Did I happen to mention

how much I like my new camera?

I was reading Randal Schwartz’s review of the Canon 20D DSLR, especially his exhultation about the effects one can manage with the 1/8000 shutter speed in combination with the high ISO (1600). I was tempted to go get my turkey baster and have my roommate squirt streams of water into the air so I could attempt his stop-water action shots; instead, I thought I would find a really bad light shot and just see how the ISO 1600 photos look.

The ISO 1600 on my 995 is quite similar to 1600 film in that it was grainy. Very grainy. And the color would usually be a bit off – having an orange cast that couldn’t be corrected. But there many conditions when you need this speed, and it would be nice to have relatively decent photos.

As luck would have it, today was cloudy and dark, and I just happened to find a magazine laying on my desk – the magazine containing my recent photo essay, as a matter of fact. Fancy that. I decided that a great test of the higher ISO would be to take photos of the essay pages without using any other light than ambient room light.

I plopped the magazine on my bed, opened the page, focused, and snapped pictures of all the pages. I used NEF (RAW) mode, and adjusted the exposure up slightly and sharpened slightly, but other than that – no changes. As you can see from the photos below, the ISO 1600 with the D70 provides beautiful pictures, with nary a grainy or color cast look in the bunch.

Even a larger photo 800 pixels wide doesn’t show significant degradation of image quality, and this without much tweaking of the photo in Photoshop.

Did I happen to mention how much I like this camera?

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