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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old September 2nd, 2010, 06:12 AM   #1
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Highest ISO for Television Production w/7D ??

When shooting video with the Canon 7D in "DOCUMENTARY" television productions, for companies like the National Geographic Channel, the History Channel, and the Discovery Channel, what is the highest ISO that will give "acceptable" results before noise becomes a problem ??

If anyone has experience shooting and/or producing for any of these companies, I would be most grateful for your feedback on this issue.

Thanks.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 06:37 AM   #2
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It's a good question, but it is partly like how long is a piece of string.
I get the feeling though that you might be able to come up with some sort of guideline as to ideal ISO and acceptable ISO in normal circumstances, but even then this would be bendable depending on the circumstances (ie if you were to see a Yeti in the wild nobody would care what ISO you needed to get the shot!)
If it's for broadcast I reckon one thing that you need to bare in mind is the broadcast/transmission chain, whereby even if images look fine when viewing in their raw state, the noise may cause havoc with the coders in the transmission and make the image fall to pieces. The same is true with codecs like those used in DSLRs anyway - they may look fine straight from the camera but could well cause issues on broadcast. This is why we're not allowed to Super 16 film any more - it looks great, but the grain makes the image go to mush on transmission.

I think it would be very useful to DSLR shooters to have a decent ballpark figure, be good to hear from those that have done it.

Steve
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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I have a 5DII now but when I was shooting with the 7D I felt that 1200 ISO was about my limit. It still looked good but just not quite as good as 640 or 320. I only used 1200 when shooting in really low light situations. And usually, in that kind of situation, the shot is very different from the preceding one, like from a bright exterior to a dimly lit room. So you can get by with some difference and it's not noticeable in context. But I think it also depends on what's being shot. Some colors might look more noisy than others in the same situation.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 12:07 PM   #4
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In a dark room I set it to 2000 with good results. A lot cleaner than my video camera.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 12:45 PM   #5
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Are these the results you saw on broadcast? That's what the OP was asking I think.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 04:18 AM   #6
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Shot on my 7D on iso 5000 and broadcasted on TV. My 7D on iso 5000 is a lot better than my XDCAM F330 on 18dB.Less noise, more light. Though I think picture quality is more and more not an issue with news.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 12:04 AM   #7
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It also depends on what you are shooting, if there are a lot of blacks then higher ISO's look horrible. I actually try not to shoot over 640 but will go to 1200 if needed.

Also at the end of the day if you have no other choice a grainy picture of the content you need is better than no picture at all.
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