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D300 High ISO Performance 3200 and beyond.


Henderson, US
2065 posts

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TheMohaveKid Registered since 11th Jun 2002
Sat 11-Jun-11 02:24 AM

Nothing highly technical here but it's been a lazy day so I did a quick test while sitting at the computer. Thought it might start up a fresh discussion on high ISO performance on the D300.

We hear so much about ISO performance on the more expensive DSLR's I wanted to get a fix on just what the D300 can handle.

What are the factors that effect how ISO will show up in different subjects ? Do some subjects show grain or is it noise worse then other subjects ?

I shot a volcano in Hawaii and at ISO 800 on the D300 and the gaseous clouds certainly showed up grainy in a 16X20 print but at proper viewing distance it was not overwhelming and in fact gave the shot a "painted textured look" which worked well showing off the clouds.

These two shots are a much different subject : A close up portrait against a white wall the light source indirect sunlight from a north facing window.

I printed the first at 5x7 and it looked great. Really no complaints. The second 5x7 print of the second image below came out much better then my screen would suggest. It has some obvious grain but at 1/500 s if you need that speed the shot looks real good and worth the cost if you were doing action shots and needed a fast speed.

The only image editing on both was a bit of contrast ,.. some warming and light sharpenning.

Is 3200 a limit on the D300 or does it just depend on the subject .. lighting .. print size ect..

My testing ofcourse is rather limited .. what is your experience ?

Where is the upper limit in general for high ISO on the D300 ?

What in general is a good plan of attack to counter the negative effects of high ISO in editing programs ?

Nikon D300 1/200 s 80 to 200 f2.8 D Lens 80 mm at ISO 3200.

Click on image to view larger version

Nikon D300 1/500 s 80 to 200 f2.8 D Lens 80 mm at ISO 1EV above 3200 the highest setting.

Click on image to view larger version

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