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Nikon D700 High ISO Tests

I apologize to those of you who read this blog for stories and pictures of the triplets. This is going to be a fairly technical post about my new camera. There are pictures of the kids, so if you don’t want to read all of the technical camera stuff, feel free to skip to the pictures.

In case you missed it, I got a new toy earlier this week, a Nikon D700. One of the main reasons I switched from Canon to Nikon was the superior high ISO performance of Nikon cameras. I decided to do a couple of tests today. I waited until the room was sufficiently dark, cranked the ISO on the camera, and shot away.

On my Canon cameras, I would rarely shoot with my ISO above 800. Occasionally I would go up to 1600 in really low light conditions, but the noise, or grain, was just a little too much for my taste at that level.

I started my tests with the D700 at ISO 4000, well above what I would consider acceptable from my Canon 5D or 40D. I was astonished by the results. While I did notice some noise, it’s nowhere near the level I would get from the Canon cameras at 1600. Here are the pictures I took at ISO 4000

Since I was satisfied with the results at ISO 4000, I decided to crank it up to 6400 and see what I got. The result: noise. While the pics did turn out quite noisy, ISO 6400 seems a bit extreme, and I will probably never have to use it. Of course, if I do, I can always do some noise reduction in my post processing if needed. Here are some of the pics I took at ISO 6400: