1000 ISO!!! (& the rebel vs. the mark II)

Disclaimer: If you don't love the techincal aspects of photography/couldn't care less/are easily bored/haven't had your morning coffee...then please simply scroll down to the picture of Miss Sis, and enjoy the rest of your day. If you like camera-speak, read on.

I have been trying to organize my thoughts on the Canon Rebel XSI vs. the Canon 5D Mark II, but seeing as how I've been caught up in various end-of-the-school-year-activities, that hasn't happened yet.

You'd think it would be easy. Rebel - yuck. Mark II - awesome. Well, the Mark II is pretty awesome, but to be totally honest...the Rebel is too. If you have a Rebel (or comparable camera), then hold your head high! Basically it comes down to this: when you are in perfect lighting, I can't tell a huge difference between the two in terms of image quality. Surprising, to say the least. I thought I was just going to be blown away by these crystal clear, 3D-like images. Turns out, I can still take a bad picture. Drat!

Here's the difference. The Mark II allows you to do much more in not so ideal lighting situations. And as you know (if you don't use flash), 90% of lighting situations are not ideal. So that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but would you believe...you can be outside on a sunny day, shooting in the shade, and still not have enough light? Have you ever shot at 100 ISO in your house? I haven't (can't). Way too dark.

My Rebel was virtually useless above a 400 ISO. So I wanted to try a test shot with my new camera at 1000 ISO. Yes, a thousand. I chose a dark room in our house (the sun had already moved to the other side) to experiment. I could never have taken a picture in this room with the Rebel other than first thing in the morning. And even then I was at a 400 ISO (the limit - quality wise).

So let's check out the 1000 ISO on the Mark II:

Pretty clear, wouldn't you agree? The Rebel would have been a grainy mess. I even had an upgraded lens on my Rebel...and still had major issues with not enough light. I used the 17-55mm f2.8. If you use your kit lens, the lighting problem would be significantly compounded.

There are other things I love about the Mark II. The color is much more accurate, it requires less post-processing and the focusing seems better. Because of the ability to use a higher ISO, I can make my shutter speed much faster, and my crazy kids won't be (as) blurry!

If you are ready to gouge out your eyeballs after my camera comparison and ISO information, then please refer to the disclaimer at the beginning of the post. You were duly warned. ;-)

Anyone still here? Mom? No?


Karen said...

Well I'M enjoying the technobabble, Karli, and your models are just ADORABLE! I don't shoot in the house much either, so I haven't really run into low-light problems with my Rebel. Thanks for the insights into the Mark II - I'm trying not to be jealous :-D

Adeena said...

That's amazing!! Those eyes... so beautiful.

I love all the insights about the cameras. I have a lowly Kodak Z650, so I've been drooling over the Rebel T1i.

But, maybe I should hold out for a Mark II. ;)

Aleasing said...

Mom, you get to work the camera; but, oooh my,
those eyes on the precious little girl::))

Jenn said...

I'm here and reading ;) Although I'm a Nikon girl so you are still speaking jargon to me :) Awhile back I accidentally shot an entire session (fortunately for a friend) on a rented camera (mine had broken) that had the ISO set to 6400. I didn't even realize it until later (even though I thought I had changed it). And the images were salvageable...CRAZY!! Have you tried a speedlight yet? If you use it to your advantage it won't look "flashy" at all and you won't have to wait for ideal lighting conditions inside :)