updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
sharkbite New Member • Posts: 12
updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

Hi folks...

Apologies for double post - i accidentally put this i "open talk" by mistake

with the advent of mirrorless causing a plummet in the prices of new DSLRS i'm considering an upgrade from my 7dmk2.

About the only reason i'm half serious is that the mighty mk2 has pretty ordinary noise at high iso.

If i shoot in low light i use my 17-55 f2.8 .....(which will only work on a crop sensor camera)

So my question is this:

speaking purely on noise performance, and not about the other pros/cons comparing the two cameras...

If i upgrade to something like the 5dmk4, which has approx 1 stop better noise performance....and to get an equivalent zoom range for not outrageous cash....

i get a 24-105 f4L....

Am i defeating the purpose of getting the better sensor by having to boost the ISO by the one stop i lose in the lens?

have i got my thinking straight, or am i nuts?

Open to comments and suggestions...

Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 3,915
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

Roughly yes. With FF, ISO performance is maybe 1.3EV better and sensor generation could be different etc. But with slower lens you will mostly negate gain from bigger sensor.

I mostly use prime lenses for low light situations. Combo like 24-105f4 for outdoor and 35mmf1.8 for indoor/low light is nice.

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Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 12,440
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

Pretty much so.  There might be specific things between the two cameras but if you gain a stop going up and then go from a wide open at f2.8 to wide open at f4, you do lose it again.

The Lamentable Lens Senior Member • Posts: 1,031
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

You gain a little more than a stop from the increase in sensor size, so technically, you don't quite give it all back, but you do give much of it back.

Of course, that assumes that the sensors are otherwise equal in performance, and that the only difference is their size.  I'm no Canon expert, so hopefully others can weigh in, but my understanding is that the 5D IV was a new sensor design, and a significant one at that.  In other words, you pick up just over a stop from the increase in size, but if you then pick up  another stop or so (just making up a number here) from an advance in sensor design, then you would still come out ahead even after giving some back with the slower aperture.

And of course that also ignores the other advantages of the 5D (e.g., more dynamic range, more resolution, better EVF/LCD, etc.).  Again, I'm no Canon expert, but I would think the 5D IV would be a fairly substantial upgrade in shooting envelope compared to the 7D II, albeit with the usual trade-offs that come with a larger sensor (e.g., larger, heavier, and more expensive gear).

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Ido Scharf
Ido Scharf Veteran Member • Posts: 5,216
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

You have it pretty much right. More information in these explainer articles:

  1. https://www.dpreview.com/articles/2666934640/what-is-equivalence-and-why-should-i-care
  2. https://www.dpreview.com/learn/2799100497/equivalence-in-a-nutshell

That hinges on the assumption that the sensors are comparable, so it's useful as a general rule but can also differ slightly case by case. You can test that for this specific A/B comparison here: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison

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Bob A L Veteran Member • Posts: 5,788
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

From a different view, which is more important, the super high iso low noise characteristics of the latest FF cameras, or the amount of this super high iso performance you actually need and will use in your photography?  I can't really comprehend just what uses these super high iso ratings are required for. My uses of cameras just does not require them. I have used 3200 iso in some rare instances, so for me the additional super high iso with less noise would not be worth the costs and weight involved. But if your work requires use of really high iso and low noise and especially if long telephoto work is not a big factor, by all means you probably should consider FF or MF formats. It's not what the camera can do, it's more what you need it to do for your situations.

Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 3,915
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

Bob A L wrote:

From a different view, which is more important, the super high iso low noise characteristics of the latest FF cameras, or the amount of this super high iso performance you actually need and will use in your photography? I can't really comprehend just what uses these super high iso ratings are required for. My uses of cameras just does not require them. I have used 3200 iso in some rare instances, so for me the additional super high iso with less noise would not be worth the costs and weight involved. But if your work requires use of really high iso and low noise and especially if long telephoto work is not a big factor, by all means you probably should consider FF or MF formats. It's not what the camera can do, it's more what you need it to do for your situations.

I'm just amateur shooting family, travel, events with friends, but I get over ISO3200 quite easily - not well lighted indoor, shooting people: f2-f2.8 1/125s ISO 3200 - ISO12800

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Bob A L Veteran Member • Posts: 5,788
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

It's highly individual. For those situations I prefer to use flash or even my cell phone, but we each just to realize what we personally prefer, not what someone else tells us we should use.

Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 3,915
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

Bob A L wrote:

It's highly individual. For those situations I prefer to use flash or even my cell phone, but we each just to realize what we personally prefer, not what someone else tells us we should use.

Yes flash is very good option, but more difficult to use in some situations (if you have it on place). Photos from my mainstream cellphone is garbage in such situations. My camera produce much better ISO 12 800 photos.

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Bob A L Veteran Member • Posts: 5,788
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

My cell phone utilizes AI with multiple images and with f1.5 lens seldom needs over iso 400. I just don't try to photograph black cats in a coal bin.

Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 3,915
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

Bob A L wrote:

My cell phone utilizes AI with multiple images and with f1.5 lens seldom needs over iso 400. I just don't try to photograph black cats in a coal bin.

Is it OK for posing group shots? I assume that moving persons are too much.

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Bob A L Veteran Member • Posts: 5,788
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

A kinda funny story on that.  Last year at Christmas I was taking some photos of my Son and his family (him, wife, and 4 kids).  I took photos with a Nikon dslr apsc, my wife took some with her Canon SX730, and I took some with my iphone 13 pro. The area in our home where the photos were taken is quite dark, and the phone exif shows 1/40 sec, at 1.5, iso 500, no flash.  The dslr photos were with flash bounced off white ceiling and f5.6, 1/60 sec I believe.  Anyway, when it was all said and done, they picked the iphone 13pro photos for their wall print and for their Christmas cards that they send. But the biggest reason was that in every one of the iphone shots all six of them had attractive smiles and everybody's eyes were open which was not the case in the camera photos.  I read somewhere later that someone stated that they AI engine in the processing detected smiles and closed eyes over multiple photos and takes it on itself to utilize what it deems best for individual people.  You can make of that what you want, but it was amazing in this instance that out of probably 5-10 photos out of each camera and the phone, every phone photo was this way and none of the camera photos were this way with all smiles and no closed eyes.  Maybe they are just more comfortable when in front of a phone vs a big camera is another possibility. Anyway hope you enjoyed the story, if not, sorry to bore you.

OP sharkbite New Member • Posts: 12
Re: updgrading from crop to FF - noise performance

Thanks everyone for your input...

I would have to say that the only time the mighty mark 2 makes me 'unhappy' is in low-light situations with movement....like night or even twilight sports...

This is really the only time i have not been able to work around the 'limitations' using some of your suggested methods

the conclusion i reach, is that to get something noticeably better, i'm going to have to invest in a new lens as well.

Thanks again for your input -it has been most helpful.

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