I want to get either the D300 or D3 because some of my shooting is done in low lighting conditions. Those of you who have the D300 and have shot some at 3200 would you post some images and comment about the noise level acceptability. How are the results at 1600? Thanks in advance.
For my non-pro use the D300 is more then acceptable at 3200. (Just being able to shoot up there at all and not see a "noise storm" is acceptable.) If I were selling photos or giving shows I would go with the D3.
The secret with high ISO is correct exposure. If you get it right the noise levels with the D300 are good. Not as good as I have seen of the D3, but I have sold shots that I have done with 3200 (night sports) on my D300.
Here is a shot that shows some of the noise levels. There was some basic clean-up NR done on this shot. The first is the shot in it's entirity, and the 2nd is a 100% crop. f/5, 1/80 on a monopod, ISO 3200.
Could you expand on "The secret with high ISO is correct exposure.". What is the secret? Is it to make sure the histogram is centered, i.e. no dark shadows? I always seem to get a lot of noise when I use hight ISO so any info would be helpful.
I have found the key is not to under expose the image. Any correction made to a high ISO image that is under exposed significantly increases the noise.
I shoot a lot of night football and available light basketball and always shoot in manual and spot meter. I try to adjust the settings to keep the meter centered and if anything lean toward overexposing the image a tad rather than under exposing.
I upgraded from my >3 year old D70, and I can give you these impressions: -There is considerably less noise with the D300; ISO 3200 is very usable. -The greater amount of detail captured, the resolution, is noticeable -Matrix metering is improved, accurately metering better in difficult lighting.
Here are two photos, indoors under difficult lighting, at ISO 3200. Check the noise, detail, and color:
Shooting raws, I find there to be a lot of noise at 3200; some of which can be cleaned up with light room. I find the noise to be excellent to 2000. At 2000 it looks like film grain; it's not bad to look at. Above 2000 it bothers me, unless I'm printing small. I use Lightroom; with other software ymmv.
Thu 24-Apr-08 10:41 AM | edited Thu 24-Apr-08 10:42 AM by nordicbiker
Basically it all comes down to money! Of course one can expect to get much lower noise from a larger sensor like the one in the D3, but the body only is about three times the money. Not to forget the additional investment in high-class FX-lenses, in case you use DX up to now!
Another nice aspect: I really like the MB-D10 vertical grip for the D300, but I can take it off to reduce weight and size when hiking or biking. The D300 with the 2.8/17-55 and a Tokina 2.8/100 fits then nicely in a LowePro Zoom AW bag. That's not possible with a D3! Ok, that's nothing to do with noise, maybe with the noise I would make if I would need to carry a D3 up a mountain...!
Here are two examples at 1600 ISO - same photo, first with no Noise Reduction, second with Capture NX 10,10 (high quality) NR applied. Viewed at 100% I can see some noise in the first photo.
The image is not all that sharp in the first place, primarily because this is a very heavy crop. Steve K, Nikonian in Edmonton My Nikonians gallery 'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange