5d Mark III low iso poor performance.

Started Jun 20, 2012 | Discussions
scott_mcleod Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
Re: 5d Mark III low iso poor performance.

Ogjetaknight wrote:

carlk wrote:

It seems the one who has it doesn't like it. The one who doesn't have it likes to have one but only if it's free.

Ferrari_Alex wrote:

This comments is strange. For 3500 usd you can have it. But what is wrong with the fact that somebody is reporting an issue with the canera? Does it mean you need to pay crazy money and be super happy with everything you get, even if it has issues?
Strange logic

Ogjetaknight wrote:

If you don't want your 5d3 I'll take it.

I do have one and it exhibits none of what the OP claims.

I also have one and it does really mess-up shadows at low ISO... but... only sometimes . Other times there is virtually no trace of the vertical pattern noise even when pushed. It appears completely random, which drives me nuts. And it disappears as the ISO is raised (due to the unpredictability of the effect I can't say exactly when it goes away for real but I haven't seen it at all at 1600 and beyond). If there was some way of knowing what shooting sonditions triggered this phenoenon it would be pretty easy to stay away from, but there isn't, so I can't (yet).

The best thing I've found to prevent/greatly reduce it is to shoot at integral multiples of what appears to be the true base ISO of this sensor, 160, i.e. 160, 320, 640, 1250. Beyond that it doesn't matter; 1600, 3200 and 6400 seem fine.

Regards,
Scott

David Hull
David Hull Veteran Member • Posts: 6,325
Re: 5d Mark III low iso poor performance.

Mikael Risedal wrote:

banding, pattern noise, low dynamic range, high read out noise at low iso
Canon - no way.

https://picasaweb.google.com/106266083120070292876/DR5dmk2VsD7000

Yep... we've certainly never seen these shots before either

Well, as tehy will be saying in London in a few weeks... "let the games begin".

David Hull wrote:

Alexandros Trichos wrote:

Am I the only one to think that 5d MK3 has very poor performance in shadows, even in low isos like 100 or 200 ? High color noise, weird noise patterns, vertical bands/stripes all without any pushing!!!
Straight out of the box the images look terrible in the shadow areas.
Why is that? I am very disappointed. VERY disappointed ...
Even my poor old 350d did better in that domain...

Sadly, you are the only one. Nobody has ever made this comment before, we have never heard of it.

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Shane Pope Senior Member • Posts: 1,264
Re: 5d Mark III low iso poor performance.

indeed i do not use Lightroom for this very reason. DPP is good it is also easy to master.
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MayaTlab0
MayaTlab0 Senior Member • Posts: 2,721
Re: 5d Mark III low iso poor performance.

I've given a quick look at the raw files.

For starters, both seem to me quite underexposed. I know that you might want to do it for artistic purposes, for example, but I'm afraid that's not the way to do it with those Canon sensors. In any way, a correctly exposed image will easily be corrected in post to give you the underexposed look you might want. I'd try, as much as it is feasible, to expose right where the highlights start to blow out.

Second, I see that both these shots are at ISO 200. Is it because you used HTP on ? Then one may also wonder if the underexposed look in Lightroom is due to the software not recognising this and applying the necessary curve, but that seems weird as Lightroom does so for Canon cameras in general. I suggest trying to see if switching it off can improve your results.

Third, you may want to try using Capture One for low ISO shots. I've tried it as well with Canon files and specifically yours and it does handle the low ISO banding slightly better.

At most reasonable print sizes, I don't think this will show up. If you think that's unacceptable, then there may be other options out there, especially those using the Sony exmor sensors. You may also want to send it to Canon for a quick look, but I'm dubious of massive sample variation claims for camera sensors.

I personally wished Canon could compete better in the DR department with the latest releases from Pentax, Sony or Nikon. But one may also consider that those Canon sensors aren't exactly lagging behind in every area. In fact I believe, if I'm correct, that Canon is currently the only sensor manufacturer to produce full-frame sensors with an electronic first curtain (which allows the 5d MK III to have this very neat silent mode feature). So it's a trade-off between what you expect and what you can get.

kelpdiver Veteran Member • Posts: 3,623
Re: Take it back

Alexandros Trichos wrote:

And by the way, I see the original image. No compensation is being applied by lightroom. I acknowledge the whole histogram/curve thing, but what if I want an image to be underexposed deliberately? I don't have the right? Or shall the camera punish me with noise of some kind. I don't have the right to have shadows in my images ? Again, the images are not 'pushed' or exposure compensated, at least not as far as I can see.

On a side note though the Canon DPP displays a bit different image. Less sharp and a bit less noisy than the one in lightoom. The problem still exists tough. I guess this has to do with the default sharpening? I am not sure...

As just noted by someone, LR is different from DPP, and any other RAW converter. And there's really no such thing as "no compensation is being applied by LR." Just as JPEG out of the camera depends greatly on the camera and on the settings (sharpening in particular) for that camera.

At times you're a bit argumentative - that makes people think you're just yanking our chain on a known subject/rant. If your primary style of photography involves deliberate underexposure, you probably should use a Nikon. It plays to their strength. I do know that with my III I can now take a lot of flash free indoor photography and get usable results, something I could not with my 7/30/20/5dI models.

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,261
Why couldn't you do deliberate underexposure in PP? nt

no text

Ogjetaknight Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Take it back

David Hull wrote:

MayaTlab0 wrote:

I suggest you to try disabling the Highlight Tone Priority option (unless you want to keep highlight recovery potential at its maximum) and use a moderate amount of chroma noise reduction.

To be fair to Canon most sensors apart from the new Sony ones display chroma noise in the near black areas, even at low ISOs. Nothing that Lightroom can't handle. The main difference with recent Canon cameras is the pattern created by the noise, which is trickier to correct, but not impossible.

I agree. You are actually preaching to the choir here. I don't think his banding is excessive and it may be typical -- don't know for sure. However, my point was that if he finds this degree of pattern noise unacceptable, his solution is simple -- just return the camera (maybe try another one).

As for me I have looked at a lot of these sorts of test shots (I would love to have his RAW file) and have convinced myself that the degree of pattern noise in this new camera is an Improvement over the 5DII (which I DO own). Since I might buy one of these things, I am obviously interested.

I don’t think anyone who knows my posting history would ever accuse me of not being fair to Canon That’s just it, though, I DO believe that some fairness is deserved which is why I sometimes go off on some of the hyperbolic, over the top crapola that occasionally gets posted here (sadly, more than occasionally these days).

I have noticed noise in 100% crops of shadow areas in some of my photos not necessarily "banding" but noise nun the less. If your intention is to make large prints of 100% crops with a lot of shadows, this could cause a problem. However, at more subtle crop levels(even 50%) the noise would not be noticeable unless you were printing very large.

I guess the bottom line would be, if you need the cleanest shadows possiable, the d800 is your best option.

Alexandros Trichos
OP Alexandros Trichos Junior Member • Posts: 41
Re: Take it back

Come on guys! This is not a matter of taste of if it bothers someone or not. A camera of this league should not demonstrate lo iso noise. This is not a super feature that I am asking, this is basics. And I hardly doubt It has to do with underexposure... Even in other decently exposed images the problem lurks in the shadows...

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Alexandros Trichos
OP Alexandros Trichos Junior Member • Posts: 41
Re: Take it back

I guess the bottom line would be, if you need the cleanest shadows possiable, the d800 is your best option.

Now I know... But what to do with all the glass...

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Ogjetaknight Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Take it back

Alexandros Trichos wrote:

Come on guys! This is not a matter of taste of if it bothers someone or not. A camera of this league should not demonstrate lo iso noise. This is not a super feature that I am asking, this is basics. And I hardly doubt It has to do with underexposure... Even in other decently exposed images the problem lurks in the shadows...

Actually, it does matter if bothers you or not, it dosent bother me at all. Ofcourse I'm not trying to do the same things with my camera that you are. Also I find it hard to believe that your 350d dosent have this problem because my 20d does, but whatever.

David Hull
David Hull Veteran Member • Posts: 6,325
Re: Take it back

Alexandros Trichos wrote:

Come on guys! This is not a matter of taste of if it bothers someone or not. A camera of this league should not demonstrate lo iso noise. This is not a super feature that I am asking, this is basics. And I hardly doubt It has to do with underexposure... Even in other decently exposed images the problem lurks in the shadows...

Oh yes... the old, "I paid a lot of money for it... it should be perfect argument". This is always the one that makes me laugh the loudest. Nothing is perfect regardless of what it costs. All cameras, regardless of their "league" have read noise, some more than others.

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Ogjetaknight Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Take it back

Alexandros Trichos wrote:

I guess the bottom line would be, if you need the cleanest shadows possiable, the d800 is your best option.

Now I know... But what to do with all the glass...

Either sell it or, if I were you I'd keep it in the hopes that one day Canon will produce a camera that meets your standards.

Either way, have fun lurking in the shadows with your d800. LOL
And good luck.

carlk Forum Pro • Posts: 15,940
Re: Take it back

Alexandros Trichos wrote:

I guess the bottom line would be, if you need the cleanest shadows possiable, the d800 is your best option.

Now I know... But what to do with all the glass...

Just sell them. It's really no big deal. Consider the small depreciation the rent you paid for using the lenses over the years.

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kevindar
kevindar Veteran Member • Posts: 4,562
absolutely, definitively, and positiviely, not normal

this is absolutely not normal, and the wrong behavior. is this raw? jpeg? if raw, what are you using to process? this is definitely not normal, unless I guess you are shooting is 140 F degree temp, or something bizzarre. you can easily download dpr raw samples which have plenty of shadow, or just inspect them as they are. this is not normal.
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rwbaron Forum Pro • Posts: 13,963
Re: Take it back

Alexandros Trichos wrote:

Come on guys! This is not a matter of taste of if it bothers someone or not. A camera of this league should not demonstrate lo iso noise. This is not a super feature that I am asking, this is basics. And I hardly doubt It has to do with underexposure... Even in other decently exposed images the problem lurks in the shadows...

I think you should get the cigar.

My first impression was how could someone frequenting this forum possibly buy a 5D3 and not be aware of this issue but then I looked at your profile and realized you recently joined DPR. I say you should get the cigar because most people shooting with the 5D2 or 3 would not notice the issue unless it was shown to them but you apparently found it on your own. For the vast majority of people using DSLR's it's just not an issue but for someone like you with your style of shooting it obviously is.

If this bothers you your best option is to buy a camera with a Sony Exmor sensor such as the D800, D7000, Pentax K5 or one of various Sony models. The Exmor sensor architecture is unique and minimizes low ISO noise and patterns much below Canon's and some other designs. Canon either doesn't have the technology, the interest or both so their sensor designs will exhibit noise and patterns in the deep shadows at low ISO especially when pushed. The D800 is the current best camera for low ISO noise but it appears getting one without other design faults and QC issues could be a problem.

Nothing's perfect in life. Sorry but that's the simple truth.

Good luck with your decision.

Bob
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rwbaron Forum Pro • Posts: 13,963
Re: 5d Mark III low iso poor performance.

Try converting the RAW file with Digital Photo Professional with Neutral or Faithful Picture Styles and then use the "Transfer to Photoshop" as a 16 bit Tiff function. Now check the shadow areas on the Tiff file in Photoshop and see if they look different.

Bob
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Volksgti81 Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Re: 5d Mark III low iso poor performance.

I've seen that with the highlight tone priority.

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David Hull
David Hull Veteran Member • Posts: 6,325
OK, I took a look at the RAW files

Both are underexposed way more than they need to be. What was the intent of that? I suspect if you reshot these with a better exposure setting you would see a lot of improvement.
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Ogjetaknight Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: OK, I took a look at the RAW files

David Hull wrote:

Both are underexposed way more than they need to be. What was the intent of that? I suspect if you reshot these with a better exposure setting you would see a lot of improvement.
--

It's probably eaiser for him to just get the d800

gdanmitchell
gdanmitchell Veteran Member • Posts: 7,730
Re: Take it back

Alexandros Trichos wrote:

Come on guys! This is not a matter of taste of if it bothers someone or not. A camera of this league should not demonstrate lo iso noise. This is not a super feature that I am asking, this is basics. And I hardly doubt It has to do with underexposure... Even in other decently exposed images the problem lurks in the shadows...

All digital cameras produce noise - there is no such thing as a noise-free image from a DSLR. If you go looking for noise in shadows at 100% magnification, you will find it. But it doesn't matter one bit. I print large (in-house Epson 7900) and noise from a 5D2 has never been a problem - not once is a well-exposed image.

The camera doesn't make decisions. The photographer does. If you want the lowest possible noise and the highest possible image quality you must make smart exposure decisions - no matter what camera you use and regardless of whether you shoot digital or film.

You still seem to want to go with the assumption that the 5D3 is somehow so deficient as a breed that it is incapable of producing images without terrible noise problems. If that were true, it would seem that all 5D3 images (and yours are supposedly typical in terms of ISO and subjects and so forth) would exhibit this deal-busting problem that you seem to have. Unless you can find evidence that 5D3 cameras in general seem unable to produce low noise images in reasonably challenging circumstances - and there area a lot of photographers who seem to be able to make this work - you are giving the appearance of being obsessive in your belief the Canon has produced a defective product. Let's be blunt - you aren't making a lot of sense here.

The questions are:

  • is the noise visible in your intended output format? (as opposed to when you go looking for it at 100% on your monitor)

  • what decisions does a wise photographer make who wants to minimize noise? (Such as exposing to the right and so forth.)

If you want a dark and dramatic look, do what photographs have done for many decades - capture the best possible image data regardless of what the capture itself looks like, and then apply post-processing techniques to produce the best possible print. In order to produce a dark print, there is a right way and a (usually) wrong way:

Wrong way - Expose the image to look dark in camera. This means underexposing, perhaps radically, which increases noise and creates other issues such as limiting the available dynamic range of the capture. The lure of "getting it right in camera" is powerful, but this does not mean making it look right in camera.

Right way - Expose to the right so that you capture the largest possible dynamic range and keep as much of the tonal range of the image out of the very darkest luminosity levels, thus maintaining a large signal to noise ratio. In post , modify the image in ways that get the "look" you desire. If you start with a capture that looks overly bright compared to the original scene, and you then darken in in post, you will end up with a very clean print.

(I learned this the hard way many years back with my first DSLR. I was shooting in Death Valley - at the Racetrack - at night under a full moon. I ignorantly trusted the image display in the LCD of my camera. Hey, it looked just like my surroundings - e.g. very dark. This was a terrible mistake since all of the tones were in the lowest luminosity range and I had to tremendously boost everything in post. I was barely able to salvage some of the photos, but I had to engage in tons of noise reduction shenanigans.

I learned my lesson. Since that time I have done a lot of night photography. (see http://gdanmitchell.com/gallery/v/HumanWorld/NightPhotography/ ) I alway trust the histogram, and I get exactly the look I want in post.

Take care,

Dan

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