1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Does anyone else here care more about low ISO than high ISO?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by WT21, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I did a survey of my own shooting a while back, and found that the vast majority of my favorite shots were low ISO shots. Mostly outdoors kinds of things. I came to the conclusion that the high ISO race doesn't interest me as much as some other folks.

    For me, when I did use ISO 1600+ it was mostly in situations where I could have a larger camera if I so desired (like at home with the kids or at a family party) and they were not really fantastic shots anyway, generally speaking. "Here's aunties Mabel and Helen."

    On photorumors.com they just leaked the idea of Fuji X10, using a 2/3 sensor and a 4X built in zoom (I picked this up over on seriouscompacts.com http://www.seriouscompacts.com/f63/fuji-x10-coming-soon-3717/). my only thought was - will it have clean low ISO. So many cameras today seemed tweaked to get up to ISO 3200 and even 6400 so much so that they start at 200, and there is usually noise in the sky. I see this especially in Sony's backlit sensors, which have good high ISO, but a weaker low ISO than their previous gen chips.

    I know we'd all love to have a camera with excellent ISO 50-3200, but would anyone else besides me prefer to see more develoment on the low ISO end than the high ISO end?
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I am with you on that

    99% of my shots are taken with the ISO set to the lowest setting possible (200 on the E-PL2). I also have a limit set for the max ISO at 800.

    I can always bump it up to try something but in general, I want it low and I would rather see a 50 than a 3200.
  3. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Maybe a poll?
    • Like Like x 1
  4. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    That's why I love the base ISO of 50 that's on my Sigma DP2 :smile:
  5. WJW59

    WJW59 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2011
    You mean like those of us that actually miss Kodachrome 25 and 64? :biggrin:

    I normally set my cameras to a range of 100-400 or 200-800, depending on the base ISO of the sensor. But then I'm not a street shooter, sports/action shooter, and I don't shoot concerts or bars. I can understand why the people that DO those types of photography or video want high ISO.

    Personally, I would love a low ISO sensor that could stay absolutely clean to about ISO 400. Add some decently fast glass and I'd be very happy.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I have some Ektachrome in the 'fridge - does that count?
  7. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I would get a Sigma DP series in a heart beat if it at least had a quicker shot to shot time. Slow cameras frustrate me a bit. But yes, the DP is really what I would love!
  8. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    It's a great camera as long as you don't shoot too many moving objects!
    The color & image "thickness" by the Foveon is off the scale at ISO 50! :cool: 
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Eh. I'll be contrary and say it's all about high ISOs for me, all the time. I can barely tell the difference between m4/3 and compact at low ISO (depth of field notwithstanding). The color rendition of the Oly bodies plus a nice Panasonic lens is gorgeous, but I don't see image quality differences in practical circumstances.
  10. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Depends upon what I'm shooting :wink:
    But due the wide variety of setting to which I shoot, the optimum body for me would have a base of 50 with excellent high ISO performance at 6400.

    Keywords above being "optimum body for me" :smile:
  11. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Try a Sigma/Foveon body at ISO 50 :wink: :smile:
  12. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Great. Just what I need -- more GAS! :) 
  13. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    It was almost a good idea...

    Sorry Guys,

    I accidentally blew the poll away while attempting to act on the OP's request to combine the threads...

    Sorry for the inconvenience.:redface:

  14. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2010
    Just got back from a trip to Alaska bringing only my G3, 14-45, 45-200 and shot mostly 200-400 with occasional use of 800 and maybe a couple 1600. The camera was a joy to use in every respect - just the right number of controls, great weight, everything I needed in one case including the charger, a polarizer, spare battery (case is the LowePro Rezo 160 AW). I agree no need for high ISO - just a need for clean images in the 200 - 400 and maybe 800 range. G3 delivers completely!
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Question:

    Is the pursuit of ever-higher ISOs the reason why we have cameras with "native" ISOs of 200 and have begun to lose the values of 50, 64, 80, and even 100?
  16. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I relish low light situations ... it is so much more challenging than daytime shooting. I've found that, typically, the more challenging the lighting the greater the image impact.

    I try not to just document a story, (every picture is worth a thousand words), but I try to document a story with imagery which will reach out to the viewer and simultaneously draw that viewer into the image.

    While I may not be all that successful .... that is what I try to do with nearly every image on nearly every occasion. Challenging situations help me in attaining these goals.

    Granted, I want good/great IQ at all ISO's, but I am more concerned about good IQ at elevated ISOs than low ISOs.

  17. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    If you follow Sony sensor's developments, when they released the back lit CMOS, they went to a "native" 200 ISO (this showed up first in Nikons). The ISO 800+ got much better, but I read several folks report that the low ISOs weren't quite as good.

    Not exactly scientific, but it does seem to trend that way.
  18. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    did mama done took yer kodachrome away? ;) 
  19. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    As a former film guy, I always shoot with my GH1 at 100 to 400 ISO. At these levels the noise is, for my eyes, very slight. Sometimes I even wish for a lower/cleaner base ISO for good lighting conditions :) 
  20. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    FOr my work I need a good 1600. For my personal work I rarely shoot above 400. I'd love an ISO 25 that wouldn't compromise dynamic range, but I'm also happy to have a few ND8 filters in the bag. You don't need 3200 when your slow lenses are 1.4 and the fast ones are 1.1.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.