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Old 10-11-2015, 01:25 PM
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Effect of upgrading firmware and ISO on older DSLR

Hi guys,

Now that I have a cooled DSLR in the form of my old Canon 400D, I am considering getting a wider angle lens to do some wider field shots and movies. The camera is IR modified as well.

The only thing missing is that the camera only goes up to ISO1600 and ideally would like to shoot at ISO3200. Rather than spend $2k on something like a Canon 6D and lens, I was hoping to simply upgrade the firmware to give me ISO3200 and get a manual focus wide angle lens for a few hundred bucks.

The questions I have are:

1. How bad will the images be on a Canon 400D at ISO3200 compared to a newer model Canon DSLR? Remember though that my camera is cooled and modded.

2. If I update the firmware with ISO3200, is there any affect on using Backyard EOS?

3. Any manual focus lens recommendations? I currently have a Sigma 17 - 70mm lens but want to go wider than this for Milkyway Panoramas and Movies. Manual focus is fine and only have a budget of a few hundred bucks.

Thanks in advance and clear skies.

John K.
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Old 10-11-2015, 01:56 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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I don't know of any software upgrade that will double the ISO rating for any Canon camera but I'd imagine the noise would increase quite a bit.
My 1200D goes to ISO6400 and I've used that with 30 sec exposures quite happily. The newer sensors seem to be far better than ones from a few years back.
I run the 450D at either 800 or 1600, it's top ISO and it seems quite good noise wise. A few darks sorts out any minor problems.

The 1200D only cost me $500 and seems to be one of the better DSLR Astro options.
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Old 10-11-2015, 01:58 PM
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pluto (Hugh)
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You can get some great manual Canon FD and Nikon AI lenses on ebay for quite cheap. I've bought a couple from this seller in Japan and they've been in excellent condition, exactly as described: http://stores.ebay.com.au/japancamerama34/
You can get very cheap adapters from FD or AI to EF too.

If you want to spend a bit more I can recommend the Voightlander 20mm f3.5, very nice lens. But I guess this won't be too wide on an APS-C.

As for you main question, even my old 5DmkII was pretty noisy at ISO3200, even on a cold night but I guess with cooling you might get something usable. If the 400D is working for you and you don't want to spend money then keep using it (and the firmware hack is free), if you do want to spend money then IMO I wouldn't spend it on the 400D, not when you can get something like a brand new Sony A7r body for under $2k. Just my opinion
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroID View Post
I don't know of any software upgrade that will double the ISO rating for any Canon camera but I'd imagine the noise would increase quite a bit.
400plus:
https://github.com/400plus/400plus/wiki/User-guide
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:13 PM
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Personally I would not push a 400D that high, regardless of if an upgrade could provide it. Your camera is cooled right, so you should be able to shoot at around 0C and the sensor is very happy (and clean) at that temperature). Bumping up the ISO is going to increase noise, expecially on a camera not engineered to run at that ISO. A firmware upgrade will not address hardware issues that might be generated at that speed.

Really ISO 1600 is plenty on these cameras, unless your running f12 refractors or something like that, in which case you have the wrong camera. Craig Stark did a noise/dark comparison of various Canon models and it's a worthwhile read if you can find it.
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Old 10-11-2015, 04:09 PM
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Thanks guys,

All good comments. I think that the best solution will be a really fast wide angle lens that will get the max out of ISO1600. I guess I can upgrade the firmware and not use the higher ISO.

Anyone upgrade the firmware and have any issues with Backyard EOS?

Any recommendations on fast wide angle lenses? I thought that something like a Rokinson would be the go at the moment in terms of value for money and non auto focus?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2_8_ed_as.html

Last edited by John K; 10-11-2015 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pluto View Post
Well who knew ? And it's non permanent. Always worth a try although as mentioned noise becomes an big issue.

It says only for the 400. Is it available for any other models ?
Just curious ... I have the 1200D and now I've modded the 450D for IR and soon cooling. Not as hard to do as I expected.

Now just got to wait till the clouds clear ...
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Old 17-11-2015, 07:20 PM
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G'day John,

I have done a lot with a cooled 350D and always wished I had ISO 3200, I have no doubt that it would have handled it really well. If you have the option to get it on your camera I reckon it'd be worth while.

I don't think noise will be an issue to much, amp glow could be a problem though.

Check out Samyang for fast wide manual focus lenses, I recommend them.

Cheers
Jo

Edit, just read further posts and saw you were looking at the Rokinon (rebranded Samyang) I haven't used that particular one, but I think you won't be disappointed.
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