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Canon 5D Mark III

Noise at ISO 100 with 1-stop Push

I often shoot at the edge of light.

One thing I want from a sensor is the ability to “push” cleanly from ISO 100 or ISO 200 or ISO 400 by up to 2 stops, with 3 stops a bonus. I can do this all day long with my superlative Nikon D3x, and have, many, many times.

To see streaking pattern noise at ISO 100 is disturbing for a $3500 camera, but this example shows clearly that the Canon 5D Mark III made little progress in this regard over its predecessor.

Uniform grain-like noise is not objectionable. But any kind of pattern noise is disturbing, and greatly reduces the versatility of image making.

To have pattern/streaking noise at ISO 100 shows that the camera has poor quality electronics. Since the Canon 5DM3 costs $1000 more than the 5DM2 and has had 3 years for development of higher sensor quality, this is astonishing. Maybe the readers who emailed to insist that both my 5DM2 bodies were somehow exceptions will also say this new 5DM3 is also an exception? Fantasies die hard.

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Diglloyd DAP is DSLR-oriented, but also contains workflow and other topics. Much of the focus is on Canon and Nikon but also Pentax and Pentax medium format.

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f/2 @ 1/30 sec, ISO 100 +1.0 push
Canon 5D Mark III + Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-R

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