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Z9/Z8 Dual Gain ISO Questions

  
 
FrenchFry
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Z9/Z8 Dual Gain ISO Questions


Hi!
I have seen a number of comments about dual ISO for the Z9, and have a few follow up questions as I set up my Z9/Z8 bodies.

1. Are there any downsides to just shooting ISO 500 and above? With wildlife, I am often light limited, so it would be nice to have something easy to remember like this (always shoot ISO 500 and above). But, are there any negatives to this? Sometimes noise quality and noise quantity are different so I want to be sure.

2. Is there a way to set an ISO floor on the Z8 or Z9 camera? I can easily set the maximum ISO, but canít seem to find the minimum ISO setting. Is it possible to raise the minimum to 500 so I donít accidentally go below 500?

Those are my two main questions, but feel free to come in with extra observations or advice if you have them, thank you!



May 30, 2023 at 03:24 PM
sjms
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Z9/Z8 Dual Gain ISO Questions


1- nothing at all as long as you have good post software and NR
2- it is easy to set an iso range of use

ISO sensitivity is the minimum

max sensitivity is just that the top end of the range

you pretty much shoot within that range

i use it pretty much all the time and i have multiple setups.

you can go to the Nikon site and download the reference manual. it will give you the whole lowdown

https://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/products/589/Z_9.html







May 30, 2023 at 05:02 PM
FrenchFry
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Z9/Z8 Dual Gain ISO Questions


Thanks for the reply!

For #1, are you saying that good post software are required for ISO 500 and above, but not below 500? If so does this mean there is in fact more or more noticeable noise at ISO 500 in spite of the dual gain ?

I thought that after I set ISO sensitivity to 500 in the menu, it still let me go below 500 accidentally while using the buttons on active shooting. I will have to check again, but what I am looking for is to set a value that is a minimum for when I am actively shooting in full manual and with auto ISO. Just like how the maximum feature behaves.

Edit: I checked and changing the ISO sensitivity in the menu to 500 does not set a minimum while using Auto ISO or shooting in full manual.

Basically what I am hoping to find, if possible, is something like the "ISO speed range" menu item for Canon R3 that allows you to set the minimum and maximum of the range. Once these are set in the menu, there is no accidental changing of settings outside of the selected range while shooting in manual. The handy "Auto range" menu item even lets you pick out a separate minimum and maximum ISO value when in ISO auto mode.

sjms wrote:
1- nothing at all as long as you have good post software and NR
2- it is easy to set an iso range of use

ISO sensitivity is the minimum

max sensitivity is just that the top end of the range

you pretty much shoot within that range

i use it pretty much all the time and i have multiple setups.

you can go to the Nikon site and download the reference manual. it will give you the whole lowdown

https://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/products/589/Z_9.html



Edited on May 30, 2023 at 05:36 PM · View previous versions



May 30, 2023 at 05:25 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Z9/Z8 Dual Gain ISO Questions


1) You should shoot at whatever ISO you need to get to the shutter speed and exposure you want for wildlife. There are no downsides at all to shooting above ISO 500 other than the same disadvantages that come with raising ISO on any camera (increase in noise, decrease in DR). If you're often light limited, you're probably going to be above that threshold almost all of the time anyway for wildlife. If you're using a good RAW converter, I find the Z8/Z9 performs very well up to ISO 12,800 or so. Everyone has different tolerances for what is acceptable though but I think ISO 6400 is very safe.

Read noise is worse from ISO 125-400 than it is at 500 (where dual gain kicks in), and then after that it's linear once again. That being said, ISO 125-400 is still extremely clean, so I honestly wouldn't worry about it too much.

2) You can't really set a floor - that would be somewhat pointless because as long as your minimum shutter requirements are being met, it's generally best to be using the lowest possible ISO. I see where you're going with this due to the nature of the dual gain sensor, but it's probably not something you would ever notice in practice and there is no Auto ISO menu setting to account for the dual gain sensor. The read noise "reset" that occurs at ISO 500 is more to help you out at really high ISOs, rather than continuing on the same linear read noise trajectory from ISO64 onward - you can think of it kind of like a ~3 stop head start. Again, chances are you'll pretty much always be above ISO 500 anyway when shooting wildlife in low light so my advice would be to simply set your maximum sensitivity to whatever you're comfortable with along with whatever minimum shutter speed you need and don't sweat the details.

What I do is leave the camera in manual mode, set my Auto ISO to 12,800, and then all I need to do is roll the rear command dial to effectively change my minimum shutter speed on the fly. I am rarely changing aperture as it's usually wide open for lower light conditions, but you can do that on the fly as well with the front command dial in the same setup. The only thing to note with this approach is if you try to set a shutter speed higher than what your maximum Auto ISO can handle given the conditions, it will allow you to do so and simply darken the exposure as you would expect.




May 30, 2023 at 05:25 PM
 


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arbitrage
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Z9/Z8 Dual Gain ISO Questions


ISO 200 and below have better PDR than ISO 500. ISO 250 has almost identical PDR (although slightly lower). ISO 320 and 400 are the only ones that do drop PDR below ISO 500. But then again the ISO values are low anyways so I doubt you'd notice in post the lack of DR. ISO 400 is a little better than ISO 1000.

Because I'm typically light limited and even in good light want to shoot fast SS for BIF, I always just shoot my cameras from the ISO gain value and up. Only rarely do I shoot ISO 100.

The other thing is you can technically just leave the camera at ISO 500 and adjust the brightness in post processing and the noise should be equal to having used the proper ISO for that brightness in the first place. However, this usually has a limit to 3-4 stops of brightening in post even with a ISO less camera. People will do this to really protect highlights but it isn't easy shooting so underexposed and I believe on MILCs it actually degrades AF to shoot way underexposed.

What you don't want to be doing is shooting at say ISO 320 underexposed enough that you have to brighten more than 2/3 stops as then you would have had a cleaner image if you shot at ISO 500 instead.

On Canon and Sony you can limit the range so that it doesn't go below in manual mode but I don't think you can do that (as you've found out) on Nikon.



May 30, 2023 at 06:41 PM
nextlife1
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Z9/Z8 Dual Gain ISO Questions


arbitrage wrote:
ISO 200 and below have better PDR than ISO 500. ISO 250 has almost identical PDR (although slightly lower). ISO 320 and 400 are the only ones that do drop PDR below ISO 500. But then again the ISO values are low anyways so I doubt you'd notice in post the lack of DR. ISO 400 is a little better than ISO 1000.

Because I'm typically light limited and even in good light want to shoot fast SS for BIF, I always just shoot my cameras from the ISO gain value and up. Only rarely do I shoot ISO 100.

The other
...Show more

It works when using Auto-ISO and Aperture-Priority, but not with Auto-ISO and Manual.



May 30, 2023 at 08:00 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Z9/Z8 Dual Gain ISO Questions


FrenchFry wrote:
Edit: I checked and changing the ISO sensitivity in the menu to 500 does not set a minimum while using Auto ISO or shooting in full manual.


It works in aperture priority mode, in case that mode is suitable for your needs.



May 30, 2023 at 08:00 PM







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