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Author Topic: Low light concert shooting  (Read 4143 times)

Dr. Gary

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Low light concert shooting
« on: December 16, 2007, 03:25:40 pm »

Last week I was shooting a Mannheim Steamroller Concert. One of my main lenses used was a Canon 500 f/4 L, shooting at ISO 1600 with my 1Ds MK II. A fair number of shots were taken at F/4 @ 1/60. The shots were surprisingly sharp but the limited DOF was a problem at certain angles as was occasionally motion blur from the subjects. My tripod kept things sufficiently sharp that were not moving. I used Noise Ninja to clean up the images but was wondering how that would they compare noise wise to upgrading to the 1Ds MK III. Shooting at ISO 3200 would have been great ( or 12,500-25,200 with a Nikon D3 but unfortunately I have too many Canon Lenses to switch for such a limited application) but I didn't want to deal with the extra noise in the files. How would a shot at ISO 1600 or 3200 with my 1Ds MK II and filtered through Noise Ninja compare to the same ISO with a 1Ds MK III without Noise Ninja.

dr gary
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 03:26:37 pm by Dr. Gary »
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Jonathan Wienke

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Low light concert shooting
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2007, 04:33:34 pm »

The real question to ask is what would a -MkIII image look like after similar cleanup? Any degree of improvement you apply to a -MkII image via software can be achieved on a -MkIII image as well. You're simply starting with a cleaner file to begin with. Also keep in mind that real data is always better than educated mathematical guesses.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 04:34:26 pm by Jonathan Wienke »
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Dr. Gary

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Low light concert shooting
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2007, 12:18:58 am »

Quote
The real question to ask is what would a -MkIII image look like after similar cleanup? Any degree of improvement you apply to a -MkII image via software can be achieved on a -MkIII image as well. You're simply starting with a cleaner file to begin with. Also keep in mind that real data is always better than educated mathematical guesses.
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My problem is that I may find it hard to justify the money needed to upgrade. I might wait around until Canon catches up to Nikon on the noise issue. I could only imagine what a 1Ds MK III file at 3200 would look like with Noise Ninja. I can use my 1Ds MK II at 1600 with Noise Ninja now if I have to, I just need to justify the upgrade.

drgary
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eronald

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Low light concert shooting
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2007, 03:29:55 am »

Quote
My problem is that I may find it hard to justify the money needed to upgrade. I might wait around until Canon catches up to Nikon on the noise issue. I could only imagine what a 1Ds MK III file at 3200 would look like with Noise Ninja. I can use my 1Ds MK II at 1600 with Noise Ninja now if I have to, I just need to justify the upgrade.

drgary
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If your 1Ds2 can only do 1600 for rock concert, then I'd say you have a lemon and might find it a good idea to swap it for something else while it's still worth some money. On the other hand, changing your print style might work - rock concerts are the one type of imagery where one can afford HUGE quantities of noise in the images, as well as off-key color. I would also seriously consider going to black and white for the result, that masks a lot of sins, and allows you to get rid of the super-noisy blue channel of the Canon.

Edmund
« Last Edit: December 17, 2007, 03:32:11 am by eronald »
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Ray

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Low light concert shooting
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2007, 04:35:32 am »

You might have a lemon, as Edmund suggests, but you are aware I presume that pushing exposure to its maximum at high ISOs is crucial for a relatively noise-free image.

What has become apparent to me recently, as a result of some of the more technical members of this forum analyzing one of my RAW images, is that ACR can sometimes do an excellent job in disguising overexposure.

What I'd be doing in your circumstances, is setting the camera to TV mode, choosing a shutter speed that you assess is right for scene movement (or camera shake), and then autobracket exposure (through changing aperture).

You will then have a greater choice of images. For example, one with greater DoF but higher noise; another with less noise, but shallower DoF.

I wouldn't bank on the 1Ds3 having significantly better high ISO performance than the 1Ds2.
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eronald

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Low light concert shooting
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2007, 04:44:30 am »

Indeed, but the 1Ds2 has spectacularly good hi-ISO performance compared to the original 1Ds, and my 1Ds can do fashion-show quality at 1250 ISO, therefore I suspect the original poster either has unrealistic expectations concerning noise - which is not an issue for rock, if Rolling Stone images are any account- or his 1Ds2 is really not that good, and he needs to use workarounds as you suggest.

I have had one 1Ds incapable of doing decent 400 ISO and one that can do 1250, one P45+ incapable of doing 400 and one which now can shoot by streetlights, so I am starting to realize how high the variation between camera samples is.

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I wouldn't bank on the 1Ds3 having significantly better high ISO performance than the 1Ds2.
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Ray

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Low light concert shooting
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2007, 08:14:51 am »

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I have had one 1Ds incapable of doing decent 400 ISO and one that can do 1250, one P45+ incapable of doing 400 and one which now can shoot by streetlights, so I am starting to realize how high the variation between camera samples is.
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This could be a major hassle. Canon already have a QC issue with their lenses. If demanding customers whose standards are high feel they need to start examining their camera's sensor or DB for noise quality as well as test all lenses before buying, then we have a very troublesome state of affairs.

My 5D was a major purchase for me. When I noticed serious banding, or striations as you call them, in the darkest parts of the first contrasty images I took with the camera at ISO 100, I was quite alarmed. I'd never noticed anything like this in my D60 and 20D images.

The replacement was better and fortunately there was no hassle trying another 5D because of the store's 7 day return policy.

I can only assume these issues are simply cost related. The higher the standard of quality control, the higher the price. The fewer 5D sensors that Canon have to reject at the manufacturing stage, the lower the price of the finished camera.

Same principle must apply to all sensors I imagine, as well as lenses.
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Dr. Gary

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Low light concert shooting
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2007, 10:58:42 am »

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Indeed, but the 1Ds2 has spectacularly good hi-ISO performance compared to the original 1Ds, and my 1Ds can do fashion-show quality at 1250 ISO, therefore I suspect the original poster either has unrealistic expectations concerning noise - which is not an issue for rock, if Rolling Stone images are any account- or his 1Ds2 is really not that good, and he needs to use workarounds as you suggest.

I have had one 1Ds incapable of doing decent 400 ISO and one that can do 1250, one P45+ incapable of doing 400 and one which now can shoot by streetlights, so I am starting to realize how high the variation between camera samples is.
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I suspect I may have unrealistic expectations. Too much time reading evaluations and comparisons I assume. I will wait until they get my work and see if they like it. As of now, they have not had any shots that suited them from previous photographers. I suspect they may be pleasantly surprised. The lighting and contrast were among the most difficult I have shot. Montgomery Gentry was easy as it was bright stage spots. Picking up an injury on the ring finger knuckle of the drummer was a hoot.

drgary
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Jim Pascoe

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Low light concert shooting
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2007, 02:12:46 pm »

I have just recently acquired a 1ds111 to replace my original 1ds.  This last week I have used it to shoot a number of school stage productions and also some low light work in a Cathedral. At 1600 the quality is excellent.  Certainly good enough that no customer in the market for that type of image would quibble about noise.  The improvement over the 1ds is substantial. I would describe it as having the low-light ability of the 5d combined with the speed and usability of the 1d series.
ISO 3200 is also good, but so far I have only used it a couple of times.
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elkhornsun

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Low light concert shooting
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2008, 05:51:51 pm »

Try Nik Multimedia's Dfine 2.0 NR plugin. I have used Noise Ninja and found the difference with Dfine to be amazing. Much great NR with much less loss of detail than any other NR application I have used.

Even with the Mark III when shooting at ISO 3200 the NR from Dfine helps a lot with the resulting IQ and "clarity" of the image.

With the Mark II ISO 1250 is the highest ISO I would use if expecting relatively clean files.
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John Sheehy

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Low light concert shooting
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2008, 09:50:23 pm »

Quote
I have just recently acquired a 1ds111 to replace my original 1ds.  This last week I have used it to shoot a number of school stage productions and also some low light work in a Cathedral. At 1600 the quality is excellent.  Certainly good enough that no customer in the market for that type of image would quibble about noise.  The improvement over the 1ds is substantial. I would describe it as having the low-light ability of the 5d combined with the speed and usability of the 1d series.
ISO 3200 is also good, but so far I have only used it a couple of times.
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The low-light ability of the 1Dsmk3 should be significantly better than the 5D; 2/3 stop less read noise and 15% more photons *per* pixel, and then almost twice as many pixels.  Line noises should also be much weaker with the 1Dsmk3.
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