Sunday 26 July 2009

High ISO

Technology never stays still and camera bodies are getting forever more complex and complicated, One thing that has improved wildlife photographers life has been the new bodies with better processors and better quality pixels, This has allowed us to use ISO's that we could never have dreamed of a few years ago, My Canon 1D MK2 was good at ISO 200 and OK at 400, this changed with the 1D MK3 which was good at 400 and OK at 800 and even 1600 in some circumstances was usable-by this i mean no clean backgrounds like sky, Nikon went another step forward by offering a camera with a full frame sensor but with only 12 mp so each pixel was big allowing lots of light to be grabbed and the use of high ISO to be used and usable, being old school and being bought up on film/slide i still try to keep the ISO as low as possible but by having the use of the D3 it has meant that where i would normally be packing up through lack of light i can now carry on by increasing my ISO and still get very usable good quality images, In June i shot late one evening when a marmot sat next to the road,the light was dropping fast and i ended up shooting at ISO1600, i had a clean background and was very careful to make sure that the exposure was as good as i could get by looking at the histogram,This is very important in any shot but more so when you are using a high ISO, any playing around in photoshop to sort the exposure will bring grain out, I was amazed at the results-perfectly clean and no grain,i know that there are noise reduction software out now that are very good but i cant use these for shots going to agencies and i don't really like to use them on fur or feathers, Canons new 5D MK2 is also getting a good name for using high ISO and has nearly twice the pixels-very impressive,but it doesn't matter what you use-if you are going to use high ISO its very important that you get the exposure right in camera and not rely on PS to help you out


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