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5D Mark 3 Low Light Images = really slow!!!

Aceninja
Apprentice

Hello,

 

I've got a rather odd problem. When shooting in low light (think pitch black, lightning shots etc) the 5d mark iii takes forever to display the image on the preview screen. It takes up to a minute or more and I can see the red light (indicating the camera is busy writing?) flickering the whole time. Thinking this was a memory card issue, I switched over to the SD Card slot (I was shooting CF before) and encountered the same issue. I'm using San Disk Extreme (30MBPS) CF Card and Extreme (45MBPS) SD Card. 

 

Are these cards not fast enough for what I'm doing? I'm shooting in RAW + JPEG, writing to only one card.

 

I thought it was a camera defect, but I talked to a friend of mine who had just bought his Mark iii and he had the same complaint.

 

Anyone else encountering this problem or did we just get a bad batch?

 

Any light you can shed on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

hsbn
Whiz

I think it is more likely to be Long Exposure Noise Reduction. What is the exposure shutter value? Since you said it's almost pitch-black, the exposure could be long. So you have to give us some information.

For example, if your shuter speed is 1/10 and it took 5 seconds to show up then it's something wrong. But if it's a 5s exposure and it took 5 second to show up, then it's normal.

About using SD card with 5DMIII, the limit speed is 20Mbps which is still plenty fast for still capture. And also, there is camera buffer also. Therefore you won't see the slow down in normal shooting situation (no burst). In short, I think it is due to Long Exposure Noise Reduction which is turned to AUTO by default.

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Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide

View solution in original post

6 REPLIES 6

Skirball
Authority

You probably have long exposure noise reduction on.  It'll take the shot, then take another for the same amount of time without the shutter open so it can subtract the noise.  It'll double the amount of time it takes.

 

Edit:  sorry, I jumped the gun and didn't read it thoroughly enough.  Doesn't sound like long exposure NR issue.  Try taking out the SD card?  It shouldn't slow things down that much, but there is the issue with the SD card slowing down write speed significantly.  It'd be interesting if others observe the same, the fact that you and your friend have the same issue.

hsbn
Whiz

I think it is more likely to be Long Exposure Noise Reduction. What is the exposure shutter value? Since you said it's almost pitch-black, the exposure could be long. So you have to give us some information.

For example, if your shuter speed is 1/10 and it took 5 seconds to show up then it's something wrong. But if it's a 5s exposure and it took 5 second to show up, then it's normal.

About using SD card with 5DMIII, the limit speed is 20Mbps which is still plenty fast for still capture. And also, there is camera buffer also. Therefore you won't see the slow down in normal shooting situation (no burst). In short, I think it is due to Long Exposure Noise Reduction which is turned to AUTO by default.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide

Thank you! It was the Long Exposure NR indeed. I was taking 30 second exposures and no wonder it seemed like an eternity. I unchecked it and sure enough the images are being displayed in a timely manner. Come to think of it the NR wasn't that good anyway. 

 

I'm a bit new @ this. Do you guys have any recommendation on reducing noise other than use a lower ISO?

 

I've been using Photoshop CS6 and reduce noise off the menu. Is there a better way?

I swore when I read this the second time I saw something about the screen flickering, not the read light.  Seems I'm losing it.

 

I use the Lightroom noise tool for light noise reduction of everyday type photos.  But if I'm doing something that needs a lot of work - HDR, photochopping, or just really high ISO, I use Imagenomics Noiseware.  It can be a bit heavy, but I usually just feather in a NR layer overtop of my normal image(s) accordingly.  It does really well on low key images, getting a uniform Black.

Like Skirball, I'm using LR for most of noise reduction too. If you are using Photoshop, then ACR has the same noise reduction function as LR.

You can use third party software like Noise Ninja, Topaz Denoise, Nik Dfine, etc.

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Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide

Thanks for this. I hope this was my problem also. I took some long 20-30 sec. exposures - even longer "bulb" shots last year in extreme dark settings with no problem. I tried to get some lightning, storm shots about 1 hour ago - first storm this year - and just ran into this "BUSY" message on the back, missing a slew of oppertunties for other pics before the rain came in.

Didn't know what the issue was, but whoa, it was frustrating!! Seems like my Noise Reduction was set to "On." I don't even recall setting it to on, (beats me!) . Anyway, thanks for the answer! 

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