Nikon D3s ISO samples: IS0 100 to 102,400

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ellis_vener_photography, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Hannah Thiem, 13 others, and myself got a chance to shoot with the new Nikon D3s last Tuesday night at a dress rehearsal of The Big Apple Circus.
    In the below linked gallery you will find full resolution 1000x1000 pixel crops shot at the D3s Big Apple Circus event on October 20, 2009 at all full stop ISO settings from 100 to 102,400. The final image is an uncropped view.

    Exposure and processing information is included but the basics are that the camera was set for lossless 14 Bit NEF mode and High ISO noise reduction was set to "Low".
    Exposures were:
    ISO 100 = 1.3 seconds @ f/5.6

    ISO 200 = 0.66 seconds @ f/5.6

    ISO 400 = .33 second @ f/5.6

    ISO 800 = 1/6th second @ f/5.6

    ISO 1600 = 1/13th @ f/5.6

    ISO 3200 = 1/25th @ f/5.6

    ISO 6400 = 1/50th @ f/5.6

    ISO 12800 = 1/100th @ f/5.6

    ISO 25,600 = 1/200th @ f/5.6

    ISO 51,200 = 1/400th @ f/5.6
    ISO 102,400 = 1/640th @ f/5.6 ( something changed in the lighting, camera settings remained the same.)

    The files were looked at in Nikon ViewNX and then sent to Photoshop for cropping, captioning, conversion to the sRGB color space and saved as level 12 (i.e. minimal) compression.

    No sharpening in the NEF processing or in post processing. Active D-lighting was turned off in hte camera and D-Lighting was turned off in Nikon ViewNX. Beyond what is described above no other processing was done. The HTML Web gallery was created in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.5
    photo.net won't let me post the link! Thanks! find me on facebook and I'll point you to it.
    Feel free to share the link or post it in your blogs.

    Ellis Vener
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/Nikon-D3s-ISO-samples
    http://tinyurl.com/Nikon-D3s-ISO-samples


    At the moment I'm not able to find out why the original link to Ellis' site isn't being accepted, so I've temporarily disabled the tinyurl block. The first link should be a preview, a sort of "safety" built into the tinyurl system. The second should link directly to Ellis' site. -- LJ
     
  2. There's no pics?
     
  3. Brian -
    Read the 2nd to last line of the post - PN won't post the link.... go to Ellis' Facebook page to get it.
    Dave
     
  4. Only works if you are a friend of Ellis. Drats. I am super curious to see the results.
     
  5. It would be interesting to see the examples. BUT the D3s is a $5100 camera. Not in my wildest dreams will I ever own one.
     
  6. Brooks, you don't dream wild enough. Come on, live a little.
    Besides, in two years, it won't be $5100, used that is.
     
  7. I've e-mailed Ellis for the link to see if I can squeeze it back into his original post. Photo.net's spam filters are occasionally a little aggressive and may block some useful sites. The consequences of having to deal with the usual onslaught of spammers for shoes, electronics, etc., which sometimes use clever redirects from blog links. Even tiny url is blocked now.
     
  8. Even tiny url is blocked now.​
    Poor Tiny, I kind of feel sorry for him... or her...
     
  9. You could always take a screen shot of the URL bar (print screen), crop it, and add upload it to your posting :D

    I'd like to see the filters block that.
     
  10. Here's one for you, Lex
    Note: Its caps sensitive
    00UruM-184663584.JPG
     
  11. Okay, that should work as a sort of kludge for now. I'll copy and paste the links to the original post.
    As far as I can tell, photo.net has a sitewide filter to minimize the number of times a single type or URL, website or blog can be repeated in the forums. This is because so many folks (not Ellis) have been trying to use photo.net to bump their Google prominence by tagging every post with a signature URL. It would be nice if we could accommodate this for our most valued participants but unfortunately too many people join photo.net just to hype their personal blogs and don't contribute anything else.
    Thanks, Ellis, for providing this info.
     
  12. The link works as a dream.... Thanks Ellis (& Lex)!
     
  13. Thanks, Ellis. That's pretty damn astounding.
     
  14. I think there is a growing consensus that clicking on a TinyURL link is very risky, because you don't know where it is going. I was under the impression that this forum would replace a long link with (link) or something like that? Anyway, on with the ISO tests! I was very impressed with ISO 6400 on my old D700. And ISO 3200 isn't so bad on my D300 either.
     
  15. Grrrrr eat I want one so I can shoot at ISO 102.400 on a pitch black night and finally be able to photograph one of those little elves that live in my closet. Iso 6400 is not making it, they way too fast.
     
  16. looks like a clean 3200, the noise starts to show at 6400.
    thanks for the links, Ellis!
     
  17. Golly, it's getting to where fast glass isn't THAT important :-/
     
  18. That is great and glad to see some real world data. In looking at the blue stars at the top of the image, you can certainly see noise at 1600 and it is more pronounced at 3200. Guess I would love to see the D3s vs D3 or D700 in a similar noise comparison to see if it is really 'better' in terms of noise.
     
  19. Ellis,
    Thanks for sharing these links. I can see all the images.
    So, this is not meant to be pain but what is your point? Are you posting these for us to make up our minds or are making a statement?
    What are you thots about it so far?
     
  20. Remarkable.
    Thanks for sharing, and welcome back.
     
  21. Very interesting results. Not sure if it is the subject matter, or what, but the transition in some of those blacks bothers me. That said, as someone who hates noise and pretty much never does anything to deal with it (a skill I really need to learn), I think it is usable all the way through ISO 1600. The ISOs of 3200 and 6400 might be usable for black and white.
    Very nice testing though. And a big thank you.
     
  22. What person, who is in the grip of their faculties, is seriously going to use 100,000 ISO when all you do is say the magic 5 letter word:
    SB800
    Who really gives a rats.
     
  23. ....or shoot at a wide aperture, and drop the iso by 4 stops. nikon should concentrate more on getting some decent primes to compete with canon rather than pissing about with useless iso 100 000.
     
  24. Thanks Ellis!
     
  25. ....or shoot at a wide aperture, and drop the iso by 4 stops. nikon should concentrate more on getting some decent primes to compete with canon rather than pissing about with useless iso 100 000.
     
  26. To all that said that the High ISO is useless: Just because you don't need it does not mean that it's useless to all the rest (it's kind of the all right me, screw the rest mentality that is the main reason for many problems in this world). While you may need a different type of camera, this camera is perfect for many others (me included if I could afford it). SB 800 someone said???? Yeah right, try telling that to a wildlife photographer trying to get a shot of a lion or tiger at night, or to someone covering an indoor sports event where high shutter speed is required and no flash is allowed.
     
  27. removed double post
     
  28. Thank you Ellis! The photographs are very nice for test pictures. Although I won't buy this weapon of darkness (but would take it as a present of course), its performance, It's Amazing - With(in) the blink of an eye (shutter) you finally see the light (credits to Aerosmith).
     
  29. As a devout Canon user going all the way back to the venerable F-1, I'm grief-stricken to say this:
    It looks like Nikon may very well kick Canon's butt in the high-ISO image quality department, and all because it seems Canon has been allowing their apparently-megapixel-fixated marketing folks to dictate product policy, making uber-MP levels a higher priority than IQ.
    What a tragedy.
    I only hope Canon wakes up and comes out with offerings that do as well or better.
     
  30. john,
    Don't forgetthat Canon has also announced the new EOS-!D MArk 4 which will also go to ISO 102,400.
    But here's the point everyone seems to be missing: If you are a workign photogrpaher who uses lighting, you lighting load with these new cameras changes the amount of liht you need for high quality publishable photos. If there is very little discernable difference between full size /resolution quality ISO 1600 and ISO 200 with a 12 or 17mp camera , think about what that means when your photos are being printed smaller than that, like at 8x10 (cropped) or 8.5 x 11 inches - suddenly even a 1000 watt-second monolight starts looking like overkill.
     
  31. Tom wrote: "....or shoot at a wide aperture, and drop the iso by 4 stops. nikon should concentrate more on getting some decent primes to compete with canon rather than pissing about with useless iso 100 000."
    A) shooting wide open is not always the best option and depending on the ambient light not even a workable option.
    B) More fast wide angle prime lenses are definitely in the pipeline, but I can't say more than that.
    C) If that is the case then why is Canon also bring out a similar camera (the EOS-1D Mark 4) that is ISO 102,400 capable?
     
  32. "Stephen Asprey [​IMG] [​IMG] , Oct 29, 2009; 02:02 a.m.
    What person, who is in the grip of their faculties, is seriously going to use 100,000 ISO when all you do is say the magic 5 letter word:
    SB800
    Who really gives a rats."
    The people who are the natural market for these cameras do. That group includes
    - Wedding photogrpahers who have to work in churches where flash isn't allowed.
    - Photojournalists where Flash can sometimes be a very bad idea and potentially deadly idea.
    - Wildlife photographers where flash might disturb the subject.
    - Law enforcement and military photographers.
     
  33. I am very impressed with the results, I only wish I had the money to drop on this thing.
     
  34. Ellis Vener [​IMG] , Oct 29, 2009; 09:59 a.m.
    The people who are the natural market for these cameras do. That group includes
    - Wedding photogrpahers who have to work in churches where flash isn't allowed.
    - Photojournalists where Flash can sometimes be a very bad idea and potentially deadly idea.
    - Wildlife photographers where flash might disturb the subject.
    - Law enforcement and military photographers.
    Ellis, I would add sports photographer as a huge one on top of this. Not so much your guys taht are shooting NFL, swimming, or other venue sports like that, but the guys shooting multi-day mountain climbs, Rally racing during night stages, and various other sports where either carrying a full light rig is impossible or using a flash puts people in jeopardy.
    But the point isn't that you can shoot at 102,000 ISO. Its that you can now have, by whatever your old standard was, at least one more ISO, if not two, that is useable compared to previous models.
     
  35. >Don't forgetthat Canon has also announced the new EOS-!D MArk 4 which will also go to ISO 102,400.<
    Yeah, I wanna see those photos. Considering that the Canon's pixels are 5.7 microns and the Nikon's are 8.45 microns I would think that the Nikon is the winner here.
     
  36. Count me in on the crowd asking for more primes with fast appertures.
    The D3s is an impressive camera nonetheless.
     
  37. When I first looked at the images (via the facebook post) I thought the first image I clicked on was the ISO 12,400 and was like "Oh,that's a little noisy but usable."

    Then I realized it was the ISO 100,000 photo....which looks better than my D200 at HI-1. The ISO 12k photo is very clean and usable.

    I think the results are pretty fantastic. Too bad this camera is sooo out of my price range I couldn't even fathom owning one.
    As far as the ISO 100,000 is useless, just use an SB800...how does that work for longer telephoto shots? Personally, I think the ISO 100,000 is pretty amazing, and very useful. Just think of the Tiananmen Square photo (link ) taken with a D3S and a 600 f/4 VR with 1.7x tele. Of course....they would have been hiding CF cards in the toilet instead of film...but that's a whole 'nother issue.
     
  38. Wow, thank you Ellis! That's several stops better than my D200 for sure. Even though it's noisy at 102k, the fact that you can do it at all when the alternative is no picture is worth everything. Can't wait for a D700s with that ability.
     
  39. Thanks, Ellis! To me, ISO12,800 (or even 25,600) looks too good to call it "the last resort"!
     
  40. Thank you for posting the test shots. ISO 102,000 is somewhat like watching a dog walk on its hind legs. While it is not done well, it is remarkable that it can be done at all. :)
     
  41. How many fast primes do "we" need, when and why in the emerging new "Happyland" of the D3s? Is the DOF not shallow enough at f2.8? Is it really practical for the wedding photographer to use the upcoming new 24/1.4, 35/ 1.4 and 85/1.4 together with the present 50/1.4 and maybe also a 200/2 for distant shots in the church and at the party? What´s the pros and cons with the above prime line up vs a zoom one: 14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8 and the new 70-200/2.8 VRII?
     
  42. The thing I don't like about the D3s is the 720p video. If they're not going to go for full 1080p video, I'd rather they just left it out. If you are going to build a top-of-the-line camera, you don't throw in less-than-top-of-the-line video resolution, especially when the 5D MkII has had it for a year already.
     
  43. Well I just left a High school district final match that I was shooting with My D3 80-200 2.8. This gym has brighter than normal lighting. I shoot 30,000 or more VB and B-ball game pics a year with this camera. The results are very amazing. I only shoot at 6400 ISO in all the gyms. Tonight the local newspaper Photographer came to shoot the match for the paper With the best Canon equipment, he was only getting 125s while I was shooting 1000s 2.8 and he said he had no usable action shots. I left there with 750 shots that can be printed nicely to 20x30. So this High ISO shooting has made me one of the very few Volleyball Photographers in the Florida that is even trying to sell Volleyball pics. I wish I could get the D3s.
    00UsVt-185005584.jpg
     
  44. I probably would not use 102000 ISO very often, but if I could move from 1600 on a D700 to 3200 or 4500 ISO with a D3s or a D700s (hint), I might be very tempted particularly if I combine that with a new VRII 70-200 lens that gives me at least one additional stop of performance... combined gives me a minimum of two stops ( and perhaps 4 stops) of acceptable performance, is the portrait photographers dream device, particularly if one is interested in environment, location based portrait photographer. And I think the other thing that really gets lost in this conversation is that at higher ISO, flash is even more powerful in ways that you can not understand unless you have experienced it. And bounced flash produces results that are quite remarkable because so little light is needed to dramatically improve the images.
     
  45. it is all ok up to ISO 6400, from there, GOD have mercy, better off using a photocopier.
     
  46. Oddly, the shot listed as ISO 25,600 looks cleaner than the shot taken at ISO 12,800.
    How many fast primes do "we" need, when and why in the emerging new "Happyland" of the D3s? Is the DOF not shallow enough at f2.8? Is it really practical for the wedding photographer to use the upcoming new 24/1.4, 35/ 1.4 and 85/1.4 together with the present 50/1.4 and maybe also a 200/2 for distant shots in the church and at the party?​
    Fast primes are useful to anyone who needs to focus manually in low light. You don't have to shoot at f/1.4 to gain the benefits of focusing at f/1.4.
    The thing I don't like about the D3s is the 720p video. If they're not going to go for full 1080p video, I'd rather they just left it out. If you are going to build a top-of-the-line camera, you don't throw in less-than-top-of-the-line video resolution, especially when the 5D MkII has had it for a year already.​
    That's fair, but who shoots high-definition feature films with a DSLR? Filmmakers have their own cameras, cameras with features that blow away what's available on any DSLR. 720p seems like OVERKILL for clips of sports action and news clips. Given that the D3s is camera for PJ's and sports photographers, NOT for Ron Howard and Peter Jackson, I don't see any problem at all with the 720p limit.
     
  47. After a month with my D700 I still haven't stretched it more than 6400 ASA. For me, 6400 is more than enough and I'm pretty sure I don't need 100K, despite I'm primarely an available-light shooter. I see the high sensibility of the D3s as another marketing trick to help users to "update" the camera. Maybe some sport photographs can find an advantage using it, but for the rest I think it's irrelevant. The only thing where I could suspect a point of real interest is if it has at least 2 EV or more of dinamic range with respect to the D3/D700.
     
  48. Thanks for the results Ellis. I think we need both better high ISO and better fast lenses, there are many kinds of applications and it can't be generalized that only one thing needs improvement.
     
  49. Ellis, somebody in that group was testing a D3/D700 side-by-side with the D3s, right?
     
  50. More samples and info:
    Three sets of D3s ISO examples

    In the linked gallery you will find full resolution 1000x1000 pixel crops shot at the D3s Big Apple Circus event on October 20, 2009 at all full stop ISO settings from 100 to 102,400. The final image is an uncropped view.

    Exposure and processing information is included but the basics are that the camera was set for lossless 14 Bit NEF mode and High ISO noise reduction was set to "Low".

    The files were looked at in Nikon ViewNX and then sent to Photoshop for cropping, captioning, conversion to the sRGB color space and saved as level 12 (i.e. minimal) compression.

    No sharpening in the NEF processing or in post processing. Active D-lighting was turned off in hte camera and D-Lighting was turned off in Nikon ViewNX. Beyond what is described above no other processing was done. The HTML Web gallery was created in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.5

    http://www.ellisvener.com/data/web/Nikon_D3s_ISO_samples/index.html


    2) Okay. Here is a look at a D300s file (shot at ISO 3200) and a D3s file shot at ISO 6400. Details are in the caption. I'll see what I have in the way of D3s at 12,800 or D300s @ ISO 1600. Once again these are 100% resolution crops straight out of the camera.

    The question has been raised about internal high ISO noise reduction being applied automatically by the camera. This is a bit of a canard as photographers have no control over that function except by manually over riding that to an NR setting of their choice. I chose not to do that.

    What you should be looking at is the noise in the out of focus areas as well as detail rendering.

    Were these frames shot side by side? No, but the lighting and general circumstances are close enough that you get a pretty good idea of the noise quality at similar exposure levels (Aperture Priority 3D Matrix metering was used, BTW)

    http://www.ellisvener.com/data/web/Vener_D3s_and_D300s_comparison.jpg

    3) Bello Nock of the Big Apple Circus captured at 1/5000th of a second on a Nikon D3s at ISO 51,200:

    http://www.ellisvener.com/data/web/NikonD3s_ISO51200_Vener.jpg
     
  51. What's really impressive is the control of luminance noise, which helps ensure better true detail without resorting to sharpening. I see some chroma noise, which is more easily reduced in post processing. But the luminance noise is much lower than I'd expected to see at such high ISOs. Banding also appears to be non-existent or minimal.
     
  52. Andy, maybe, but if they were they didn't announce that they had brought either a D3 or D700. David Schloss of the Aperture Users Network and MAcreate.com brought his D3X and qrote me to say that th colro saturation from the D4x was even better tha nthe D3s (no surprise) but that iamge quality was "crap over ISO 1600" . I had my Canon EOS-1Ds MaArk 3 with me but didn't bring it out of the bag, but I already know that over 1600 is non-stater for me.
    If you have a link for someone who was shooting a D3 or D700 that night I'd love to see it.
     
  53. Double post. Sorry.
     
  54. Ellis, thanks for the post. Whoda thunk this kind of iso in the days of emulsion.
    I think Yogi would have said, you dont need it til you need it. For those of you who have been up against it in low light, know what I am talking about. Sure, its not for everyone, perhaps particularly crazy for those who just buy the latest and greatest because it is. As above, there are many places that prohibit flash, where it wouldnt be effective, or there just plain isnt time. It can allow me to get faster recycling with my lights as well. I look at the well worn 30 year old Pentax ME on my desk, loaded with Velvia and cant help but be amazed at the power now in our hands. To paraphrase an old chemistry quote, better photography through electronics. I think I'll take the ME for a spin.
     
  55. I guess not many people here have tried to EDIT 1080p video.
    You'd probably have to upgrade your computer to get it rendering at any workable rate.
     
  56. I have no problem with the low light work. I have a problem with companies just showing off who has a bigger weiner. I say the low light is fantastic, but I wish now they would just work on a better quality of sensor... I know for a fact I would need the high ISO for sure. Now can companies please work on better quality pictures? And make things cheaper? And available for the consumer as well?
     
  57. Look at that!
    D3s at ISO 102400..what can we say..i was stunned!
    Next step for Nikon..ISO 204800
     
  58. it is all ok up to ISO 6400, from there, GOD have mercy, better off using a photocopier.​
    LOL. Exactly what I was thinking. What is the point? Amazing results at 6400.
     
  59. I've been trying it out for low light,a nd every single time, I've come away feeling bad about the results at 10000+ ISO.
    Just the presence of that setting gave me confidence to go out and use it...but all the images turn out grainy.
    Why have such high ISO settings if the output is going to be unacceptable?
    The grain may not be obvious in this downsized image but its awful in the original large image.
    00XMrC-284539584.jpg
     
  60. It's too bad the sample photos weren't posted on photo.net. The link to the image gallery no longer works which renders this thread pretty much worthless.
    For future readers of this thread, you might find other samples taken at the same Nikon event with a Google search of "D3s Big Apple Circus"
    In particular, a review at DigitalCameraReview.com has some full resolution samples.
     
  61. The link to the image gallery no longer works which renders this thread pretty much worthless.​
    The thread is over 4 years old, Tom!
     

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