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Thread: Nikon, Canon, interface and high ISO

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    Nikon, Canon, interface and high ISO

    Hi!

    I've been a Canon user since the film era. At the time we could have the best sensor in any camera, it was called Velvia, Tri-X (well that was my taste anyway, some other films were great too).
    At the time, there wasn't much that cameras did except for autofocus and Canon was clearly the best. The lenses were and still are more or less the same : very good.
    It's only recently that I bought a DSLR. I went with Canon without putting too much thought into it.

    I tried taking photos at medium shutter speed when I don't have a lot of light. It just doesn't work well. Up to about 1600 ISO it's kind of OK, then it becomes really terrible.
    So I did some research and it seems that Nikon have been consistently making cameras that have between one and two extra f-stops of usable ISO.

    There are also a few things that really annoy me in Canon camera software. I can live with the crappy menus, but the lack of proper automation is so silly! Can't even set a minimal shutter speed that triggers extra ISO, or set a minimum/maximum auto-ISO. It's either 100% manual or go with their factory set preferences...

    Anyway, people who have used Nikon and Canon, what are your views on this?
    Do some Nikon or Canon cameras have useful automation or is it only the 7D that is silly like that?

    Cheers

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    Oh and by the way I'm not doing that "pixel peeping" thing. Just A4 or more sized prints.

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    The semi-pro and pro Nikon bodies (maybe even some lower spec models too) have auto ISO where you can set a minimum shutter speed and max ISO. Very handy features on my D3s.

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    Im not sure what Nikon cameras you have been looking at to get those finding regarding High ISO but I just checked out the DXO score for the 7d...it seems that it should be better than the Nikon D300s

    I owned a D300s , and it was pretty ordinary past 1600 ISO..so I think the 7D is at least on par or better than that camera..the D7000 beats both...I had to got to a D700 to get noticeable better High ISO shots.
    the canon 5dIII looks like it produces better High ISO images..perhaps thats your upgrade path

    the only comment I can give as far as automation goes is that both of my camera bodies have it for ISO..but I never used it ...I might revisit it now I have a better low light camera
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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    ummmmmm 7D "Up to about 1600 ISO it's kind of OK, then it becomes really terrible."

    7D 6400 ISO, minimal Noise Reduction
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ls-Barrel-Race

    The key to high ISO is to expose correctly, and even maybe over expose just a smidge.

    As for the automation, can't really comment, I don't use the Auto modes, so have never investigated what it can and can't do. I predominantly shoot manual and set my ISO as low as I can to achieve the desired result.
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    Cheers, Mark


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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Yeah! I'm with Tommo.

    D300s (which is an equivalent camera model to the 7D) is not quite as good at higher ISO.

    Nikon's D7000 may provide better IQ at higher ISO to the 7D, but this is to be expected of a camera design/technology that is 2 years newer!!

    Don't compare apples to orangutans! While in many cases Nikon's may provide better high ISO quality, make sure you are comparing models of similar vintage too!

    Nikon have 'always had' automated auto ISO features in their cameras .. well at least from the D70 series and beyond.

    That it; in the Auto ISO menu, you choose your max ISO, then choose min shutter speed, and all you need worry about when shooting is aperture value and exposure compensation.
    Over the years Nikon have improved their Auto ISO feature, and now finally I see that they've added Auto ISO as a selection to choose from using the hardware ISO button on the body!

    The most annoying aspect of selecting Auto ISO on Nikon cameras up to this point is that to choose Auto ISO mode, you had to delve into the menu system.
    It would have made far more sense to offer Auto as an option between Hi 1 or 2 and Lo 1 in a round robin format .. kind'a like WB selection.
    But as it was, to go from Lo1 to Hi1 or 2(or vice versa) you had to scroll all the way through the rest of the possible values.
    When set to 1/3 exposure increments this could be quite annoying scrolling through the entire value range.

    Having tried to use Canon cameras, I have to say that I find most of their ergonomonics annoying and less fluent, and this is due to a lack of familiarity.
    While this can sound like a Nikon fanboi denigrating the opposition, it's not!
    I have also played with two different Sony bodies(low end A350 or something, and recently an A77) and found them more intuitive(I suppose Nikon like) to use.

    My brother recently got a D5100 and I have 'some' issues in using it as it has no sub command wheel(which is a hardware feature I now must have, or I'm lost).

    Simple little feature, but makes configuring the camera's parameters so much easier(quicker).. so I kind'a struggle to use the D5100, even tho I know how too.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    Thanks so much for your replies!

    I still seems like there was quite a bit of light in these horse shoots compared to what I tried out.
    I usually don't have to use such as fast shutter speed (my low light conditions are more photos of people in parties and stuff).
    Basically I tried this kind of stuff : f/1.4, ISO 3200, 1/50 (still getting slightly dark pictures) so part of the bad results may be due to camera shake (no IS/VR on fast primes), subject movement, and sharpness/focus issues with such a tiny depth of field.

    I'll do some more testing outdoors with ISO 3200+ , very fast shutter speed and not so big aperture such as f/4.

    It does seem that digital high ISO behaves very differently when you use it to keep a motion freezing speed (for the horses, 1/320) and when you are in poorly lit interiors...

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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    Patrick, ISO doesn't "behave" differently at any given shutter speed, ISO is a standardised indication of the sensitivity to light of the imaging sensor, ALL brands adhere to the same standard, it is what they do with the data once they get it off the sensor that makes the difference

    From what you have described above, you took some images, in less than favourable conditions, underexposed them, used a poorly chosen shutter speed (because you had both camera shake and subject movement) and from that deduced that the camera produces crap results ??

    My examples look the way they do because I selected all the elements of the exposure triangle to achieve the desired result - 1/320 to freeze (as much as possible) the subject, f2.8 to both allow as much light in as I could and to limit my DoF as much as possible, and then selected the lowest ISO that achieved a slighter over exposed image.

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    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    Patrick

    if your shooting at 1/50 F1.4 @ISO3200..the conditions are very dark indeed...the EV {exposure value } of your subject is somewhere between 1-2.....thats too dark to expect anything other than disappointment from a D300s or a 7d with out flash

    look at wikepidea EV graph..these EV ratings are all at a base ISO of 100...so you have to extrapolate to find the correct EV if you are shooting at higher ISO,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposure_value

    just reread your post and you go on to say that the images shot at 1/50 F1.4 ISO 3200 are still dark{ under exposed}..so Id hazard a guess that the EV may have been as low a 0-1...way too low to shoot hand held with out Flash with the cameras mentioned and expect decent quality images, you need to shoot at least ISO 6400 or even 12800...in that ISO territory only the very high end cameras produce quality results {d3s,D4.5DIII }
    Last edited by Tommo1965; 12-05-2012 at 7:05am.

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    I didn't write very well. Sorry about that.
    Thanks very much guys for your help.

    It may not be "fair" to compare the 7D to a D7000, but it's the reality of the current Canon/Nikon lineup : the 7D is still the top crop sensor camera that Canon makes and sells today, it still costs practically $1500 (or $1200 in grey import) which is about $200 more than the D7000. I won't mention the D5100 because except for it's high ISO its a very inferior camera to the 7D or D7000.

    So I'll try and express what I meant better.
    It was more like "ok so I've tried the 7D in very hard conditions. I pushed the ISO. It doesn't do well, ie. ISO3200 or more look terrible. the Nikon counterparts seem to do a lot better"
    According to the table, I would guess the conditions were around 1 EV, which is indeed very difficult light.

    Mark I'm not very experienced with DSLRs indeed. All of my previous experience is with film cameras with which high ISO was only a dream. Because of the cost of film, I was always super conservative, using lots of extra light, higher than necessary shutter speed, and not even trying at all when the conditions were bad. With digital since I have instant feedback and this ISO tuning possibility, I tested all kind of things including sub optimal setups.

    Tommy you have answered my question. A d3s or a 5d3 are over budget for me. And as much as I'm a fan of available light, using an off camera flash is not so bad either. With some bouncing/diffusing it should look nice.
    One extra f-stop is not worth the trouble considering that Canon will probably come up with a 7d2 or something that will be as good or better than the D7000.
    I'm still a bit annoyed at Canon that something as easy to program as auto-ISO isn't properly made. It's not like it's rocket science, it's just a multiplication in exposure calculation and two parameters in the menu.

    Cheers.

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