20mp that (possibly) has minutely better IQ you might check out the new Nikon if you have $8k.

As to lenses, I mostly shoot with primes and have no doubt they will resolve plenty of detail at 21mp. Some zooms will take a little extra PP handiwork to pull out "apparent" sharpness, but I've been able to do that with lower res sensors up-resed to the same 20x30 size prints I will soon shoot at 21mp.

Sal

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rrcphoto Veteran Member • Posts: 6,173
Re: 5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

Taikonaut wrote:

Did you switched HTP ON?
At least one tester here had already made that mistake.

Which RAW converter did you use?

and change auto lighting optimizer to be OFF it looks like it's on by default on the 5D Mark II if dpreview has their menu's correct.

FullRez Regular Member • Posts: 242
Re: 5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

Yeah not good at all: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=30226933

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Sal Baker Forum Pro • Posts: 11,518
Re: 5DII, D3x, should be used at ISO 200 and under.

cherrybloke wrote:

Once one starts handholding shots at ISO 400 and above, camera shake,
along with noise destroying detail, make the results no better than
using a 12MP camera.

The ability to not shake a camera during exposure has nothing to do with the number of mp on the sensor. If one wants to shoot with poor technique, a 4mp camera would indeed be an even better choice.

Sal

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Andre Affleck Senior Member • Posts: 2,362
Re: 5DII, D3x, should be used at ISO 200 and under.

This is only true at the pixel level (100% crops). At 100% you are essentially zooming in with a 21MP camera, magnifying the camera shake, but magnitude of camera shake is the same as a 12 MP camera (obviously). At the print level, the shake is the same but the detail resolution will be greater on a 21MP camera.

The same can be said for noise (as other posters have mentioned). We really should not be comparing noise and sharpness at 100% anymore.

One thing that can be said about the noise quality of the 5DMII is that it can be better dealt with than that of the original 5D, especially when pushing the exposures. Banding on the original 5D put the limit at ISO3200 (can't push any further). The 5DMII can be pushed way beyond that and still produce good tonality and detail with some minor NR processing with NI.

cherrybloke wrote:

Once one starts handholding shots at ISO 400 and above, camera shake,
along with noise destroying detail, make the results no better than
using a 12MP camera.

These are essentially tripod or bright light cameras.

XeroJay Senior Member • Posts: 2,341
Yes, It is... In sRAW.

You can't faily compare a 21mp camera with a 12 mp... But if you set the camera to sRAW1 (10.5 MP), then process the 5DII & D3 files using ACR or Lightroom, with the same settings, the results are pretty well equal for both. Infact, maybe a slight edge to the 5DII:

5DII iso6400:

D3 iso6400:

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cherrybloke Regular Member • Posts: 161
Yes it does. Same with tripods

Sal Baker wrote:

cherrybloke wrote:

Once one starts handholding shots at ISO 400 and above, camera shake,
along with noise destroying detail, make the results no better than
using a 12MP camera.

The ability to not shake a camera during exposure has nothing to do
with the number of mp on the sensor.

A higher megapixel image is more likely to be degraded by hand movement. It's been experienced time and time again, and is more or less common knowledge, (although apparently not common enough.) When the D2X came out, many Nikon users commented on this. Think about it. Think about how camera shake degrades an image to begin with. The arc of the movement must be great than the smallest detail recorded, otherwise the camera shake will not degrade image quality. There's nothing to degrade. A lower MP image records less detail to begin with. Camera shake can blur detail on a 24 MP images that a 12MP sensor can't even record.

Same goes for tripods. One needs the most sturdy of tripods for a higher resolution camera.

cherrybloke Regular Member • Posts: 161
But you are forgetting...

...two important reasons one would want more megapixels, larger prints and cropping ability.

Andre Affleck wrote:
This is only true at the pixel level (100% crops). At 100% you are
essentially zooming in with a 21MP camera, magnifying the camera
shake, but magnitude of camera shake is the same as a 12 MP camera
(obviously). At the print level, the shake is the same but the detail
resolution will be greater on a 21MP camera.

The same can be said for noise (as other posters have mentioned). We
really should not be comparing noise and sharpness at 100% anymore.

One thing that can be said about the noise quality of the 5DMII is
that it can be better dealt with than that of the original 5D,
especially when pushing the exposures. Banding on the original 5D put
the limit at ISO3200 (can't push any further). The 5DMII can be
pushed way beyond that and still produce good tonality and detail
with some minor NR processing with NI.

cherrybloke wrote:

Once one starts handholding shots at ISO 400 and above, camera shake,
along with noise destroying detail, make the results no better than
using a 12MP camera.

These are essentially tripod or bright light cameras.

Tim Larsen d2xshooter Forum Member • Posts: 75
Re: 5D Mark 2 and it's high ISO is not that great

I completely agree: At the pixel level the noise may be 1/2 stop better on the 5d MarkII vs the 5d, nothing to jump around about. I have both and have been shooting both to compare, but certainly no formal test, just anecdotal.

However, when I print both a 5d and a 5dm2 as a 12x18 (full spread for a 9x12 album) on a Epson 3800 at 3200 the 5d doesn't cut it, the 5dm2 is beautiful and is even acceptable at 6400 with a noise ninja pass.

ACR-5.2 & C1v4.5.2 for raw convertors.

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Sal Baker Forum Pro • Posts: 11,518
Re: Yes it does. Same with tripods

cherrybloke wrote:

Sal Baker wrote:

cherrybloke wrote:

Once one starts handholding shots at ISO 400 and above, camera shake,
along with noise destroying detail, make the results no better than
using a 12MP camera.

The ability to not shake a camera during exposure has nothing to do
with the number of mp on the sensor.

A higher megapixel image is more likely to be degraded by hand
movement. It's been experienced time and time again, and is more or
less common knowledge, (although apparently not common enough.) When
the D2X came out, many Nikon users commented on this. Think about it.
Think about how camera shake degrades an image to begin with. The arc
of the movement must be great than the smallest detail recorded,
otherwise the camera shake will not degrade image quality. There's
nothing to degrade. A lower MP image records less detail to begin
with. Camera shake can blur detail on a 24 MP images that a 12MP
sensor can't even record.

Same goes for tripods. One needs the most sturdy of tripods for a
higher resolution camera.

No. The 21mp image at 100% is magnified so you see more imperfections. Reduce the 21mp to 12mp, or up-res the 12mp to 21mp and any camera shake will be the same. As you said, the 12mp records less to begin with so how would anyone know?

If you can post some images demonstrating the difference please do so. But I don't know how you could control the test to make sure 2 different cameras were shaken the exact same amount.

Sal

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