Where are my Photos?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

1D-X Low light high ISO Performance

My daughter had the annual "Battle Of The Bands" school house competition today. The venue was a local church.

There was no natural light and the stage background was a black curtain.

Being a school event I had been to before I knew there could be no wandering around with the camera. So I would confined to the back of the auditorium with my trusty Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L Series lens. Not the fastest lens in my kit but I was going to need the reach.

Last time I shot this with my 7D at ISO 6400. At that time the lighting was brighter and the stage had a white background.

I got there on time and found a slightly elevated seat in the back. A few test shot showed me there was no way I could get the shutter fast enough at 6400 so I bumped the 1D-X up to ISO 10,000. The IS on the 100-400mm lets me get away with a slightly slower shutter than might otherwise be possible with handheld shots. So I switched to TV (Shutter Speed Priority) set the shutter to 1/320 and shot off over 200 frames.

Most shots were under exposed but I was happy with that look.

The low light performance of this camera is awesome. I used no extra noise reduction in PP (Post Processing) and only a few tweaks. What you see in the photo and link below is close to straight off the camera.

All shot at 10,000 ISO, 1/320 Full Zoom (400mm) [Edit: The shot below was taken at 260mm] so f5.6 in very low light.

Here's the best shot. And the link below is to the best 4 pics of the day.

Battle Of The Bands 2012 Violin

Link Here


  1. there really isn't a good reason to use that much of a fast shutter speed on subjects like these. It's not like the kids were doing hip hop with the violin. I would've used only 1/200 at most and kept the ISO at 6400. Even on a 1DX there is a big drop off in image quality going from 6400 to the 10k and over levels.

  2. Thanks for you comment - but I find if I'm shooting at 400mm hand held then that sort of speed is required. (Rule of thumb is 1/Focal length - a bit faster if the lens has Image Stabilisation) Anything slower and camera shake starts to show. OK maybe I'm not steady enough. The shot above wasn't at 400mm but some were at full zoom so I find it's better to leave the settings for the environment you are in.