Stephan’s Blog

Stock Photography

EOS 5D Mark II Noise Behavior

with 8 comments

Yesterday I took a series of shots of the San Francisco skyline to test the noise performance of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The weather certainly wasn’t what you’d wish for when taking pictures. It was overcast and hazy but to allow “pixel peeping” it didn’t really matter. Just don’t expect esthetically pleasing results.

I used the 70-200mm/f4.0 L IS lens at 200mm and f5.6. The shots were taken at ISOs 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, and 12800. The camera picture setting was set to ‘faithful’. I turned off the noise reduction for high-ISO shots but I left the in-camera noise reduction for long-time exposures on.

I’ve read all the RAW files into Photoshop using ACR 5.2. Other than setting the white balance to 3100K, I did not perform any other adjustments. No noise reduction (luminance or color), no sharpening, no curves adjustment, nothing. I saved all photos as JPGs at the least deteriorating compression rate of 12 in Photoshop CS4.

Click on the images to see the full-size photos.

_mg_0160

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 50. Lens: 70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 100. Lens: 70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 200. Lens: 70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 400. Lens: 70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 800. Lens: 70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 1600. Lens: 70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 3200. Lens: 70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 6400. Lens: 70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 12800. Lens: 70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 25600. Lens: 70-200mm/f4.0L IS at 200mm and f5.6

Written by glubsch

November 26, 2008 at 9:11 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Hi Stephan,
    I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but your photos are creating quite a discussion on photo.net:

    http://photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00RewZ

    Would you care to go there and post some comments on your images? We’d especially like to know if both RAW and JPG images have the black artifacts, or if it’s limited to the RAW files. Also, can you use Canon’s raw converter on these images to see if the same artifacts appear?

    Thanks very much!

    — Jim

    Jim

    December 1, 2008 at 8:59 pm

  2. […] My noise behavior photos have stirred quite some interest. I’ve uploaded these photos to my new blog on the day the camera was released to the […]

  3. The guy you want at Canon is Chuck Westfall. He is their supposed tech rep. Good luck with this issue as I too would like a 5DII, but not with this problem. My old 1Ds has no such problem so it looks like I will keep using it a while longer and keep my money in the bank…

    Dave

    December 10, 2008 at 8:19 pm

  4. Here’s the Canon EOS 5D audio sync issue or problem.

    Last Wednesday I used my two 5D MkII’s in a 3 camera music video shoot. The third camera was a Sony PMW-EX1. Audio was recorded on two additional devices. One audio recording device was an Edirol R4 Pro. The other audio recording setup was a Tascam USB Interface to a MacBook Pro.

    The Sony Camera, Edirol, and Tascam/MacBook Pro devices all synced sound perfectly over the full duration of the shoot (just over 20 minutes). To clarify – once the different sources are sync’d quickly and easily to the slate clap on the waveform at the beginning of the shoot they all stayed perfectly in sync for the rest of the video.

    Both Canon cameras audio and video sync’d perfectly to each other but drifted significantly from the other 3 devices even over a 3 minute segment. The is a very serious problem for me and one that introduces significant post-production trouble and expense.

    This issue was so unexpected (I haven’t run into this in years of working with a range of equipment) that I performed 3 subsequent tests to confirm that the 5D MkII’s run too fast. The results from the tests show both of my 5D Mark II run about 14 frames too fast in 10 minutes. Audio that is 1 full frame out of sync is noticeable on sharp sounds causing an echo. Audio that is 2 or 3 frames out of sync causes echo on any sound and looks odd in terms of lip sync.

    That the two Canon cameras audio sync’d OK to each other tells me that the cameras can be calibrated to a standard. Evidently they are just calibrated to an incorrect standard.

    Anybody else experience this? Does anybody really know if this is likely a chip issue or a firmware issue? Does anyone know an easy reliable way to get the clips to conform to the standard without time-consuming constant tweaking?

    I contacted Canon tech support and the girl there couldn’t care less. She said: There is no fix and that the 5d isn’t really a video camera so what did I expect? Nice!

    Michael

    January 26, 2009 at 9:31 am

    • I didn’t experience a problem with audio being out of sync with video despite having filmed for more than 3 mins. but now that you mention it, I will pay more attention. It’s a silly answer to give that there’s not much to be expected from video. If it’s part of the camera, it should work. Otherwise, what’s the use?

      glubsch

      January 26, 2009 at 9:51 am

  5. The Audio syncs OK to the video created by the 5d MkII – Ij ust doesn’t sync to any of the other equipment.

    Michael

    January 26, 2009 at 9:56 am

  6. This is quite helpful to people like me. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  7. Cool site, love the info.

    Bill Bartmann

    September 3, 2009 at 12:57 pm


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