Okay, I have been requested to create a post that reviews how to process the high ISO images of the 7D (same techniques would apply to the 60D, T2i, T3i, etc). I have been PM'd as well on what I do to get decent quality back out of my high ISO shots.
There are many here that are as proficient, or even more so, with high ISO shots, so I hope they all step in and share their techniques as well. I only hope that this thread stays on track with people asking questions and sharing techniques, and we don't have others that feel like they have to derail it with other camera bodies, or how bad they think the 7D is. Let's have just one thread where it remains constructive, please.
I concentrated on ISO 6400 with this example. I took two different scenes, both low light, and took exactly 2 different shots of each. I then manufactured 2 possible scenarios others may be going through, then the 3rd scenario being what I personally do:
1) There are those that just use JPG images out of the camera, and they may just not know much about how to set up the camera, so they pretty much leave stock settings, like the standard picture style, high ISO NR set to disabled, and they try to center the exposure meter at 0. They then take the JPGs, and sharpen them, maybe saturate them a bit, and I will show what that result looks like.
2) Then there are those that are a bit more daring, and will shoot raw, but leave the camera set up the same way. They can now edit the raw, by sharpening, saturation, and playing with contrast. I will show that that result may look like.
3) Finally, there are others that really post process, and also set up their camera for a bit more success out of the gate. There are many ways to skin this proverbial cat. My recipe is as follows for ISO 6400 shots:
- EC of +2/3 (I use this for 6400+, and +1/3 for 3200)
- Picture style that has uses landscape as the basis, but contrast down a notch, and sharpness down 2 notches
- High ISO NR set to standard
- Use DPP to tweak saturation and exposure back down 2/3 as needed, etc.
- Convert to JPG and open in CS3
- Quick Noiseware run, actually quite minimal NR levels, very conservative
- a bit of added contrast and saturation
- USM, not quite as aggressive as Canon calls out, 150/.4/1 are the settings I use
For those times I don't shoot this way, I have 3 different actions I have developed, from which I pick one that fits the noise levels I see, and I run it. The results are pretty good, almost as good as what I outline above.
There are obviously other variations and levels of expertise in the middle of these 3 methods of use, but I don't have enough time and energy to go through them. I hope you learn some new tricks. I am of the opinion that DPP produces some of the best JPG results from the raw, but others have had tremendous success with ACR/LR3 as well.
Okay to get this rolling, here is scenario #1 and a 100% crop...