Nikon's ISO 200

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Brianm, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Brianm

    Brianm Guest

    I searched hi & low if this ? was asked, but haven't found it. Since
    Nikon's lowest ISO setting has (until recently) been 200, I have always
    thought Canons (or any camera with a "native" 100 ISO) had a noise
    advantage (at 100). We all know 100 has less noise than 200 on a
    camera. However, after having learned about "native" ISO's, Nikon's
    "native" ISO continues to be 200. So, was I WRONG in my thinking?

    Does this mean that Nikon's ISO 200 will have basically the SAME amount
    of noise (or rather, lack of) as ISO 100 in a Canon? Are they
    functionally equivalent? Up until now I had resisted buying a Nikon,
    thinking Nikon's 200 was equivalent to Canon's 200, but maybe I have to
    reformulate my entire way of thinking about Nikons.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Brianm, Nov 23, 2009
    #1
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  2. Brianm

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Brianm
    <> wrote:

    > I searched hi & low if this ? was asked, but haven't found it. Since
    > Nikon's lowest ISO setting has (until recently) been 200, I have always
    > thought Canons (or any camera with a "native" 100 ISO) had a noise
    > advantage (at 100). We all know 100 has less noise than 200 on a
    > camera. However, after having learned about "native" ISO's, Nikon's
    > "native" ISO continues to be 200. So, was I WRONG in my thinking?


    nikon and canon use different sensor technology and the native iso is
    different. also, nikon had iso 100 since the d2x and d200, which aren't
    all that recent.

    > Does this mean that Nikon's ISO 200 will have basically the SAME amount
    > of noise (or rather, lack of) as ISO 100 in a Canon? Are they
    > functionally equivalent? Up until now I had resisted buying a Nikon,
    > thinking Nikon's 200 was equivalent to Canon's 200, but maybe I have to
    > reformulate my entire way of thinking about Nikons.


    sometimes it's better, sometimes it's not. it depends which particular
    nikon and canon cameras your talking about. not that you will easily be
    able to tell the difference, even at 400.
     
    nospam, Nov 23, 2009
    #2
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  3. Brianm

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Brianm <> wrote:
    >I searched hi & low if this ? was asked, but haven't found it. Since
    >Nikon's lowest ISO setting has (until recently) been 200, I have always
    >thought Canons (or any camera with a "native" 100 ISO) had a noise
    >advantage (at 100). We all know 100 has less noise than 200 on a
    >camera. However, after having learned about "native" ISO's, Nikon's
    >"native" ISO continues to be 200. So, was I WRONG in my thinking?
    >
    >Does this mean that Nikon's ISO 200 will have basically the SAME amount
    >of noise (or rather, lack of) as ISO 100 in a Canon? Are they
    >functionally equivalent?


    Nope. Different cameras, different technology. If you want a
    comparison of noise then look up the camera reviews at
    www.dpreview.com

    (Short version: They're very similar)

    --
    Ray Fischer
     
    Ray Fischer, Nov 23, 2009
    #3
  4. Brianm

    Me Guest

    David J. Littleboy wrote:
    > "Ray Fischer" <> wrote:
    >>> Does this mean that Nikon's ISO 200 will have basically the SAME amount
    >>> of noise (or rather, lack of) as ISO 100 in a Canon? Are they
    >>> functionally equivalent?

    >> Nope. Different cameras, different technology. If you want a
    >> comparison of noise then look up the camera reviews at
    >> www.dpreview.com
    >>
    >> (Short version: They're very similar)

    >
    > Slightly longer version: ISO 100 in theory should provide lower noise and a
    > higher dynamic range (those two actually mean the same thing) than ISO 200,
    > but circuit noise in the camera is usually too high for that to actually
    > happen. So I shoot my Canon cameras at ISO 200.
    >
    > See figure 5a on this page. And in 5b, you can see that you might as well
    > shoot the 5D2 at ISO 800. Which means that while the 5D2 is great for
    > low-light/high ISO users, there's room for improvement at low ISOs (and this
    > isn't even considering the pattern noise problem, sigh), so Canon will have
    > an easy time (I hope!) getting more money from the landscape types when the
    > 5D3 comes out.
    >
    > http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/digital.sensor.performance.summary/index.html
    >

    Note that some of those comparison charts plot ISO 200 "native" cameras
    alongside ISO 100. It might have been better to run a standard test at
    ISO 200, but that's also not perfect, and neither is using "lo-1.0"
    setting on a Nikon and plotting it tagged as real ISO 100.
    FWIW, raw data analysis I've seen for Nikon's newer 12 and 24mp aps-c
    and 35mm sensors shows native ISO at about 150, so closer to ISO 200
    than ISO 100.
    Doesn't matter much. You can sometimes see shot noise in skies if
    sharpness, contrast and saturation is up and you've got "active
    D-Lighting" on, but shadow detail is excellent and pattern noise
    effectively absent. As usual, exposing correctly is very important.
     
    Me, Nov 23, 2009
    #4
  5. Brianm

    OldBoy Guest

    "Brianm" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I searched hi & low if this ? was asked, but haven't found it. Since
    > Nikon's lowest ISO setting has (until recently) been 200, I have always
    > thought Canons (or any camera with a "native" 100 ISO) had a noise
    > advantage (at 100). We all know 100 has less noise than 200 on a
    > camera. However, after having learned about "native" ISO's, Nikon's
    > "native" ISO continues to be 200. So, was I WRONG in my thinking?
    >
    > Does this mean that Nikon's ISO 200 will have basically the SAME amount
    > of noise (or rather, lack of) as ISO 100 in a Canon? Are they
    > functionally equivalent? Up until now I had resisted buying a Nikon,
    > thinking Nikon's 200 was equivalent to Canon's 200, but maybe I have to
    > reformulate my entire way of thinking about Nikons.


    See www.dxomark.com
     
    OldBoy, Nov 23, 2009
    #5
  6. Brianm

    Me Guest

    Alan Browne wrote:
    > Brianm wrote:
    >> I searched hi & low if this ? was asked, but haven't found it. Since
    >> Nikon's lowest ISO setting has (until recently) been 200, I have always
    >> thought Canons (or any camera with a "native" 100 ISO) had a noise
    >> advantage (at 100). We all know 100 has less noise than 200 on a
    >> camera. However, after having learned about "native" ISO's, Nikon's
    >> "native" ISO continues to be 200. So, was I WRONG in my thinking?

    >
    > The "natural" ISO of many Nikon's based on Sony sensors is in the mid
    > 100's region (around 150 more or less) AFAICT from the various graphs.
    > So setting the camera to ISO 100 (were it possible) would narrow the
    > dynamic range of the sensor (and probably have other effects).
    >
    > On most of the Minolta/Sony's (using the same or similar sensors), ISO
    > 100 is enabled by the user - eg: Sony recommend 200 as the slowest ISO.


    There's a slight reduction in contrast. Tests seem to show some models
    have a slight reduction in DR, and others show a slight increase when
    set at "Lo 1.0" (ISO 100), but the difference is only a fraction of a
    stop either way, not IMO worth worrying about, probably just related to
    ratio between read and shot noise. If you want to use a Nikon (and
    probably Sony with similar sensor) at "forced" ISO 100, and you adjust
    contrast etc in PP as a matter of course anyway, just use it and don't
    worry.
     
    Me, Nov 24, 2009
    #6
  7. Brianm

    Paul Furman Guest

    OldBoy wrote:
    > "Brianm" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> I searched hi & low if this ? was asked, but haven't found it. Since
    >> Nikon's lowest ISO setting has (until recently) been 200, I have always
    >> thought Canons (or any camera with a "native" 100 ISO) had a noise
    >> advantage (at 100). We all know 100 has less noise than 200 on a
    >> camera. However, after having learned about "native" ISO's, Nikon's
    >> "native" ISO continues to be 200. So, was I WRONG in my thinking?
    >>
    >> Does this mean that Nikon's ISO 200 will have basically the SAME amount
    >> of noise (or rather, lack of) as ISO 100 in a Canon? Are they
    >> functionally equivalent? Up until now I had resisted buying a Nikon,
    >> thinking Nikon's 200 was equivalent to Canon's 200, but maybe I have to
    >> reformulate my entire way of thinking about Nikons.

    >
    > See www.dxomark.com


    They do some kind of calculation to indicate the 'true' ISO of various
    cameras. I don't recall the details but the basic test would be to put
    the same lens at the same aperture on different cameras and measure the
    exposure time to achieve identical brightness from the raw files. But
    there are other little fiddles that each manufacturer makes so it's
    probably not that simple. DXO's calculations are probably not perfect
    either but no doubt there is some similar variability in various cameras.


    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
     
    Paul Furman, Nov 24, 2009
    #7
  8. Brianm

    Paul Furman Guest

    Alan Browne wrote:
    > ...setting the camera to ISO 100 (were it possible) would narrow the
    > dynamic range of the sensor (and probably have other effects).


    The difference is probably trivial for noise as other replies suggest.
    100, 200, whatever is already stunningly clean & good for most purposes
    (excluding astrophotography or scientific measurement uses).

    Dynamic range is what concerns me more and I don't know how much impact
    there is on that. The only times I've been tempted to set pushed Lo -1.0
    compensation is where I want to have the lens wide but there is too much
    light and in those cases, too much light usually means bright highlights
    in full sun prone to blowing out so I usually back off that idea unless
    it's crucial for my aims.

    So, for me, it's very rare that I need or care about ISO 100, in the
    real world. High ISOs are much more valuable.

    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
     
    Paul Furman, Nov 24, 2009
    #8
  9. Brianm

    Me Guest

    Paul Furman wrote:

    > Dynamic range is what concerns me more and I don't know how much impact
    > there is on that.

    The data I've seen suggests that with a D300, dynamic range (measured at
    a standard signal to noise ratio) is very slightly better at "Lo 1.0"
    than ISO 200, and it's very slightly worse with a D3. That's probably
    due to the fact that at ISO 200, "shot" noise with APS-c is slightly
    over 2x that with 35mm, read noise more or less the same, but shot noise
    decreases slightly as ISO reduces a further half stop to "native" ISO.
    Despite "common knowledge" to the contrary, there's actually very little
    difference in usable dynamic range between current APS-c and 35mm Nikons
    at base ISO (200), except for the D3x, which has extremely low read
    noise reducing down to ISO 100. I haven't seen any data for the D3s yet.
     
    Me, Nov 24, 2009
    #9
  10. Brianm

    OldBoy Guest

    "Paul Furman" <> wrote in message
    news:hefr35$3p4$-september.org...
    > OldBoy wrote:
    >> "Brianm" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> I searched hi & low if this ? was asked, but haven't found it. Since
    >>> Nikon's lowest ISO setting has (until recently) been 200, I have always
    >>> thought Canons (or any camera with a "native" 100 ISO) had a noise
    >>> advantage (at 100). We all know 100 has less noise than 200 on a
    >>> camera. However, after having learned about "native" ISO's, Nikon's
    >>> "native" ISO continues to be 200. So, was I WRONG in my thinking?
    >>>
    >>> Does this mean that Nikon's ISO 200 will have basically the SAME amount
    >>> of noise (or rather, lack of) as ISO 100 in a Canon? Are they
    >>> functionally equivalent? Up until now I had resisted buying a Nikon,
    >>> thinking Nikon's 200 was equivalent to Canon's 200, but maybe I have to
    >>> reformulate my entire way of thinking about Nikons.

    >>
    >> See www.dxomark.com

    >
    > They do some kind of calculation to indicate the 'true' ISO of various
    > cameras. I don't recall the details but the basic test would be to put the
    > same lens at the same aperture on different cameras and measure the
    > exposure time to achieve identical brightness from the raw files. But
    > there are other little fiddles that each manufacturer makes so it's
    > probably not that simple. DXO's calculations are probably not perfect
    > either but no doubt there is some similar variability in various cameras.

    It's all here:)
    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/Technologies/Measurement-definitions
     
    OldBoy, Nov 24, 2009
    #10
  11. Brianm

    Me Guest

    Alan Browne wrote:
    > Me wrote:
    >> Paul Furman wrote:
    >>
    >>> Dynamic range is what concerns me more and I don't know how much
    >>> impact there is on that.

    >> The data I've seen suggests that with a D300, dynamic range (measured
    >> at a standard signal to noise ratio) is very slightly better at "Lo
    >> 1.0" than ISO 200, and it's very slightly worse with a D3.

    >
    > Could you clarify:
    >
    > Does that mean "ISO 200 + Lo. 1.0"?


    Lo 1.0 is one stop below ISO200.
    (increments can also be set)
     
    Me, Nov 24, 2009
    #11
  12. Brianm

    Me Guest

    Alan Browne wrote:
    > Me wrote:
    >> Alan Browne wrote:
    >>> Me wrote:
    >>>> Paul Furman wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Dynamic range is what concerns me more and I don't know how much
    >>>>> impact there is on that.
    >>>> The data I've seen suggests that with a D300, dynamic range
    >>>> (measured at a standard signal to noise ratio) is very slightly
    >>>> better at "Lo 1.0" than ISO 200, and it's very slightly worse with a
    >>>> D3.
    >>>
    >>> Could you clarify:
    >>>
    >>> Does that mean "ISO 200 + Lo. 1.0"?

    >>
    >> Lo 1.0 is one stop below ISO200.
    >> (increments can also be set)

    >
    > Still not clear to me.
    >
    > 1. Can you even set ISO 100?
    >
    > 2. To do get this "one stop below ISO200" do you set ISO 200 _AND_ Lo 1.0?
    >

    No, just set the dial down another stop - it's not an extra setting.
    "ISO 100" could be displayed, but Nikon chose to display it as "lo"
    (plus increment of stop) below true ISO, as well as "Hi" (plus increment
    of a stop) at above true high ISO.
    For all practical purposes it is ISO 100. For pixel-peepers, perhaps
    not. Perhaps Nikon just chose to pre-empt whining from pedants.
     
    Me, Nov 24, 2009
    #12
  13. Brianm

    Paul Furman Guest

    Me wrote:
    > Paul Furman wrote:
    >
    >> Dynamic range is what concerns me more and I don't know how much
    >> impact there is on that.

    > The data I've seen suggests that with a D300, dynamic range (measured at
    > a standard signal to noise ratio) is very slightly better at "Lo 1.0"
    > than ISO 200, and it's very slightly worse with a D3. That's probably
    > due to the fact that at ISO 200, "shot" noise with APS-c is slightly
    > over 2x that with 35mm, read noise more or less the same, but shot noise
    > decreases slightly as ISO reduces a further half stop to "native" ISO.
    > Despite "common knowledge" to the contrary, there's actually very little
    > difference in usable dynamic range between current APS-c and 35mm Nikons
    > at base ISO (200), except for the D3x, which has extremely low read
    > noise reducing down to ISO 100. I haven't seen any data for the D3s yet.


    What do you mean by 'measured at a standard signal to noise ratio'? Is
    that accomplished by underexposing the Lo 1 shot?

    Presumably they wouldn't give it a special name if there wasn't some
    trade-off. It's effectively like overexposing so there ought to be more
    blown highlights & less noise.

    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
     
    Paul Furman, Nov 25, 2009
    #13
  14. Brianm

    Me Guest

    Paul Furman wrote:
    > Me wrote:
    >> Paul Furman wrote:
    >>
    >>> Dynamic range is what concerns me more and I don't know how much
    >>> impact there is on that.

    >> The data I've seen suggests that with a D300, dynamic range (measured
    >> at a standard signal to noise ratio) is very slightly better at "Lo
    >> 1.0" than ISO 200, and it's very slightly worse with a D3. That's
    >> probably due to the fact that at ISO 200, "shot" noise with APS-c is
    >> slightly over 2x that with 35mm, read noise more or less the same, but
    >> shot noise decreases slightly as ISO reduces a further half stop to
    >> "native" ISO.
    >> Despite "common knowledge" to the contrary, there's actually very
    >> little difference in usable dynamic range between current APS-c and
    >> 35mm Nikons at base ISO (200), except for the D3x, which has extremely
    >> low read noise reducing down to ISO 100. I haven't seen any data for
    >> the D3s yet.

    >
    > What do you mean by 'measured at a standard signal to noise ratio'? Is
    > that accomplished by underexposing the Lo 1 shot?
    >
    > Presumably they wouldn't give it a special name if there wasn't some
    > trade-off. It's effectively like overexposing so there ought to be more
    > blown highlights & less noise.
    >

    If you expose a frame so that highlights aren't lost, then you can
    recover detail from the shadows to more than is visible in a print,
    either selectively by area, or selectively by "levels" etc to the whole
    frame, or both.
    The more photographic stops you raise the shadows, the closer you come
    to the point where detail in the darkest areas is lost to noise.
    So assume a standard print size, then measure how many stops adjustment
    can be applied to shadows until a standard s/n ratio applies. Then
    you've got some basis for comparison of dynamic range between raw files.
    It's not perfect though, as it doesn't tell you how the noise looks at
    the limit. Random fine noise might be perfectly acceptable, but blotchy
    or pattern noise, banding etc may not be.
     
    Me, Nov 25, 2009
    #14
  15. Me <> wrote:

    > "ISO 100" could be displayed, but Nikon chose to display it as "lo"
    > (plus increment of stop) below true ISO, as well as "Hi" (plus increment
    > of a stop) at above true high ISO.
    > For all practical purposes it is ISO 100.


    Except that I understand that what should just fill a pixel
    well at ISO 100 might well overfill it at lo +1.0. Hence
    'lo' and not ISO 100.

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Nov 25, 2009
    #15
  16. Me <> wrote:
    > Wolfgang Weisselberg wrote:
    >> Me <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> "ISO 100" could be displayed, but Nikon chose to display it as "lo"
    >>> (plus increment of stop) below true ISO, as well as "Hi" (plus increment
    >>> of a stop) at above true high ISO.
    >>> For all practical purposes it is ISO 100.

    >>
    >> Except that I understand that what should just fill a pixel
    >> well at ISO 100 might well overfill it at lo +1.0. Hence
    >> 'lo' and not ISO 100.


    > Yes, but that loss of dynamic range at the high end is offset by reduced
    > shot-noise, at least down to "real" ISO 150 or so, so in the end there's
    > not much practical difference.


    is it?

    After all, you are throwing away rather large parts of your
    digital numbers coming from the sensor: your sensor clips before
    they can reach the maximum value.

    > Perhaps a bit more care should be taken
    > not to overexpose highlights - so if that means under-exposing a little,
    > then adjusting again in PP, you may as well just use ISO 200 in the
    > first place.


    And hence 'lo' and not ISO 100.

    > ND filters seem to be the only answer if you want long exposures at
    > apertures large enough not to cause significant diffraction losses.


    Waiting for the dark hours of the night works just as well. :)

    And of course you can shoot long series and blend them into one
    long exposure --- ask the astrophotographers, they do it all
    the time.

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Nov 28, 2009
    #16
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