Here is an extra photo from my photoshoot at the Safari Room for an Inlander story about fancy places in Spokane with affordable happy hours. To read more, go to http://www.inlander.com/spokane/happy-wallets/Content?oid=2440823
Kelly the Destroyer vs. the Springfield Cobras is a musical written for Lewis and Clark High School, in Spokane, to perform. I took some photos recently for a preview story. http://www.inlander.com/spokane/snakes-in-the-class/Content?oid=2437543
I think that the whole digital camera noise aversion was created when there was severe banding and a high amount of color noise in images. With newer cameras, it is less of a factor, especially when cameras are capable of decreasing chroma noise while preserving luminance noise, which has a nicer look to it. Chroma noise comes from the individual red, green and blue photo sensors. Luminance noise comes from neutral areas in an image. Luminance noise reminds me more of film grain. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/image-noise-2.htm has a good explanation of the two different types of noise.
That’s not what I am trying to get at with this post, though. This image right above was taken at ISO 6400, 1/400 at f/2.0 with a 50 mm f/1.4 lens shot as a RAW image in my Canon 5D MkIII. The image was underexposed by about a stop in camera in very dim lighting conditions and had to be lightened. It printed on a glossy magazine stock. The image right above is a 100% crop of the area in focus. The whole image was about 5 times as large, as shown in the image at the beginning of this post. What you won’t see are a bunch of color speckles, the dreaded chroma noise. You mostly see the luminance noise, which appears as black and white specks and much more pleasant in my opinion.
In Adobe Camera RAW, my noise reduction is set to default with no luminance noise reduction, chroma noise set to 25 and chroma detail set to 50. When shooting JPEG, I have my Canon cameras high ISO noise reduction set to low, in the menu. This allows me to reduce noise in camera by a little bit while maintaining a high amount of image detail. Also, the higher the in-camera noise reduction, the more plasticky the photos tend to look with loss of detail.
I suppose what I am trying to say is to not be afraid of shooting at ISO 3200 or 6400 with cameras that have come out in the last few years or so. I’m a Canon user, so I can say that the 5D MkIII, 7D MkII and 6D are certainly up to the task for high ISO photography. I’ve even pushed my Canon 6D to ISO 12,800. While the results are more marginal, they are certainly publishable. The technology has become so much better with more sensitive camera sensors and better processors that chroma noise is now less of a factor than the more pleasing luminance noise.
The story this photo was published in is at http://www.inlander.com/spokane/reframing-rehab/Content?oid=2438263.
I’ve been using the Canon 7D MKII for a month or so now and I have to say that I am very impressed. I got it mainly for sports and events. So far, it has done everything I have expected and then some. As opposed to the full frame cameras I own, this camera has a crop factor of 1.6x. That means my 300mm lens will be more like a 480mm lens on the 7D MkII. It’s great when I need more reach.
The first thing I noticed is how solid the 7D MkII feels in my hands. It also weighs like a solid camera. I also added the grip to make vertical shooting easier and for a better fit in my hands. But, most importantly is how it performs and how the images look.
The 7D MkII autofocuses very quickly, tracks very well and can shoot up to 10 frames per second. I point and focus at a subject and the response is immediate. I rarely miss with this camera. When I shoot sports, the 10 frames per second comes in handy as I can look for subtle differences between frames that make stronger photos. Sure, there are more photos to browse, but I have a workflow where I protect photos in the camera as I shoot. It is much faster browsing in camera than on a computer. So, when I download, I can sort by protected photos in Photo Mechanic, which is the best image management software as far as I am concerned. If you want to learn more about Photo Mechanic, go to http://www.camerabits.com/.
Just like the 5D MkIII and 1Dx, you will want to pick an autofocus case that suits the needs for your what you are shooting. I have had great success with Case 4 at tracking sensitivity -1. I picked -1 after a couple of shoots because I would rather have autofocus stay with a subject longer rather than pick a new subject quickly, which is pretty important for basketball and football where a player may run across your frame in front of your primary subject very quickly.
Image quality? There’s a slight drop off from my 5D MkIII. But, it is slight. Sure, the pixel peepers will make a big deal out of every little degradation. But, that’s not entirely why I use or don’t use a camera. I have shot up to ISO 6400 with this camera and still have publishable photos. For RAW, it doesn’t matter, but when I am shooting JPEG, I have high ISO noise reduction set at low. This works well for sharp images and low noise when I am shooting JPEG, which is what I am usually doing when shooting sports and events.
Are there downsides? Only one, as far as I am concerned. It is a battery hog. I go through half the life of a battery after photographing one basketball game. With my 5D MkIII, maybe one bar goes off the battery life. But, I have extra batteries anyways. So, it isn’t a huge deal for me. I just keep better track of battery life.
So, would I buy another one of these? Yes, yes and yes. It’s fast, feels good in my hands and has great image quality.
Brad Fosseen talks about fishing and gives a recipe. I spent a little bit of time last month photographing him on Lake Coeur d’Alene. To read more, go to http://www.inlander.com/spokane/setting-the-hook/Content?oid=2438287
Here’s a portrait I took of Indaba’s Bobby Enslow for a story about the Thursday Night Throwdown, a monthly latte art competition in Spokane. http://www.inlander.com/spokane/a-cup-of-art/Content?oid=2437572
I photographed the Spokane Shock arena football game tonight, as they hosted the Philadelphia Soul. Philadelphia won 54-43. More photos can be seen at http://www.inlander.com/spokane/philadelphia-soul-vs-spokane-shock-arena-football/Slideshow?oid=2436841&slideshowType=Overlay