Friday, March 19, 2010

Time For An Upgrade

This is all going to become a bit photo-geeky, but I'll do it anyway. In order just to make sure everything is working, I was trying out my new toy, a Canon 1DMkIV. Camera technology (actually, sensor technology) has come a long way since I bought my last one, the trusty 20D that has been relied upon for many of the shots posted here over the past couple of years. However, time and silicon advances wait for no man and meanwhile the world has moved on, and based on what I've seen so far then seemingly a very long way.

The snapshot above, taken in natural light, indoors and in a well-shaded room, was taken at ISO 12,800. It's not perfect - noise can easily be seen, dynamic range is reduced and detail is lost - but it's pretty darned good for 7 stops over the base ISO value of 100. Add to that 16 Mpix resolution and I have to say I'm looking forward to seeing what it can produce in Death Valley next week.

Now let's be clear, on a per-pixel basis the Mk IV is about as noisy as its predecessor, the Mk III (see the shots I took in Africa for some examples), but it delivers twice as many of them, so on an adjusted basis it's twice as good, or +1 stop in old money. Confused? Don't worry about it. Just think "better" than the Mk III, and "much better" than the 20D!