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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 14 Feb 2016 (Sunday) 10:10
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Higher ISO values and where are we going with this?

 
LincsRP
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Feb 14, 2016 10:10 |  #1

I've read a lot in the past few weeks where folks have been getting more and more excited about new bodies with these amazing super high iso capabilities. So where are we going with all this? Better DR yes but, surely we're coming to the point whereby there is no colour info a such low levels of light?

I'm sure anyone with a better understanding of such extremes, maybe an astro-photographer for instance, could enlighten me!


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werds
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by werds.
Feb 14, 2016 10:23 |  #2

LincsRP wrote in post #17897795 (external link)
I've read a lot in the past few weeks where folks have been getting more and more excited about new bodies with these amazing super high iso capabilities. So where are we going with all this? Better DR yes but, surely we're coming to the point whereby there is no colour info a such low levels of light?

I'm sure anyone with a better understanding of such extremes, maybe an astro-photographer for instance, could enlighten me!

For me it's simpler than that. If the current high ISO is for example 10, that means that for my usage the highest ISO that I find acceptable to use might be a 7 or an 8. But if suddenly the next generation has an ISO cap at 20... it is extremely likely that all ISO below it has been improved in noise and DR, meaning that I might find myself satisfied with an ISO of maybe 15 or so. Or you could look at it like weight lifting, if my top lift is 300 it probably means I can do more reps of 150 quite easily. If I increase my max lift to 400, it probably means my max rep weight is now 175. So an improvement on the top end means the usable band for me is increased and improved.

I mean it is why I moved from crop to Full Frame... because the top end was pushed up and it gave me what I considered more usable ISO... at least when I hear those eye popping ISO numbers I don't say WOW I am going to use that! I interpret it as WOW, if they have gone that far the ranges below it must have improved a good bit!

P.S. yes I used imaginary made up ISO numbers that mean nothing... I figured simplifying the math would get the point across a bit better :)


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rzozaya1969
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Feb 14, 2016 18:43 |  #3

I still think that there is a lot of room to grow on ISO numbers. Unless we can take any pic at a low F number and high speed without a flash and no noise, increasing the ISO should mean we could take better pictures more easily.




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mike_311
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by mike_311. 2 edits done in total.
Feb 15, 2016 06:54 |  #4

we already gotten to the point where many people feel that constant f/4 zooms are acceptable choices over 2.8s and that's great because using wide aperture lens because you are forced for light gathering to isn't ideal. the next step is f8 where those would shoot long focal lengths or macro will begin to rejoice

high ISO technology will also start to migrate to the smaller sensors where its still sorely needed.


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TeamSpeed
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by TeamSpeed. 2 edits done in total.
Feb 15, 2016 07:35 |  #5

High ISOs isn't just for low light situations. Itallows for more dof and/or higher shutter speeds for certain situations, providing more capability. It also allows you to use longer and/or slower lenses for those that are on a budget. If all you did was shoot really low light, then yes color would suffer because color comes from recording light off subjects, no light then no color.


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LincsRP
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Feb 15, 2016 09:21 |  #6

TeamSpeed wrote in post #17898885 (external link)
High ISOs isn't just for low light situations. Itallows for more dof and/or higher shutter speeds for certain situations, providing more capability. It also allows you to use longer and/or slower lenses for those that are on a budget. If all you did was shoot really low light, then yes color would suffer because color comes from recording light off subjects, no light then no color.

Got your point. Wasn't thinking of it from that direction. I tend to think if light is bad I switch to a f2 or 1.4 or something then start to light the scene after that.

My post was really triggered by a conversation I had with three photographers at a recent event. The conversation was pretty much along the lines of 'we're ok now with what we've got' on ISO levels. One, a good friend, has a D4 and he doesn't find the need for more than iso 3200. Another mentioned he shot motor sport and he'd never used above 6400.

I know I used to struggle a bit with the 1D2 series as the limit was/is 3200 and not good at that but now I have a clean 3200 I'm happy.

In the news media back end of 2015 they reported Canon was working on a new bit of kit which would literally see in the dark. Anyone have any info? Is it going to make it to the point and shoots :-D


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werds
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Feb 15, 2016 09:33 |  #7

LincsRP wrote in post #17898983 (external link)
Got your point. Wasn't thinking of it from that direction. I tend to think if light is bad I switch to a f2 or 1.4 or something then start to light the scene after that.

My post was really triggered by a conversation I had with three photographers at a recent event. The conversation was pretty much along the lines of 'we're ok now with what we've got' on ISO levels. One, a good friend, has a D4 and he doesn't find the need for more than iso 3200. Another mentioned he shot motor sport and he'd never used above 6400.

I know I used to struggle a bit with the 1D2 series as the limit was/is 3200 and not good at that but now I have a clean 3200 I'm happy.

In the news media back end of 2015 they reported Canon was working on a new bit of kit which would literally see in the dark. Anyone have any info? Is it going to make it to the point and shoots :-D

It's on sale, hurry they may go out of stock soon  :p http://www.bhphotovide​o.com ...REG&ap=y&m=Y&Q=&A=d​etails (external link)


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LincsRP
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Feb 15, 2016 10:15 as a reply to werds's post |  #8

Whoo hoo! It's on order ... in your dreams ;-)a


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Tom Reichner.
Feb 15, 2016 10:17 |  #9

.

LincsRP wrote in post #17897795 (external link)
I've read a lot in the past few weeks where folks have been getting more and more excited about new bodies with these amazing super high iso capabilities. So where are we going with all this? Better DR yes but, surely we're coming to the point whereby there is no colour info a such low levels of light?

I'm sure anyone with a better understanding of such extremes, maybe an astro-photographer for instance, could enlighten me!

You bring up an excellent point by bringing up the issue of color. Yes, the colors are very muted in low light situations, and we are going to get much less saturated colors when we shoot at extremely low light, even though we may be able to get a proper exposure via better ISO capabilities.

But I, as a wildlife & nature photographer, actually like the muted colors produced at twilight and before dawn, or under a very dense forest canopy where there is very little light. That is what the scene really looks like at those times, and I usually prefer my photographs to show the scene the way it really looked.

So, I am already fine with the kind of colors I get in very low light situations. What I need is ISO performance that will let me take photos in the same situations I do now, but at higher shutter speeds. The way things are now, I can get nice images at very low light levels, but I am limited to taking photos of animals when they are standing still. It would be great to be able to shoot at much, much faster shutter speeds at these times so that I could photograph animals in motion and not get any motion blur.

.


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rzozaya1969
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Feb 15, 2016 10:23 |  #10

LincsRP wrote in post #17899036 (external link)
Whoo hoo! It's on order ... in your dreams ;-)a

They don't have in magenta.. so it's a no go..




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EverydayGetaway
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Feb 15, 2016 11:21 |  #11

TeamSpeed wrote in post #17898885 (external link)
High ISOs isn't just for low light situations. Itallows for more dof and/or higher shutter speeds for certain situations, providing more capability. It also allows you to use longer and/or slower lenses for those that are on a budget. If all you did was shoot really low light, then yes color would suffer because color comes from recording light off subjects, no light then no color.

This.

It also allows you to stop your lenses down in lower light for greater DOF, here's an example, this shot was at f/11 or f/16 at 1/160s and ISO64K @50mm

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[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/xoJj​nw] (external link)DSC07393.jpg (external link) by Lucas Graenicher (external link), on Flickr

I find higher ISO capability extremely exciting, it just opens more doors with your creativity.

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John ­ Sheehy
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Feb 15, 2016 12:19 |  #12

LincsRP wrote in post #17898983 (external link)
In the news media back end of 2015 they reported Canon was working on a new bit of kit which would literally see in the dark. Anyone have any info? Is it going to make it to the point and shoots :-D

To "see in the dark" is a vague phrase.

If there is any visible light at all, then it is just relatively darker than usual, as it is always darker than it could be. If you're talking about no visible light at all, then you have to either be recording invisible light like infrared, that might be present or added. That would be pure black to a human, but potentially visible to a camera, but would not convey any useful color.

It's probably just poetry for being able to shoot at much higher ISOs than previously, with acceptable results, which could be said of even current technology, if viewed from the past. You could keep halving exposure so that a gray card receives billions of photons per square millimeter per second, work it down to 1 photon, then 1 every 2 seconds, then one every 4 seconds, then one every 8 seconds, etc. Where does "dark" start on this continuum? Even in light low enough for us not to be able to see anything now, cameras can "see" with long exposures, or multiple exposures added together.

What we are moving toward is less read noise generated in-camera (it is not part of the light) and eventually no read noise, and the efficiency of color filters can improve to lessen noise of all types, by collecting a lot more light. Current sensors are only collecting about 6% of the red light hitting the top of the filter stack, and green light, only about 30%, with blue in-between at about 10%. Bringing those up to 90% or better would require a completely different way of separating color than is used in current digital cameras with Bayer CFA filters.




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MalVeauX
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Feb 15, 2016 12:27 |  #13

Heya,

Depends on what you shoot entirely. But having higher usable ISO is a good thing, not a bad thing.

It's not just low light, it's also in good light, allowing for really fast shutter speed, while still retaining good detail & color in good light. Example, shooting a bird at F8 in good light, but keeping a shutter of 1/2000 often means ISO 1600+. Raising the performance of ISO into the 12,800 range means the ISO 1600~3200 range becomes very clean, very good detail & color, and that's a big deal for a lot of wildlife/birders that want that range of shutter for various apertures while getting clean files to work with. Being able to shoot at ISO 3200 with a clean image in day light is great.

For low light, sure it's great. Not everyone wants to use a flash in every situation.

For astro and sky stuff, it's a very welcome thing to get cleaner and cleaner ISO 3200~6400 as ISO ramps past 12,800 making the lower ISO's even cleaner and even more useful.

On a travel kit, high ISO that is clean is a huge benefit, having less gear (flash; wide aperture primes, etc) to be able to carry less while always having the ability to shoot in lower light without really having to have a major compromise.

I'll take the highest ISO that is clean that I can get. It doesn't mean I have to use it there.

Again, I can't stress enough the point that as high ISO goes higher and cleaner, it just means lower ISO is even better and better, and that's a big deal too.

Very best,


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kf095
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Feb 17, 2016 13:09 |  #14

LincsRP wrote in post #17898983 (external link)
Wasn't thinking of it from that direction.
I tend to think if light is bad I switch to a f2 or 1.4 or something then start to light the scene after that.

My post was really triggered by a conversation I had with three photographers at a recent event. The conversation was pretty much along the lines of 'we're ok now with what we've got' on ISO levels. One, a good friend, has a D4 and he doesn't find the need for more than iso 3200. Another mentioned he shot motor sport and he'd never used above 6400.

I know I used to struggle a bit with the 1D2 series as the limit was/is 3200 and not good at that but now I have a clean 3200 I'm happy.

How useful is f1.4 for the group of people? To me f2 is already useless, I need DOF of 5.6-8 at 28-50mm on FF.

If you taking pictures of kids indoors, where flash isn't an option and you need it at f8 to have them all in focus and at 1/250 at least, to have no motion blur, my experience is not as low as 3200, I would switch to 6400 often.

Clean noiseless ISO 12800 will give me DOF and speed I need for handheld camera without limiting flash.

Honestly, try to photograph three kids running around average house at regular evening. It is not about my availability to nail the focus at f1.4. It is to have one shot of three kids doing something together for three families to give. At f5.6-f8. Instead of one kid in focus, three pictures to give. At f1.4, f2.
And usually you better give not just one picture from the evening (event).

So, with higher values of ISO we are going to where I (at least) practically need it. :)


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by Tom Reichner. 3 edits done in total.
Feb 17, 2016 14:13 |  #15

.

I am going to try to bring this thread back to the specific point that the OP wanted to discuss, which concerns the amount of color information that can be recorded when shooting in low levels of ambient light.

LincsRP wrote in post #17897795 (external link)
but, surely we're coming to the point whereby there is no colour info a such low levels of light?

I am going to post a low-light image here to show to what degree the sensor was able to record the colors in the scene.
This was "low light" for me, although many of you may shoot in much darker scenarios (when using big telephotos one will almost always need more light than those shooting at more normal focal lengths).

Canon 1D Mark 4 . 560mm . f4 . 1/30th of a second . 6400 ISO

The top image is unedited, and shows how the colors of the scene were recorded during this time of deep twilight.
The bottom version of the image is one that I edited for color. I increased saturation and increased the Kelvin temperature by about 800 degrees.
In my opinion, even at this level of light there was plenty of color captured, and with some editing, those colors were able to be brought out to the extent that the colors are acceptable, if not actually appealing.

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Because this was shot at 560mm and there was no opportunity to set up a tripod, I would love to have shot this at f5.6, 1/500th of a second, and had less noise grain than I got. This would be a 5 stop increase, which would have required super-clean ISO of 204,800.

So, even for the same shot of a deer that was standing still, in the same light, I would have benefited a by having a camera with 204,800 ISO that is even cleaner than my current camera at 6400 ISO.
Given that, imagine just how useful even higher ISO would be for shooting situations such as this, but when the deer are running, or when I want to get both deer in sharp focus?

There's no such thing as too much fun.
There's no such thing as too much money.
And there's no such thing as too much grain-free ISO!

The reason I want better high ISO capabilities is not so that I can shoot in situations that are darker than this - rather it is so that I can shoot in similar light levels, but at higher shutter speeds and smaller apertures. With the current ISO capabilities available to me, I am limited when shooting in these twilight situations. I cannot capture sharp images of animals that are in motion, and I cannot use smaller apertures such as f11 or f16 to increase my depth of field. Because of these limitations I find that there are things I want to capture in a certain way, yet I cannot do so because of the limitation of my camera. Much better high ISO capabilities would allow me to shoot a greater variety of images in these low light situations. Simply put, I would end up with more keepers than I currently do.

Color is not the limiting factor, as there is plenty of color recorded in these levels of light......and even if there were a bit less color, that would still be ok with me, because I actually often prefer muted, almost monochromatic colors for certain types of scenes. In fact, for the image I posted I think I actually prefer the unedited one to the one with the more saturated colors.

.

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Higher ISO values and where are we going with this?
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