September 23, 2014, 06:41:40 AM

Author Topic: Highest ISO for good quality video?  (Read 3588 times)

cayenne

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Highest ISO for good quality video?
« on: March 06, 2013, 12:25:24 PM »
Hi all,

Man,I'm still learning a lot...
I'd not been all 'that' careful with ISO. I usually pump it up to where the light meter shows good to go, on both stills and video.
I have tried usually, with video to keep it in multiples of 160 as that I heard that was more optimum for some reason I can't remember right now.

But recently, in looking at some talks by some pro still photogs, they were emphasizing that they tried to almost never go beyond ISO 100, and maybe 200, for clarity and lack of noise.

Does this go too for video? I'm guessing so...and wonder what the optimum ISO is for video?

I'm guessing quite low..meaning I may need to buy some more lights.
:)

Anyway...what is the optimum ISO for video with the 5D3?  Would that be right at 160?


Thanks in advance,

cayenne

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Highest ISO for good quality video?
« on: March 06, 2013, 12:25:24 PM »

JasonATL

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 05:27:48 PM »
No, the same rules of ISO for stills do not apply exactly to video. First, the 160 rule only applies to video. Second, the noise reduction in video can be altogether different. The resolution of video is so much smaller than that of stills, that the image doesn't start looking bad until much higher ISO's, in my experience. Finally, it depends on the resolution that you will finally deliver the video. If you deliver web-based 720p, then you can get by with quite a bit of ISO noise before it becomes too detrimental to the picture, depending on the content, of course.

With the 5D Mark III, I have found ISO up to 640 to be very clean and ISO 320 and ISO 160 are totally indistinguishable to me. I don't even think twice about ISO 640. Beyond 640, I'll use 1250 and 1600 without worrying about it much, if at all; and I have used 3200 in really low light. If I'm lighting it, then I have had no problem getting enough light to use 160, 320, or 640 (if I want a high f-stop for deep depth of field).

Here's a "test" (not really a test in that it isn't a realistic shooting situation) showing the character of the ISO noise: 5D Mark III ISO Noise on Vimeo

Here's a video that I shot with the 5D Mark III (mostly cooking). I didn't add any lighting. https://vimeo.com/54664939. The bulk of the video was shot at ISO 640. Some shots were at 160, some at 320, and some at 1250. Can you tell which ones? I couldn't. I had to look at DPP. Looking at the original ISO 1250 clips, they look perfect to me. The key is getting good exposure.

Policar

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 07:00:05 PM »
It really depends on the camera. And personal taste. The only way to know is to try for yourself in a controlled environment and then see what results you get in the field with the settings you've chosen... adjust until you're happy.

With the 5D3, I find the read noise is really gnarly but the gain is pretty clean. So I turn HTP off and try to shoot at 100, 160, 200, 320, 640, or 1280 ISO when possible. Beyond that it gets pretty noisy. Sometimes. I've used the camera up to 10,000 ISO and found the video acceptable, though. It really depends. The shadows are grainy, but the rest is pretty clean so if you keep your exposures good and don't mind losing some shadow detail in post you can get away with anything.

If you can light with very low contrast and expose properly at 160 ISO that will probably give you the best results, but I'd say up to 640, even 1280 is pretty safe if you keep HTP off and don't use cinestyle, which lifts the blacks too much and makes exposing difficult. Dynamic range should be pretty similar, though HTP will lose you a stop in the highs for cleaner mids and shadows.

For red, Alexa, and the canon cinema cameras, 800-850 ISO is the normal iso, but you can pull the image digitally and make it cleaner. I just saw some Alexa footage shot at 400ISO. Such great tonality. But the trade off is you need more light and highlights clip sooner.

I wouldn't sweat it too much. Just keep your ISO low if you can and avoid HTP, cinestyle, etc. "Professional" video is shot all over the place. (As are stills.)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 07:02:04 PM by Policar »

cayenne

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 02:58:20 PM »
It really depends on the camera. And personal taste. The only way to know is to try for yourself in a controlled environment and then see what results you get in the field with the settings you've chosen... adjust until you're happy.

With the 5D3, I find the read noise is really gnarly but the gain is pretty clean. So I turn HTP off and try to shoot at 100, 160, 200, 320, 640, or 1280 ISO when possible. Beyond that it gets pretty noisy. Sometimes. I've used the camera up to 10,000 ISO and found the video acceptable, though. It really depends. The shadows are grainy, but the rest is pretty clean so if you keep your exposures good and don't mind losing some shadow detail in post you can get away with anything.

If you can light with very low contrast and expose properly at 160 ISO that will probably give you the best results, but I'd say up to 640, even 1280 is pretty safe if you keep HTP off and don't use cinestyle, which lifts the blacks too much and makes exposing difficult. Dynamic range should be pretty similar, though HTP will lose you a stop in the highs for cleaner mids and shadows.

For red, Alexa, and the canon cinema cameras, 800-850 ISO is the normal iso, but you can pull the image digitally and make it cleaner. I just saw some Alexa footage shot at 400ISO. Such great tonality. But the trade off is you need more light and highlights clip sooner.

I wouldn't sweat it too much. Just keep your ISO low if you can and avoid HTP, cinestyle, etc. "Professional" video is shot all over the place. (As are stills.)

Thanks..interesting. I am shooting in Marvels Cinestyle...which as I understand doesn't mess with the blacks and all as much as say, the Technicolor cinestyle......it is a flatter style, but seems to be nicely balanced from what I see so far, and allows for some color correction/grading in post.

Please forgive the noob question..what does HTP stand for?

Thank you all for the replies so far...I'm learning and will try to keep the ISO down.

cayenne


JasonATL

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 10:31:33 PM »
Please forgive the noob question..what does HTP stand for?

Highlight Tone Priority

It is supposed to add a bit of latitude in the highlights. The cost comes in noise. I tried it once and the result was just horrible. Never touched it again!

Waterdonkey

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 12:14:42 AM »
 philipbloom.net/?p=24586

This helped me a lot. Great demo and explanation. 

I guess I don't know how to post the link but copy and paste this:  philipbloom.net/?p=24586

He does other video comparisons between: 5D3, D800, D4.  Yet other video reviews of 1DX also 1DC both way out of my price range but also worth a look.

I liked seeing what other similar cameras do - you get an idea of the range of what to expect.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 01:43:14 PM by Waterdonkey »

cayenne

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 05:12:17 PM »
Please forgive the noob question..what does HTP stand for?

Highlight Tone Priority

It is supposed to add a bit of latitude in the highlights. The cost comes in noise. I tried it once and the result was just horrible. Never touched it again!

Ok, yes, I think I've heard of that now that you mentioned it.
When I first got my camera I think I read to make sure it was turned off which I did.
BUT....i need to consult my manual, and make sure that it is indeed off.
:)

Thank you all!  Great input!!

C

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 05:12:17 PM »

Ive Lotus

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 10:35:02 PM »
Before MK III:
For the best noise performance shot at 160.
For the best latitude shot at 100 with just a very little more noise. You may notice it if you shoot at very low light.
In emergency cases shot at 320 or 640 but you will cope with some noise.

With the MK III go up to 3200 without worries  :D

cayenne

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 11:39:22 AM »
Before MK III:
For the best noise performance shot at 160.
For the best latitude shot at 100 with just a very little more noise. You may notice it if you shoot at very low light.
In emergency cases shot at 320 or 640 but you will cope with some noise.

With the MK III go up to 3200 without worries  :D
I dunno....I was asking because in the past, I wasn't too concerned about ISO going a little high, and I noticed my videos were plagued with noise, especially in the dark/black areas.

Axilrod

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 02:13:52 PM »
With the 5D3 the highest I'll go for professional work is 3200, but only if I absolutely have to.  Ideally I try to keep it at 1600 or less.  On the 5D2 1600 was the highest I'd go period.

You can definitely shoot 160, 320, 640, 1250 with no worries.
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Axilrod

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 02:15:59 PM »
Before MK III:
For the best noise performance shot at 160.
For the best latitude shot at 100 with just a very little more noise. You may notice it if you shoot at very low light.
In emergency cases shot at 320 or 640 but you will cope with some noise.

With the MK III go up to 3200 without worries  :D
I dunno....I was asking because in the past, I wasn't too concerned about ISO going a little high, and I noticed my videos were plagued with noise, especially in the dark/black areas.

That's because you need at least a little bit of light, "shoots well in low-light" doesn't mean "shoots well in no light."  Adding even a minimal amount of light will reduce the noise even at the same ISO.
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dirtcastle

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2013, 02:13:49 AM »
philipbloom.net/?p=24586

This helped me a lot. Great demo and explanation. 

Thanks for the link! Bloom's tutorial/reviews/advice are great. I also checked out that "Reverie" video that Bloom mentioned. Wow.

cocopop05

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2013, 06:42:39 AM »
I have a 5D Mark III with 24-105 L and find ISO 1600 or less looks great. At ISO 3200 while noise is visible, it is still usable.  I would not go higher than that.

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2013, 06:42:39 AM »

Chosenbydestiny

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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2013, 09:54:13 AM »
Before MK III:
For the best noise performance shot at 160.
For the best latitude shot at 100 with just a very little more noise. You may notice it if you shoot at very low light.
In emergency cases shot at 320 or 640 but you will cope with some noise.

With the MK III go up to 3200 without worries  :D
I dunno....I was asking because in the past, I wasn't too concerned about ISO going a little high, and I noticed my videos were plagued with noise, especially in the dark/black areas.

That's because you need at least a little bit of light, "shoots well in low-light" doesn't mean "shoots well in no light."  Adding even a minimal amount of light will reduce the noise even at the same ISO.

+1 The only reason why you'd ever need really ridiculously high ISO is so you can stop the aperture down a bit, I think for 99% of situations that matter, you won't need to record video past ISO2500 with an f2.8 lens or brighter. Most wedding receptions with a decent lighting setup by the venue I usually shoot candids from the crowd at about ISO1250 anyway. However, there was this one time at a bar where I cranked my 5D mark III up to ISO 20,000 to expose my drunk friend (expose, in camera terms, lol)....Even then, the grain isn't all that bad if you compare it to most other cameras and normally, people won't really care as long you can still see a fair amount of detail in the image.
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Re: Highest ISO for good quality video?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2013, 09:54:13 AM »