Photography News Issue 32

Camera test 37

Photography News Issue 32

The EOS-1D XMark II’s native ISO range is 100 to 51,200 with expansion to ISO 50 at one end and ISO 409,600 or H3.0 at its other extreme. Our test shots started life as Raws and were processed in Adobe Lightroomwith no noise reduction applied. Performance: ISO

Perfectly clean images are possible up to ISO 1600 and noise only starts to have an impact after this point. Noise levels at ISO 3200 are acceptable and easily reduced during processing and detail remains crisp and well defined. The noise itself is neutral and filmic and evident in areas of smooth tone. It’s much the same at ISO 6400 but just more of it – although image quality is still good enough for serious use and for enlargement to A2 and more if some noise reduction is used during processing. I used Lightroom’s NR andMacphun’s Noiseless Pro.

Beyond ISO6400andwhether those speeds are good enough for critical use depends on the situation because noise levels are high and detail suffers. Venture into the expanded ISO settings and you are into the realm of higher noise, poorer D-Max and less saturated colours but if you need sharp pictures in dire lighting then you have no choice. Despite the fall-off in quality the images at ISO 102,400 are still remarkably good considering the stratospheric sensitivity but I probably wouldn’t go any further.

Full-frame image

ISO 100

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12,800

ISO 25,600

ISO 51,200

ISO 102,400

ISO 204,800

ISO 409,600

Performance: High ISONoiseReduction

No noise reduction


The EOS-1D X Mark II has a native ISO range of 100 to 51,200 with expansion to ISO 50 and H3.0, equivalent to 409,600. In-camera high ISO noise reduction for JPEGs is available at three levels, low, standard and high. These sets of shots were taken at ISO 6400, 12,800, 25,600 and 51,200. These shots were taken at The Cisterns in Copenhagen. It’s a former underground reservoir for the city and it is now an art and event venue. For more details see The images are straight-out- of-the-camera JPEGs shot at ISO 25,600 using an exposure of 1/30sec at f/2.8 with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.


From our test the standard setting gives a fine balance of lower noise without overly impacting on detail rendition. The high setting seems a little too much and while the noise is very low fine detail has a more smudged appearance which may not suit everyone’s taste. The low setting is the one to go for if you don’t mind a more filmic grain texture without your image looking too aggressive.

Standard NR

High NR

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