ISO 6400 with the Canon 5D Mark II

Richard Charpentier Canon Cameras, Digital Cameras, Notes from Rich, Photography, Tech Reviews 3 Comments


1/25th of a second, f4, 200mm, 6400 ISO. Yes, there is noise!

Last night I was invited to pop by 129 1/2.  It’s a local restaurant / jazz stop.  I do like jazz, so I went for a little while.  Not too long though….just not a late night kind of a guy.

Steve was playing for the evening.  Bongos, trumpet, singing.  He’s good.  I even got a little video of him.  At some point I’ll have to ask about his music for a podcast intro.  I think it would go nicely!

As most readers know, I dig landscapes, old buildings, relics, ghost towns, etc.  I’ve just never been much of an indoor shooter.  But as I watched and listened I wondered about shooting Steve playing.  Oh, and shooting him with no flash……hmmm…..

From where I was sitting I needed to get closer in.  So I broke out the 70-200mm F/4.  Wish it was a faster lens, and I’m sure you do too.

Here’s the thing.  The images weren’t “intolerable”.  Looking at the first shot you can totally see some extreme noise in the wall behind him.  But he’s still pretty sharp.  I cruised around the image in Lightroom2 for a while, looked at everything, and found that it wasn’t a throw away image.

While not a throw away, the noise is pretty noticeable.  Pretty simple, and I don’t think anyone would miss the noise, especially if I wanted to do a larger format print of the image.

Still, not horrible.  What you’re looking at here today is an unretouched image.  My next step (not in this post) is to break out Topaz DeNoise3 and see what it can buy me.  With luck it might be able to handle some of the noise.  I certainly don’t expect it to fix all of it.  Looking at the backdrop, if I could get 50% noise reduction I’d be happy.

Guess that will be a project for another post……

And just for your viewing pleasure, a second shot.  Not retouched either, but cropped in a good bit so you can really get a feel for the noise at ISO 6400 with the 5D Mark II.


ISO 6400, 183mm, 1/20th of a second, f/4. Not only noise in the background, but on the trumpet and player as well.

Comments 3

  1. I think the pictures turned out great! They look like they had enough light to me (which was something cause it was so dark…) and to let you know? I am aware that you shot in very low light, but he wallpaper at 129.5 is red with gold handwriting on it…do you think that is helping to make the background look noisy?

  2. I’m impressed with the noise or lack there of, the AWB isn’t the greatest, but overall I think the camera performed rather well.

  3. Post

Leave a Reply