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Old May 4, 2008, 4:14 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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If higher ISO shots are "usable" or not really depends on the image (i.e. what can you see there, how is the lighting). Take a shot with ISO1600 - choose a well lit flower, histogram spreading all over the place, only a small number of "non-structured" areas. I think you should be fine. Same exercise in the shadow - almost unusable. I posted a comparison of contrast vs. noise behaviour in the pentax section somewhere... rule of thumb: the higher the contrast you are going for in the image and the higher the local contrast differences in an image the higher you can go with the ISO. Now for some very fine details it sometimes is necessary to lower the contrast - be sure to use low ISO on those shots!

As for me - I'll use everything my camera gives me if the need arises. I took nice concert shots with ISO1600 so I know there are situations where a high ISO won't hurt. On other occasions I try to keep ISO as low as possible... it really depends.

The differences between different ISO-settings are definetely there (I really payed attention at this while postprocessing) but in most cases when it comes to flowers you don't need to crop much and this alone would be a reason for me to go up to ISO800 with confidence.


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