Monday, 29 November 2010

The great ISO con?

I'd have thought that the main reason for wanting a camera that takes clear shots at high ISO values would be to use it in low light. Well, it is for me.

So why is it that the camera review sites post pictures taken at high ISO values in good light? And the low light shots are taken at low ISO values and slow shutter speeds? If you're going to stick a camera on a tripod it defeats the point of being able to up the ISO to maintain a fast shutterspeed and hand-hold or freeze action.

I know my D90s can produce detailed shots at ISO 2000 when the light is good, but when light levels drop then the colours fade, noise creeps in and the detail goes.

This bull was at ISO 2000 and is detailed enough. But it was shot in good light.

Yet this low light shot of mallards on ice was taken at ISO 560 and took some work to make presentable at this size. At 100% the 'detail' is grainy. Same lens for both photos, albeit at different focal lengths.

Some 'real world' low light/high ISO sample pics would be beneficial to accompany the reviews to give a clearer picture (ooh, bad pun!) of how the high ISOs perform in dim light, methinks.

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