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Old Oct 24, 2006, 8:35 AM   #11
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Lesbs wrote:
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Truthfully, I also don't feel there is any camera out there great or very good 3200 ISO capability. Sure there are some that are better than others, but even the best of the best will provide mediocre 3200 results. It's no mystery that the cameras with the best high ISO performance turn out softer images. It basically translates as to whether you want a little noise with your detail or less noise, less detail. Either way you lose, so I avoid 3200 ISO at all costs and only use it when I absolutely, positively have to have the picture, can't use artificial light and I am willing to live with some noise.

It's interesting but when I look at most manufacturer sites I don't see many with samples of 3200 ISO photos and when I do they are small images which make it impossible to see all the noise. I guess they don't feel 3200 ISO is so great either.

If anyone disagrees with my take on 3200 ISO performance, please feel free to post your high quality, low noise, high detail samples of a 3200 ISO shot taken in low light.
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3200 ISO is just no better than a cheap magician's trick.
Well, it's a matter of both expectation and of photographer skill. Of course ISO 3200 images are going to be of lesser quality. The question is: are they good enough? Especially when it's the difference between getting the shot and not getting it.

But you still have to know what you're doing. And, by the way - I'll be glad to take your challenge - the following images were all ISO 3200. Are they as good as my images taken at lower ISOs ? No they're not. But, are they better than photos without using ISO 3200? You bet - using faster than 2.8 primes for field sports is very difficult - especially if you have only 1 camera body. So, I'd rather shoot at 3200 and get the shots than not use it. And, the important thing to remember - all these images were SOLD. So, in my book that makes them good enough (still not as good as lower ISO but certainly good enough):







So, even if it's a cheap magician's trick - it's the mark of inexperience to discount this cheap trick so easily. Again, it's the difference between having the image and NOT having it.
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 8:38 AM   #12
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Lesbs wrote:
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Forget high ISO or avoid it like the plague. The trick to good photos is good glass and to try and stay below ISO 1600. 3200 ISO is just no better than a cheap magician's trick.


Actually the trick to good photos is photographer knowledge and skills. Good glass certainly plays a part - but if you're not skilled it won't help much.
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 8:45 AM   #13
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I wont call the olympus models bad, but if your looking for top high-iso performance they have more inherent limitations than any other brand. Ten megapixel models also have more technological hurdles than 6mp (regarding low-light use), but thats not to say some of them havent overcome this.

Truthfully, you'll probably be happy with ANY dslr, provided of course that you buy a correct lens for your purpose. That would be an f/2.8 zoom, or brighter prime(s). Dont put too much emphasis on the camera, its maybe 10% of the equation. The lens is going to be 40% or more (other forms of photography beside low-light would put MUCH less emphasis on equipment). You should shop for a 28/35/50/85mm f/1.4 lens, but I suspect you will find these cost prohibitive as the wider ones are what you really want. The 50mm is the cheapest, but not the most convienent focal length. The rest vary significantly in cost between brands, and could make or break your decision.

If you have to compromise on the lens you buy, go for it but just understand that these are the ideal lenses and you ARE making that compromise. I dont know if you know about depth-of-field, but it will be extremely shallow when taking natural light pictures in the availible dark with a bright lens.

Pentax has the cheapest body that is suited to your uses, but maybe not the best lens selection (when considering automation, cost, and model availibility). Several of Canons brightest primes are L series, which doubles thier cost. I have 28mm and 50mm prime lenses and find this to be a good flexible combination.

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Old Oct 24, 2006, 8:48 AM   #14
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The biggest difference with these cameras will be at ISO 1600. Most won't often be used at ISO 3200, but the worst of these, such as the Sony A100 and the Olympus models, aren't good at ISO 1600. They're all pretty good below that.

For me though, unless it's for indoor sports or action, IS is more important than high ISO performance (at least as far as the differences here go) for low light shooting.

Also, if you are willing to take more noise if it means more details, then more MP is very much the way to go.

I would be very interested in seeing how the Pentax K10D does when it comes out, but for now I would look at the K100D (despite only 6MP - it's low in noise at ISO 1600 and has IS). And I would also consider the Sony A-100 because it has both IS and dust reduction (even if it's not great at ISO 1600).

The Olympus E500 is a very nice value entry level DSLR, with good kit lenses, but the combination of no IS, poor ISO 1600, and a lack of selection of currently available bright prime lenses makes it not a good choice for this type of shooting. If I had one I might have to get the adaptor to be able to use Nikon F mount lenses (with manual focus only supported).

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Old Oct 24, 2006, 8:51 AM   #15
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John, I pixel peep high ISOimages at 100% without post processing to determine a great high ISO performance! If camera x can satisfy me with good results just straight from the camera, I will be getting it!! (Currently, I am factoring various models with that level of quality) & it is hard to compare good with the good also.

BTW in my opinion, I would try to avoid the ISO 3200in my shooting styles. (I would be usinggood ISO 1600 instead)
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 9:29 AM   #16
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BenjaminXYZ wrote:
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BTW in my opinion, I would try to avoid the ISO 3200in my shooting styles. (I would be usinggood ISO 1600 instead)
I don't have an issue with that. I try to avoid 3200 as well. But for what I do, it's unavoidable. For you, the end result is 100% crops. For me it's 8x10 printed photos that sell. The above images sold and are acceptable 8x10s. Each person has to decide for themselves what their own expectations are. I merely provided a real life example (actually several) where ISO 3200 was "good enough" by my definition.
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 9:38 AM   #17
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Well, it's a matter of both expectation and of photographer skill. Of course ISO 3200 images are going to be of lesser quality. The question is: are they good enough? Especially when it's the difference between getting the shot and not getting it.
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Didn't Istatethat avoid 3200 ISO at all costs and only use it when I absolutely, positively have to have the picture?
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JohnG wrote:
But you still have to know what you're doing. And, by the way - I'll be glad to take your challenge - the following images were all ISO 3200. Are they as good as my images taken at lower ISOs ? No they're not. But, are they better than photos without using ISO 3200? You bet - using faster than 2.8 primes for field sports is very difficult - especially if you have only 1 camera body. So, I'd rather shoot at 3200 and get the shots than not use it. And, the important thing to remember - all these images were SOLD. So, in my book that makes them good enough (still not as good as lower ISO but certainly good enough):
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Nice photos but you didn't meet my challenge becasue those are not taken in lowlight. All of those shots appear to betaken outdoors or if they are indoor stadiums, there appears to be plenty ofavailable light. Did you really need 3200 ISO for those shots? Also, I don't see any EXIF info, but I'll have to take your word that they are 3200 ISO.
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Overall, the pictures are decent, but a little soft for my taste. Whoever bought them got decent photos, but people buying them doesn't set the criteria as to whether or not they are good enough. Good enough for what? Since I don't recognize the atheletes, I assume the people that bought the photos might be related to the people in the pictures, maybe the school hired you to take photos or the local paper compensated you for pictures taken for their sports section. Nothing wrong with that, but I hope you're not trying to equate those pictures with something I would find in Sports Illustrated. Again, great photos and you have a good eye for photography. Do you have a website with more of your work? If not, you should.
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JohnG wrote:
So, even if it's a cheap magician's trick - it's the mark of inexperience to discount this cheap trick so easily. Again, it's the difference between having the image and NOT having it.
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Oh, so based on my opinion,"it's a cheap magician's trick",it makes me inexperianced. That pretty funny, but I don't think that statement has anythingto with level of experiance. I also don't know why you find it neccessary to attack my creditblilty based on my opinion.I didn't attack you or your level of experiance... I simply stated my opinion of 3200 ISO. It is common knowledge that 3200is basically 1600 ISO artificailly boosted to 3200.My response was to your post and I apoligize if you thought I was directing my comments to you, but I was just trying to clarify a few things that I felt are important for the Original Poster and other readers to know.

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Old Oct 24, 2006, 9:38 AM   #18
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Each person has to decide for themselves what their own expectations are.
I fully second that!! :idea:
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 10:00 AM   #19
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[align=left]Real men don't shoot at 3200 ISO! LOL[/align]
[align=center][/align]
[align=left]What ISO did you guys shoot at beforebefore digital cameras were invented where you were limited to the ISO speed of the roll unless you had more than onecamera body? For most non-professionals, it meant using up the roll just to change speeds or using higher ISO than required for a lot of shots just so you could take pictures at night.[/align]
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 10:01 AM   #20
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Lesbs wrote:
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I wish I could talk to everyone thinking of buying a Panasonic FZ series camera. It might not do any good in some cases but those cameras are just plain horrible in any condition other than well lit. Sure they have a decent lens and I have seen some remarkable photos takenwith them but only in optimum conditions.I recommend selling it on EBay, because people there seem willing to buy almost anything for more than what it is worth. You might do better selling some of the items separately. Also, if you paid by credit card, check with the card's policy on buying merchandise. Some cards like American Express have a buyer's remorse program and will take the camera off your hands if you simply just have second thoughts about your purchase and the retailer won't take it back.
I would put some blame on the consumer who buy these cameras without knowing anything. FZ series are very nice for what they do. They have excellent 400mm lens for outdoor shots in good light. If you need low light indoor shots, you should NOT be looking at cameras with very small sensor to begin with.

Even moving to something like 4/3 sensor is not that good. They still noisy IMHO at higher ISOs.


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