Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thoughts On How iso6400 Has Transformed Photography

Virginia Ramblers, by Reed A. George
Nikon D700, iso8000

Rangefinder Forum writer BobYIL recently wrote a post about how enabling the ability to shoot iso6400 on the latest digital cameras is.

(Click Here) to see the original post on Rangefinder Forum.

This was a very lively thread, with plenty of good responses. The first of two links included in the post includes a series of sports images. They are great, and deserve a click to look through.

I know that I used to occasionally shoot Delta 3200 film, but only when there was no other alternative (shooting available light in very low light situations). It was very grainy, though I did perfect shooting it at iso 1600, and adjusting the development time, to get very good results.

Now, I shoot iso 1600 with what I consider to be very nice output with my Lumix DMC-G3. I can shoot iso 3200 on the G3, but it takes some post-processing to control the noise. Not a big deal, especially with the excellent noise reduction now resident in Adobe Lightroom. Rather than miss a shot, I will shoot the G3 at 6400, but it's definitely pushing the noise situation.

My Nikon D700 shoots at iso 3200 with no problems whatsoever. I can reliably shoot at iso 6400 (or even 8000, as shown above).

One reply to the post notes that the results certainly look better in images downsized for posting on the web than they do in printed pictures. While I must agree with that statement, I would also submit that has always been true. That said, I recently printed some iso 3200 images from the DMC-G3 for a band I photographed. I was quite pleased with 8x10s, and think they would have held up well at 13x19.

I love the fact that I can shoot in very dark musical venues and not worry too much about image quality. I have found that it's better to go ahead and crank up the iso and shoot at full exposure, rather than underexposing at lower iso settings and trying to bring the levels up in Lightroom. That's when the noise levels really go crazy.

Anyway, it's a great time to be a photographer. The equipment just gets better and better.