Mishca @ ISO 800

This is my brother-in-law’s German Shepherd, Mishca, taken at ISO 800 on a Sony Alpha A100. If you are using Firefox, you can see it at 1024 x 686 by right clicking on the picture, selecting “view image” then clicking again to zoom in.

It’s not that it’s all that remarkable a picture. More that it’s surprisingly usable given that the A100 is known to be a disappointing performer at higher ISO levels. With the advent of cameras such as the Nikon D3 and D700 pushing the envelope on low noise at high ISO, it is easy to forget that most cameras out there right now can’t get close to that sort of performance. I always set the ISO on my A100 manually and hardly ever set it higher than 400.

This was a rare exception. I was at the limit of my 18-250 zoom and needed f8 to get the sharpness and depth of field I wanted. The slowest shutter speed I thought I could get away with was 1/60th (relying on the built-in image stabilisation to give me 2 stops of leeway) and that meant ISO 800.

If nothing else, this does prove that in the right circumstances you can get away with ISO 800 using the A100. The lack of areas of plain colour helps mask noise, I suppose.

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