ISO 800 vs 400 on a Sony DSCV1/W1 Digital Cameras?

  Tinkey Winkey 09:56 24 Aug 2004

About to buy a Sony Digital Camera.

Have been looking at the Sony DSCV1 vs the Sony W1.

The DSCV1 has an 800 ISO ( The W1 only 400 ).

What will I be able to do with the 800 ISO that the W1 won't ?

Does it just mean that low light and night pictures taken on a tripod will have less grain / picture noise ?

Looking for reasurance before I buy please !

  JonnyTub 10:05 24 Aug 2004

Digital cameras record the image using a CCD that converts light to analogue signals, which are then processed in the camera to create a digital image. You can adjust the sensitivity of the CCD so that it increases in low light allowing it to record the image. Unlike a film camera the ISO can be adjusted automatically so you don't have to decide which speed to set just point and shoot. In low light the camera will increase the ISO to ensure the photo is recorded.

Like increasing film speed you do have drawback to upping the ISO of a digital camera. The higher the sensitivity, the more likely pictures are subject to noise, which appears as randomly-spaced, brightly coloured pixels. Most digital cameras have an automatic sensitivity range of between ISO100 and ISO400 and some have a manual override. Some go up to ISO1600. The beauty with adjusting the ISO of a digital camera is that you can check quality on the LCD preview screen and reshoot if necessary. This is easier if the LCD has a magnifying option as it's hard to spot noise on a small non-magnified version.

Or in other words you should check the camera to see how far you can adjust the iso level, i know the DSCV1 has a manual setting not sure about the other one, a quick google should tell you.

  hssutton 12:32 24 Aug 2004

Noise certainly becomes a problem increase the ISO level above 100, some even show noise at that level. A DSLR should be able to use ISO400 without any noise problem.

On reading the reviews and specs of these two cameras, I feel that the ISO issue of one stop is of little importance, compared to the facilities of the two cameras. Having said that, the DSC-V1 (considering nighttime photography, seems to be a prerequisite)must be the one to go for

"The DSC-V1 caters to the needs of the more advanced photographer with a full range of exposure control that includes: Auto, Program AE w/Shift, Shutter-speed priority, Aperture priority, Full Manual and 8 pre-programmed Scene modes. In addition it also offers the Sony exclusive Night framing and NightShot modes using built in infrared illuminators for image capture in total darkness up to 15 feet. To insure that the zoom lens is always sharply focused the DSC-V1 is equipped with Hologram AF illuminator that "paints" the subject with a safe Class 1 laser pattern. Low-light shooting is further enhanced by slow shutter noise reduction that uses a dark-frame subtractive method to produce the clearest possible image".

click here

click here

  Stuartli 12:49 24 Aug 2004

JonnyTub has explained the subject very well but, in fairness, it must be pointed out that many cheaper digital cameras have a fixed ISO figure of 100.

In normal photography, the arithmetic is linear - a 200 rated film is (obviously) twice as fast as a 100 and a 400 is twice as fast as the 200.

  JonnyTub 12:58 24 Aug 2004

Hssutton i believe is a more well versed member in all things that go snap, also a member of the digital photographers forum i believe.

  Tinkey Winkey 20:15 24 Aug 2004

Thank you for your valuable advice and review links.

Gonna get the DSC-V1.


  Stuartli 09:05 25 Aug 2004

>the DSC-V1 is equipped with Hologram AF illuminator that "paints" the subject with a safe Class 1 laser pattern.>>

Makes my first camera, an Ensign Fulvue, given to me in 1950 seem very ordinary now...:-)

But it was the camera that eventually led me to work as a professional until I decided to switch to the reporting side of journalism.

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