Jump to content

    If you want access to members only forums on HSO, you will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member. ?

First high ISO Basketball 50D


Recommended Posts

Finally got a chance to give the 50D a good workout at two basketball games Friday night. Impressions;

1. The 6400 ISO shots are CLEANER than 3200 ISO on my Mark IIN! The 3200 ISO shots do not require an additional pass with noise reduction in post processing.

2. The focus speed is a bit better than the 20D/30D but no where close to the 1 series bodies.

3. Having the extra pixels to crop is a big plus when using the 70-200/2.8. I can shoot a bit further down court with out sacrificing quality. Big improvement over the Mark II or 20D/30D files.

I am posting two shots both untouched, these are straight out of the camera. I had a friend shooting with me last night and I gave him the 50D for the second game. He shoots a 5D and 40D. After we had the shots I needed I asked him to crank the ISO up to 6400 even though it was not really required in this gym.

My conclusions are I will have no problem at all shooting this camera at 6400 ISO. I wish we would have cranked it to 12800 but that will wait for next game. I will make up for slower focus by shooting more shots! This fast may become my camera for 3200 ISO and above shooting, exactly what I was hoping for when I bought the camera. I can eliminate processing time with the 50D because I would not run those files through Noise Ninja, with the Mark IIN that is usually a must.

So here are two of his shots completely untouched, straight from the camera nothing done except a slight rotation and crop and re-sizing for the web. They are just a bit soft and lacking punch because I have those settings set way down in the camera for JPEG. I prefer to control that in PP.

ISO 6400, f2.8, 1/640s, with the 70-200/2.8 on a 50D. Noise reduction in camera on high. Photo credit to Dave S.



True with any camera but shooting at these ISO's you MUST make sure that histogram is bumping up against the right side of the display. This gym has about a 2/3 stop difference from mid-court to the basket. You can see a bit more noise due to a very slight underexposure in the first shot. The background makes a difference as well.

For Steve, my friend used his 5D for one half and I must say I like his JPEG 3200 ISO shots much better than the Mark IIN, but JPEG results looked nicer in the 50D, not surprising given the processing in camera.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great shots Dan! I shot a game last night too. The first half I shot with my Mark II and the second half with the 50D. I was using strobes (still working on that learning curve) and did some comparisons on my own. Still haven't got the formula down perfect yet, but getting closer. I'll post a couple of 50D shots because that's what we're talking about here. I was shooting at ISO 3200 and had my 70-200L on. Shots taken at f/6.3 and 1/250th second. Noise nat an issue. Neither of these have had NN applied. A couple of observations. 1. is that we tend to shoot in a little different style and 2. because of the strobes my backgrounds are really dark. I've got a couple of games coming up next week and will have to play with the ISO 6400. One of the gyms I can't use strobes in.

I should add, the first has almost no crop, the second I've cropped out about 25% of the image.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice looking shots Ken! I love the light falloff in these. Very nice work on the lights, no shadowing that I can see at all. You are getting nice soft light, bouncing off the ceiling? I would say you are just about dialed in!

Why the 3200 ISO? In your faster moving shots are you noticing some ghosting? The reason for dropping that ISO lower is to get around a 3 stop difference from your ambient, which it almost looks like you have based on the dark background. ISO 3200 should let way more ambient in than it looks like here.

For others that might be interested, ghosting is caused by the flash with its very fast flash duration exposing the scene. The shutter speed being much slower still allows the ambient light in exposing the subject even more. In sports of course we have fast moving subjects so the flash is one exposure and the ambient is let in from the slower shutter speed with the subject moving...we now have a second image visible or ghosting because the subject has moved. The cure is to lower your ISO to let less ambient light in preventing another image or exposure from appearing (Assuming your f-stop and shutter speed are already fixed).

You are obviously not getting as much ambient in because your backgrounds are darker, but what flash settings? If you use lower power with a thyristor flash your flash duration is shorter. High power and your flash duration is longer. Narrow gap between ambient and flash would give less ghosting. So are you using fairly high power on your flash?

I am normally down in the 640 to 800 ISO range at f4.0 and 1/250s. Flash power around 1/4 maybe a touch more at times. Just curious where you are at. What are your normal ambient settings in this gym, it must be really dark?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


As I said, I'm experimenting a lot. Shot some with ISO 800, 1000 and 1600 with both the Mark II and 50D. Had the strobes bouncing off of the ceiling at 1/4 power and at 1/2 for awhile. Just seemed that these dialed in last night for the best shots. More playing around to do. Didn't find any ghosting last night at all with all my settings. Indeed, the one adjustment I had to make was to "recover" as many turned out a little hot. So, will dial back again next time until I find the "perfect" settings.

This is a dark gym. Normally at ISO 1600 I have to shoot at f/2.8 and struggle to get 1/160th second.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MM, here you go. This is the untouched file again. No processing except NR strong in camera. The second firmware update obviously addressed some high ISO concerns. There was considerably more chroma-noise in my early testing that is not apparent after the firmware update. All-in-all I couldn't be happier, this camera will do what I was hoping...give me good results at 6400 ISO. I will be doing some test prints as well to satisfy my curiosity.

100% crop


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks man.

What is the current firmware? 1.0.3?

I bought the mark 3 and will be ordering a 50D this week. I'm going to have Chris at Canoga pull it out of the box cuz I want to make sure it has the most recent firmware.

If that isn't enough,I found a sweet deal on a 600mm F4IS,it is scratched up a bit,but only $3500! I'm trying to get them to back burner it until I can save some $ but if I like the 50D,the Mark 3 will get sold,and that will help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Meant to mention and forgot. Tried to put the new upgrade on the 50D, and didn't work for some reason. Downloaded and got it onto the card, but the camera wouldn't read it off of the card. Any thoughts?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

As per the directions I have;

Insert a CF card that has been formatted in the Camera into the CF card reader.

Copy the firmware update file to the first window that appears when the CF card is opened (the root directory).

Remove the CF card from the card reader.

I will send you the link. I've done a few firmware updates on cameras and this is the first one that required a specific location. Weird, but it did work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

dan, I noticed that the photo credit says Dave S.? is that the same one that does allprosportspix?

Nope a very good friend who does some cross business with our company, mainly a portrait shooter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.