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Thread: ISO 800

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    Default ISO 800

    Does anyone have experience shooting at night with the EVolt 500, using the 14-56mm lens at 14mm and f/2.8 . . . and ISO of 800? How grainy might I expect photos to be at a 8-15sec exposure? I want to keep my exposure as low as possible, but do not want to forego image quality. I also plan on having the "noise reduction" feature "on" so that will help in reducing unwanted blips.

    When people talk about "grainy" photos using higher ISO, is that the same thing as noise or something else?

    I have never used the manual shooting aspects of this camera and am just learning how to get up the camera before going out to practice. Unfortunately, the night skies have been very cloudy here in Central Iowa so I haven't had the opportunity to start experimenting.

    Thanks in advance for the guidance and help!

    Yvonne

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Yes, grain and noise are effective the same phenomenon.

    Night exposures generally turn out better if a low ISO is used in combination with noise reduction.
    Good shooting,
    English Bob

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    The noise reduction feature completely obliterates these Blips or Hot Pixels in my experience, but ISO noise is something you have to deal with.

    E B's advice above is the best you can get, and I just wanted to add the info about removing the Hot Pixels. It is very effective in my experience.

    Just to clear up any misconceptions, the 14-54 lens is f2.8-3.5 and the 14-45 lens is f3.5-5.6 I know that it's probably just a typo, but I don't believe that a 14-56 lens exists (I am assuming that you were referring to the 14-54)

    Good luck, and welcome to the Forum.
    Jamie


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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Both my 14-54 and 50-200 are f/2.8. I am looking at a f/2 or f/1.4 lens. f/2 is one stop lower and f/1.4 is two stops lower.

    ISO 800 with f/2.8 = ISO 400 with f/2 = ISO 200 with f/1.4

    ISO 1600 with f/2.8 = ISO 400 with f/1.4.


    I can shoot at lower ISO and get rid of noise and not rely on NR to cause problems.

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Quote Originally Posted by E B View Post
    Yes, grain and noise are effective the same phenomenon.

    Night exposures generally turn out better if a low ISO is used in combination with noise reduction.
    I'm pretty uncomfortable in comparing grain and noise and calling them equivalent. Technically grain is the viewer's ability to see the actual silver halide grains embedded in the film. For the most part, assuming the negative is evenly developed, the level of visible grain is consistent throughout the negative and under the right circumstances, can be pleasant to view and actually enhance the image. At least that's what we told ourselves.

    On the other hand, noise is created by the capture of the 'juice' flowing through the sensor during low light situations, or the when the gain is turned up and the act of one pixel capturing light 'excites' an adjacent pixel(s) to sympathetically record light that didn't hit it. Noise is not consistent in that you may see noise in just the shadows and not the mid tones or highlights. Or, you may see it in one or two related colors and not the rest of the colors. I have never heard of anyone saying noise is at all pleasant to look at. I suspect it is this 'spotty' nature that makes it more unpleasant than grain, it doesn't present a repeatable pattern.

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
    The noise reduction feature completely obliterates these Blips or Hot Pixels in my experience, but ISO noise is something you have to deal with.

    E B's advice above is the best you can get, and I just wanted to add the info about removing the Hot Pixels. It is very effective in my experience.

    Just to clear up any misconceptions, the 14-54 lens is f2.8-3.5 and the 14-45 lens is f3.5-5.6 I know that it's probably just a typo, but I don't believe that a 14-56 lens exists (I am assuming that you were referring to the 14-54)

    Good luck, and welcome to the Forum.
    Jamie

    Thanks Jamie - and yes that was a typo. I just got the 14-54 this week and haven't really worked with it yet.

    Yvonne

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Part of what I'm trying to balance is the long exposure times while shooting the sky (aurora borealis) as stars start to streak and the aurora tends to blur and lose its sharpness. I only have one week in Alaska and realistically probably only a few decent nights to shoot so I want to go into it with as much knowledge and prep so as to reduce the learning curve and lost opportunity for decent photos.

    Someone had suggested something along the lines of ISO 800 at 8-10 seconds . . . or ISO 400 at 20-25 seconds. So I was thinking that if I could go the ISO 800 route I might be better served.

    I really appreciate the input from everyone and obviously need to get out in the dark once the skies clear here in Iowa to practice and see what I get.

    Thanks again!
    Yvonne

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    To tell the truth, I might consider a film camera to capture the Aurora Borealis. What light there is, won't be bright, will vary in color and intensity, and this isn't exactly an Oly DSLR's strong suite.

    Pracitce is definitely called for regardless of the camera you use.

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Quote Originally Posted by glenbarrington View Post
    To tell the truth, I might consider a film camera to capture the Aurora Borealis. What light there is, won't be bright, will vary in color and intensity, and this isn't exactly an Oly DSLR's strong suite.

    Pracitce is definitely called for regardless of the camera you use.
    Well at this point, I have what I have and don't see getting up to speed on another learning curve with a film SLR (not to mention, I'd need to find equipment to borrow since I've sold all of my old Canon stuff).

    I'm hopeful that I'll be OK with what I have especially since I've invested another $400 in the new lens.

    Yvonne

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Keep your ISO low and turn Noise Reduction (dark frame subtraction) on. If your skies are really dark (except for the aurorae of course) you can aim for a 4 minute exposure at ISO100 at f2.8.

    Don't crank up the ISO beyond 200 unless you really need pinpoint stars. Personally I prefer trails, and keeping the gain low allows the signal to separate itself from the noise floor. Hot pixels are all but eliminated by the dark frame subtraction, so the only drawback to this approach is the need for a solid tripod.

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    I think you'll do fine, make sure to try the different ISO settings, and make sure that Noise Reduction is ON. Also, when noise reduction is on, the camera takes a while to display the shot review on the LCD. If your exposure was 6 seconds, you camera will be busy for 6 seconds after your shutter closes. This is due to the method that it uses to reduce the noise. I'm telling you this so you don't wonder why it's taking so long to write one image to the memory card.
    Good luck and I'd love to see your results!

    Jamie


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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Yvonne, Garry Frankel has posted some aurora pics using the E-500 and 14-54. I just looked at one now, and the EXIF was something like 14mm, ISO 400, 40". There was another set of pics done at ISO 200. Go to the forum's main page and do a search on "aurora" and look for Garry's threads to see some examples of what you can expect. Good luck!

    Julie

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Yvonne, I may be way off base here, comparing apples and oranges. I'm relatively new to digital as well, and I don't have any e500 experience. But if the e500 captures similarly to the e1, ISO 800 may not be that big of a deal for you, especially in "noise reduction" mode.

    Here's several shots I took last December, mostly at ISO 800 (a couple by design, the rest mostly because I forgot to reset the ISO). They're not night shots, but there are some very black blacks, and the noise isn't objectionable, at least to me.

    Again, this may be an apples and oranges comparison since these weren't long exposures either...

    http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=9442

    Roger

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Again, thank you to everyone who's provided some insight and advice. It has been very helpful.

    Last night I did get outside in the back yard where it is hardly as dark as the wilderness will be shooting the aurora, but I was able to sample a variety of ISO and exposure times. Started with the 800 at 8" and 4", then went to 400 at 4" and 10" . . . and then thought about messing around with 1250 at 3.2" and 1.3". The graininess was observed at 800, but could be dealt with for internet photos and the like. I didn't think they were horrible. Even 1250 wasn't too bad for that purpose. The pictures at 400 were better, even though I really had the 10" overexposed. Again, this was in a backyard and not in a completed dark environment or sky.

    I was amazed that the lens picked up some stars in the sky that my naked eye didn't really see. I figured the skies were more cloudy than apparently the were.

    I'll mess around with the ISO 200 as someone suggested . . . and well as the 500 and 640 just to see if those higher ones are decent in terms of the grain.

    Thanks for the suggestion to look up Garry F's stuff. They were nice considering they were from inside in his neighborhood with lights everywhere. I also enjoyed looking at yours Roger . . . thanks for suggesting that I take a look.

    I guess the fact of the matter is, until I'm shooting my actual subject matter (namely the aurora) for real, I am not going to really know what is best or produces the most desirable photos. I'm becoming more and more confortable with my camera, the manual settings (which I had NEVER used!) and how to adjust between ISO and exposure times.

    Again . . . thank you to everyone who's helping me to learn!!

    Yvonne

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Here is a sample of one I did . . .



    The exif info is in the shot. I think it was 30 secs at ISO 400. This was shot RAW and I used 2nd frame noise subtraction (NR). The only reason for using ISO 400 and not 100 is that the light moves around. I also shot some at ISO 200 and 45 secs.

    Next time I will probably use ISO 100 and 60 secs or more just to help keep the noise down in the darkest parts.

    The thing is it doesn't matter what brand of camera you use for this type of shooting. A faster lens or higher clean ISO might help if you need a much faster shutter speed. Otherwise you could use any decent camera and get great results. The NR (frame subtraction) is a big help for "hot" pixels.

    BTW, for film shots it might be worse. Film has something called reciprocity failure, and in the old days you would "gas" it to get high ISO and and reduce the reciprocity failure on long exposures.

    Just remember to have fun !!!

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Frankel View Post
    Here is a sample of one I did . . .



    The exif info is in the shot. I think it was 30 secs at ISO 400. This was shot RAW and I used 2nd frame noise subtraction (NR). The only reason for using ISO 400 and not 100 is that the light moves around. I also shot some at ISO 200 and 45 secs.

    Next time I will probably use ISO 100 and 60 secs or more just to help keep the noise down in the darkest parts.

    The thing is it doesn't matter what brand of camera you use for this type of shooting. A faster lens or higher clean ISO might help if you need a much faster shutter speed. Otherwise you could use any decent camera and get great results. The NR (frame subtraction) is a big help for "hot" pixels.

    BTW, for film shots it might be worse. Film has something called reciprocity failure, and in the old days you would "gas" it to get high ISO and and reduce the reciprocity failure on long exposures.

    Just remember to have fun !!!
    Another really pretty shot. I do have a dumb question . . .

    When you (and others) say that the exif is embedded in the photo, I know what that means but do not know how to access the info. Is there some trick I need to learn?

    Yvonne

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    Default Re: ISO 800

    I use this freeware:

    http://www.opanda.com/en/iexif/

    When it's loaded into your computer it allows you to right click on an image, displaying an options menu that includes displaying the EXIF data.
    Good shooting,
    English Bob

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