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Thread started 06 May 2010 (Thursday) 16:21
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The need for high ISO capability

 
Scott_28
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May 06, 2010 16:21 |  #1

A question I have ofter pondered, after using my 40D for 2 years and getting to know how to use a DSLR and learning how to expose pictures right and all that, is why is there a need for cameras to have these unbelievably high ISO capabilites. Now I don't claim to be some professional photographer who knows everything there is to know about it, but once I learned about ISO and what it does, and how to take pictures in low light at least to the level I am at, I never used anything over ISO 100 or saw the need to. In my mind, all it does is create noise, and if you are taking pictures in low light, you should be more concerned with a tripod then ISO capabilites.
Am I way off base here? pherhaps, but what is the general opinion on it here. Cause I cant help but laugh when I see these new DSLR cameras touting their ISO numbers. I feel like It would never actually be needed by anyone using it


Canon 40D (took a fall but keeps on ticking) Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ------ Canon 5D Mark II w/ Canon 24-105 F/4 L

  
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newton
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May 06, 2010 16:25 |  #2

Low-light action. Shoot sports at night, then you'll quickly realize the need for high ISO.

When shooting an evening game of college football, my ISO is consistently 1000+.




  
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hpulley
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May 06, 2010 16:28 |  #3

+1 on sports.

I'll add birds in flight, other wild animals in action. Long lenses are often f/4-f/8 and you need 1/1000 or better shutter speeds to freeze the action. Even in broad daylight you can't do 1/1000 at f/8 at 100 ISO a lot of the time. 1/1000 may not be enough, some birds are so fast you need 1/4000 or faster to prevent blur at long focal lengths.

Really anything fast or with long focal lengths. If you are just shooting wide angle landscapes then slap it on a tripod, lock up the mirror and go to it but even at 100 ISO you'll get noise in long exposures. It's there.

That said, I don't think many prints will be sold at 102400 ISO.


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krb
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May 06, 2010 16:38 |  #4

Scott_28 wrote in post #10134283 (external link)
...I never used anything over ISO 100 or saw the need to. In my mind, all it does is create noise,

I was that way too when I shot with a 40D and for the first few months with my 7D I was still being held back by that mindset. Now I just leave it at 800, bumping it to 1600 if the light's a little low, and I'm more happy with the results. I still go for ISO 100 for some things but it's not my default setting any more.

...and if you are taking pictures in low light, you should be more concerned with a tripod then ISO capabilites.

Tripod is like IS: does great for removing camera motion but does nothing to freeze subject motion.

Am I way off base here?

Not off base but a little narrow in your view. Not everybody shoots landscapes and still life.


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matonanjin
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May 06, 2010 16:44 |  #5

+2 on sports.

I am often at ISO 1600 and more often at 3200 to get a fast enough shutter speed to stop action indoors. That sometimes isn't enough.

The OP may "cant help but laugh when I see these new DSLR cameras touting their ISO numbers." Those of us that depend on selling prints to pay the mortgage don't laugh. Even a 1 stop increase can make all the difference. Thus, when a new body like the 1DMkIV comes out we don't laugh either. We just starting putting the pencil to the cost/benefit calculation. And I'm close.


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MrWho
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May 06, 2010 16:47 as a reply to  @ krb's post |  #6

It's far more convenient than a tripod in certain situations like in a museum when you're in a crowd of people, aquariums, trails or out in the back country in low light when a tripod is too cumbersome to lug around. It can also be useful during the day with capturing wildlife or even catching birds. I tried to capture a panda at the zoo a few days ago and I was aperture limited by the lens so the lowest ISO I was able to use was 3200, anything else wasn't fast enough to freeze motion. Tripods are great but there are times where you're not allowed to use one, not even flash, otherwise it's another tool to make life easier for someone who regularly shoots in low light.


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marivil
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May 06, 2010 16:48 |  #7

High ISO has opened up many possibilities for shots I wouldn't normally even try. It helps with slow lens too when you don't have or can't afford the right lens. 3000 or 4000 ISO brings the shutter speed up so high you can shoot easily at long distances too.
The difference is "Night and day!".


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bbarnett51
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May 06, 2010 16:54 as a reply to  @ MrWho's post |  #8

Try to shoot an early morning duck in flight with an ISO of 100. Or anything that moves for that matter.


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toxic
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May 06, 2010 16:57 |  #9

A tripod does not replace shutter speed. If you do indoor events, including sports, raising sensitivity is the only way to go since you have to freeze action.

That said, high ISOs are no replacement for good light (and low ISOs). There is a dropoff in dynamic range and resolution at higher ISOs, just because you can take pictures in dim light doesn't improve the quality of the light, being able to make a good exposure doesn't necessarily mean there's enough light to focus accurately, etc.




  
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kitacanon
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May 06, 2010 17:05 |  #10

Scott_28 wrote in post #10134283 (external link)
I never used anything over ISO 100. I feel like It would never actually be needed by anyone using it [high ISO setting]]

Well, that's it isn't it, what others have experienced/posted....​to enable faster shutter speeds to stop action...(ISO 100, 60/sec @ F2 vs. 500/2.8 @ ISO 1600) or
...to enable smaller apertures for greater depth of field....or a combination of both...

I remember shooting arenas where exposures were 250/2 @ ISO 2000, and shooting plays where several actors needed to be in focus requiring 60/F4 @ ISO 2000.


My Canon kit 450D/s90; Canon lenses 18-55 IS, 70-210/3.5-4.5....Nikon kit: D610; 28-105/3.5-4.5, 75-300/4.5-5.6 AF, 50/1.8D Nikkors, Tamron 80-210; MF Nikkors: 50/2K, 50/1.4 AI-S, 50/1.8 SeriesE, 60/2.8 Micro Nikkor (AF locked), 85mm/1.8K-AI, 105/2.5 AIS/P.C, 135/2.8K/Q.C, 180/2.8 ED, 200/4Q/AIS, 300/4.5H-AI, ++ Tamron 70-210/3.8-4, Vivitar/Kiron 28/2, ser.1 70-210/3.5, ser.1 28-90; Vivitar/Komine and Samyang 28/2.8; 35mm Nikon F/FM/FE2, Rebel 2K...HTC RE UWA camera

  
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mrgooch
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May 06, 2010 17:19 as a reply to  @ kitacanon's post |  #11

Another example:
I was shooting in a church,no flash allowed and I needed to use a 200mm lens to pull in the subject.A high ISO of 6400 allowed me to have the higher shutter speed needed.



  
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Tadaaa
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May 06, 2010 17:24 |  #12

Scott_28 wrote in post #10134283 (external link)
A question I have ofter pondered, after using my 40D for 2 years and getting to know how to use a DSLR and learning how to expose pictures right and all that, is why is there a need for cameras to have these unbelievably high ISO capabilites. Now I don't claim to be some professional photographer who knows everything there is to know about it, but once I learned about ISO and what it does, and how to take pictures in low light at least to the level I am at, I never used anything over ISO 100 or saw the need to. In my mind, all it does is create noise, and if you are taking pictures in low light, you should be more concerned with a tripod then ISO capabilites.
Am I way off base here? pherhaps, but what is the general opinion on it here. Cause I cant help but laugh when I see these new DSLR cameras touting their ISO numbers. I feel like It would never actually be needed by anyone using it

Sounds like you shoot landscapes... There are all sorts of other situations where 100 just won't get the job done.


- 1D & G9 & Sigma DP1 & Nikon D800 -

  
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power_play21
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May 06, 2010 17:29 |  #13

Scott_28 wrote in post #10134283 (external link)
A question I have ofter pondered, after using my 40D for 2 years and getting to know how to use a DSLR and learning how to expose pictures right and all that, is why is there a need for cameras to have these unbelievably high ISO capabilites. Now I don't claim to be some professional photographer who knows everything there is to know about it, but once I learned about ISO and what it does, and how to take pictures in low light at least to the level I am at, I never used anything over ISO 100 or saw the need to. In my mind, all it does is create noise, and if you are taking pictures in low light, you should be more concerned with a tripod then ISO capabilites.
Am I way off base here? pherhaps, but what is the general opinion on it here. Cause I cant help but laugh when I see these new DSLR cameras touting their ISO numbers. I feel like It would never actually be needed by anyone using it

Man lol, you are way off base.


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egordon99
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May 06, 2010 17:33 |  #14

Things must move VERY slowly in your world. LOL




  
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Tadaaa
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May 06, 2010 17:34 |  #15

egordon99 wrote in post #10134726 (external link)
Things must move VERY slowly in your world. LOL

:lol:


- 1D & G9 & Sigma DP1 & Nikon D800 -

  
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The need for high ISO capability
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