Monday, January 12, 2009

40 - High ISO

The following images were taken as a night time 5DmkII camera test. This camera along with the other new high ISO cameras have a wide range of exposure options for night photography. In this test I set the camera in one location on a tripod. I used the same 20mm 2.8 canon lens set at 2.8 for all exposures. I took a sequence of different shutter speeds and ISO settings, however all the images are from the 30sec exposure with the ISO the variable. All images were processed in Lightroom 2 with 50% luminance and 50% color noise reduction. They are cropped from 100% magnification, exported as a 10 jpeg. I included the house that had a single 60w lamp behind relative thin curtains as an additional reference. One thing that is clear, all images at 30 seconds show the stars as small dashes at 100%. The bright star above the bright door is Sirius the brightest star (not counting the sun duh). One more point I let the camera determine when to do the in camera noise reduction.


This is the ISO 1600 image, low noise, some stars, dark sky and a blow out of the closest door to the lamp.



This is the ISO 3200 image, low noise, more stars, gray sky and a blow out of the closest door to the lamp.


This is the ISO 6400 image, high noise, a lot more stars, light gray sky and a blow out of the two closest doors to the lamp.



This is the ISO 12800 image, higher noise, a lot more stars, lighter gray sky and a blow out of all doors. The brown over the house is a fast moving cloud.



This is the ISO 25600 image, higher noise, a lot more stars, lighter gray sky and a blow out of all doors. This image is over exposed the 20 second exposure is much better, but still has unacceptable noise.

The best balance for this location and time came from the ISO 1600 and 3200 series. I further processed and printed (8x10) the image from 31 - Shooting Star and it made it to "the wall".

Hope this gives you a starting point to go catch some shooting stars.

3 comments:

TJ Avery said...

Thanks, Mike! Thanks for posting this high ISO comparison.

Based on what I'm seeing here and also on my recent experiences shooting ISO 1600 with the 5D (original), I'd say that the 5D II is performing about 1 to 1.5 stops better regarding noise.

HOWEVER, that's comparing 100% crops from a 21 MP camera to a 12 MP camera.

I.e. the 5D II gets an "effective" high ISO noise improvement because you down-sample much more to make an 8x10 print (at 300 ppi) than you would with the original 5D.

I've read in some forums that people are claming a real-world improvement of 2 to 2.5 stops in noise improvement (comparing 5D original to Mark II).

Thanks so much for posting these photos!

MikeH said...

TJ, Outdoor Photographer has in the Feb09 issue an article on High ISO. It has some good info, not a lot that you haven't already read but a good refresher...

a passion 'n frames said...

nice work showing us the results.... I struggle with high ISO as I always feel it looks noisy with ballet shots at least.