I was curious what Nikon DSLR everyone has and what they have their ISO limit set at. My D700 is set to top out at 3200.
Your cameras ISO(43 posts) (17 voices)
D100 WAS set @ 800
D50 WAS set @ 800
D200 is set @ 800 (Which is FAR better than D100 @ 800, but still not where I really like it. D100 had more chroma noise, D200 has more luminance noise)
D700 is set @ 3200 (When in bars/clubs and I don't want to use the flash. 1600 rest of the time) (Much like the D200 the noise is much less objectionable than the older cameras, not the random colors I used to see)
F100 never leaves 125. )
I only set the ISO manual on my D300, have used max 3200 on low light sports
When I had my D40, 800 was all I was comfortable with. I went higher only rarely.
On the D90 and D300 I may go all the way to 3200 at times. Since I set in 3rd stops, 2000 or 2200 or whatever it is (I rarely even go that high) are where I like to stop.
Gentoo have you tried to go all the way to 6400, wow sort of sounds exciting, anyway I was shooting that football game, with incl the posted pics from me and my son, we were both shooting at 3200 and barely getting enough light for a proper shutter speed. Some one advised me to under expose by one stop, would it not be better to go to 6400 ISO
Have you shot anything at 6400 ISO
Underexposing is almost never wise. Even NEF is not /truly/ the raw data straight off the sensor, and underexposing then cranking up the exposure later on the PC is _at best_ equivalent to shooting at a higher ISO. The advantage of amping in-camera (higher ISO) is you are amplifying in the analog domain, and avoid the posterization which will result my amping in the digital domain AND are not amplifying the (smaller) noise created by the ADC themselves.
That is waaay over my head. Long story short, never underexpose :)
The expose-to-the-right article we discussed in an earlier thread described it well.
["Gentoo have you tried to go all the way to 6400, wow sort of sounds exciting, anyway I was shooting that football game, with incl the posted pics from me and my son, we were both shooting at 3200 and barely getting enough light for a proper shutter speed. Some one advised me to under expose by one stop, would it not be better to go to 6400 ISO
Have you shot anything at 6400 ISO"]
I haven't tried shooting that high yet. I hear it's pretty noisy and as I do a lot of cropping with bird shots, I don't think it would be of much use for me. Even my few night shots were shot generally 1600 or below.
As far as never underexpose; I disagree with that. I believe in exposing for highlights as shadows can always be brought up but once highlights are lost, they're gone.
Although soap does make sense in his reasoning for not underexposing as well. Much of the noise can be removed in Capture NX, much better than Photoshop or most other software can do it. However, depending on the picture, it can be a bit time consuming.
Here's what I was able to do at ISO 1000 on the D300:
This was shot at 3200:
Now this shot was also put through Portrait pro which automatically removes more noise as you go along. Now as far as underexposing and bringing it up later.
Remember my, "what was I thinking shot?
This was waaaaay underexposed:
So bringing it up to normal levels is quite possible and quite usable if you do it correctly.
d200 - 400/occasionally 800
d90 - 800/occasionally 1600
Strawman, gentoo, I never said to overexpose, and whatever noise reduction you can do in post can be done better on a properly exposed image.
The following is not an insult or an attack, but...
Also, your "rescued" portrait has been noised-reduced to the point her skin looks artificial. I think most would rather sacrifice highlights (which are "off subject" in this example) than give subjects Barbie skin.
What I was recommending (higher ISO vs underexposing to get adequate shutter speed to stop blur in low light conditions) requires loss of neither.
Underexpose + post process rescue IS exactly the same process as shooting at higher ISO EXCEPT you've already thrown away data forever when doing it in post. There is no technical way that doing it post can be better, and conditions must be perfect for it to be as good.
What you appear to be ignoring, gentoo, is that _at best_ underexposure + post process is as high quality as proper exposure and higher ISO. Sure you can rescue an underexposed image, but you can rescue high ISO with better results.
The limited number of individual color values in underexposed images represents a significant loss of data and a great risk of posterization, regardless of how super-good your post-process software is you can not recreate data which was never recorded. It is better to record it with noise than not record it at all.
Usually I keep my D40 at 800, but sometimes I manually go to 1600.
Anything over that is suicidal though.
Exposing to the right is a good concept that i have often used, however the camera being the creative tool that it is, ive had lots of uses for underexposing an image.
as for ISO, im at the bottom, 200, all the time, i don't believe in high iso for my images.
ok i know i just said all the time, it happens in crank it up, but rarely.
+1 with Demi
What creative (or other) processes have you found which can only be accomplished by underexposing in camera vs post processing a correctly exposed image, Demisthene?
I suppose you get a shorter shutter-speed when you under-expose. That can lead to better results in some situations. I'd go to higher ISO first, but if I were already at my max at ISO and aperture, exposure comes next.
Soap, I get what you're saying. That example looks the way it does because 1. her skin isn't much different than that in real life believe it or not and 2. I did send it through portrait pro.
Perhaps I guess it depends on the type of shooting one normally does. Portraits and landscapes are not my specialty. Birders would strongly disagree with you and would always opt to preserve highlights. White birds in particular are often underexposed by many birders. Sometimes too much so IMO. My shooting style is rather fixed in that area. Now if I were making a living doing portraits, my fixed area would change dramatically.
If you're that worried about clipping highlights when birding, have you looked into using UniWB?
You can read more here:
but in a nutshell the histogram (and flashing clipping indicators) you see on your (camera) screen is post WB adjustment (not to mention post saturation settings) (regardless of what you have your storage preference at), and therefore can lie to you and show "a gap" on the right edge when in reality (ie - in the RAW file) red and blue channels are clipping.
Interesting. I'll check that out. I've always just followed the advice of other birders and even though their shots are often amazing, it doesn't mean they know everything.
Soap, you're very knowledgeable and I know your advice is going to teach me a few things.
The beauty of it is, even if you prefer to leave a ~1 stop "buffer" in your exposure (not a philosophy I agree with, but to each their own ;) ) at least with UniWB you know honestly how large your exposure "buffer" is and don't compromise more dynamic range than you need to.
Sometimes during pictures of sunsets or sunrises, taking a picture of a cityscape, -1EV or more is good, example:
because the brighter sunset part of a sky would push my shutter speed higher i might loose some of the city. The matrix meter reacts to the brightness of the sky, which would leave my cityscape a bit darker, its a small thing but it means something to me.
another thing i used it for was birds, but ill be having a look at what you just linked to, it caught my attention, soap +1 to ya thanks.
I'm also with Demi, almost always at 200. I prefer a tripod or faster lens. Upping the ISO is my last resort. (But you might not want to pay much attention to me, I used to shoot Kodachrome 25 (at 32) and thought Velvia was fast.)
Thanks Soap/Gentoo: next time I need to shot action at lower light I going to try a few shots at 3200 and -1 EV and some at 6400 and see how they compare.
Normally I shot at ISO 200, but for me my D300 is a great tool that have a great range of available ISO settings, not like film were you had none in each roll you shot. So for me the best ISO is the ISO that will expose my shot at the shutter speed and aperture setting that I want. When I shoot BMX I might in sunlight move up to ISO 800 to get some extra DOF, so for you all don't be afraid of higher ISO, have fun with your camera
I only shoot at ISO 200 in direct sunlight. 400 or 500 is often best to get reasonably high shutter speeds, needed in case a bird decides to move. They do this suddenly and sometimes you can get a cool shot from it:
I wanted him wading through the water. He decided to take off the instant the shutter fired. Although in direct sunlight, it was morning and the sun was actually a bit hazy that morning.
BMXdad you're right. Higher ISO's with today's latest DSLR's are great and it is here, as I've mentioned before where the improvements are made. Not at base settings. I guess I'm midway between you and soap. I think we get into a comfort zone and get used to it and when we get new gear are afriad that it might be like our old gear. But it isn't. I might try some ISO 6400 shots soon, I have the cameras to do it now so why not? We're past the age of the D40, D200 and D80. Those were great but if that's what you're used to ISO 800 is all you will ever want to push to. I like my D90 at ISO 1000.
BMX is right, lets have fun with our gear. Isn't that why we bought it?
Interesting discussion....I mostly stay at base ISO,only changing it manually when and if the need arises. As for the underexposure thing.....moon shots come to mind.I was just looking at some shots that I took 8 or 9 months ago and I had to go -4 EV to get good definition.
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