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High ISO Quality Limits

poc

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poc Registered since 08th Jan 2008
Sun 18-Nov-12 06:49 PM

Hello knowledgeable Nikonians.

I've recently spent some time reviewing Brian Peterson's book Understanding Exposure and came away with an exposure/ISO question that is more relevant to the newer cameras.

The Premise: In the past, I have mainly shot in aperture priority while trying to preserve image quality by keeping the ISO as low as possible. With the emergence of cameras with high ISO capabilities such as the D600 one has the capability of pre-setting the desired f-stop and shutter speed then simply modifying the ISO to get the correct exposure. Compared to the film and early digital days, having greater control over all three key exposure variables increases ones creative flexibility.

The questions: At what point does one start to see degradation of quality ? Is this gradual as ISO increases? A followup question; is the degradation mainly noise or are there other factors that affect quality at higher ISO's? I know you can obtain "usable" images at high ISO but I my issue is with quality landscape images suitable for printing at least 18 x 20.

Thank you in advance for any insights.

POC

http://cabreraphoto.smugmug.com

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