Best low light FF Canon DSLR

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Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
Re: Just ...

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

No, as the data won't be in the Raw file...

Depends .....regardless, the ISO setting won't affect how much light the sensor captures

But you' agree there is no way you can use most of that data

Not necessarily. Depends on the situation and many variables. Regardless, the ISO setting won't affect how much light the sensor captures

I've said my piece, I think you've worked out what that is, so hopefully we're done...

I was just pointing out that the statement "if you can reduce the ISO, which changes how much light you collect to give a correct exposure" might imply to some the the ISO setting affects how much light the sensor collects at a given exposure and that isn't true. That's all

Which I disagree with (since you can't access the data 99.9% of the time), as discussed at great length. Which is also all. I think we've said enough that people can make their own minds up, or more likely give up 1/3 the way in

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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 26,013
did

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

I was just pointing out that the statement "if you can reduce the ISO, which changes how much light you collect to give a correct exposure" might imply to some the the ISO setting affects how much light the sensor collects at a given exposure and that isn't true. That's all

Which I disagree with....

Well you would be mistaken then as ISO setting does not change the amount of light the sensor collects. You even said so earlier when you stated : "while ISO doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects"

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BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 24,726
Re: Best low light FF Canon DSLR

RE >> is it fair to say that there is difference in low lIght IQ, but it’s wrong te expect a high improvement when using an comparable aperture. <<

Yes, it is fair, but there are two considerations related to your original post.

First. The cameras you listed as possible purchases are all fairly old. NEWER CAMERAS ARE BETTER.

But you need to define BETTER. Are you looking at 5x7 and 8x10 and 8x12 prints, and holding them in your hand at a normal viewing distance?

And not squinting.

If this method of looking at your pictures is your method, your 77D is just as good, if you run it right.

Second. All this math has nothing to do with photography. If you want to photograph an Edsel at a shopping center parking lot, back up if your lens is too long, or get closer if your lens is too short, and if the lens is short, pay attention to the distortion. Maybe you like it, or maybe not.

And a comparable aperture is the one with the same number, used at the same shutter speed. F8 is f8.

BAK

OP steks New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Best low light FF Canon DSLR

This theoretical discussion goes way to deep for me, so let’s make it more practical. A while ago I was a day out with my family and I wanted to take some shots in a poorly lit lunchroom. This was the best i could do with a stil subject at 50mm f/2.8 1/60 ISO 4000. I could have used a slower shutterspeed, but not for the pics i took of my kids.

My thoughts are as followed, if I used a 50mm prime at f/2 with the same shutterspeed I could have taken the picture at ISO 2000. Going to 85mm on a FF sensor (50x1.6=80, but there is no 80mm EF prime) at f/2 (i am aware of the change in DOF) with the same shutterspeed I could have take the picture at ISO 1200 if this sensor would be just as sensitive for light as my APS-C sensor. So far, am I correct and if so is this major part of the gain that can be found in going to FF, or is the sensor it self also more sensitive to light in the range of a stop or more.

Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
Re: did

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

I was just pointing out that the statement "if you can reduce the ISO, which changes how much light you collect to give a correct exposure" might imply to some the the ISO setting affects how much light the sensor collects at a given exposure and that isn't true. That's all

Which I disagree with....

Well you would be mistaken then as ISO setting does not change the amount of light the sensor collects. You even said so earlier when you stated : "while ISO doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects"

But will you agree that as ISO increases there is no way to access that light so no one cares? I don't understand why you stay with this comment that is useless to photographers? If you can't ever use it to make a photograph then you shouldn't consider it.

Unless you'd like to explain how you can amplify a signal so it goes beyond the possible output range and still use it? Just look at the saturation values for the 6D I gave, that is what the ISO amplifier does. ISO doubles and you get (approximately) half the light to play with. (Also feel free to explain why that is wrong.)

Actually, how about this. Put a camera on a tripod. Take a picture in one of the auto exposure modes with ISO fixed at 100. Go to manual mode with same shutter speed and aperture but select ISO 800. Then use any Raw tool you want to make an image with all the light you collected.

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John Sheehy Forum Pro • Posts: 22,023
Re: Best low light FF Canon DSLR

steks wrote:

My thoughts are as followed, if I used a 50mm prime at f/2 with the same shutterspeed I could have taken the picture at ISO 2000. Going to 85mm on a FF sensor (50x1.6=80, but there is no 80mm EF prime) at f/2 (i am aware of the change in DOF) with the same shutterspeed I could have take the picture at ISO 1200 if this sensor would be just as sensitive for light as my APS-C sensor. So far, am I correct and if so is this major part of the gain that can be found in going to FF, or is the sensor it self also more sensitive to light in the range of a stop or more.

80/2 on FF gives about the same angle of view as 50/2 on APS-C, but collects about 2.56x as much light at the same ISO. You have to accept a shallower DOF on the FF to benefit from that. If you want the same DOF as 50/2 on APS-C, you have to use the 80mm on the FF at f/3.2, with no noise benefit to the FF, with ~2.5x the ISO.

Unless you are shooting in Av mode at base ISO without concern for exposure time, a larger sensor only collects more light (when a restricting shutter speed is needed) from your desired composition with a larger lens entrance pupil; 80/2 has 1.7x the diameter and 2.56x the area of 50/2.

Pocket Lint Contributing Member • Posts: 513
Re: Best low light FF Canon DSLR

MarshallG wrote:

John Sheehy wrote:

MarshallG wrote:

J A C S wrote:

steks wrote:

Is there somewhere info to be found to figure out which camera is most light sensitive? I am thinking of buying a secondhand 5D/5Dii of 6D to use indoors with a 50mm prime. For other situations my 77D is more than enough for my use.

Of those you listed, the 6D, definitely. The newer ones do not offer any/much low light improvements.

Yup. The FF definitely beat the 80D but they're pretty similar to each other:

It comes down in real world to what optics you are using.

If you don't get the bigger lens with the larger entrance pupil with shallower DOF, for the same angle of view, the larger-sensor camera does not deliver, noise-wise, above base ISO.

It just so happens that DPReview "accidentally" tested the 5D4 at ISO 32000, which it usually doesn't do, but this is convenient for comparing in "equivalence" of angle of view, DOF, photon noise, and diffraction, which you would get with the same entrance pupil size and similar pricing in a lens. When you compare the 7D2 to the 5D4 that way (12800 vs 32000), noise is about the same in daylight mode, and the 7D2 is slightly cleaner in incandescent mode. This would carry over to cropping from the 5D4 vs using the 7D2, and in that case, the resolution ranking would flip, with the 7D2 then having the most resolution.

Larger sensor sizes do not give better high ISO performance by themselves; they absolutely require larger lenses to do the same angle of view, and get that extra light. There is no automatic magic in larger sensor size in isolation, except for using Av mode at base ISO, where you simply fill all the photosites on the larger center near capacity, regardless of whether you're using an f/0.9 lens or a pinhole cap.

It’s a little difficult to follow you sometimes, but are you saying that a FF camera is equal or worse than a crop camera if you crop the image you shot with the FF camera? I understand that’s very meaningful in stuff like bird and maybe sports photography. If my most expensive lens was a 100-400 and I didn’t have 500-600mm glass (which is incredibly heavy and expensive), then I see your point.

There aren’t many small fast APS-C lenses, except Fuji ($$$). In Canon, I think every fast lens is a FF lens anyway.

I think that’s your point, and if so, it make sense to me.

It’s really hard to follow Johns logic. But, larger photo sites are larger photo sites, there’s no way around beating the laws of nature, bigger photo site means less noise. Bottom line, full frame gives better noise performance compared to smaller sensors with smaller photo sites.

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John Sheehy Forum Pro • Posts: 22,023
Re: Best low light FF Canon DSLR

Pocket Lint wrote:

It’s really hard to follow Johns logic.

I like to look at things as they are, and practically, which goes against the grain of common photographic wisdom.

But, larger photo sites are larger photo sites, there’s no way around beating the laws of nature, bigger photo site means less noise. Bottom line, full frame gives better noise performance compared to smaller sensors with smaller photo sites.

It's not the bottom line. You are crediting the wrong factors.

If you get a lot less noise and less diffraction with a larger sensor, it is because you are using a larger lens entrance pupil, or getting closer. The pixel size is not the core reason for the benefit of a FF with a large entrance pupil over a smaller sensor with a smaller entrance pupil.

A 3.1MP D30 APS-C with 50/2 will be much noisier than a 5Ds with an 85/2, despite having pixels with 6.5x the area.

Pixel size is one of the most highly overestimated contributors to image quality.

Pocket Lint Contributing Member • Posts: 513
Re: Best low light FF Canon DSLR

John Sheehy wrote:

Pocket Lint wrote:

It’s really hard to follow Johns logic.

I like to look at things as they are, and practically, which goes against the grain of common photographic wisdom.

But, larger photo sites are larger photo sites, there’s no way around beating the laws of nature, bigger photo site means less noise. Bottom line, full frame gives better noise performance compared to smaller sensors with smaller photo sites.

It's not the bottom line. You are crediting the wrong factors.

If you get a lot less noise and less diffraction with a larger sensor, it is because you are using a larger lens entrance pupil, or getting closer. The pixel size is not the core reason for the benefit of a FF with a large entrance pupil over a smaller sensor with a smaller entrance pupil.

A 3.1MP D30 APS-C with 50/2 will be much noisier than a 5Ds with an 85/2, despite having pixels with 6.5x the area.

Pixel size is one of the most highly overestimated contributors to image quality.

Yes, I was following you on the entrance pupil part, but those photons all go to the sensor. The optics are a variable in contributing to noise yes but it’s not as big as I think you are implying, the sensor is the big player here.

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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 26,013
Pointing...

Dr_Jon wrote:

But will you agree that as ISO increases there is no way to access that light so no one cares?

I was only pointing out "The ISO setting doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects"

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Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
Re: Pointing...

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

But will you agree that as ISO increases there is no way to access that light so no one cares?

I was only pointing out "The ISO setting doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects"

I'm sure I said that above, before pointing out it's no use as you can't access it (except in the rare case of synthetic ISOs). However my original statement, at the very top of this sub-thread, was about using a faster lens to get less noise:

"It only helps if you can reduce the ISO, which changes how much light you collect to give a correct exposure."

Which is subtly different... and I feel important to remember if people think a faster lens will get you more light, as it doesn't unless that lens allows you to reduce the ISO (if the ISO doesn't change the camera will just adjust the shutter speed to give the same amount of light, you can get more light eating into the highlight headroom, but you could do that with the slower lens too).

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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 26,013
I think so

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

But will you agree that as ISO increases there is no way to access that light so no one cares?

I was only pointing out "The ISO setting doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects"

I'm sure I said that above,

You started with the opposite though

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Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
Re: I think so

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

But will you agree that as ISO increases there is no way to access that light so no one cares?

I was only pointing out "The ISO setting doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects"

I'm sure I said that above,

You started with the opposite though

My first post said:
"It only helps if you can reduce the ISO, which changes how much light you collect to give a correct exposure."
Which is how the camera exposure system works.

My second post said:
"I'd disagree about the point here - what ISO changes is the upper limit to how much light you can collect, as it amplifies the signal coming from the pixel and so will clip at a lower level."
Which is how it works.

Third one:
"I think my view is the more useful one here, as while ISO doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects it does change whether you can use that for an image. Every time you crank the ISO up another part of the sensor's capacity becomes hidden and you can't measure it and can't use it to make an image."

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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 26,013
And

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

But will you agree that as ISO increases there is no way to access that light so no one cares?

I was only pointing out "The ISO setting doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects"

I'm sure I said that above,

You started with the opposite though

My first post said:
"It only helps if you can reduce the ISO, which changes how much light you collect to give a correct exposure."

And I pointed out ISO setting alone does not change how much light is collected...only scene luminance, shutter speed and aperture affect the amount of light collected

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Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
Re: And

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

But will you agree that as ISO increases there is no way to access that light so no one cares?

I was only pointing out "The ISO setting doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects"

I'm sure I said that above,

You started with the opposite though

My first post said:
"It only helps if you can reduce the ISO, which changes how much light you collect to give a correct exposure."

And I pointed out ISO setting alone does not change how much light is collected...only scene luminance, shutter speed and aperture affect the amount of light collected

No, you misunderstand what that sentence is saying. It's saying that for a "correct exposure" the camera (or you if you meter manually) will let in the same light if the ISO stays the same, regardless of lens, when you reduce the ISO it will let in more light (because it can use more of the sensor's capacity as less is clipped, although it's the same for film).

It's talking about how the ISO controls what shutter speed and aperture the camera will choose for a particular scene luminance.

For example if it is Ev10 (Twilight)
At ISO 400 and f/2 the camera will select 1/1000th, the sensor will get amount of light X
At ISO 400 and f/1.4 the camera will select 1/2000th, the sensor will get amount of light X
At ISO 100 and f/2 the camera will select 1/250 and the sensor will get amount of light 4X

You can manually select an exposure that isn't "correct" per exposure maths, but either you get less light and more noise or more light and risk getting lost highlights.

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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 26,013
Not really...
1

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

And I pointed out ISO setting alone does not change how much light is collected...only scene luminance, shutter speed and aperture affect the amount of light collected

It's saying that for a "correct exposure" the camera (or you if you meter manually) will let in the same light if the ISO stays the same, regardless of lens, when you reduce the ISO it will let in more light (because it can use more of the sensor's capacity as less is clipped, although it's the same for film).

Not really as simply reducing the ISO setting doesn't mean the sensor will capture less/more light. That's most obvious when setting the "correct exposure" manually then changing the ISO. No matter the ISO setting...the sensor always captures the same amount of light/photons. As you stated earlier, "while ISO doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects",... only by changing the shutter speed and/or aperture and or scene luminance is more/less light let in

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Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
Re: Not really...

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

And I pointed out ISO setting alone does not change how much light is collected...only scene luminance, shutter speed and aperture affect the amount of light collected

It's saying that for a "correct exposure" the camera (or you if you meter manually) will let in the same light if the ISO stays the same, regardless of lens, when you reduce the ISO it will let in more light (because it can use more of the sensor's capacity as less is clipped, although it's the same for film).

Not really as simply reducing the ISO setting doesn't mean the sensor will capture less/more light. That's most obvious when setting the "correct exposure" manually then changing the ISO. No matter the ISO setting...the sensor always captures the same amount of light/photons. As you stated earlier, "while ISO doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects",... only by changing the shutter speed and/or aperture and or scene luminance is more/less light let in

I'm sorry, you do get there is such as a thing as a correct exposure (I am pretty certain)? That for a scene illuminance X and ISO Y there are Shutter Speed/Aperture pairs that provide  what is seen as a correct exposure (a particular amount of light to fall on the sensor)? And that as ISO reduces by a stop the amount of light for a correct exposure will double? You can do your own thing, although if you increase ISO without reducing the light you capture you'll lose the highlights.

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John Sheehy Forum Pro • Posts: 22,023
Re: Best low light FF Canon DSLR

Pocket Lint wrote:

John Sheehy wrote:

Pocket Lint wrote:

It’s really hard to follow Johns logic.

I like to look at things as they are, and practically, which goes against the grain of common photographic wisdom.

But, larger photo sites are larger photo sites, there’s no way around beating the laws of nature, bigger photo site means less noise. Bottom line, full frame gives better noise performance compared to smaller sensors with smaller photo sites.

It's not the bottom line. You are crediting the wrong factors.

If you get a lot less noise and less diffraction with a larger sensor, it is because you are using a larger lens entrance pupil, or getting closer. The pixel size is not the core reason for the benefit of a FF with a large entrance pupil over a smaller sensor with a smaller entrance pupil.

A 3.1MP D30 APS-C with 50/2 will be much noisier than a 5Ds with an 85/2, despite having pixels with 6.5x the area.

Pixel size is one of the most highly overestimated contributors to image quality.

Yes, I was following you on the entrance pupil part, but those photons all go to the sensor. The optics are a variable in contributing to noise yes but it’s not as big as I think you are implying, the sensor is the big player here.

A bigger sensor can do nothing for real high ISO photography without a bigger lens or by getting closer with the same entrance pupil size (changing perspective and composition).  There is no way around this for a single exposure with a shutter speed requirement that does not allow base-ISO exposure.

The fact that an m43 gets a lot more noise than a FF at ISO 25600 is academic, but possibly irrelevant, photographically.  Such one-ISO comparisons are only directly relevant to sensors of the same size.  If the ISO values used for each camera work out, however, you can compare cameras with different sensor sizes with the same area times exposure (total light), or close to it, to compare noise performance in equivalence or per unit of sensor area.

Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 26,013
Uni

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

As you stated earlier, "while ISO doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects",... only by changing the shutter speed and/or aperture and or scene luminance is more/less light let in

I'm sorry, you do get there is such as a thing as a correct exposure (I am pretty certain)? .

I was only speaking to the fact that the ISO setting doesn't really change the amount of light the sensor collects.  What constitutes "Correct" exposure can be unrelated. As an example.... take the same high DR scene and two photographers. One shooting UNI-WB and the other not.  Both exposures will be "correct" but very different actual exposure settings

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Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
Re: Uni

Mako2011 wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

As you stated earlier, "while ISO doesn't change the amount of light the sensor collects",... only by changing the shutter speed and/or aperture and or scene luminance is more/less light let in

I'm sorry, you do get there is such as a thing as a correct exposure (I am pretty certain)? .

I was only speaking to the fact that the ISO setting doesn't really change the amount of light the sensor collects. What constitutes "Correct" exposure can be unrelated. As an example.... take the same high DR scene and two photographers. One shooting UNI-WB and the other not. Both exposures will be "correct" but very different actual exposure settings

...or ETTR, but whatever you do if you halve the ISO you'll be able to collect more light (as the usable sensor saturation will increase).

We do seem to have spent a lot of time arguing about something I don't disagree with (quite the opposite) but did not mention as it wasn't relevant to my point:

* How many electrons a sensor collects depends on incoming photons, aperture, shutter speed and some stuff about what the camera loses going from incoming light to electrons (I started to write that bit, but it went on too long).

(That matters more for stuff like ISO invariance, where using a lower ISO enables you access to more highlight data, although you have to post-process the image to see the picture.)

However I wasn't talking about this, but whether a faster lens enables you to collect more light, so have less noise (which the OP wants), which it only does if you can lower the ISO. This is because:

* The camera will be able to use about twice as much light when you halve the ISO.

* If you keep the ISO the same but use a faster aperture you'll have to reduce the light you collect somehow (e.g. faster shutter speed) or you will just lose the highlights as you go past the sensor's maximum saturation.

The reason for this is, which the person seeking less noise probably doesn't care about:

* The amount of the data in the sensor that you can access roughly doubles when you halve ISO, as the ISO amplifier will no longer clip that data.

For example - a 6D at ISO 1600 gives you access to about 5,100 electrons which it will count for you and give you a digital number. If you capture more than that you just get 5,100 returned. If you use a faster aperture you need to reduce the extra light by increasing the shutter speed to stop going over 5100. A 6D at ISO 800 gives you access to about 10,300 electrons, which it will count for you. You can adjust your exposure to capture twice the light of a successful ISO 1600 exposure and it will look similar (but with less noise).

My point remains the one in bold above, as it always was. The OP wanted to use a faster lens to get less noise, they need to understand the two caveats:

(1) You need to be able to live with the lower DoF

(2) You must be able to reduce the ISO to see a noise advantage (if you can't it won't help)

The second assumes you do whatever you did for exposure the same way at the lower ISO (camera automatic, ETTR, etc.)

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