Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens I’m going to take a look at ISO capabilities of everything from the 5D Mk II to the R5. Why am I doing this? It’s kind of a therapy session for me because I’m trying to get off from the 100 ISO. I have always shot at 100 ISO. I feel compelled to do it all the time. I feel freaked out if I have to go beyond 100 ISO. I yank out the tripod the second I get up to 150 or 200. So I want to see, have we really come that far? Where are the ISO capabilities of these cameras at today compared to where we started at? Is it that much better? Maybe I should be okay with shooting at 800, 1600 3200. Oh my word, 3200.
It’s important to note in this comparison, they are all full frame sensors. And this has a very different megapixel size (5D Mark II). Whereas when you go to Mark III you’re at 22 megapixels. When you go to the Mark IV you’re at 30 megapixels. Which is why I didn’t include the EOS R. It’s basically the same sensor as the Mark IV. Then when you go to the R5 it’s a 47 megapixel sensor. Which begs the question, is a smaller megapixel sensor going to give you better ISO capabilities than that big sensor? Let’s just take a look. Let’s take a look at the images and let’s see exactly what we got.
Special thanks to Samy’s Camera which lent us these cameras and lenses so we can make this comparison.
We’re going to take a look at 100 ISO. First off I have to have a disclaimer here and that is that these three cameras, the 5D II, 5D III and IV were all shot with EF glass. Whereas the R5 was shot with RF glass. The RF glass is definitely sharper, there’s no doubt about it. We did a video a couple of weeks ago that showed that because everyone was saying yes it’s sharper. And it is. It’s much sharper. So when I look at this it’s going to be hard a little bit to make a determination between grain and sharpness as you look at these in comparison to one another. But that is the comparison. The R5 has the RF glass. That is what you’re shooting on if you’re in that mirrorless system. And that’s what you want to shoot. You can adapt this back and it will give you a softer look, there’s no doubt about it. In some cases for skin tone that’s a nice look. But looking at 100 ISO I see grain already in the 5D Mk II. I see it in the 5D Mark III. I see it in the IV. I don’t see any grain in the R5. It is just sharp and clean.
We’re going to jump from 100 to 400 ISO because it’s not building very fast. And so we’re going to jump ahead a little bit here. If I look at the 5D Mk II at 400 ISO there’s a lot of grain. There’s definitely a lot of grain. There is in the Mark III. We’re seeing some little color shift as well in the Mark III. Not so much in the Mark IV. But boy, the R5 is still pretty clean. If we look into the background here into the gray it’s a little easier to see some of that grain in with the gray. And they look more similar when you look back into that gray area with regards to grain. Obviously the 5D Mk II is by far the worst. The Mark III and IV, boy they start looking pretty similar to me at 400 ISO when you look at the gray. When I look at her face I don’t get that feeling. Where the face is sharp I don’t see the color kind of banding as it gradates from highlight into shadow areas.
If we jump up to 800 ISO, the 5D Mk II, immediately I see a lot of grain. I mean there’s just a lot of grain in her face. I see just as much grain in the Mark III. The Mark IV is a little better. Yes it is, the Mark IV is definitely better. But boy, the R5 is pretty clean. If we look back in the grays though, this gray area in the back here is pretty telling to me. And to me it looks like we’re dealing with the difference between sharpness and grain. But we see quite a bit of grain. I would go to 800 on somebody’s face if I needed to on the R5. I would not on any of these other cameras. It’s just not going to happen for me.
If you jump up to 1600 ISO we just see major grain on these other three cameras. The focus was not working well on this Mark III that we were using. We’re focused on her eye and it’s just not working that great. Now I see major grain in the R5. The R5 is revealing itself just as much as the 5D Mk II is. I expected to be more blown away at this point by how good the R5 was. But I’m not feeling like this is so much better than what we saw on the others.
When we jump to 3200 I feel like the R5 is no better than the 5D Mk II or any of these cameras. They all look very similar to me at 3200 ISO. The sharpness of the lens on that R5 may be creating some of that look of the grain. But that’s what that lens is. You know that’s what you paid for, a very, very, very, very sharp lens. So does that create a heavier grain look? It might be a little bit. It’s almost over sharpened.
When we jump to 6400 ISO these cameras all look terrible to me. The 5D Mk II looks the worst by far. They all are super grainy. The pattern is just falling apart all the way across the board. There’s just nothing, I would never shoot at this ISO unless I had to. I mean obviously it’s better to get a shot here at a concert than no shot at all. But it just wouldn’t work for me.
When I jump to 12,800, again all of these look extremely grainy. I don’t see any great advantage over the R5 compared to the 5D Mk II at all. I really don’t. They look very similar to me. Color has held pretty good with the R5. Probably a little better than the others. I see some color banding. But when you look into the grays it’s amazing to me how heavy the grain is. And it just looks very, very, very similar in each one of these cameras.
They really meet and merge by the time you hit like 3200 ISO. I think they look very similar to one another. I don’t see any great advantage on any of them. I’m going to look at 3200 one more time. But I feel like at 3200 these cameras are really very similar to one another. When I go to 3200 I do feel like the R5 is a little better than the other cameras, not monumentally so. But it is definitely better. Grain pattern is better. When I go up to the 6400 though, they are very similar to each other. They really, at that point, they just all fall off the cliff together. And holding hands as they fall off the cliff.
So let’s wrap this up. I’m shocked. I really am shocked. I expected the R5 to be so much better than the 5D that it was no comparison whatsoever. But when I’m looking at these they weren’t that far apart. You hear about how ISO has improved so much on these cameras. I’m seeing a stop, maybe a stop and a half. It’s a stretch to say that the R5 is two stops better than the 5D Mk II. It’s a major stretch to be able to make that comparison. So there it is. You see the images. You can look at them. Leave us some comments. You may say, hey you know you didn’t do this right or that right. Fine, leave us those comments. But quite frankly there are the images and I mean, do I feel comfortable going to a 200 or 400 ISO with the R5? Yes I do. I feel like it has the capability to go that high. And it’s going to look very similar to the 5D Mk II. But can I say more than two stops? Absolutely not. It does not have more than two stops. I’m saying it has about a stop and a half, maybe a stop and a half better.
You have to look also at lenses, but when you have sharper lenses grain gets sharper too. And that’s a consideration when you think about sharpness of lenses is you get sharper grain as well. But beautiful lens, that RF lens, beautiful lens, beautiful glass, very sharp. So there’s a look at the grain. So leave us some comments. Support our affiliate group. Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.
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