Canon 5D mkII ISO Performance

Postman158

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I've heard mixed reviews (both by word of mouth and read online) about Canon's 5D mkII ISO performance. I'd like to hear from some of you who adore or dislike your 5D mkII. I want a larger sample of testimonies before I make my decision. How is the higher ISO performance in low light? For me, my goals are better indoor shooting (sometimes without flash) for places such as a church, or any given day indoors in a house and what not. I do have sufficient glass for these types of shooting, now I'd like to take the step and upgrade my camera body from a 60D eventually. I also shoot portraits (mainly outdoor), which shouldn't even require higher ISOs for good natural light. I guess what I'm trying to get at, is how well the overall indoor higher ISO performance is without degrading too much of my image quality.

Again, I've read and heard mixed reviews, and I'd just like to hear what my fellow TPF friends have to report. Also, the 5D mkIII is speculated for late February/March. Does anyone anticipate even better ISO performance?

Thanks for any and all input!
 

rexbobcat

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The 5D is a full frame, which means that the photosites on the sensor are farther apart (measured in microns) apart than those of APS-C cameras, and the sensor itself is larger. This is an advantage for ISO, because the sensor can gather more information about the surrounding light and can process it more accurately. Theoretically, the 5D should have better ISO performance than any other camera in Canon lineup except for maybe the 1Ds Mark III.

I think people who say that "THE HIGH ISO IS OMG HORRIBLE!!" are just being anal. I've shot at 6400 with my 60D and the shots are useable. The 5D should have better ISO performance than the 60D.

And the 5D is generally accepted as more of a studio/landscape camera anyways when compared to the rest of Canon's lineup. The autofocus is about as good as the 60D's (same amount of AF points), but the FPS in continuous shooting is abysmal.
 
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Postman158

Postman158

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The 5D is a full frame, which means that the photosites on the sensor are farther apart (measured in microns) apart than those of APS-C cameras, and the sensor itself is larger. This is an advantage for ISO, because the sensor can gather more information about the surrounding light and can process it more accurately. Theoretically, the 5D should have better ISO performance than any other camera in Canon lineup except for maybe the 1Ds Mark III

Thanks! Thats "theoretically" though, and I do understand that theory. Have you any experience with the 5D mkII?
 

rexbobcat

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The 5D is a full frame, which means that the photosites on the sensor are farther apart (measured in microns) apart than those of APS-C cameras, and the sensor itself is larger. This is an advantage for ISO, because the sensor can gather more information about the surrounding light and can process it more accurately. Theoretically, the 5D should have better ISO performance than any other camera in Canon lineup except for maybe the 1Ds Mark III

Thanks! Thats "theoretically" though, and I do understand that theory. Have you any experience with the 5D mkII?

I have some experience, because my university has a few that can be rented out. I didn't find any ISO problems with it. I prefer my 60D though, for the simple fact that I'm not too fond of the full frame perspective.
 

Big Mike

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I went from 20D cameras to a 5DmkII...and while I haven't done any 'testing' per say, it's easy to see that the noise and general IQ, with regards to high ISO, is much better with the 5DmkII. But of course, that is what, three generations newer?..so it's to be expected.

When comparing your 60D or a 7D to the 5DmkII, the differences would not be as great...but I'd still expect there to be some improvement with the 5DmkII.

In term of practical usage...getting good results when shooting at high ISO has a lot to do with getting good exposures and exposing to the right (and avoiding underexposure).
In other words, you'd likely get better (noise) results from a 'lesser' camera, if you ETTR, than if you underexpose and try to fix it, with a 'better' camera.
 

greybeard

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I went from 20D cameras to a 5DmkII...and while I haven't done any 'testing' per say, it's easy to see that the noise and general IQ, with regards to high ISO, is much better with the 5DmkII. But of course, that is what, three generations newer?..so it's to be expected.

When comparing your 60D or a 7D to the 5DmkII, the differences would not be as great...but I'd still expect there to be some improvement with the 5DmkII.

In term of practical usage...getting good results when shooting at high ISO has a lot to do with getting good exposures and exposing to the right (and avoiding underexposure).
In other words, you'd likely get better (noise) results from a 'lesser' camera, if you ET
TR, than if you underexpose and try to fix it, with a 'better' camera.
I'll probably get flamed for this but, this article seems pretty unbiased and it compares the D3x, a900, and 5D.
A Big Three Shootout
 
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Postman158

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I went from 20D cameras to a 5DmkII...and while I haven't done any 'testing' per say, it's easy to see that the noise and general IQ, with regards to high ISO, is much better with the 5DmkII. But of course, that is what, three generations newer?..so it's to be expected.

When comparing your 60D or a 7D to the 5DmkII, the differences would not be as great...but I'd still expect there to be some improvement with the 5DmkII.

In term of practical usage...getting good results when shooting at high ISO has a lot to do with getting good exposures and exposing to the right (and avoiding underexposure).
In other words, you'd likely get better (noise) results from a 'lesser' camera, if you ETTR, than if you underexpose and try to fix it, with a 'better' camera.

That makes sense. I appreciate the input Mike. So in terms of better ISO performance between the 60D and the 5D mkII, if I nailed the exposure on both cameras with the same lens and same settings, the 5D mkII should technically be better, correct?
 

o hey tyler

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I went from 20D cameras to a 5DmkII...and while I haven't done any 'testing' per say, it's easy to see that the noise and general IQ, with regards to high ISO, is much better with the 5DmkII. But of course, that is what, three generations newer?..so it's to be expected.

When comparing your 60D or a 7D to the 5DmkII, the differences would not be as great...but I'd still expect there to be some improvement with the 5DmkII.

In term of practical usage...getting good results when shooting at high ISO has a lot to do with getting good exposures and exposing to the right (and avoiding underexposure).
In other words, you'd likely get better (noise) results from a 'lesser' camera, if you ETTR, than if you underexpose and try to fix it, with a 'better' camera.

That makes sense. I appreciate the input Mike. So in terms of better ISO performance between the 60D and the 5D mkII, if I nailed the exposure on both cameras with the same lens and same settings, the 5D mkII should technically be better, correct?

The 5D2 will likely have more dynamic range, and a shorter DoF (at the same focal length/f stop and same subject framing). You'd have to have a pretty trained eye to spot the differences between a 5D2 and a 60D at similar focal lengths in a studio setting.
 

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I have no problems with the ISO on it. It handles beautifully IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. That's the qualifier... you see a lot of people b!tching about ISO performance, but the problem is that they stay at a low ISO at all costs which makes noise worse.
Now the focus system in it? I hate it.
 

gsgary

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Here's one of my shots with 5Dmk1 at iso3200 and the mk2 is better with noise

497396159_6CyXU-L.jpg
 
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Postman158

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Sounds great, thanks for everyone's input! Thanks gsgary for the pictures! If the noise on the 5D mkII is better than those of which you posted, I'm pretty much set. I do understand, what MLeeK stated about "If you know what you're doing". I know the camera itself isn't going to make the difference, there must be some exposure control from the user as well! Thanks again everyone.
 

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