What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?

Started Mar 5, 2013 | Questions
pixd90 Senior Member • Posts: 1,456
Re: What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?

original night photography, no flash, ISO 1600, 1/10sec, hand held, PP photmatix.



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Bill Randall
Bill Randall Forum Pro • Posts: 21,969
Re: What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?

Sammy Yousef wrote:

I typically shoot my D90 at base ISO (200), but was wondering what most people actually shoot at regularly with the newer bodies. I will typically set auto ISO up to 800 but no more for action photography.

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Sammy.
My forum postings reflect my own opinions and not those of my employer. I'm not employed in the photo business.

The rule is, the lower the ISO the better the photo. I just got a new D5200 and my first photo was inside the house, in the evening with the blinds closed, fluorescent light on at ISO 4000 and no flash. I was amazed at the quality. While I am learning how to use the camera, I will eventually try higher ISOs because I enjoy night shooting.

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mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 8,272
Re: What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?

JCB123 wrote:

Sammy Yousef wrote:

I typically shoot my D90 at base ISO (200), but was wondering what most people actually shoot at regularly with the newer bodies. I will typically set auto ISO up to 800 but no more for action photography.

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Sammy.
My forum postings reflect my own opinions and not those of my employer. I'm not employed in the photo business.

D90 pretty much the same as you. I'll sometimes stretch to ISO 1600 if I really need to but prefer to limit to ISO 800 and prefer to keep to ISO 200 wherever possible.

For the D7000 you can add a stop to all the high ISO and I am happy to shoot at ISO 100 to 400 anytime. If I don't need to get the maximum out of the sensor (won't need to print large) then ISO 3200 is acceptable, but the problem here is that I tend not to want to commit to output usage restrictions (or even think about that) while I am shooting - I prefer to keep all options open if possible. Nevertheless if you are shooting in low natural light conditions, need to freeze subject motion and cannot or prefer not to use flash. ISO 3200 can sometimes get you a shot that would otherwise not be possible.

RX100 as for D90 but usage is different and I am not expecting to print an ISO 800 image very large.

E-PL2 Close to D7000 for ISO vs IQ, but not quite. It is a less capable camera in other respects so usage as yet is not really the same, although the purpose of owning the E-PL5 is to provide a more portable alternative to the D7000.

Regards

John

Pretty close to my limits on the D90, though I tend to shoot at ISO 400 most of the time walking around to get decent shutter speeds on my walkaround lenses in the often overcast or tree-covered Pacific Northwest.  I try to not go above ISO 800 and never attempt anything over ISO 1600 - by that point capture quality has degraded to about the level of my XZ-1 at ISO 200, which is also where I stop using that camera. I will run base ISO when conditions allow it, but for most handheld work base ISO is not quite sensitive enough.

The ability of the D7000 generation of cameras to deliver 1-2 stops more clean ISO when NR enhanced in post is very very useful for handheld travel shooting, and in fact necessary to take full advantage of the increased resolution.  But the lower base ISO of modern DSLRs I really can't take great advantage of, again because of the need to use slower lenses for weight and size constraints.  So even more so than the D90 I would be shooting typically at ISO 400.  My old D80? Oof.  ISO400 max and typical.

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mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 8,272
Re: What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?

rpacoma wrote:

Currently using a D90 and I have no qualms about taking it to 1600; sometimes to 3200 if I really want the shot. Using Topaz Denoise really helps out though with removing the noise at the higher ISOs and basically repressed my urges to get the new D7100 (for now....).

I know what you mean.  Compared to the D80, the D90 and its successors are much closer together in measurement terms, but the D7000 can take a lot more NR.  If one doesn't want to go to the additional work of Denoise, one is ultimately left with FX, and I ain't going there.

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nfpotter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,080
I'm kind of surprised...
3

I'm quite surprised how many people limit themselves to lower ISO's. Maybe it's the type of shooting some of you do, but as for me, I shoot everything. I would never rather have missed a shot (or just given up and not taken it at all), or had a motion-blurred shot, than to use a high ISO.

Oh, and BTW, people, there is no need to "explain" in your post that using lower ISO values is better. I think everyone here knows that (at least one would HOPE so).

Try going to the club my band just played last Saturday night (SUPER dark, horrible lighting), and limiting yourself to ISO 1600 or even 3200, with a Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-f/4 attached. You would have left with either no shots, or a lot of motion-blurred shots.

mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 8,272
Re: I'm kind of surprised...

nfpotter wrote:

I'm quite surprised how many people limit themselves to lower ISO's. Maybe it's the type of shooting some of you do, but as for me, I shoot everything. I would never rather have missed a shot (or just given up and not taken it at all), or had a motion-blurred shot, than to use a high ISO.

Oh, and BTW, people, there is no need to "explain" in your post that using lower ISO values is better. I think everyone here knows that (at least one would HOPE so).

Try going to the club my band just played last Saturday night (SUPER dark, horrible lighting), and limiting yourself to ISO 1600 or even 3200, with a Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-f/4 attached. You would have left with either no shots, or a lot of motion-blurred shots.

You're quite right, if you have the camera you should take the shot if you want something, and when push comes to shove I certainly will do that. But too far and I wonder why I bothered. I'm also a bit fussy; you'd can't get around the IQ losses with very high ISO even with miracles like Denoise, and I've found that when you have a moderately large sensored compact camera with a fast lens your justification for carrying around the big iron running at high sensitivity narrows. This of course presumes that you are not shooting with a fast lens on the big iron.

I just shot an evening event, with flash, all at ISO800+ to extend flash range and get in more background ambient lighting, and the pictures were quite good indeed.  I'm getting braver.

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Nikonworks Senior Member • Posts: 2,202
Re: What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?

D5100 - 3200 - theatre shots.

TOR8472 Senior Member • Posts: 1,616
Re: depend on definition of "comfortable"

I agree, but it depends on your definition of "comfortable". In my reply above, comfortable meant what will I set my max ISO at without worry. If the light is really bad, I go higher than my comfort levels, but I also carefully balance shutter speed against motion blur and high ISO noise to find an acceptable compromise for each specific situation.

nfpotter wrote:

I'm quite surprised how many people limit themselves to lower ISO's. Maybe it's the type of shooting some of you do, but as for me, I shoot everything. I would never rather have missed a shot (or just given up and not taken it at all), or had a motion-blurred shot, than to use a high ISO.

Oh, and BTW, people, there is no need to "explain" in your post that using lower ISO values is better. I think everyone here knows that (at least one would HOPE so).

Try going to the club my band just played last Saturday night (SUPER dark, horrible lighting), and limiting yourself to ISO 1600 or even 3200, with a Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-f/4 attached. You would have left with either no shots, or a lot of motion-blurred shots.

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pavi1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,852
Re: What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?

Sammy Yousef wrote:

I typically shoot my D90 at base ISO (200), but was wondering what most people actually shoot at regularly with the newer bodies. I will typically set auto ISO up to 800 but no more for action photography.

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Sammy.
My forum postings reflect my own opinions and not those of my employer. I'm not employed in the photo business.

D300S mostly 200 but will use 3200 if necessary to get the picture.

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Everything happens for a reason. #1 reason: poor planning
WSSA #44

chuhsi Contributing Member • Posts: 999
Re: What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?

same for me

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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 23,531
better

Ed_arizona wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Sammy Yousef wrote:

I typically shoot my D90 at base ISO (200), but was wondering what most people actually shoot at regularly with the newer bodies.

D7000 and Topaz DeNoise combination.... ISO6400 easy.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

HOw you like the Topaz Denoise compared to detail mode in LR 4.0... I have Topaz bundle loaded, but not tried denoise yet, is it really better?

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“ You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper." – William Albert Allard

I have only used it with Photoshop CS6 but am amazed at what it can do....Even removes banding from Canon pics Much better than the NR in CS6

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lnguyenh Contributing Member • Posts: 685
Re: What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?

d90, I use everything up to 3200. Obviously I prefer iso 200. Up to 800 I am happy. Then I use 1600 and 3200 knowing quality wont be the best but if it is noisy vs "no shot", I take noisy.

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 24,858
3200 D7000 n/t

Sammy Yousef wrote:

I typically shoot my D90 at base ISO (200), but was wondering what most people actually shoot at regularly with the newer bodies. I will typically set auto ISO up to 800 but no more for action photography.

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Sammy.
My forum postings reflect my own opinions and not those of my employer. I'm not employed in the photo business.

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Renato. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhlpedrosa/ OnExposure member http://www.onexposure.net/ Good shooting and good luck (after Ed Murrow)

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pixd90 Senior Member • Posts: 1,456
Re: I'm kind of surprised...

nfpotter wrote:

I'm quite surprised how many people limit themselves to lower ISO's. Maybe it's the type of shooting some of you do, but as for me, I shoot everything. I would never rather have missed a shot (or just given up and not taken it at all), or had a motion-blurred shot, than to use a high ISO.

Oh, and BTW, people, there is no need to "explain" in your post that using lower ISO values is better. I think everyone here knows that (at least one would HOPE so).

Try going to the club my band just played last Saturday night (SUPER dark, horrible lighting), and limiting yourself to ISO 1600 or even 3200, with a Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-f/4 attached. You would have left with either no shots, or a lot of motion-blurred shots.

Agree you do whatever is possible to get the shot, its just what you do afterwards with it. If its for a digital scapbook, share with close friends or memories than its ok to post sub-par photos. If it goes on the web for public viewing than my standards increase and would never post those sub-pars.

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J Craig H Regular Member • Posts: 161
Re: 3200 D7000 n/t

On the D300 - 1600, but 2000 if I think it's got to be done.

On the D7000 - 4000 seemed perfectly recoverable and 1600 felt like the equivalent of 800 on the D300.

It's pretty encouraging really - if the D7100 can be just 10% cleaner at ISO 4000, combined with the reduced need to increase noise by sharpening (based on the lack of AA filter) then it could give very satisfactory results in low light.

herbymel Veteran Member • Posts: 6,083
Re: 3200 D7000 n/t

3200, but coming from a background in shooting film it took me a little while to getting comfortable going there.

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Sammy Yousef
OP Sammy Yousef Veteran Member • Posts: 4,604
Re: What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?
1

Thank you all for the replies.

Seems to bear out what people have been saying all along - D5100/D7000 about a stop cleaner.

Will have to check out Topaz Denoise.

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Sammy.
My forum postings reflect my own opinions and not those of my employer. I'm not employed in the photo business.

inlawbiker Senior Member • Posts: 1,432
6400/D5100

For urgent matters only, and if I don't mind cleaning it up in software later.  I hate doing this, so when I use Auto-ISO mode I top it at 3200.  I'm happy with 3200 right out of the camera.

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Kiet_Hang Contributing Member • Posts: 633
Re: What is the maximum ISO you're comfortable shooting (and what camera)?

iso 6400 with D800. It is set to Auto iso to go up to 6400.

I don't worry about noise at all on the D800 if its iso3200 and below...

iso2500

iso2500

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I am not a brand loyalist, I can take equally bad pictures with any brand...

Undah Veteran Member • Posts: 5,320
iso 3200 (sony a57)

(edit)

Oops, hope you don't mind posting other than a Nikon.  Ended up on this forum following the 'top threads' link on the right.  But it was just an iso question.

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