Wednesday, November 23, 2011

D7000 at 25600 ISO – Well how ‘bout that …

Was visiting Crombie McNeill yesterday and while shooting the breeze we started comparing cameras and lenses. I brought the D7000 with me and the Nikon 18-200VR, which of course is a decently sharp mega-zoom that can be your only lens if you desire a moderate sized kit with 27mm through 300mm range (11x.)

Crombie shoots a D90 and Sigma’s best lenses, as he is one of the professionals that Sigma sponsors on their web site.


His D90 is, of course, a wonderful camera, especially with the glass he regularly shoots. Stunning stuff.

So as we were handling the D90 and D7000, I shot an image of Crombie at 25600 ISO. Then one at 1600 ISO to compare. These are straight out of ACR with no extra processing. I had borrowed Crombie’s incredible Sigma 70mm lens and shot it at f/2.8 … this lens is one of the sharpest around wide open.

At web sizes, the 25600 ISO image looks pretty terrific. This is an APS-C sensor and we can shoot in the veritable dark with it. The 1600 ISO image was slightly blurred because of the very low shutter speed (1/8s – that’s low light!) … yet at web sizes, it looks just  great.

The main difference between the two is the blue cast to the shadows in the background. Look at the picture frame above and to the right. Quite a bit of extra grain where there is so little light. But if you are shooting family for memories, this is a perfectly adequate performance. And if you go black and white, the grain helps and the cast is irrelevant!

I then took this amazing Sigma and shot a wonderful mask he has on the wall at 6400 ISO just for shits and giggles. Note the stunning sharpness.

Wow … I don’t really miss the D700 at all. But I think I’d like some of those Sigma lenses :-)

Edit: I originally had this showing 12800 ISO, which would have already been quite a feat for an APS-C sensor. But James (Bluenoser) found the error … in fact I shot the high ISO shots at 25600! Thanks James …