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Last week I took some pics at a night festival in my local town with my 5D2. A friend was also there with his D4 and his pics just blew mine away. The problem was that I just couldn't get a high enough shutter speed without an impossibly high ISO - fine for a few record shots but no possibility of passing QC.

 

I normally work at 400 ISO but have occasionally pushed it up to 1200, but I think anything higher than that would have unacceptable noise levels. Up till now I've been very happy with the 5D2 but recently I've been taking more night shots and I'm wondering how much better noise performance I would get from a 5D3. I know that a few people here have one and would be interested to know what ISO you can push it to and still be able to pass QC.

 

The alternative would be to buy a prime for night-time work which would give me a couple of extra stops over my 24-105 but I really like the flexibility of the zoom and feel that using a prime is putting all my eggs in one basket (as well as making depth of field even more critical). What do other night-time shooters do?

 

Note that I'm only talking about non-static subjects here; I'm quite happy to use a tripod for everything else after dark.

 

Alan

 

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I went from a 5D MK II to a 5D MK III and I liked the image quality from the 5D II better...that's my personal opinion.  The advantage of the 5D III is you will be able to focus better at night.

 

I like fast glass...and I'm biased toward fast glass.  I don't think your 24-105 is going to cut it.

 

Here are a couple of images that I shot last weekend - all handheld....

 

DMD8XY.jpg

 

5D MK III - 70-200f/2.8

Shot at 200mm @ f/2.8 with shutter speed 1/60 at 5000iso

 

 

DMKD18.jpg

 

Canon 5D MK III - 50mm f/1.4

Shot at f/1.6 with a shutter speed of  1/125

 

The first night, I arrived at the location with a 24-70 and a 70-200 both f/2.8.  I didn't anticipate having to shoot in complete darkness.

 

The second evening (second image), I was prepared to shoot in the dark.  I had both 5DIII bodies with me - a 50 f/1.4 lens on one body and a 85 f/1.8 lens on the other.  The combination does fairly well, but the camera still has trouble "seeing" (focusing) in the dark.  I also had my Fuji X100s with me (a third lens at 35mm equivalent)

 

This was from the Fuji - shot while holding the camera over my head

DMKD0W.jpg

 

Fuji X100S - f/3.6 shutter speed of 1/9 (yes, that's handheld) at 6400 iso.

 

I don't have any experience with Nikon.

Edited by Ed Endicott
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I recently started using a Nikon D700 and D800 and I'm amazed by the quality at 3200 on both.  I'm also playing with the

D800 at 6400 in the DX mode and getting suprizing results (I.E. 80-200 2.8 becomes a 120-300 2.8)

 

PS  I like the images you posted Ed.

Edited by Chuck Nacke
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Nice job Ed.Fuji X100s is pretty surprising.I preferred my x100 to the x100s which seemed too contrasty for me but I did manage to get some nice shots with it.

 

I have the Canon 6D. I can't remember if I've used it at high ISO.I should because low light available light is my fave. Not a fan of the 24-105 f4. Too slow for available light at night.

I prefer fast primes.

 

Have not used Canon in years until this spring. I left Nikon after being burned by an oil slicked D7000 and D600.

 

L

Edited by Linda
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I recently started using a Nikon D700 and D800 and I'm amazed by the quality at 3200 on both.  I'm also playing with the

D800 at 6400 in the DX mode and getting suprizing results (I.E. 80-200 2.8 becomes a 120-300 2.8)

 

PS  I like the images you posted Ed.

 

Slightly OT I know, but, Chuck, beg borrow or borrow a D4. I love my D700's low-light, but . . . :-)

 

dd

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Isn't a Df a bit cheaper but with the same sensor? :-)

 

I'd love to try one.

 

BTW-I just saw some really decent photos with the Canon 6D at iso 8000 so I feel a bit encouraged to go over 1600. :)

 

L

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Isn't a Df a bit cheaper but with the same sensor? :-)

 

I'd love to try one.

 

BTW-I just saw some really decent photos with the Canon 6D at iso 8000 so I feel a bit encouraged to go over 1600. :)

 

L

 

Well, yes, same sensor, same processor, and approx half the price :-) . . . seems many juries are still out on the Df so I let it out of the recommendation to Chuck, but having played with one recently at the official "launch" here a couple of weeks ago, if I could afford a D4 I'd probably go for two Dfs instead :-) .

 

So, Chuck, if you don't mind the smaller size, retro adjustment dials/knobs and not quite as many shots per second, beg borrow or borrow either a D4 or Df and sail happily past ISO 6400:-)

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
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I miss well stocked camera stores that are easy to get to...They use to be in every neighborhood in m city back in the old days...Now it's a field trip to Calumet Photo...hard to get a taxi from there;at least last time I was there in the 1990s.

 

That's one of the reasons I've plowed thru so many cameras this year.Some just don't feel right or the controls are so different from my work DSLR it gets confusing.

 

As much as I love mail order, something about picking one up and checking it out use to be part of 'the experience' and fun in comparing systems and different bodies.

 

To my lucky friends in NYC that can go to B&H and Adorama...LUCKY YOU! :-)

 

I like Bel Air Camera in California and Samy's though.

 

L

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I miss well stocked camera stores that are easy to get to...They use to be in every neighborhood in m city back in the old days...Now it's a field trip to Calumet Photo...hard to get a taxi from there;at least last time I was there in the 1990s.

 

That's one of the reasons I've plowed thru so many cameras this year.Some just don't feel right or the controls are so different from my work DSLR it gets confusing.

 

As much as I love mail order, something about picking one up and checking it out use to be part of 'the experience' and fun in comparing systems and different bodies.

 

To my lucky friends in NYC that can go to B&H and Adorama...LUCKY YOU! :-)

 

I like Bel Air Camera in California and Samy's though.

 

L

 

Thankfully we still have some very well-stocked cameras stores here, and with Perth being not too big, several within an easy 20 minute drive from where I live. You're right, picking it up and shooting off a few dozen shots on your own card, to look at when you get home, is I believe an essential part of making a purchase, especially if looking at a camera from a manufacturer you're not totally familiar with.

 

dd

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Thanks all, but I'll happly work with the 700 for FPS and the 800 for res

not interested in any more Tolstoiesq manuals.......

 

There are times in the studio with lights that I still prefer the FUJI S5's

CCD over the NIKON CMOS.

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Pushing the 5D MkII to 1600 or 3200 ISO is fine, provided you don't under-expose, then it becomes noisy. Most of my dance pictures are taken at 3200 - there is no way around it, as you need a fast shutter speed. RAW is essential.

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I know that a few people here have one and would be interested to know what ISO you can push it to and still be able to pass QC.

 

Alan

 

Me and my wife both have 5dMkII and in interiors photos it's not unusual to shoot up to 5000iso and in some occasions 6400iso to be able to photograph handheld. After a little noise reduction and downsizing to 12 or 9mp they pass flawlessly through QC.

 

And we end up using almost always the 24-105 to take advantage of the stabilized wide-angle. For example:

 

CTED9X.jpg  CXR5H8.jpgCTED6G.jpgBC0R3A.jpg

Edited by Jose Elias
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Well that's extremely interesting - it sounds as though maybe I don't need a camera upgrade after all. Thank you Jose and vpics. I wonder if I've been assessing the noise on my 5D2 on images that are too under-exposed?

 

Alan

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Well that's extremely interesting - it sounds as though maybe I don't need a camera upgrade after all. Thank you Jose and vpics. I wonder if I've been assessing the noise on my 5D2 on images that are too under-exposed?

 

Alan

 

Using such high ISO's is extremely advisable to get the right exposure as you photograph, because if you need to brighten the image later you may encounter bigger problems with noise. That doesn't mean you cannot make it acceptable but it will require extra work, like to apply a little blur to some specific areas.

 

With the 24-105 I can shoot as low as 1/40 without worrying to much as the stabilization works very well. At 1/20 or 1/15 I need to be more cautious not to shake. A 1/10 I need to be really steady, and at 1/8 if I'm not leaning into something there's a good chance the image may be shaken. My wife has a steadier hand.

 

So, you can go really slow to get the right exposure if nothing in the frame is moving. And, as mentioned, shooting raw is essencial.

 

The 5d MkII is a fantastic camera that allows to take high quality photos in very difficult light conditions.

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