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Do you ever use super high ISO values (on m43)?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Klorenzo, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. Never

    49 vote(s)
    57.0%
  2. Often

    4 vote(s)
    4.7%
  3. Once in a while (and I do not always discard the result)

    33 vote(s)
    38.4%
  4. Only in B&W

    1 vote(s)
    1.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Just a poll. I'm wondering if these ISO values are there just for marketing reasons.

    Maybe a sensor with base ISO 100 and max ISO 12800 would be appreciated more by some users (with better performances in the smaller range, of course).
     
  2. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    I tend not to use ISO 6400 or above, unless I really need it. However if the image quality at ISO 6400 and above were better, I would definitely use it more. I'm tend to use my camera a lot at indoor/low light scenarios
     
  3. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I just looked through my Lightroom catalog. Of the 26000+ photos in there (not all from M4/3), I had about dozen usable shots taken at ISO 6400 and zero taken above that. I set my Auto ISO to 6400, and if I need to go above that, the light is always just so bad that I haven't felt the need to keep the camera out.

    I have a lot more usable ISO 3200 photos, but still probably less than a 100. But in general, it's clear that I don't take photos in severely low light that often at all, and I own a couple fast primes, so that mitigates things further. I don't know whether it's self-censorship because I don't think the quality would be good, or whether I'm just not interested, but I'm actually kind of glad I looked at this. It's illuminating.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nope. I have exactly one underexposed shot at 25600 of a kiwi in almost complete darkness lit by a bit of stray red safe light, that's it. With RAW I prefer to just stay in normal ISO range (200-3200) and push in post.
     
  5. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Machi

    Machi Mu-43 Regular

    198
    May 23, 2015
    I used high ISO settings in the past but that changed since then.
    I'm now shooting almost always to RAW and highest useful ISO of my camera is 2500 - 3200.
    Higher ISO levels are good only in case if output is in JPGs.
     
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Interesting that the EXIF is still embedded in that World Press Photo. f1.4, 1/5s, ISO 6400. Yep, it was dark all right.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    310
    Jan 15, 2014
    I shoot mostly indoors at night, so I have to use ISO 6400 frequently. I don't go higher than 6400 because anything higher looks bad to my eye.
     
  9. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    626
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    I capped off the Auto ISO on my E-M10 and E-PL7 at 1600 because that's what I'm comfortable with if it comes to post-processing; but I'm pretty certain that people with better shot discipline and more knowledge can squeeze out usable images from higher ISO - ETTR helps ... But for me, 1600 has to suffice; usually, I even like to keep things at 800 or lower. On my bigger sensor cameras, I use 3200 (APS-C) and 6400 (FF) regularily because that still gives me workable files.

    M.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    99
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that each sensor has an ISO range in which the analog signal is amplified before conversion to digital information, and that the upper limit of this range is 1600 or 3200 depending on the sensor. Above this limit, the post-conversion digital information is simply being further amplified in-camera, which could also be done after the fact in Lightroom if working from a RAW file (and could be done better as a computer has more processing power than a camera). In other words, rather than shooting at 6400 and have the camera amplify the digital information, shoot at 1600 or 3200 (whichever is appropriate for the sensor in the camera), and use Lightroom and/or noise reduction software to increase the exposure by one or two stops for a better result.

    If I'm correct, can anyone tell me how to find out the upper ISO limit for analog-to-digital signal conversion for the sensor in my E-PL7 (and the 1" sensor in my Canon G-7X)? Currently I have auto-ISO on my E-PL7 set to 3200 (and 1600 on the Canon).
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  11. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    For Olympus they are labelled as "Extension" when you manually select ISO from the menu (not the SCP). I think manuals might also have them listed somewhere. Review sites might also mention "native" ISO versus "extended".
     
  12. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    99
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    Thanks for info. On my E-PL7 it's the other way around; the "Extension" label is displayed in the SCP, but not the menu. In any event, "Extension" doesn't appear until ISO 6400, which is higher than I expected.
     
  13. The screenshot below from an Exposure Plot analysis of about 1000 images represents a pretty typical distribution of ISO values for me. The spikes at ISO 100 and 200 represent shooting mostly with Samsung/Canon and Olympus cameras respectively.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Yes, and he used a Canon 5d ii. That's not a great performer at high ISO either - probably not much better than an E-M1.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Regarding the max native ISO is an information DxO reports but I do not know how they get it. It is something like 4800 or 5000 for the E-M10 sensor.

    About the "do not use the extended ISO and rise later" from what I got is quite dependent on the scene/situation. There are a few sources of noise in a picture: stray light, electrical noise, thermal noise I think. So if you drop the ISO you increase the exposure time: you reduce the noise from electrical amplification but you increase the noise from other sources.
    Or maybe, after good real-world denoise, it just makes no practical difference and it is not worth to worry about it.

    What's that noise? Part one: Shedding some light on the sources of noise

    Depending on the amount of light in the scene and exposure time the weight of each noise source can be very different. Shoot at ISO 12800 in full daylight at 1/8000s and I'm sure you'll get an extremely clean picture.
     
  16. Machi

    Machi Mu-43 Regular

    198
    May 23, 2015
    You're correct. There is ISO limit for ADC. For most M43 cameras it's ISO 3200. You can find this limit by analysis of pure RAW file (without deBayer process). If you magnify small portions of histogram you can find gaps in it if data were stretched after analog-to-digital conversion. Some brightness levels are simply missing in RAW image if it was "enhanced" after conversion.
    We had little discussion about it already here.
    But there is also limit on ISO which is based on information theory.
    When this limit is reached, more precise sampling of data is theoretically pointless.
    For digital cameras it's when gain is better than 0.5 electrons per ADU/DN (one "brightness level").
    Most camera manufacturers evidently work with it as maximum analog ISO is just above this limit for perfect sampling.
    For my camera (E-PM2) this limit is very close to ISO 2500 which I have now as maximum auto-ISO in settings.
    I know this limit as I did some tests month ago.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  17. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi
    indeed, and there are some helpful tools now too

    RawDigger histograms: Part 1. What is the raw data histogram? | RawDigger

    years ago I played around with this system
    Canon 30D Raw Histograms
    which was written to examine combed outputs in RAW files
    Canon DSLR Raw Combing Artifacts And Raw Histograms

    and unlike the Canon I found that the G1 was not plagued by such things :)

    I still use that toolset to evaluate files
    in my view ...: Sony A7 RAW file weirdness
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  18. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    99
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    I wasn't clear enough in my earlier discussion of the issue. The idea would be to drop the ISO and keep the exposure the same. For example, instead of shooting at 1/250s ISO 6400, shoot at 1/250s ISO 3200 and increase the exposure afterward by one stop in Lightroom rather than have the camera do it. In any event, your comment about other sources of noise is a good point, and at the end of the day it probably doesn't make a huge difference in the final image to shoot at ISO 3200 or 6400.
     
  19. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    99
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    Thanks @Machi@Machi and @pellicle@pellicle for the information. My brain can't handle that level of detail :eek:, but my takeaway from all of it is that the upper limit of the native ISO of the 16 MP Olympus sensor is 2500-3200. So I'll leave my E-PL7 set at an auto-ISO limit of 3200 and not give it any more thought!
     
  20. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Presumably that A7 weirdness is due to the compression that's often talked about? Do you know if the new uncompressed raw file format has resolved it?