5D3 Does Night Safari

Started Apr 10, 2012 | Discussions
nneubronner Forum Member • Posts: 89
5D3 Does Night Safari

The Singapore Night Safari, the world's first night themed zoo (as they claim) provides a good torture test for any camera setup.

Set in the heart of Mandai Reserve, a sizable primary Tropical Rainforest Reserve in the heart of Singapore. Past 7.30pm, there is basically no light available save for those provided by artificial lighting. No flash photography is allowed as it may harm the animals.

Photos were taken with a 5d mk III and the 70-200 f2.8 II L.

Photos were shot in RAW and processed with ACR 6.7 to CS5. ACR NR and Sharpening were at photoshop defaults. Web sized photographs downsized to 1920 x 1080, Bicubic Sharp.

One thing I must note is that despite the improvements in the mk3 af system, I still had plenty of problems getting focus to lock in a lot of the photographs. Quite a lot of times I totally failed to get any AF lock at all and had to resort to manual focusing/ live view focusing.

Another thing is that, in my opinion, ISO 102400 is completely unusable. Far too noisy to even get good web sized photographs.

Also to note, the reason why the Malayan Tiger is in black and white is because some idiot decided to put a yellow light in the Tiger's pen. As a result, half of the lion was drenched in a disgusting pee yellow lighting which I could not correct in Photoshop.

Enjoy!

Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark III
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OP nneubronner Forum Member • Posts: 89
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

For comparison, here are photographs at the Night Safari that I previously took with a 5d2.

Processing wise exactly the same - ACR to Photoshop with default sharpening and NR.

MI6gunny Contributing Member • Posts: 518
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

I am quite impressed by these shots both technically and I can't really fault them for thier composition either. My goodness. This looks like my 60D at ISO 3200.
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Jaims Senior Member • Posts: 2,075
Amazing high iso series!

Wow, that's amazing.

Looking at high iso pictures in the past, when both the D3s and the 1D4 were released, I realized that no matter how good high iso comes out from a camera,pictures are always going to show it: too much grain, poorer colors...
The 5D3 is no exception to this.

That being said, I find these pictures amazing and unbelievable. Given the situation, you get the pictures this way or don't get them at all.

I see that you used 12800 with the 5DII but with the 5D3 you have been using 25600-51200. One could venture that you have been feeling 1.5 hi-ISO stops on average more comfortable with the 5D3. Is that so?

I think these are great news. When shooting action/wildlife scenes that need a minimum of shutter speed I start to feel limited at ISO 1600 with my 1D3 or 7D. I'm starting to feel that I could go up to 3200 to get the same quality with the 5D3 at the shutter speed, or even up to 6400 (?).

Does that make sense, according to your experience?

Thanks for sharing these pics!

Best regards,

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cs hauser Contributing Member • Posts: 735
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

nneubronner wrote:

One thing I must note is that despite the improvements in the mk3 af system, I still had plenty of problems getting focus to lock in a lot of the photographs. Quite a lot of times I totally failed to get any AF lock at all and had to resort to manual focusing/ live view focusing.

Most of the samples you've posted were exposed at around ISO 51200 @ f/2.8 @ 1/25 sec. At those crazy settings you should't be complaining about the camera's inability to auto focus.

Another thing is that, in my opinion, ISO 102400 is completely unusable. Far too noisy to even get good web sized photographs.

ISO 102400 is salvageable as web-sized B&W images, IMHO.

OP nneubronner Forum Member • Posts: 89
Re: Amazing high iso series!

Yes, you are exactly right. With the 5d3 I feel extremely comfortable shooting at 25600 and even 51200 if absolutely needed (only if absolutely needed) whereas with my 5d2 I absolutely hate to take photos above 6400 due to, as you can see, heavy banding and very hot colour noise that is impossible to deal with with further NR because with animals, I would destroy every single fine detail in the process.

Indeed, at low ISO, I feel 5d3 handles sharpening and fill light even better than my 5d2 ever could. The grain pattern is a lot more forgiving and "palatable" even after aggressive processing. For example, I have a picture I took in my house at ISO 800 with very bad back lighting where I had to push my fill light all the way to near max and saturation to +13 (thereabouts) to get the look that I wanted and there was no banding in the shadows (that I could see).

With my 5d2 I never even dared to use fill light past +8 due to how horribly noisy shadows were if raised, even at low to moderate ISOs.

Jaims wrote:

Wow, that's amazing.

Looking at high iso pictures in the past, when both the D3s and the 1D4 were released, I realized that no matter how good high iso comes out from a camera,pictures are always going to show it: too much grain, poorer colors...
The 5D3 is no exception to this.

That being said, I find these pictures amazing and unbelievable. Given the situation, you get the pictures this way or don't get them at all.

I see that you used 12800 with the 5DII but with the 5D3 you have been using 25600-51200. One could venture that you have been feeling 1.5 hi-ISO stops on average more comfortable with the 5D3. Is that so?

I think these are great news. When shooting action/wildlife scenes that need a minimum of shutter speed I start to feel limited at ISO 1600 with my 1D3 or 7D. I'm starting to feel that I could go up to 3200 to get the same quality with the 5D3 at the shutter speed, or even up to 6400 (?).

Does that make sense, according to your experience?

Thanks for sharing these pics!

Best regards,

SubPrime Senior Member • Posts: 1,238
Re: Amazing high iso series!

Jaims wrote:

Wow, that's amazing.

That being said, I find these pictures amazing and unbelievable. Given the situation, you get the pictures this way or don't get them at all.

I couldn't agree more. And many of these would be more than adequate for small prints.

d2d Regular Member • Posts: 190
These show why...

These show why the camera does not come with a pop up flash.

Really great images and thank you for posting. I found the B&W of the big cat stunning.

altenae Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

cs hauser wrote:

nneubronner wrote:

One thing I must note is that despite the improvements in the mk3 af system, I still had plenty of problems getting focus to lock in a lot of the photographs. Quite a lot of times I totally failed to get any AF lock at all and had to resort to manual focusing/ live view focusing.

Most of the samples you've posted were exposed at around ISO 51200 @ f/2.8 @ 1/25 sec. At those crazy settings you should't be complaining about the camera's inability to auto focus.

Indeed.
When it's to dark NO camera will focus.
Put these values in a EV calculator.

I wonder the outcome ?

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aftab
aftab Forum Pro • Posts: 10,156
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

Wow! I was there few years ago with 5D1. I couldn't capture a single usable image. I know you wanted to show them without much processing, but if you wanted to you could have made some of them much cleaner by selective NR.
Really a great camera.
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guatitamasluz Senior Member • Posts: 1,103
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

without reading the other posts: ISO 51200 !!! great delievery! I really like that. These are the pics I was waiting for! And, would you mind to post a 102 400?
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Kevin Jorgensen Contributing Member • Posts: 745
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

Thanks for sharing these. I'll be in Singapore for 3 nights in June and it'll be a good chance for me to try out the 5DM3 + the Sigma 120-300f2.8OS that I'll be bringing back from Australia.

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spiderhunter Regular Member • Posts: 239
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

Claim is wrong. Singapore copied the idea from Santiago zoo.

nneubronner wrote:

The Singapore Night Safari, the world's first night themed zoo (as they claim) provides a good torture test for any camera setup.

Set in the heart of Mandai Reserve, a sizable primary Tropical Rainforest Reserve in the heart of Singapore. Past 7.30pm, there is basically no light available save for those provided by artificial lighting. No flash photography is allowed as it may harm the animals.

Photos were taken with a 5d mk III and the 70-200 f2.8 II L.

Photos were shot in RAW and processed with ACR 6.7 to CS5. ACR NR and Sharpening were at photoshop defaults. Web sized photographs downsized to 1920 x 1080, Bicubic Sharp.

One thing I must note is that despite the improvements in the mk3 af system, I still had plenty of problems getting focus to lock in a lot of the photographs. Quite a lot of times I totally failed to get any AF lock at all and had to resort to manual focusing/ live view focusing.

Another thing is that, in my opinion, ISO 102400 is completely unusable. Far too noisy to even get good web sized photographs.

Also to note, the reason why the Malayan Tiger is in black and white is because some idiot decided to put a yellow light in the Tiger's pen. As a result, half of the lion was drenched in a disgusting pee yellow lighting which I could not correct in Photoshop.

Enjoy!

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A good picture is worth one word - IMPACT.

pkeairnes New Member • Posts: 12
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

This is quite a technical achievement. Thanks for sharing.

Besides the camera body, the other impressive piece of equipment is the 70-200 f2.8 II L. Were the photos taken hand-held or on a pod?

pkeairnes New Member • Posts: 12
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

NEU_0442 and NEU_0448 have the same exposure, but NEU_0442 is substantially noisier. Did you push the exposure further in post?

OP nneubronner Forum Member • Posts: 89
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

Thank you so much for you comments.

I'll try to fish for a 102400 picture though no guarantee as I may have deleted them in camera due to how noisy they are.

All 5d3 shots were shot handheld with use of bracing items whenever available (which was not all the time). The cat, the bat, the tiger and the bear were entirely handheld. I do not admit that I got it "perfect" on the first shot.

In regards to NEU 442 and 448, it was actually the other way around. 448 was overexposed by a significant margin, such that when I brought it down in post, it came out that way.

I just checked my RAWs, 448 was reduced by -0.55 EV. 442 is untouched. All the rest have not had their exposures compensated for.

OP nneubronner Forum Member • Posts: 89
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

As requested. Straight from camera RAW to ACR to Photoshop (default NR and Sharpening), image downsize bicubic sharper, increased contrast by +6. Nothing else touched.

M Mason Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: 5D3 Does Night Safari

Looks like we finally have a camera comfortable with nocturnal critters. Thanks for posting.

One thing I noticed about most of your captures is that the viewer can tell that they were taken at night. Perhaps it's the dark backgrounds, or other lighting clues. Anyway, with the 'night look' the noise does not look out of place. Almost adds to the effect. I don't know if I'm expressing this correctly, but there does seem to be a synergy between the 'grain' and 'night look' of the shots.

Mark

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Jaims Senior Member • Posts: 2,075
Re: wow. Unbelievable.

102400? It is not too bad!
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Kabe Luna
Kabe Luna Veteran Member • Posts: 9,496
These are great

The noise is very well controlled and you've struck a great balance between NR and detail retention. However, I think I prefer the colors from the 5D2 shots in your next post, especially the greens which seem fluorescent on the 5D3 shots.

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