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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Lightbulb ASA/ISO settings w/ DSLRs

    I am planning on getting a Nikon D70 at the end of the year (my Co. will buy it for me!) but I do have a Q about it. Why does it have as the lowest setting for speed a rating of 200?

    Are these settings the same as film when it comes to image quality?

    Just for your info, I took a photo of my dogs in my bed at night (no natural light one 60 watt bulb and 4 small flood lghts mounted on ceiling) w/ the 5000 set at ASA/ISO 800 and printed a 4x6 print AND took the same shot using a film camera w/ the same speed film, and the photo qualities of both were almost the same!

    Right now I have a 5000 which has 100-800 ASA/ISO settings which is a good range. Some cameras I see start out at 50 which may be a little too low for most applications and in film 50 vs 100 is not that big a difference when it comes to quality but one loses 1 complete stop.

    Fat Boy

  2. #2
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States


    Fat Boy-
    The sensitivity will be the same as film, but the noise levels can be very different. ISO 200 is pretty typical for the low ISO setting on digital SLRs right now. But the noise level of digital SLRs at ISO 200 is way lower than what you've learned to expect from film. Image quality should be beautiful and much less noisy than film. And higher ISO settings are also generally less noisy than film too - up to a point. I haven't done a one-to-one comparison with film, but I think digital SLRs start to get very noisy at ISO 1600 and higher. I'll be posting full-res samples in the new Camera Test Lab forum, if you want to do some comparing.

    Compact cameras, like your Coolpix 5000, with their smaller sensors, have more noise problems. That's why they have lower ISO settings - to keep the noise levels down. I think that you'l find the D70 to have less noise at ISO 200 (and maybe even 400) than the Coolpix 5000. I know I won't even go near ISO 200 with my G2. But I'll go as high as 800 with my 1D without worrying too much.

    Hope that answers your question.

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