Welcome to the forum!

As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

Nikon D5

PDH7981PDH7981 Member
Well, now that the D5 has been out for a few weeks... there is starting to be some "noise" {pun intended} about its low ISO performance. The few blogs I've been able to read seem to indicate considerable noise showing up at low ISO settings, like ISO 100.  In fact, this review from DP Review says, "the D5 has taken a step backwards in terms of low ISO dynamic range.  I was ready to pull the trigger and make my purchase... now I don't know if I want to.  Maybe wait for the D5s?


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited May 2016
    Hi Dave,

    How have you been?

    I had a good read of that link, and re-read it again to get a closer idea of what your concerns are.

    You have to read between the lines, that 'poor' performance at ISO100 only relates if you push the exposure back up in post, not if shot correctly in the first place. I mean pushing up an exposure to even a +3.0 e/v is a lot of underexposure you are dealing with, then they compare it to a +6.0 e/v and if the image is that important to have been shot at -6.0 e/v then you have to deal with it in post.

    Where the 'noise' is currently 'residing' so to speak is in low ISO but, and this is important, only if you under-exposed it badly in the first place.

    It's, to me, been developed in such a way for professionals where pushing up the ISO to higher levels for low light gives a much better rendition of the image instead of shooting lower ISO and relying on having to push exposure up in post like you had to do waaaay back when ISO 1600 was the norm.

    Sure I see your concerns, but having a much higher rated ISO performance in a pro body for cleaner ISO noise to me would be of more consideration than having a 'poor' ISO 100 if badly underexposed.

    Shooting it that way and relying on bringing up the exposure value in post is totally counter-intuitive to me. I know they went on about 'retaining' highlights, but if the highlights were so important in the first place, but the rest of the image was so dark, I want to know what sort of conditions you would have to have been shooting under in the first place.

    Maybe a wedding reception, but no one in my opinion would shoot that way on purpose, even if the bride's dress/white object is lit under the same conditions, then exposure should not be compromised as you have to take in the the overall exposure, and any 'highlights' maybe in the background would be irrelevant to me at least.

    No one would go buy a D5 just to go shoot Landscapes and you shoot those optimally, even over-exposing and bring back down in post to render shadow tones better. I shoot like that all the time, 99.9% of the time I bring my shots back down in post to -0.5 e/v at least then work from there if I have shadow details I want to be noise free but more importantly to retain white dress details for the bride and opening back up the shadows then gives me so much more latitude to deal with.

    When I first read I thought wow, look at all the noise in ISO100 until I carefully  re-read, and played with some of the drop-down menu options, so on that note I would much prefer having a higher ISO/dynamic range to work with rather than relying on pushing up badly under-exposed images.

    Now I have to confess I don't own a D5 so maybe Neil can chime in here as he's had them for a while now.


  • PDH7981PDH7981 Member
    Thank you Trev... You are absolutely correct in what you've said.  I guess I was so fixated on the "low ISO noise" I really didn't take into consideration about the under-exposing and then pushing up in LR or PS by that many stops.  The more I've thought about it, I'm leaning towards pulling that trigger and making the purchase.  I would love to hear Neil's take and anyone else that has the D5.  

    I do a lot of outdoor senior portraits as well as headshots.  Most of which would be at ISO100.  But, I'm generally spot on with exposure from the camera histogram point of view.  That's not to say, I've had times where I missed and needed to push up or down.  With my D3s, there's always the case that what looks correct on my camera screen comes in differently to LR.  They can mismatch a full stop at times.  Just to point out, I do shoot a calibration target and custom white balance.  Yet, it still will be different in LR than on my camera.  I'm just worried if the D5 has that mismatch, I might still be pushing one way or the other. I've never figured out why they don't match. 
  • PDH7981PDH7981 Member
    Good morning Neil... could you offer any feedback on the D5 as it relates to low ISO performance from your experience?  I highly value your feedback as I ponder a purchase decision on the D5.  Thanks in advance.  
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I'm not getting the Nikon D5 yet. My D4 bodies and the D810 will have to last me a while longer. 

    I pushed my budget last year with some other gear purchases, so right now I would have to justify buying the D5 only if it can generate income that the D4 / D810 bodies can't.  Perhaps 4k video? 

    So I can't really chime in here - I don't have experience with the D5. 
  • PDH7981PDH7981 Member
    Thanks Neil.  Well, after reading more reviews of both the D5 and D500, I've decided to order the D500 first.  I'm just not comfortable purchasing the D5 based on how I would use the camera for my style of photography.  Maybe I'm being over picky.. but I just don't want to spend $6,500 and not be happy.  I'm sure they'll make modifications to the D5 when they launch the D5s in a year or so.  Like you, my current camera, the D3s, is still serving me well so no urgency to make a change.  I would prefer a full frame, but the spec's on the D500, along with the reviews, are helping me to make the decision. The D500 was ordered yesterday and is on back order, of course.  No telling when it will ship but I'm looking forward to learning a new technology. 
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Sorry Dave, I thought Neil had D5 bodies.

  • PDH7981PDH7981 Member
    Oh... no worries my friend.  I'll keep watching to see if Nikon has any "official" response to the low ISO / poor Dynamic Range issue.  If they take some sort of action, I'll be looking to purchase again. I do a lot of headshot photography and senior portrait work.  I use low ISO for much of that work.  It needs to be clean.  
  • rs_eosrs_eos Member
    I'm a bit confused in reading this thread.  As Trev pointed out, the dpreview staff were pushing things well beyond anything practical.  They also made several comparissions of the D5 to the Canon EOS 6D (which I own).  I have never had issues with the 6D (any ISO) and don't recall ever pushing things in post beyond say +/- 1.5 EV (majority of the time it's within +/- 0.5 EV).

    Prior to the 6D, I was using a Rebel T4i with a kit lens (18-135 f/3.5-5.6).  For the 6D, I have a single EF 50mm f/1.2 because I found that 90%+ of what I shot with the zoom lens hovered around 50mm; about 31mm on the crop-sensor).  Between the 6D's better ISO performance (full-frame vs. crop) and being able to go down to f/1.2, that gave me 5 full stops of wiggle-room.  Granted, I don't always shoot at f/1.2, but I would still have 2 stops better performance in ISO alone.

    So in your case, I would look at what the D5 would give you above and beyond your current setup.  If it has better ISO performance (and other improvements) over what you have, I would think it would meet your needs well.

    Now then, there are advantages to a crop-sensory body.  But one thing to watch out for of course is your collections of lenses.  If you're using primes on your full frame, they'll now all be longer on the crop-sensor.  If you own zooms, then less of an issue.  In general though, you'll give up the wide-angle end a bit; not sure how that may affect you.
  • PDH7981PDH7981 Member
    Yes, I'm confused myself.  I realize I'm being erratic in my thought process.  I'm being lead more by my heart that I probably should be.  It's so much money, I'm just being over careful.  I don't want to make a purchase mistake only to find out Nikon will come out with a "D600/D610 like" fix for this (imaginary or real) issue.  Believe me, one minute I'm wanting it... the next minute, I'm not.  

    I may use the D500 for a month or two and then pop for the D5.  It will give me time to play with the menu's and learn the new focusing system before I dive into getting the D5.  I will have a D5 because I do want my top camera to be Full Frame.

    Forgive my erratic thinking.  Ugh.  
  • rs_eosrs_eos Member
    One possible solution is to see about renting the D5.
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    "One possible solution is to see about renting the D5."

    Good idea Rick has Dave.
  • I recently had a 'hands on' test with the D5. Great camera as you would expect, but its not a huge technology leap over the D4 or D4S, so I could not justify upgrading from my trusty D4. I recently invested in the Profoto B2 lighting system, which I feel will give a better return on investment for my business. Having chatted to a lot of Nikon users, the general feeling seems to be that until Nikon can provide a topline DSLR that delivers a significant performance advantage, most pros will not upgrade.
  • PDH7981,

    I bought the D500 and IT'S AMAZING! I also have the D4 and the D700 great cameras….The Nikon D5 I'll NEVER buy it…Just wondering If you have ever checked the Angry Photographer on Youtube? He is well regarded by many  in the photograph world for his reviews etc….and he seems to own liturally LOTS of gear…. He says that the D5 is just terrible. But the D500 he says it's one of THE BEST cameras ever made….And I have to agree with him….so far I'M IN LOVE with the D500.
  • Yes, I'm enjoying my D500.  I have watched the "angry photographer" on YouTube.  His 30 min videos could be compressed to about 5 minutes if he wouldn't repeat himself 18 times! :-).  That gets a bit annoying.  But, I have seen his video just trashing the D5.  I don't own the D5 but I certainly think it's a better camera than he gives it credit.  Although for me, I just want to wait it out a bit more.  I really don't need a D5 at $6500.  If Nikon would made a D500 "like" body with all the D500 features, auto focus, QXD format, etc... in FX... meaning something in between the D5 and D500 in price, that would be a no-brainer for me.  So, my options at this point are D750 or D810.  

    I'm still looking for a FX body but just don't know where to jump.  The D810 is certainly on my mind, but I'm not sure I want that many Megapixels.  The 20 Megapixel D500 and D5 is perfect for me.  Also, I worry that Nikon will introduce the D810 replacement just after I purchase.  Then, drop the price again on the D810... after I've purchased.  Ugh.... what to do, what to do. 
Sign In or Register to comment.