Shooting at ISO 800 with a Panasonic GX7

In a previous post - I wrote about my intention to try my m4/3 cameras at the ISO settings that I use for my Fuji X cameras, ISO 400-800. And yesterday I did just that.

All of the above were shot with my GX7 and 12-32mm, 45-175mm and 45mm lenses at ISO 800. While the jpgs. looked a little too 'processed' for my tastes and using raw developers like Photo Ninja or Iridient Developer exaggerated the luminance noise, I found that running raw files through Photoshop ACR with the settings below produced clean, sharp images. 

This is a modified version of what I use for processing m4/3 files at base ISO, with slightly more luminance noise reduction added. The results were pretty good and showed me that I could use my Panasonic cameras in situations with less light or when I'm using a slow zoom or need narrow apertures and high shutter speeds with telephoto lenses. And certainly the sensors in the recent m4/3 cameras are somewhat better at mid-range ISO's like 800 than they were previously, even with cameras as recent as the Panasonic G6.

So why is this important to me? Well for all my stock files to get a punchy look I open up the shadow areas and increase the contrast, plus to increase sales potential I upsize the files to 21MP. Now all of this increases noise. So I am asking a lot of the ability of the original raw files to be able to cope with this. As you can see below even by pushing these files to the limit I can still get a good result and all of these files have been accepted by picture libraries.

As ever this isn't a recommendation as to how to process your files, nor is it intended to be any indication of quality. This is what works for me. Picture libraries don't like noise of any kind in the images they sell and they are quite happy for a certain amount of sharpness to be sacrificed to achieve that. A bit like Canon really!!

So all of this is very useful. I could I imagine get decent results at ISO 1600 should I need to, however for the majority of what I do ISO 800 is easily enough. The settings I came up with are now on a preset, so doing this is quick and easy. And yes it is a bit extreme, but I certainly prefer the final result to the OOC jpgs.

So that's all good then.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.
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