Joe - What you are experiencing is what we all saw when we "let the light" into our new D700s. Owners of D3s get the same experience. I have said all along that the D700 is NOT an evolutionary improvement. Rather, it is a revolutinary improvement. It is hard to believe that ISO 800, 1200 or 2000 is essentially noise free. But so is 3200. I have started accepting the relatively small amount of noise at 6400, which mostly evidences itself in broad detailess areas, especially if they are underexposed -- very much like film grain. But I shoot frequently for magazines and for a newspaper that has unusually good color reproduction, and 6400 is highly acceptable there. You will continue to be amazed and more often than not, be asked by other photographers where your flash is. I have many images shot at 6400 that are in all ways as good as I used to get from my D200 at ISO 640. Be astounded. Be very, very happy with your camera.
Sat 16-Oct-10 10:55 PM | edited Sun 17-Oct-10 12:07 AM by jpFoto
Once again, I agree with Alan from Waterloo, but I have gotten heckled by a couple of other high profile posters on this site, acutally, just Brian Wong. The D700 and the D3s are absolutely amazing cameras. Congratulations, and enjoy your new camera.
Brian, don't bother lambasting me, "UNCLE." You are right. DX this and DX that.
I don't think anyone (including and the "other" Brian) have lambasted you about this.
All we did was to point out the flaw in the argument that "FX has better performance at high ISO", whereas the fact is that it's the pixel density that determines the degree of noise, not the physical size of the sensor. Yes, the D700 and (particularly) the D3s are amazing, but a 5MP DX camera using the same sensor and firmware technology would be just as good.
Sun 17-Oct-10 09:01 AM | edited Sun 17-Oct-10 09:07 AM by ajdooley
I've stayed out of the pixel density discussion. I don't argue about MTF functions, etc., either. With degrees in photojournalism, business and national defense studies, I'm just not qualified to take and state a position on those kinds of issues. I don't shoot brick walls or test patterns either. Kudos to those who do understand and speak those "languages."
But in this thread, I just looked at Joe's picture and asked myself, "Could we have done that 10 years ago? Five years ago? and I conclude that the answer is a resounding "No."
My perspective is basd on 50+ years of photography. And I conclude from that: -- The D700 produces images at ISO 6400 that far exceed the appearance and quality I got from my D200 at ISO 800. -- The D700/D3 family are the first digital Nikons that in all ways exceed the capabilities we had heretofore from film. Until this camera there was always the temptation to keep an F5 in the house to shoot slides. -- Nikon has not changed its lens mount since the F, and I continue to use a 50mm f1.2 manual focus lense occasionally.
So in the end, I can't speak with authority on exactly HOW Nikon has done what they have done (or how Canon works either) but I can say that from looking at thousands of my own images, I conclude that they have done it.
I encourage everyone not to "bash" each other for opinions or even stated truths. What makes Nikonians the premier site for photographers is the experience base we can all tap in to and share -- and in comparison to many, many web sites -- the relative civility and congeniality one senses here. I have tried to answer people's questions here. I have never posed one that didn't receive an answer. I have congratulated and encouraged people. That's why I come this way virtually every day.
>I encourage everyone not to "bash" each other for >opinions or even stated truths.
Absolutely! At Nikonians, we don't stand for the "bashing" that is endemic at some other sites. But as Moderators, we do have a responsibility to protect the Community's reputation for accuracy and reliability of information, which is why we sometimes need to correct an inaccurate statement, or counter an opinion which has been stated as fact. Rest assured that it's all done with the best of intentions
>What makes Nikonians the premier site for photographers is the >experience base we can all tap in to and share -- and in >comparison to many, many web sites -- the relative civility and >congeniality one senses here. I have tried to answer people's >questions here. I have never posed one that didn't receive an >answer. I have congratulated and encouraged people. That's why >I come this way virtually every day. > >Enjoy your Nikon gear. Take a bazillion pictures!
30seconds, on a tripod (in the very cold air), f2.8, iso2000 Let me know if I ever joke too much, but otherwise, just "lovin' this list" Humor is tricky as it and many cyber experiences can be very quick before one hits the send button. Was there ever life before computers? There I go kidding and again. Oh, that's a me in the doorway, by the way. With this picture, and first try at night, no processing. None. I am amazed at the way the camera carries the picture so well, or "carries the photographic thought." The low-light results are amazing! Nikon is quite a company. I feel proud to have foothold and be a part of the scene. The d700 feels rock solid and my own results are getting better... Thanks for folks here whom have helped me with technical thoughts. Thanks for occasional silly humor from myself or my best friend there in the mirror.
Holy Cow! You got a UFO at the top centre of the pic!!! I can see the "jet" trail from its hyperdrive too. No way a lesser sensor could have gotten that!
(Well, you invited silly humour )
All seriousness aside, though, I was thinking about the low-light advantages yesterday myself when I went to the local bird sanctuary. I have a back-up D2Xs and like to use it to get the extra "reach" (don't go all technical on me here) over the D700. But I was going to wander around all day, and while it was sunny, I knew there would be some shots in the shade, and I really don't like taking the D2Xs over ISO 400, or 640 in a pinch. So, I shot all day with the D700 and 200-400 with 1.4TC attached. For flying birds I went to ISO 1600 or 2000 at times, and routinely left it at 400 or 800 as needed. This gave me nice fast shutter speeds, and looking at all the pics last night, there wasn't one where I noticed any noise, and all were sharp (except for the occasional operator error).
Oh yeah, and the higher ISOs let me shoot at f.8 and f.11 which really, really helps to get all of a flying bird in focus.
James - Great photo of the stars. I have labored long and cold to take astrophotos decades ago -- on glass plates, guiding for what seemed to be an eternity. Now I can equal those efforts in 10 seconds with my D700 and a 25-year-old lens! Check it out in my gallery.
Thu 21-Oct-10 12:15 AM | edited Thu 21-Oct-10 12:30 AM by MstrBones
>But as Moderators, we do have a responsibility to protect the Community's reputation for accuracy and reliability of information, which is why we sometimes need to correct an inaccurate statement, or counter an opinion which has been stated as fact.
But you moderators, yourselves, are not always right and I have seen this on more than one occasion in the 5 years I have been hanging around on this site.
Case in point, yours and Brian Wong's position on DX sensors vs. FX sensors bucks sites such as DXOmark which show a nearly 300% improvement of the D700 over the D300 series in lowlight, high ISO performance. D700 owners see it every day and most owned other Nikon gear and have direct, relevant anecdotal information to support their positions. I don't own a D700, but have had access to one and the difference is NOT trivial, compared to any DX sensor. It is enormous. Interestingly, this difference was noted by DPreview, which always looks for the ability to recover shadows by a sensor - the D700 was able to recover up to 5 stops of deep shadow detail. The best DX sensor has barely bested 1 stop.
>Case in point, yours and Brian Wong's position on DX sensors >vs. FX sensors bucks sites such as DXOmark which show a nearly >300% improvement of the D700 over the D300 series in lowlight, >high ISO performance.
I'm always happy to have errors pointed out, and will accept corrections gracefully. But I think you should read the posts from Brian W and me again; you're criticising me for something I've not been saying
We agree that the D700 is significantly better in high-ISO noise performance than the D300. It's around 1 to 1.5 stops better in my experience, and I do own and use both cameras in low-light situations.
All I've been saying is that the difference in performance is not because of the physical size of the sensor; it's because the D700 photosites are larger. I'm trying to highlight that it's wrong to make the blanket statement that "FX is better than DX at high ISO". It depends on the pixel count and the generation of technology used.
Brian, as we both know the issue here isn't just about ISO performance, it is also about "negative size." That is not a concern if all that you do is publish to the web, but if large prints are your thing, then all other things being equal, and they are, the larger the negative, the nicer the print. As your friend has said, "real photographers used 4x5 cameras."
This is the D700 forum, and all of us know what we have and that there is no need to defend our position. I'm sorry that I had decided to get caught up in this discussion. I notice that most of the knowledgeable D700 owners choose to ignore this kind of post, and in the future, I will do the same. It was just hard to ignore an errant post that appears to have been posted just for the sake of argument by someone who doesn't even own a D700.
From what I have observed, most of us here are nether novices nor do we need or appreciate condescending advice.
A quick check of the D3 forum seems to indicate that his remarks are reserved only for D700 owners, as I see no posts recommending that D3 or D3s owners switch to the DX format.
>Brian, as we both know the issue here isn't just about ISO >performance, it is also about "negative size."
At the risk of prolonging an unnecessary debate, I don't agree... ( )
With digital sensors, "negative size" doesn't have the same impact as it did in film days. With any given film, larger was automatically better. The grain size was fixed, so the more "real estate" you had, the better the resolution - given an appropriate lens.
With digital, a larger sensor does not necessarily have better performance - it depends on the photosite size and density. As already mentioned, a 12MP FX camera like the D700 would have the same image quality as a 5MP DX camera using the same sensor and firmware technology.
"With digital, a larger sensor does not necessarily have better performance - it depends on the photosite size and density. As already mentioned, a 12MP FX camera like the D700 would have the same image quality as a 5MP DX camera using the same sensor and firmware technology."
Brian I am one of those who has tried to stay out of the tecnical discussion on DX vs FX. While I agree the main advantage is sensor site size and density, I do not agree with your extension of the analogy unless you add ..."and the D700 image is used in DX mode." If you make the 5 MP DX camera cover the same field of view as the D700, it seems to me you would have over double the number of pixeles in the FX image even though the sensors and density is the same. Am I missing something here?
Tue 26-Oct-10 10:52 PM | edited Wed 27-Oct-10 08:59 AM by MstrBones
edited for typo
>it's because the D700 photosites are larger. I'm trying to highlight that it's wrong to make the blanket statement that "FX is better than DX at high ISO".
Ok, so, what are we saying here? That FX is better because of this sheer geometry advantage? If that is the case, I agree, FX is better than DX, because the pixels are bigger. I think I have been saying that for a while, but if not, or if I have not been clear, that is exactly what I mean. DX is getting WORSE, because we are getting smaller and smaller pixels.
There is no mystery science here, light is collected at the pixel level on any given sensor vs. a variety of noise factors that influence the "Signal to Noise" ratio and it is not going to get better as pixels get dinkier and we crank the amplification, (noise level), of a given sensor. For better, or worse, we may have hit the max SNR with the 12 megapixel, silicon CMOS based sensor.
Now, maybe something like Cadmium Telluride with photon counting circuits bonded directly to the sensor substrate might provide a superior sensitivity to either CMOS or CCD, (in fact, from my own experience working in this area with the X-ray spectrum of light, I know that it does by several orders of magnitude). But I don't see that coming anytime soon, if at all, to visible light spectrum sensors, so we are stuck with BIG pixels to produce high SNR sensors.
You guys are barely pushing the camera! This is my favorite low light hi ISO image, shot with 17-35 at 32 mm at ISO 6400, 1/3 sec at f/6.3 hand held! It was quite dark and all I could really see was a faint glow on the shell, and the sky looked black.
Tue 19-Oct-10 02:55 AM | edited Tue 19-Oct-10 10:19 AM by ajdooley
Very soon, I predict, we will see portraits shot by a foul-mouthed photographer who creates his main light on his subjets by swearing a blue streak and deftly fills shadows with a small reflector! The D700's low light capability is darn near THAT good! IMHO... in my humorous opinion.
Here is one that I shot tonight at a JV football game at ISO 12,800. The lighting on the field was not great so I thought it would be a good test. This was processed in LR 3 the only NR applied was 20 on luminance NR, then I ran smart sharpen in CS5 after resizing.
I have to agree with all of you for sure. I'm in love with my D-700 for sure, but my D-300 does great too and it is the back up now. It nice to know that these 2 camera will be around me for a long time. I shoot in my church with very high ceiling and the lighting is not very good, so you can tell, I love the low light shooting with my Nikon D-700 at 3200 or 6400 very much. Best move I ever made. Enjoy everyone.
Nice to see this shot again. It still looks great! Do you find an advantage in using CW metering instead of Matrix for night football?
I planned to shoot a football game tonight at ISO 12,800, but the rains came. Therefore, I quickly changed plans and instead shot another volleyball game at ISO 12,800. Am having fun pushing the ISO envelope!
It really depends on the venue and the uniforms as to which metering I use. If the lighting is not great and the team I am shooting is wearing their white Jersey's then I lean more toward CW. Bob, Midlothian, VA http://www.bkphotographs.com "you don't have to like it you just have to do it"
This thread has provided several very interesting images. I too have been shooting night high school football for a local paper and have gone to ISO 6400. I shoot at one field in Columbia, IL where even that is borderline, and the lighting limits you to 1/200 at f/4 at ISO 6400. I could go to f2.8, but as you know, football tends to move right along and they don't help by running in a single focus plane. The field in question has what we may term lights, but I'd rather classify them as "darks." They make it darker! I am encouraged to head into the 12,800 realm and may even squeeze off a few at 25,600 next week. Noise is less of a threat for newsprint, although the small paper I work for is able to provide some very high quality color printing. Take a look at the two I just posted in my gallery. I still haven't quite figured out how y'all are able to post those incedible large images within he 150kb limit. (Any help there would be greatly appreciated.)
Alan I long ago gave up trying to adjust an image to meet forum size limits, since Nikonians will do it automatically for you. Here is the secret sauce:
Post your image to your Nikonians gallery in any size you want up to 1800 pixels on a side, which I think is the limit, the last time I looked. Now remember some people are still using dial up or slow dsl hookups.So you have two choices. I will cover choice 2 here because it is the easiest and quickest. Open your image in its largest size and look at the image size in Kbytes. If it is less than 150, just scroll down to the link below the image and copy it to the message you have opened in the forum. If it is larger than 150kb, then you have 2 sub choices the first is click on the large image until the smaller image shows and now copy that link to the forum. If that meets your needs yoiu are done. If not then you have to go to the other choice I mentioned. This is more involved in that you will post a link that combines the small image which gets shown with the ability to click on the image and take viewers to your larger gallery image, which is the method I use most of the time. The detailes are posted within an input I made to a pinned post at the top of the "Picture I took" forum, and gives a step by step explanation.