Canon 5D makes a lot of noise over light levels.

Discussion in 'Canon' started by anonomous individual, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. Who said the 5D from Canon was a low noise camera?
    Certainly when you combine moderately high (for a Canon DSLR) ISO 800
    and low light, the camera doesn't like it one Iota. Easy to fool
    autofocus too! Pictures, EXIF data and more on the subject at:
    anonomous individual, Dec 15, 2005
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  2. anonomous individual

    googlegroups Guest

    You forgot one important thing: the histogram. As a 'seasoned'
    photographer you should know that you need to expose to the right. Even
    my 1DsII can put out shitty shadows.
    googlegroups, Dec 15, 2005
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  3. What sort of reply is that? Are you defending Canon's poor low light
    performance or just pointing out how to work around it?
    anonomous individual, Dec 15, 2005
  4. anonomous individual Guest

    I think he simply wants to see the histogram of the original image to make
    sure that the noise was not a result of underexposure.
, Dec 16, 2005
  5. Well that is easy enough Russell. I don't have a problem supplying that
    either but... He didn't ask to see it, just told me to use it,
    insinuating with it that I should have known - which I do, incidently.

    The shot is under exposed 2/3 of a stop to prevent a white blouse losing
    highlights. To get 95% correctly exposed, 5% somewhere is out of range.
    just prefer that to be in the shadow than the highlights.
    anonomous individual, Dec 16, 2005
  6. anonomous individual Guest

    I guess I took it that the other way because it was not displayed along with
    the EXIF and we actually kinda need it to get a full grip on the image and
    the capture situation.
, Dec 16, 2005
  7. anonomous individual

    chrlz Guest

    POTD said:
    Exactly right, POTD. The last time Douglas claimed this, he was
    claiming the superiority of his Panasonic prosumer over his Canon,
    based on a single, 2-stop underexposed, beach image. He said the image
    showed the Canon's lack of ability to capture highlights and shadows,
    but in fact it just showed he didn't have a clue about exposure
    adjustment for beach scenes. Apart from the fact that the image showed
    not a single true highlight, he made the mistake of also posting the
    histogram! Maybe he didn't quite 'get' what a histogram does... but
    that histogram clearly showed that the exposure was way off, the whole
    curve was way to the left (black) end, and the upper third of the graph
    was dead flat - there was nothing even remotely close to 255/255/255.

    Douglas may well dispute this, but I kept a copy of the entire webpage
    and the images, including the histogram, for posterity. (He, of
    course, pulled the pages down as soon as they were criticised.) If
    anyone is interested, I'm sure Douglas would permit me to repost the
    images (grin), or email them... The whole sad tale unfolded in the
    thread "Noisy sensors -myth explored" in the group
    "" for anyone even vaguley interested.

    Frankly, I'm sick of these silly posts. But I'd really like to see the
    whole image, and the histogram. Or at least the area of the white
    dress that he managed to 'save' by underexposing. I'll hazard a guess
    it was in no danger whatsoever...
    chrlz, Dec 16, 2005
  8. anonomous individual

    Ken Chandler Guest


    Firstly, hats off for taking the time to write up an article, I don't agree
    with all of what you've written but it at least prompts discussion.
    Low noise is a relative term, are you comparing it to:

    FujiPress 800 or other high ISO color film?
    Previous Canon Models?
    Other brands?
    From your link, you talk about taking the the shot with your Panasonic FZ20
    at ISO 80 using image stabiliser to compensate. In order to take this shot
    at ISO80 at the same aperture this shot would require an exposure of a fifth
    of a second (if I've done my maths right). The image stabiliser might help a
    few stops but you'd be pushing it. The model/subject has to stay perfectly
    still for 1/5 of a second too as image stabilisation doesn't correct for

    If you find the 5D high ISO performance below par, what would you recommend
    as a good example of high ISO performance?

    Ken Chandler, Dec 16, 2005
  9. Well Ken, you are right in what you say about the Canon compared to
    other DSLRs. As far as high ISO performance is concerned, they are all
    much of a muchness with the Canon probably being better than most.

    The Panasonic is not a DSLR and does not have any of the drawbacks of
    these cameras when working in low light although it has many of it's own
    in other areas which reduce it's usefulness but that is another story.

    The FZ would take the shot at wider F stop and minimum 1/15th which with
    no mirror to shudder the camera and blur the picture is quite enough
    provided the model stayed where she was.

    The optimum F stop for the 5D is f8 - f11 for the FZ20 it is f5.6 so
    straight away, one of the benefits of a partial frame sensor comes to
    light. Another benefit from not having any mirror slap is perhaps a
    reduction in speed to under 1/30th and maintain sharpness. Compared to a
    DSLR, these little Panasonics have about 4 stops of usefulness under the
    minimum EV for sharp pictures with a DSLR.

    My motive in this is to provide enlightenment both for myself through
    other people's experience and to address the issues of people who are
    claiming ISO 1600 is a usable speed in low light.

    The real capability of DSLR ISO speed is found in the amount of light
    available, not it's low light ability. ISO 1600 in daylight used to
    capture fast action is well within the boundaries of quality I expect
    from an image. ISO 800 or even 400 in low light is not.

    These cameras are basically no different from their predecessors in how
    they handle light. The interesting thing is that CCD sensors like in the
    FZ Panasonic are head and shoulders above a Bayer sensor for low light
    work. I use the Panasonic indoors.

    I use it in churches and other noise and flash sensitive locations
    because it is unobtrusive and is a really good, low light camera. It is
    woeful in Aussie sunlight and has a shocking contrast range but it
    leaves any DSLR in it's wake when the light falls off and you can't use
    artificial lighting.

    All this aside, I am mildly surprised to discover the level of noise I
    have experienced with the 5D seems to be higher than that with a 20D and
    certainly up there with the (reportedly bad noise camera) E300 at 400
    ISO under the same conditions. Many of the other things people report
    about this camera (vignetting is one) I have not got an issue with.
    Although the exposures are consistently low, I can live with that
    because of the consistency.
    anonomous individual, Dec 16, 2005
  10. anonomous individual

    Ken Chandler Guest

    Any benefit of stopping down the lens to it's "optimum F stop" would be
    better served by dropping the ISO in this instance. As you pointed out a
    higher ISO has it's drawbacks. More noise, reduced dynamic range, loss of
    apparent sharpness, loss of resolution as well as an apparent loss in color
    fidelity. This isn't unique to the 5D, the same can be said for any digital
    camera and indeed film.

    Rather than aiming for a lens "sweet spot" of f/8 would you have been better
    off shooting for the conditions and achieved a better photo?

    ISO800, f/8, 1/50
    ISO100, f/2.8, 1/50

    It's clear the second option would have achieved a better image than any
    perceived sharpness advantage in stopping down.
    ISO1600 is a usable setting on the 5D, period. It is as usable as other
    digital cameras in its class and an equiv. color film eg Fuji Press +1. It
    will not give the same noise levels, dynamic range, apparent sharpness,
    resolution and color as ISO 100, but it never has, in any form.
    Not sure what you mean, could you please explain what you mean?

    higher ISO performance has greatly improved, give ISO400 a whirl on the
    Canon EOS D30 in any lighting condition for example.
    The CCD in your Panasonic has a Bayer filter too. I would really like to
    see a real world example image of the Panasonic FZ outclassing the 5D in low
    light, under the same conditions.
    As above.

    Ken Chandler, Dec 17, 2005
  11. Ask and you shall receive -- later today or tomorrow.
    anonomous individual, Dec 17, 2005
  12. anonomous individual

    prep Guest

    The optimum F stop depends on the lens you plug on the front. Grab a 200 1.8L
    and 1.8 is the optimum...

    Paul Repacholi 1 Crescent Rd.,
    +61 (08) 9257-1001 Kalamunda.
    West Australia 6076
    comp.os.vms,- The Older, Grumpier Slashdot
    Raw, Cooked or Well-done, it's all half baked.
    EPIC, The Architecture of the future, always has been, always will be.
    prep, Dec 18, 2005
  13. anonomous individual

    Ole Larsen Guest

    According to photodo, the MTF is better at 2,8 and still better at 4.0
    Ole Larsen, Dec 18, 2005
  14. That is a rather profound statement Paul. On what do you base that
    assumption and where do I get such a lens? The fastest 200 Canon make is
    anonomous individual, Dec 18, 2005
  15. anonomous individual

    kosh Guest

    actually lenses do not perform their best at the widest aperture...nor
    at smaller apertures where diffreaction from the aperture reduces image

    most lenses give there best in the mid range.

    check out po;upar photography.... never seena lens at it's best wide open!

    kosh, Dec 18, 2005
  16. anonomous individual

    dylan Guest

    They used to make a 200mm f1.8, listed here but it's now discontinued
    dylan, Dec 18, 2005
  17. anonomous individual

    MD Guest

    Although recently discontinued, Canon previously made a 200mm f/1.8L.
    "The EF 200mm f/1.8L USM is listed in the current Canon USA Dealer Catalog
    which was issued last March, but the lens itself is out of production at the
    factory and out of stock at our warehouses. It will be eliminated from the
    next version of the Canon USA Dealer Catalog, which goes into effect on
    September 1. There may be a few new EF 200/1.8L lenses in stock at various
    dealers around the world, but once they are gone, that lens is history. It
    will not go back into production and there is no immediate replacement for
    Chuck Westfall
    Director/Media & Customer Relationship
    Camera Division/Canon U.S.A., Inc. "
    MD, Dec 19, 2005
  18. anonomous individual

    prep Guest

    Most... Several of the L teles are designed to work at their optimum
    wide open, or close to it.
    Ah, yeah right...

    Paul Repacholi 1 Crescent Rd.,
    +61 (08) 9257-1001 Kalamunda.
    West Australia 6076
    comp.os.vms,- The Older, Grumpier Slashdot
    Raw, Cooked or Well-done, it's all half baked.
    EPIC, The Architecture of the future, always has been, always will be.
    prep, Dec 19, 2005
  19. One "benefit?" of partial frame sensors is the increase in apparent
    depth of field as the crop factor gets smaller. It is not out of the
    question for a 50mm lens on a 2x crop factor camera working at it's
    optimum aperture at f1.4. The 5D is another thing altogether. Depth of
    field of just a few millimeters at 1 meter distance means it is almost
    mandatory to use f2.8 or smaller to overcome the tyranny of distance -
    from a person's nose to their ear, I mean.
    anonomous individual, Dec 20, 2005
  20. anonomous individual

    Ken Chandler Guest

    A "cropped" sensor gives a /decrease/ in apparent depth of field owing to
    the fact it needs to be enlarged further to obtain a print of the same size
    (compared to 35mm).
    Not sure what you are saying here, would you mind explaining further.
    Depth of field for a 50mm lens at f/1.4 focused on a subject 1 meter away is
    ~3cm (30mm). The near focus point (plane) is ~98.5cm, the far at ~101.5cm.
    On a 1.6x crop camera like the 10D or 20D by way of comparison the DoF is
    ~2cm (20mm).

    This assumes that a CoC of 0.03mm as being "acceptably sharp" on the "film",
    which equates to a CoC of ~0.25mm to 0.3mm on an 8x10 print, which is the
    given norm for quoting depth of field calculations. 0.25-0.3mm is the
    generally accepted maximum size at which a CoC is considered in focus/sharp
    for an 8x10 print at a standard viewing distance of ~30cm.
    What's that 15-18cm? By my calculations one would want to be using f/5.6 -
    f/8.0 in order to achieve a nose to ear DoF when using a 50mm lens on a FF
    camera with the subject one meter away.

    Ken Chandler, Dec 20, 2005
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