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Archive 2011 · 1DIII and ISO 6400
  
 
OntheRez
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


In my continuing quest to improve my ability to shoot sports for the local paper, I've about decided that my 1DIIn just can't function in the poor light available at this high school's venues. (Insert every horror story you've ever read about bad lighting here I have a two week break before games start up again.

I shot the last game with the 1DIIn at H (supposedly 3200) with all three of my fast primes and the results were marginal. So, I'm putting my beloved 1DIIn up for sale and looking for a camera that can shoot action in the dark. I've also been using a 7D which is OK but it isn't a 1D series and lacks the feel and to my mind the image quality of the pro grade cameras I'm used to. I can get by with it if necessary.

I note in Canon's specs that the 1DIII has an ISO 6400 capacity which can be enabled in custom functions. How good is this? How bad is the noise? Does anyone have experience shooting a lot at ISO 6400? Can anyone speak directly to the IQ of the 7D ISO 6400 as compared to the same on the 1DIII? My primes are 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, and 135 f/20L. I'd love to be able to shoot at f/2.8 with my 24-70 and 70-200 which I can do with the 7D on a stretch.

Thanks for all responses and suggestions.

Robert

(Yes, I know that the 1DIV [or even better the mythical 1DX] would be the answer, but given the wage I work for and the capital I don't have these aren't really choices for me. )



Dec 26, 2011 at 03:42 PM
Sp12
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


Honestly I would set up some Alienbees/strobes around the gym and get your own light. Nothing makes an image better than F/4+ sharpness and flash frozen action.


Dec 26, 2011 at 03:46 PM
Psychic1
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


Robert:
I would invest in Lightroom 3 for noise reduction before I sold a 1DIIn for a slight upgrade to the 1DIII, which I own.



Dec 26, 2011 at 03:51 PM
RogerC11
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


Sp12 wrote:
Honestly I would set up some Alienbees/strobes around the gym and get your own light. Nothing makes an image better than F/4+ sharpness and flash frozen action.

Sometimes the ambient lighting is still strong enough to register motion blur at the limited sync speed of the camera even when using flash. I ran into this problem when shooting a bboy event. I thought I was good to go using my flash but the 200th sync speed and ambient light definitely caused problems with ghosting during all the fast action.



Dec 26, 2011 at 04:06 PM
RobertLynn
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


I own both 7d and 1d3. I shoot both routinely at iso 6400. I had a 1d2n. Note had.

Lr3 for processing sports has made my life much easier.

You can go to my website and look at my mixed martial arts galleries. You can click each photo for "info" and get the exif.



Dec 26, 2011 at 04:11 PM
dwerther
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


I have over 10,000 images on my Smugmug site of HS football and basketball, mostly in poor lighting with the 1D3. All the 1D3 is going to do for you is make your ISO 3200 shots usable. You would not consider the ISO 6400 usable unless you just happen to nail the exposure on just the right subject. Even before you run software to reduce the noise at 6400 you lose too much detail and skin begins to look plastic.

I shot some with the 1D4 this year thanks to CPS and it confirmed what I had suspected. Each iteration of the 1D series improves the image quality such that the next stop higher ISO is actually usable compared the the previous model. In the case of the 1D4, night HS football shots at ISO 6400 were as sharp and clean as my 1D3 at ISO1600. And of course what that means is higher shutter speeds and more keepers (or maybe more importantly, not missing that one epic shot due to motion blur).

If you are not shooting your own child go ahead and get the 1D3 if you find a good deal. You will enjoy it and eventually upgrade to the 1D4. However if you are shooting your own son or daughter I urge you to go straight to the 1D4. You can't get back the year you will miss shooting with a better tool, but not the best tool. As a dad whose son has passed on from HS this is seriously the most important advice I can give you.

David



Dec 26, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Methodical
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


Ontherez, I can't answer your question, but I do have a question. Which 50 1.4 are you using and how is it for shooting basketball games? I ask because I am looking to get a 50mm for basketball games.

Thanks...Al



Dec 26, 2011 at 04:30 PM
mco_970
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


dwerther wrote:
You can't get back the year you will miss shooting with a better tool, but not the best tool. As a dad whose son has passed on from HS this is seriously the most important advice I can give you.

David


Awwww, I love this, David!



Dec 26, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Photon
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


Robert, I've followed your posts since spring. I don't have a 7D, but I do have a 1D2, 1D3, and 1D4. The Mk 3 is particularly good at AF in low light, and I think that alone would make it a worthwhile upgrade for your situation. The quality of high ISO shots is about a stop better for the 3 than the 2. I'm sure you'd find ISO 3200 more than acceptable in print, and if you got usable 3200 shots from the Mk 2, you'll certainly manage with ISO 6400 from the Mk 3 when you need it to get the shot. Lightroom will definitely improve the result *without* pushing to the point of detail loss.

AF MicroAdjustment is a bonus with the MK 3, but I suppose you've played with that on your 7D.



Dec 26, 2011 at 05:06 PM
OntheRez
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


First, thanks all for your prompt responses. All little more information that bears on some of your responses.

(1) Flash is banned in this league and that ban is supported by the paper's publisher. (I'm working on a change for next football season, but<shrug> who knows.)

(2) I considered LR but preferred the unitary interface of Apple's Aperture. Both programs do much the same thing - at least that was my assessment when I tried each.

(3) I always shoot manually in RAW, then import and catalog in Aperture. For quick and dirty work (which is a lot of it with deadlines) I use various plug-ins in addition to Aperture's built in adjustments. The two plug-ins I use the most are SEF (the paper prints in B&W) and Noise Ninja. I've also started using the Topaz bundle since LightZone died for quick adjustment. I have to do a fair amount of work to make some pix print ready. I try to stay out of PS due to the greater amount of time it takes me to get results. (Too many goodies and I play with it too much maybe.)

(4) David, thanks for the insight. I'm shooting other people's kids and while my output is more than adequate for the newspaper (they are printing B&W with an archaic 65 line screen process), it is the quality of the color shot for the occasional parent that concerns me. The publisher and editor are ecstatic with the pix I'm giving them as they are several orders of magnitude better than their other photog/writers. Your report on the 1DIV at ISO 6400 makes me drool as the football field is so poorly lit that players (from both teams) will occasionally loose the ball on a long pass or punt.

(5) Al, I'm using the Canon 50mm f/1.4. I find its AF a bit sluggish particularly in the poorer lit parts of the gym. (There is literally 1.5 stop difference across various parts of the floor. It is of course darkest at the goals except for the mid-court where one whole light bank is out.) When I'm on the baseline and the action is in front of me, I've done okay with the 50. Shooting down court is hit or miss, mostly miss. My best lens is easily the 135 f/2.0L but I have to climb to the top of the bleachers to get wide enough shoots. Also, for the money, the Canon 85mm f/1.8 is the best all around lens. Lots of keepers even up fairly close. If you don't have the 85, I'd recommend it over the 50.

(6) Robert, nice work at your site. The light in some of your venues looks real familiar. I can see that scenes of quick action are more of challenge than say a shot of a fighter in his/her corner. Do you have a preference between the 7D and the 1DIII or more precisely how/when do you choose to use one camera over the other?

Thanks again to all for your insights,

Robert

I've attached the most recent printed photo. As you can see it is pushed way to the right to compensate for the printing process (likened to smearing kerosene on canvas). To my eye it is a little "plasticy."







Dec 26, 2011 at 05:28 PM
 

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bigfredtn
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


This looks out of focus to me. Players are out of focus, the fans are in focus.


Dec 26, 2011 at 05:41 PM
GeneO
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


With ISO 3200/6400 on a 1D2N/1D3, you might as well shoot at ISO 1600/3200, underexpose by a stop, and boost it in post processing. If you really want decent ISO 6400 then go with a 1d4 as mentioned.


Dec 26, 2011 at 06:00 PM
RobertLynn
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


Gene, I was told before that 6400 on the 1d3 is true 6400c and in my own experience 6400 is better than pushing 3200 one stop.

To op, the camera I use really depends on a few things. For the fights the check list is like this.

Is 24mm wide enough when the action is close, while the lens is on 1.3 or 1.6?
If it is wide enough, is 70mm long enough on 1.3/1.6.

Okay, I feel like using 1 camera tonight, and the crop factor is what decides it.

Is there enough light for x iso? Okay, so both cameras are in. I had to shoot one event at iso 12800. The results weren't great, but I got the best photos of the day...the guy from the paper in that town was using a Nikon, with 70-200 vr, and an sb900 pointed at the cage in whatever Nikon calls Ettl.

I know for a fact that every one of his exposures were botched by the cage reflecting light back to the flash sensor.

For me, I like each camera a lot. However, I lean slightly to the 1 series for ONE reason. Dual card slots. Nothing to do with image quality or af.



Dec 26, 2011 at 07:03 PM
mark fadely
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


OntheRez wrote:
So, I'm putting my beloved 1DIIn up for sale and looking for a camera that can shoot action in the dark. I've also been using a 7D which is OK but it isn't a 1D series and lacks the feel and to my mind the image quality of the pro grade cameras I'm used to. I can get by with it if necessary.

Robert



For the last few years I have shot some indoor events where the MKIIn just wasn't cutting it. I didn't like the results even at iso1600. Then when I used the MKIII in those same conditions it worked great and I was comfortable shooting up to iso3200 and sometimes beyond with no problem. So I would suggest getting a MKIII for $2,000 and giving it a shot. I own the MKIV, and yes, it's better, but I feel like I could pretty much shoot anywhere with the MKIII and fast lenses as well. The MKIII is just so much better in low light than the MKIIn ever was. If you get a MKIII you can sell it at little loss within a year anyhow.



Dec 26, 2011 at 08:29 PM
GeneO
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


I am pretty sure expanded ISO 6400 is the result of manipulation of ISO3200 and not the result of amplification. I know for a fact the ISO 50 is the result of manipulation and not a true ISO. I believe this is true with an Canon "expanded" ISO and that is the reason they do not include these in the normal ISO range,


Dec 26, 2011 at 11:17 PM
RobertLynn
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


GeneO wrote:
I am pretty sure expanded ISO 6400 is the result of manipulation of ISO3200 and not the result of amplification. I know for a fact the ISO 50 is the result of manipulation and not a true ISO. I believe this is true with an Canon "expanded" ISO and that is the reason they do not include these in the normal ISO range,


I will see if I can find the post, because something runs in my mind that I asked this very question when I purchased it, and I found it odd, because my old 5D was a "bullshit" iso rating of 3200 (H), but was under the impression that H on a 1D3 was actually 6400.



Dec 27, 2011 at 01:12 AM
palmor
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


I have both the 7d and the 1DIII and shoot dog agility (indoors quite a bit). I shoot ISO6400 or 12800 (on the 7d) because of the lighting situations (flashes are not allowed when shooting agility).

The differences at ISO6400 between the two cameras is very small. The 1DIII has a slight advantage and does clean up a bit better. That being said I don't have any issues using my 7d if I have to. The obvious thing is to get the exposure correct to limit the "extra" noise.

As far as print quality... You'll be able to make great prints up to 5x7 without any problems. You can get good 8x10s if you get focus and exposure right. What you won't be able to do is PP those borderline sharp photos (where you just missed the focus).

Here is an ISO6400 IDIII shot... there is no noise reduction not he dog but the background has had NR done on it (I use layers and selectivly apply NR). Since this is a mostly black dog this is about has bad as the noise gets. This printed great at 5x7 (didn't print it at 8x10).

Canon EOS-1D Mark III ,Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
1/800s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso6400






Here is an ISO12800 shot from the 7d. Printed great at 5x7
Canon EOS 7D ,Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
1/800s f/2.8 at 130.0mm iso12800







Dec 27, 2011 at 03:27 AM
Mike Tuomey
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


I would say the Mk III files at 6400 clean up reasonably well in LR3 for my needs. (See my smugmug site for night HS soccer - many of the pics are shot at 6400.) Prints up to 8x10 and 11x14 look good, at least in the opinion of the parents buying them. I moved to the Mk III from a IIn for the improved higher iso performance and wasn't disappointed. I can't speak to the 7D.

If I were shooting in HS gyms I would seriously consider strobes.



Dec 27, 2011 at 03:50 AM
dwerther
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


mark fadely wrote:
I own the MKIV, and yes, it's better, but I feel like I could pretty much shoot anywhere with the MKIII and fast lenses as well.


I understand the spirit of what Mark was saying and yes it would apply to 95 percent of venues. However I have been in several situations where that just is not the case.

My home HS football field (Dallas) is ISO 3200, F2.8, 1/500 or 1/640 between the 30 yard lines. The closer you get to the goal line the darker it gets. (Two light poles on each side of the field on about the 20's, but most lights aimed to the middle of the field). If you are shooting a goal line play from the end zone you are at about 1/250 at ISO 6400. So with the 1D3 maxed out you get motion blur. If you were shooting with the 1D4 at 12,800 you would get above the shutter speed threshold to stop motion.

Before our HS got our lighting upgrade in the gym it was pretty much the same situation as on the football field. To get acceptable detail and noise level and skin that didn't look plastic, I felt I had to shoot at ISO3200, and at that ISO the shutter speed was marginal for stopping action in that gym. With the 1D4 I got shots at ISO 6400 that were cleaner than the 1D3 at 3200 with more detail. And of course that one stop of ISO is the difference between 1/250 and 1/500.... which is the difference between motion blur and almost no motion blur.

Ditto for many middle school basketball gyms which often have less light than the local HS gyms. And ditto for my friend's daughter's club volleyball practice facility, which is the darkest gym I have ever been in.

There are four examples of locations where a 1D4 gets quality shots that a 1D3 won't get.

So if you never shoot in locations like that then save the $ and shoot with a 1D3.

EDIT: To clarify, I use F2.8 lenses on the football field, and the 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, and sometimes my 70-200 2.8 IS II in the gyms.



Dec 27, 2011 at 04:14 AM
StanOPhoto
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 1DIII and ISO 6400


I use 7D's and the 1D3 and have to say they both have similar levels of noise. The main difference is that the 1D3 files are sharper than anything that comes out of the 7D. Maybe its due to a lighter AA filter.

Your basketball photo is out of focus (at least if you were intending to focus on the players). I never touch noise reduction in Lightroom. I see no point when the end media is newspaper print.



Dec 27, 2011 at 09:12 AM
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