Noise vs Resolution, and Max D80 Memory

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Badradio, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Badradio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm working on a photographic experiment that involves shooting a lot of frames at low resolution with my Nikon D80, and could use some advice on the following:

    I need to guarantee minimum shutter speed while I shoot without having the time to check as conditions change. I try not to ramp the ISO if I can avoid it, but as I'm shooting jpeg at the smallest picture size, can I go to a higher ISO without increasing the noise noticeably? I know that more MP = more noise, but don't know if reducing the resolution reverses that trend.

    Also, I need to take a lot of shots, which means more memory. I'm shooting almost continually, so I'm tempted to stick to the Sandisk extreme 3 cards (I doubt I could fill the buffer at this low resolution, but I really don't want to find out I'm wrong on that). The Extreme 3s are up to 4gig (I think) but other ranges are available at 8 and 16. Are there any limitations to using high capacity cards in the D80? Does anyone have experience with "slower" cards they can share, such as the Ultra 2s? I'm really looking to use the camera to download on the run too, so I want to avoid using a card reader if I can.

    Thanks
    BR
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    You don't gain as much noise reduction shooting at low res as you would have with a camera that has a sensor with that resolution. It does help but not as much. If noise were your prime concern then you should shoot in raw format and convert the image on the computer where you have more options for noise reduction. But if you have need to store.

    One good option for you might b tethered shooting. Connect the camera to a computer with the USB cable then store directly on the computer and not worry about storage. But I don't know what frame rate yu need to shot at.

    If you really do need continous shooting over a long perod and only low resolution why not shoot with a video camera?
     
  3. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #3
    Reducing resolution won't help with noise reduction at all. The camera doesn't turn off photosites when shooting at a lower resolution, it just compresses/resizes the final product after the image has been taken.

    As for cards, go with whichever ones have as close to a 300x write speed. The big bottleneck will come from downloading the images to the computer.
     
  4. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #4
    Extreme III's aren't even all that fast. They're rated at 133x. IMO they're overpriced for what you get, there are better cards out there for the money.

    I use Transcend 16GB 133x cars for most of my general purpose shooting with my 40D, they're $40 each off Newegg, and work great. Usually when I am shooting bursts at 6.5FPS I don't find myself shooting more than 20 frames at a time and haven't ever felt that I have hit the limitation of the card. I own a few 300x 2GB cards, and don't really feel like the extra speed has ever served me.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #5
    I'd shoot at medium resolution and reduce the resolution to low res. later.
     
  6. Badradio thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester
    #6
    Thanks for the responses everyone.

    That's good to know about the ISO; I'm really short on time at the moment, and don't have the opportunity to do the kind of testing I need to, so you've saved me a wasted trip.

    Tethering isn't really an option as I need to be mobile and shooting at 3.5fps for extended periods - up to about 10-20 seconds in some cases. I'm experimenting with a type of stop-motion, and as Chris said, I could use a video camera, but I want to try some effects I need a still camera to achieve. The downside is I took 690 shots the last time, which was just a test, which is why I need more, bigger cards. Thanks for the tip FX120 - I'll check those out.

    BR
     
  7. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #7
    Usually shooting in lower-quality jpgs gives you more picture/GB than reducing the resolution. As far as noise reduction goes, you can easily batch resample later, if you think that helps. Keep in mind that shooting at very high ISO reduces your dynamic range -- no matter which resolution you shoot at.

    If you want to shoot continuously, I suggest you ensure a good lighting of the scene first and then choose an appropriate (moderate) ISO value of no higher than 1000, unless dynamic range is not important at all. Since it depends on the effects and the speed of the motion you want to capture, we cannot advise you on a shutter speed. In any case, I'd shoot in S and fix the shutter speed you want.
     
  8. Badradio thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester
    #8
    It's weird, but I'm doing the exact opposite of that. As I'm in motion, and not the object, I wanted to ensure that the perspective/DOF was consistent, so I set an aperture and let the shutter speed vary as needed. Sometimes it drops too low and the camera shake is visible in the still frame, but at 15fps you can't notice it. That's an interesting point about jpeg quality too; I'm always averse to any kind of compression until the very last step of production, but at PAL resolutions, I doubt any artifacts will be visible. Should save me a bit of cash on SD cards too...
     
  9. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #9
    That depends on the lighting: if it is very consistent so that the shutter speeds don't vary too much, you could do that. If it varies too much, the motion blur on some of the pictures would look very different. You could also use Auto ISO to get the best of all worlds.
    With today's cameras, you don't see compression artefacts that much. Although I shoot in Fine (if I choose to use jpgs), I doubt I'd see any difference to the same motive shot in Basic quality -- especially if you will scale them down.
     

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