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07-18-2008, 03:02 PM   #1
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Noise on other brands

Hi all,

Recently a friend and I were shooting at a party. His C* 5D could shoot a lot more than my K10D, because even at (for my K10) ridiculously high ISO he still got good images.
(in low light without tripod I dare not go over 400, and even then..)
I was really impressed with the lack of noise. I know it is a limitation of the K10, hopefully solved with the K20, but it made me wonder:
Is this seemingly superior high ISO quality only in JPG's or also in the RAW's? I mean, is it all postprocessing, or also sensor related? (My guess, since the 5D is FF, but then, I'm no expert)

07-18-2008, 03:15 PM   #2
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Do you have noise reduction turned off? I can pretty well shoot ISO 1600 with my K100d in low light.
07-18-2008, 03:53 PM   #3
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well, the 5D does not have SR so.. it kind of evens out I guess.. you can get usable pictures with 1/15s @ 800 ISO and he can shoot 1/60s @ 3200 ISO and get usable pictures.
07-18-2008, 04:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shashinki Quote
well, the 5D does not have SR so...
And you know that how? Did I miss where the OP said an IS lens wasn't used?

07-18-2008, 05:10 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jodokast96 Quote
And you know that how? Did I miss where the OP said an IS lens wasn't used?
Actually, he used an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, I the 16-50 2.8.
But my q was more related to noise reduction algorithms or noise (in)sensitive chips...
07-18-2008, 05:16 PM   #6
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I paid over $4000 Canadian for my D2h in 2004, and the noise at ISO 400 and above is redicules.

My K10D is great at up to iso 1000, and starts to go down a bit, from there.

Dave
07-18-2008, 05:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by fishy Quote
Recently a friend and I were shooting at a party. His C* 5D could shoot a lot more than my K10D, because even at (for my K10) ridiculously high ISO he still got good images.
(in low light without tripod I dare not go over 400, and even then..)
I was really impressed with the lack of noise. I know it is a limitation of the K10, hopefully solved with the K20, but it made me wonder:
Is this seemingly superior high ISO quality only in JPG's or also in the RAW's? I mean, is it all postprocessing, or also sensor related? (My guess, since the 5D is FF, but then, I'm no expert)

Yes, the 5D is a full-frame camera. And for that reason, there's something a bit unfair about comparing the K10D to a 5D - they're not really in the same weight class. You may experience some insecurity, as a K10D user, shooting next to your friend with his 5D; but the 5D is over three years old now and your friend will feel insecure himself if someone walks into the room with a new Nikon D3. And if this scenario actually happens to you, at least you will be the guy who can afford to take everybody out for a drink.

The 5D is a good camera, and especially good for a couple particular kinds of problem - including low-light, high ISO photography, which is why wedding photographers are so fond of the 5D. But the 5D is just another tool and it has its problems, like everything else. It is reputed to be a bit of a pain to use. I've never shot with one myself but I've read a lot about them and this is a common complaint. It's not weather sealed. No shake reduction/optical image stabilization in the body. And it lacks a number of other features that are found on the K10D/K20D.

And the 5D's low-light performance isn't really THAT much better than the K10D's. Camera's can't take pictures in the dark. As the light gets low, ALL cameras start to have problems. I have frequently shot with the K10D at ISO 800, 1100 or even up to 1600, and got usable results. The K10D's higher res raw files (10 MP vs the 5D's 8 MP) are more amenable to post-processing in a program like Noise Ninja. And the Pentax K20D's high-ISO performance is significantly better than the K10D's, in part because the K20D has significantly more pixels and thus gives you more good info to work with in post-processing.

IF I win the lottery, I'm buying a Nikon D3, not a Canon 5D. In the meantime, I'm pretty happy with the Pentax gear.

Will
07-18-2008, 05:33 PM   #8
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I am not unhappy with Pentax K10 high ISO noise. Of course, I come from a film background where 1600 ASA/ISO film was like a pointilist painting: all dots, low detail. There is one shot taken at high iso with my DA* 16-50 on my Flickr site. I have not applied any Noise Ninja or any other noise removal program.

07-18-2008, 06:16 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shashinki Quote
well, the 5D does not have SR so.. it kind of evens out I guess.. you can get usable pictures with 1/15s @ 800 ISO and he can shoot 1/60s @ 3200 ISO and get usable pictures.
SR is a completely useless function for many environments because while it stops camera shake, it does nothing to stop your subject from moving. Unless the people at your parties have fallen asleep , they are probably moving enough to blurr the image unless the ISO is increased.

What I don't understand here is the issue with going above ISO400? I have had very good results at ISO 1600 with the K10D
07-18-2008, 06:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I am not unhappy with Pentax K10 high ISO noise. Of course, I come from a film background where 1600 ASA/ISO film was like a pointilist painting: all dots, low detail. There is one shot taken at high iso with my DA* 16-50 on my Flickr site. I have not applied any Noise Ninja or any other noise removal program.
Unfortunately there are not many of us who have had enough film experience to understand this point.

I agree 100%
07-18-2008, 07:22 PM   #11
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another thing people dont understand is that low-light situations + high ISO requires more thinking than the typical shot

you dont just point and shoot and expect the ISO capabilities to take care of the shot for you.


if a scene has no dynamic range, it has no dynamic range, iso1600 or iso600000 is not going to help you.

when the lights go out, understanding where the available light is comming from, and how your subject is emersed in that light is key

if you are photographing someone wearing black clothing in a dim light alley you're not going to get any detail, you just reached the limit of the situation! accept it, and move on.
07-20-2008, 12:43 PM   #12
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I also have shots taken at 1600 ISO (in my gallery) which would have been impossible to get 7 years and longer ago.

I use Nero Express to edit the little noise there is - very simple with minimum loss of detail

Printed out at 5x7 you would never know
07-20-2008, 12:47 PM   #13
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Do you guys use the in camera high iso noise reduction (if so, which setting)? Or just turn it off and do it in post processing?
07-22-2008, 01:18 PM   #14
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iso noise

I use the GX10. Noise is even visible at iso 200 if you look for it. Three issues: 1) if you are using an LCD screen, you'll see more 'noise' but it isn't noise, it is screen posterisation. 2) if you shoot in low light, noise will be more evident than when the light is better. 3) when you print, you'll seldom see the noise you see on screen, unless it is really bad.

The GX10 noise signature is very amenable to noise reduction because it is fine grained. I like using Neat Image as it sharpens up as well and improves contrast slightly.

ISO 1600 can look OK in dim light but in my experience, noise is less of an issue than lack of contrast in such conditions.

There is a trick - take multiple shots, minimum three, of the same subject. Image averaging smooths out the noise but does seem to soften edges a bit. Try it and see for yourself. This works great if you can do seven shots of the same subject. You need a sturdy tripod though.

Good luck
07-22-2008, 01:20 PM   #15
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If you have a tripod and can shoot multiple shots, couldn't you just lower the iso and take one longer shot and reduce noise that way?
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