How does ISO 400 in Digital Rebel compare to ISO 400 film?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Veggie, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Veggie

    Veggie Guest

    I read that the Digital Rebel can do ISO 100 thru 1600. Are they
    comparable to good film at the same ISO points?
    Veggie, Aug 15, 2004
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  2. The 300D is very low noise at ISO 100 and better than ISO 400 film, at that
    same sensitivity. 800 on the 300D is somewhat noisy and 1600 is not a good
    idea unless that is the only way to take a shot. Post processing can help
    with ISO 800 and 1600 shots from this camera. Google for "Neat Image" and
    Charles Schuler, Aug 15, 2004
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  3. Veggie

    Marli Guest

    I would say better than the same value than film..
    Marli, Aug 15, 2004
  4. Veggie

    Veggie Guest

    Is the 10D any better, or does it use the same sensor as the 300D?
    Veggie, Aug 15, 2004
  5. I would say that ISO400 on Rebel would be about the same as 200 ASA on film.
    You can get incredibly good results at ISO400, and very good at 800. ISO1600
    is usable as a last resort option (something like 800 ASA film) but at that
    value you'll get some color clipping, especially in the reds.

    So, Digital Rebel is twice as good as any film when it comes down to grain,
    or to be precise - noise. Film grain and digital noise are nothing alike,
    because high sensitivity film is well... grainy. But high ISO setting on
    digital camera results as a pattern made of pixels that have different
    colours then they're supposed to. For example, you shoot at a clean red
    paper at ISO 1600 and get darker or greenish or bluish dots.

    Anyway, there are powerful programs that eliminate digital noise (and do a
    great job too) so you can stretch your options even further. I have 10D and
    shooting at ISO800 is something I feel completely comfortable with... Not
    somethnig I would do so easily a few years ago...

    online photo portfolio

    " If you saw a man drowning and you could either save him or photograph
    the event, what film would you use?" - Anonymous
    Drazen Stojcic / BUNTOVNIK, Aug 15, 2004
  6. Veggie

    [BnH] Guest

    You might want to specify what make of film ?
    as diff film has diff characteristic.

    but in short ... yep .. they are similar OR better :)

    [BnH], Aug 15, 2004
  7. Veggie

    Mark B. Guest

    Same sensor, so they're more or less the same.

    Mark B., Aug 15, 2004
  8. Veggie

    Veggie Guest

    I usually use a digital point and shoot (Canon S410). I hardly use the
    film SLR anymore. For film, I mean consumer grade film- Royal Gold 200,
    or Superia 400.

    On my last vacation, I remembered some of the pains of film. Like if
    you're getting close to the end of a roll of film, you empty it and
    reload so that you have a reasonable number of shots in it.

    It made me think that it might be time to make the digital SLR jump,
    which left me wondering what kind of image quality I could expect
    compared to film.
    Veggie, Aug 15, 2004
  9. If you use the best low sensitivity film and the best scanners,
    then 35 mm film SLR is better than a DSLR.

    If you don't, it is the other way around.

    Roland Karlsson, Aug 15, 2004
  10. The method used in the ISO standard defining photosensitivity ratings
    for digicams, is aimed at getting comparable numbers for film and
    digicams. However, there may be a small difference due to the noise
    characteristics or the dynamic range of the camera electronics.

    So roughly comparable. Image quality is something entirely different,
    but that wasn't the question.

    Bart van der Wolf, Aug 15, 2004
  11. Veggie

    Veggie Guest

    That sounds reasonable to me. I've heard that film is roughly the
    equivalent of a 20 meg image.

    But it might to be too much quality, or maybe more accurately, more
    quality than most consumer people would use. If Costco's brochure is
    right, a 5 meg image can be quality enlarged to 16x20. Most people,
    including myself, wouldn't enlarge even to 8x10. But cropping is a
    form of enlarging, so I guess more resolution is a good insurance policy.

    Of course, it's worth mentioning that DSLR owners can do one series of
    test shots in the field and determine the best shutter speed and
    aperture to use on the spot. They don't have to bracket all of the
    shots like a film shooter would. Some fast moving subjects, like
    wildlife, are tough to bracket.
    Veggie, Aug 16, 2004
  12. I don't know that I'd use a Costco brochure as part of a photographic
    education, but a 5MP image should go to 16x20 if you've taken care when
    creating it.
    Randall Ainsworth, Aug 16, 2004
  13. Veggie

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Unless you are a pro, a decent dSLR will be just as good if
    not better than a film camera. Among other things it will allow
    you to experiment taking several shots of a given scene.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Aug 16, 2004
  14. Veggie

    jpc Guest

    Do you have a link to where I can find this standard? I was looking
    for any sort of offical or unofficial industry wide standard a couple
    years ago and couldn't find one.

    jpc, Aug 16, 2004
  15. The official ISO 12232 standard can be found here:

    There used to be some preliminary documents floating around on the
    internet, but I cannot find any free ones now. If I find something
    useful soon, I'll post a link.

    Anyway, a short quote from one of those draft versions:
    "The ISO speed ratings described in this standard are intended to
    harmonize with film ISO speed ratings. However,there are differences
    between electronic and film-based imaging systems that preclude exact
    equivalency. DSCs can include variable gain, and can provide digital
    processing after the image data has been captured, enabling desired
    tone reproduction to be achieved over a range of camera exposures. It
    is therefore possible for DSCs to have a range of speed ratings."

    Bart van der Wolf, Aug 16, 2004
  16. I believe the ISO rating is one of time to expose to mid grey for a
    given AV/TV... or something like that... it doesnt actually specify
    the "noise" or grain levels.

    I've found that on the whole Digital is slightly better than film
    "noise" wise.

    1600 is almost a no-no in film or digital unless there is no other
    option if you want a reasonable shutter speed... that said, when I use
    1600 it is in dark small live venue gigs, and concidering the love of
    red and yellow lights in such places the noise tends to enhance the
    "roughness" of the photo... I try to keep away from flash totaly in a
    live music venue or night club as you loose all the atmosphere... and
    sometimes I cheat by grey scaling the photo, then replacing the "grey"
    colours with say red (or the most predominant original colour) which
    works quite well.

    I've not used neat image, but I believe it tends to give a plasticy
    feel if used incorrectly... I would love to see an original 1600
    "noisy" shot processed with neat image to as close as possible a
    no/low-noise image just to see it work.
    Jonathan Wilson, Aug 20, 2004
  17. Veggie

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    Is that with a 10D?

    The 10D's "ISO 1600" is just ISO 800 pushed a stop by doubling the RAW
    data, so you are better off setting the camera to ISO 800 and -1 stop
    exposure compensation. There is absolutely no loss of quality; the
    dynamic range captured in "ISO 1600" is of the exact same quality in 800
    and -1 EC, but you get a stop more headroom with the latter. That's
    with RAW. With JPEG, it may be possible that the compression makes them
    slightly different.
    JPS, Aug 20, 2004
  18. SNIP
    The ISO rating for digicams is defined by either a level of exposure
    that (almost) saturates the potential wells, or by an exposure level
    that produces a certain level of noise. Which level is used, depends
    on the values found, and a kind of checklist that helps to make the
    decision in a consistent, repeatable, manner.

    If used incorrectly, yes. However, the art of noise reduction is more
    about how much noise to leave in the image, rather than remove all of
    There is a free demo version of Neat Image available at: . There is a learning curve
    though, so I'm willing to process a 1600 "noisy" shot/crop you or
    someone else can pick, and I'll adjust it to my liking. It can never
    be as good as a low ISO shot because there is less data available to
    work with in a higher ISO shot, but NI *will* improve matters.

    I've done an earlier NI version correction of an ISO 1000 film scan
    for someone: before noise reduction, after Neat Image.
    It is an extreme blow-up of a handheld ISO 1000 ! film image of a
    helicopter in turbulent air that already lacked a lot of sharpness.
    The current Neat Image is probably even more capable to tackle the
    problem, because it has improved since.

    Bart van der Wolf, Aug 20, 2004
  19. A 6MP mosiac sensor has about 25% of the full color resolution of
    color film at the same ISO. Remember with a mosaic you have to
    interpolate the information from at least 4 monochrome sensors to
    build a single full color pixel, so these are only 1.5MP full color
    cameras under ideal circumstances.

    At ISO 100 a Direct Image Sensor is comparable to an outstanding
    medium format film, or roughly double the full color resolution of ISO
    25 35mm film... on foveon.htm
    Georgette Preddy, Aug 23, 2004
  20. SNIP
    Nonsense, based on deliberate misconceptions.
    As I said, you are talking nonsense. CFA sensors are not monochrome as
    they capture roughly 1/3rd of the visible spectrum each. The Digital
    Rebel produces 6Mp RGB output (after demosaicing the 6M sensors to
    RGB), it can even do so in-camera to drop the files of at a printing
    The question was about 400 ISO. Reading comprehension still difficult
    for you?
    Foveon propaganda (unsubstantiated lies) is not a credible source to
    support your deliberate misconceptions.
    An almost 2 years old infomercial (© copyright 2002 The Walt Disney
    Company!!!) announcing the SD-9 for US$ 1800 (not including the lens),
    is also hardly a credible source with a scientific reputation, unless
    you believe Mickey Mouse stories.

    Bart van der Wolf, Aug 23, 2004
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