Nikon Coolpix P6000 ISO Tests

I uploaded two test images to my Picasa Web Albums rather than Flickr. I did this because I am running out of upload ration for the month on Flickr and i wanted to test the latest PicasaWeb uploader Lightroom Add-In from Jeff Friedl.

Picasa Web Albums don’t seem to support a “Blog This” function directly so I am trying the two ways they offer to link to an album:

The simple

Click here

and the snazzy:

Nikon Coolpix P6000

Here are some notes on what I did:

  • There are two tests – a “studio” image shot in my Bangkok apartment and a night view from the window of the apartment.
  • In each case I took the same image with the P6000 on a tripod and I used the self-timer to virtually eliminate camera shake.
  • I shot using the P6000’s RAW format – NRW – in aperture priority with the lens stopped down to F7.2. I thought this would produce the best quality image the camera was capable of. (I want to comment in another blog entry about NRW).
  • When shooting JPEG files the P6000 supports ISO speeds up to ASA 6400. But in RAW mode the maximum is ASA 2000.
  • I shot images at ISO 64 (base), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 2000. Those are all the options I had. Interestingly when shooting on Auto the camera often selects a strange ISO like 122 or 238. I haven’t seen a cemera do that before.
  • Since I was shooting RAW I didn’t worry about White Balance. For the faux studio shot I put a Kodak gray card in the image and set the white balance to the colour of the card’s approximate centre in Lightroom.
  • I imported all the images to Lightroom and only adjusted the white balance. I did no post processing on the out-of-the-window shots.
  • I then printed the 7 images from each photo to JPEG files using a Lightroom template I made my very self. I am still learning about Lightroom’s capabilities here so this was good practice.
  • The intention wasn’t to do a scientific comparison as the folks do at dpreview.com but I think I made my point. ISO 400 is marginally acceptable – anything above that is a disgrace to the Nikon name.

I am sure my “scientific method” leaves a lot to be desired. Trying it makes me admire the people who do this for a living. Please feel free to make suggestions and comments.

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