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Old Sep 5, 2006, 11:45 AM   #1
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Is it worth giving up the speed of ISO 400 to shoot at ISO 200? I realize the contrast is more on the 200 shot, but these are right out of the camera with a slight bit of USM just a a test for noise.

Here is a shot I took today at ISO 200



Same shot, just changed the ISO to 400



Tom
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Old Sep 5, 2006, 12:19 PM   #2
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The 200 looks much sharper to my eye - I always shoot in the lowest iso I can get away with...



Excellent picture, btw!
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Old Sep 5, 2006, 4:02 PM   #3
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Hi Tom,

The difference in contrast is probably due to slight (@ 1/2 stop) overexposure -- the ISO 200 shot was @ 1/250, and the ISO 400 should have been at 1/500 for equivalent EV, but was at 1/350. Since you didn't get any blown highlights, a bonus was that you probably got less relative noise, and the exposure can be bumped down in PP.

I rely on high ISO to keep shutter speeds up on my DS. Noise up to ISO 1600 is easily manageable with just a touch of PSPX edge-preserving smooth -- much less destructive to detail than NN, NI, or any other noise reduction software, even when used at minimal settings. EPS is also virtually instantaneous. Of course, good exposure is necessary to keep the noise down.

My default ISO is 400 for birding with an FA*300/4.5 + PF 1.7x AFA (for 510mm f7.65 max aperture) even in bright sunlight -- I make adjustments for conditions from there, and it's rarely to the slower side. I shoot mostly handheld, or with a monopod if possible, so I need fast-as-possible shutter speeds. I don't hesitate to shoot at slow shutter speeds though, but hedge my bets with a lot of bursts to improve my chances of getting something good -- or at least acceptable.

Of course, YMMV.

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Old Sep 5, 2006, 10:18 PM   #4
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I also like the ISO 200 shot better but I think that is mainly because of the richer color as much as anything else. As far as sharpness, I would still go with the ISO 200 seeming to be somewhat more sharp than the ISO 400.

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Old Sep 5, 2006, 10:20 PM   #5
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snostorm wrote:
Quote:
I rely on high ISO to keep shutter speeds up on my DS. Noise up to ISO 1600 is easily manageable with just a touch of PSPX edge-preserving smooth -- much less destructive to detail than NN, NI, or any other noise reduction software, even when used at minimal settings. EPS is also virtually instantaneous. Of course, good exposure is necessary to keep the noise down.

Thanks for the tip Scott. I am just learning PSP X and I have not tried EPS yet (heck, I have not tried 99% of what this program will do) but next time I want to sharpen something slightly I will try that. I am glad to see other people using PSP X as there is no way I can afford PS CS2.

Thanks,

Tim
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Old Sep 5, 2006, 10:21 PM   #6
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I agree, as I shoot ISO 400 for moving birds and animals to keep the shutter speed up and I bumped up the contrast a bit on the ISO 400 photo to make the perceived sharpness of the ISO 200 photo less obvious.

I do use ISO 200 for non moving subjects, and I try to use a tripod or monopod even with static subjects at 200.

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