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Low ISO image quality

nimike

Prague, CZ
52 posts

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nimike Registered since 05th Jul 2008
Sat 05-Jul-08 09:40 AM

Hello all,

as I read on this forum D700 has two main advantages for landscape photographers. Wider view angle and better image quality. OK. So I found on the net some RAW image files from D300 and D3 (the same sensor as D700) taken at ISO 200 (as this ISO setting I use most often). And I compared them. But It seems to be almost identical (the same noise level, DR ...). Unfortunately photos were taken by different authors, at different scenes etc and so maybe that I compared incomparable. Did anybody try such tests? I think somebody who own both D3 and D300.

Michal

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16963 posts

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#1. "RE: Low ISO image quality" | In response to Reply # 0

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Sat 05-Jul-08 10:43 AM

Yes, at a podcast listener's request, I tried it. At ISO 200, images from the two cameras look virtually identical. The only difference is that if you look in the shadows, the D300 images will have a tiny bit of noise that's not present in the D3 images. It's not something many would care about, including me. Where the D3 images are better is in situations where you want to bring out shadow detail. You can lighten the shadows in Photoshop without getting ugly noise.

Keep in mind that one of the advantages of the D3/D700 sensor is that you no longer are forced to shoot landscapes at ISO 200. Many of us who enjoy landscape and nature photography have always shot at the lowest ISO to get the best quality, but it's remarkable what you can get at much higher ISO's. That added flexibility takes some getting used to, but the increased options are nice.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

nimike

Prague, CZ
52 posts

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#2. "RE: Low ISO image quality" | In response to Reply # 1

nimike Registered since 05th Jul 2008
Sat 05-Jul-08 11:04 AM

Thank you Rick, it's the exactly I wanted to hear.

bobklein

Armonk, US
80 posts

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#3. "RE: Low ISO image quality" | In response to Reply # 0

bobklein Registered since 31st Mar 2007
Sun 06-Jul-08 11:45 PM

Michal
I have owned both the D3 and D300 for about 7 months. I have taken both cameras on numerous trips and have compared both cameras with exact same lenses.

I have about 13,000 images on the D3 and about 3,500 on the D300.

I have not performed technical tests, just personal observations. In every single instance the images I produced from the D3 were far superior.

The metering seemed much better (closer to my desired result) and the colors are truer in the D3. The noise from 200 - 3200 seems very close to the same. but the H1-H2 images from the D3 are far superior.

In fact, I am seriously considering selling the D300. Not sure if I would move to the D700. Also, before getting the D3 my main camera was the D2Xs. I prefer the controls on the D3 over the positioning on the D300.

Hope you find this helpful.

bob

MstrBones

AW
8238 posts

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#4. "RE: Low ISO image quality" | In response to Reply # 1

MstrBones Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2005
Mon 07-Jul-08 09:53 AM

Rick,

In examining some D300 and D3 RAW images, , the shadow noise level of the D3 is simple insanely clean. I got into HDR shooting to obtain thorough highlights and to get rid of shadow noise in high contrast images and the D3/D700 seem to ease that burden considerably.

For anyone interested, check here to compare RAW images taken under identical lighting and scene conditions - you need to process them, IMO, in Capture NX to have an accurate comparison, (and to also see just how good the image quality of both cameras really are).

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D300/D300RAWINDEX.HTM
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D3/D3RAWINDEX.HTM

""

nikolaj1972

wonderful copenhagen, DK
175 posts

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#5. "RE: Low ISO image quality" | In response to Reply # 4

nikolaj1972 Registered since 13th Sep 2007
Mon 07-Jul-08 01:26 PM

>Rick,
>
>In examining some D300 and D3 RAW images, , the shadow noise
>level of the D3 is simple insanely clean. I got into HDR
>shooting to obtain thorough highlights and to get rid of
>shadow noise in high contrast images and the D3/D700 seem to
>ease that burden considerably.
>
>For anyone interested, check here to compare RAW images taken
>under identical lighting and scene conditions - you need to
>process them, IMO, in Capture NX to have an accurate
>comparison, (and to also see just how good the image quality
>of both cameras really are).
>
>http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D300/D300RAWINDEX.HTM
>http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D3/D3RAWINDEX.HTM

Hi David.
I cant open the D3 files (havent tried with D300 files) here
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D3/D3RAWINDEX.HTM
I have tried CS2 and i just updated CAPTURE NX,but neither om them wants to have anything to do with them. I can see them as a thumbnail in my folder though.
How can i open them, then.
Thanks

Nikolaj Freiesleben

nimike

Prague, CZ
52 posts

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#6. "RE: Low ISO image quality" | In response to Reply # 5

nimike Registered since 05th Jul 2008
Mon 07-Jul-08 01:30 PM

I downloaded them without any problems. Just click on the required ISO link (below image preview) and fill Save As dialog.

nikolaj1972

wonderful copenhagen, DK
175 posts

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#7. "RE: Low ISO image quality" | In response to Reply # 6

nikolaj1972 Registered since 13th Sep 2007
Mon 07-Jul-08 01:38 PM | edited Mon 07-Jul-08 01:38 PM by nikolaj1972

>I downloaded them without any problems. Just click on the>required ISO link (below image preview) and fill Save As>dialog.


Yes i can download them too,but they will not open in NX or CS2.My D200 nefs loads easily but its the first time i tried D3 nefs.
Have you tried to open them after downloading them?
Thanks

Nikolaj Freiesleben

nimike

Prague, CZ
52 posts

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#8. "RE: Low ISO image quality" | In response to Reply # 7

nimike Registered since 05th Jul 2008
Mon 07-Jul-08 01:48 PM

Yes, I have opened them by both CS3 and NX 1.3

nimike

Prague, CZ
52 posts

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#9. "RE: Low ISO image quality" | In response to Reply # 3

nimike Registered since 05th Jul 2008
Mon 07-Jul-08 02:08 PM

Thanks Bob,

I spent some time with samples downloaded from site posted by David. And I compared noise level and disturbing. The result is:

ISO 200: without any NR, images from D3 are slightly less noised and look more pleasant then from D300. After NR I didn't see almost any difference.

ISO 800: without any NR, images from D3 are markedly less noised then from D300. But after NR I found differences only at wood surfaces etc.

ISO 3200: without any NR, images from D300 are heavy noised. And NR created a lot of small artefacts and color splashes in them. Images from D3 aren't too usable without any NR, but I think they have super look after NR.

The IQ at low and middle ISO can be one and only reason to buy D700 for me. But I still don't know yes/no...


nikolaj1972

wonderful copenhagen, DK
175 posts

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#10. "RE: Low ISO image quality" | In response to Reply # 8

nikolaj1972 Registered since 13th Sep 2007
Mon 07-Jul-08 02:25 PM

>Yes, I have opened them by both CS3 and NX 1.3

WEIRD
Nikolaj Freiesleben

BJNicholls

Salt Lake City, US
10095 posts

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#11. "Not necessarily wider angle - add dynamic range" | In response to Reply # 0

BJNicholls Gold Member Awarded for his contributions to the community and the Resources Charter Member
Mon 07-Jul-08 03:22 PM

There are fine wide angle DX optics so FX isn't necessary to get wide coverage. In addition to low noise / high ISO the larger sensor has an edge on dynamic range that would be useful for landscape shooters.

Frankly, I don't think FX at 12 megapixels is a significant benefit for landscape photography. At 24 megapixels, yes. But the noise and dynamic range benefits wouldn't be apparent with higher resolution.

There are disadvantages to the D700 compared to the D300 for landscape photography too. The extra weight and bulk of the camera and of the wide angle lenses you'd likely use is signficant if you're hiking to do your shooting. Nikon's 14-24mm lens is a likely landscape shooting candidate because of its excellent performance - however, it's not only large, heavy and expensive, it won't accept filters. And super wide angle lenses aren't what I use for landscape photography. In fact much of my landscape work is telephoto. For superwide high resolution I shoot panoramic tiles.

Low light high ISO would be of some value to me but most of the time I use a tripod and really high ISO isn't something I've been wishing for as a landscape shooting tool. I see high ISO performance as more of an action tool or for available light handheld photography, not landscape work in particular.

BJ

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