Big Shout Out for DeepPRIME XD

Taken with a Nikon D850 at 25,600 ISO and processed in PL6…

Simply stunning!


Maybe it’s the result of downsizing the image: in some parts the strings are hard to see and the beard structure became kind of hairy fluff. But the knitted structure of the jumper is pretty good and the blurred areas are very clean.

No critique, just my impression: The cleaner the areas with no recognizable fine structures are (such as the parts behind the window screen), the more difficult is the loss of finer details in the focused areas.

Unfortunately, yes. Take the full 45Mpx image and you can see each individual beard hair :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I thought so. The D850 is really good at lowlight.

Still absolutely brilliant.

Yes DPXD makes using any ISO nearly irrelevant! I confidently set my camera to Auto-ISO and just shoot.


Actually this has been a thing I have written about since Photolab 4. I shouln’t go so far to say that it doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have got today but more important for the image quality is the post processing tools like Photolab 6 and Deep Prime XD. Since it doesn’t cause any problems for me I use it as default.

When Photolab 4 came I had A7III as my main camera and it happens still to have Sonys best low light sensor years later. According to DXO only the brand new Canon R3 is better of the FF-cameras. Despite I have used that camera for some years I still see it’s limitations very clear.

Without postprocessing is a limit for me at at least around 3200 to 6400 and in fact I can get unclean skies or unclean uniform areas even in pretty good light conditions sometimes on ISO down to say 400 - nothing though that Deep Prime can’t fix.

The thing is that no camera will for a forseable future fix this because they are compromises optimized for speed not clean images free of noise.

After learning about the then new smart automation Auto ISO Minimum Shutter Speed by Mark Galer about five years ago, I got interested. That function sets the shutter speed to 1/the active focal length of your lens and give you five bias settings Slower, Slow, Standard, Fast and Faster on the rear wheel and a possibility to control the min shutter speed as well on the front exposure is in more than 90% a non issue. It us one EV between each of these biases.

Combined with Sonys Eye Focus and smart hierarchic focus tracking and focus points all over the motifs you have all you need to stop worrying about missing the moments. I called this configuration “Sony Click”, because it’s really as simple as Kodak Klick but so much smarter. AF-C is always on and Mark Galer rekommended to use just two Focus Areas - Flexible Spot and Wide - both with tracking always on which made almost the rest of the Focus Areas legacy.

Since then this is my and many others basic setting that never will let you down with inpropriate camera settings for the moment. This geatly has improved my hit rate and my timing.

Just as you wrote - together with Deep Prime XD - and my newer A7 IV the focusing is even better now especially in lowlight with better Eye Focus even for animals and birds.

Today I don’t understand why people still looks for F1,2 lenses and never cameras when Photolab Deep Prime and Photolab wil do much more for our image quality and to a tiny fraction of what new lenses or camera bodies. In fact, nothing substantial has happened at all when it comes to improvements of the sensors since my old Sony A7 r ten years ago but a lot has happened during the same time with Photolab.

It has sometimes been hard to convince some photographs that this is not a straight jacket but total flexibility far from the limitations of “Green P”.

When Deep Prime XD came my limits even increased a step from ISO 10 000 to ISO 12 800.

I can admit one thing though and it is that photographers loving to turn wheels and push buttons might think this method ruins their fun but since the very same photographers use to talk about the “picture” all the time and that it is purely dependent on the turning of camera wheels and pushing buttons until the very moment occurs, because of their care for the image quality but my answer to that is that my fun starts when i open Photolab. The exposure moment for me is just about composition and harvest as good image data as possible. Sony Click gives us the posdibility to focus 100% on the motifs and 0% on the camera by deafault. If we want to interfere as photographers there are all the posdibilities for that as well.

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Hmmm. I guess i am strongly influenced by something attributed to Ansel Adams, along the lines of “the better the negative, the easier it is to print”.

Possibly due to my background in LF photography, I took the time to test my camera’s sensor to find its limitations. So now I am able to meter and calculate precisely how to perfectly expose the highlights in an image - something that is not always possible using auto or semi-auto modes.

My “system” involves using spot metering, not necessarily on the centre of the frame and, by using manual shutter speed, aperture and ISO, to be able to fix that exposure, even when I change the framing.

Then, sometime last year, I was introduced to back button focusing, where touching the shutter doesn’t change the focus, allowing me to find the perfect focus with a single point and then reframe, just as with the exposure.


  • spot focus using back button
  • spot meter
  • frame and compose

At least, it works for me :smiley:


Forget “free of noise”. Light itself varies and therefore produces noise. How far should we go in getting rid of what is natural?

That’s one third of a stop only - at the price of longer export times.

(5x longer export times on my iMac with “No Correction” and NR set to DP and DPXD respectively)

A step not a stop :slight_smile:

@Stenis stop or f-stop stands for aperture values. “step” I never heard for an aperture or ISO value

Yes there are conditions when we gain with an override of the automatik systems and as I said, nothing is stopping us from overriding auto-AF support just with moving the eye a bit these days and nothing is stopping us from overriding exposure bias and auto shutter speed either. What Sony Click is all about is improving our timing tremendously.

When it comes to handle slightly overexposed skies you are talking about Photolab is not the master. Then Capture One is far better, so that is one of the areas where DXO have to improve Photolab.

I am a slow photographer since all these days in the analog world an I have lost so many moments in my more than 50 years as a photographer standing there turning the focus rings on my lenses with poor focus aids like microprisms and other pretty mediocre optical view finder solutions that just ceased working a s soon as it got the least dark. Of that reason I have taken very very few images of children historically but with my last cameras I´m far less restricted than I was due to the smart and flexible auto functions there is today.

So, don´t make this a vs question between completely manual photography and completely automatic, because that choice is not pressed on you today at all as it was earlier. Today it´s just about a really smart and flexible auto support of both exposure and auto focus that you can override instantly any moment you like or feel for. Reactions like yours is still very common but more and more photographers start to discover the benefits this can offer and realize that these auto functions really can make a lot to improve our timing when we can focus 100% on motif and composition instead of on our dumbed down cameras.

Yes, “the image” many prefer to talk about but often misses because they are too preoccupied focusing on fiddling with their cameras instead. Many are still focusing on handling a camera whose ergonomics in the reality often is coming between the photographer and the image they want to take. I have heard many traditional photographers criticising all these tech centric photographers for not putting the image in the center but strangely enough it´s this new technology that finally made all these tech centered photographers focusing to 100% on “the image” and leaving the traditional photographers focus on how to handle the tech. In my eyes this photo world seems to have turned completely upside down leaving these traditionalists ther on the bottom. It´s really an irony.

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For me it means a step not specifying how long it was, that´s all.

1/3 of a stop is hardly noticeable at all. The point is, although the ISO numbers take sometimes longer to speak them out than set up the camera and take the picture: 25.600 is only one f-stop away from 12.800. But anyway, you appear to have a complete different mindset, as well as @Joanna

One person happy with as much Auto as possible, the other truly believes only manually set-up cameras take great images. I find that’s comparing a parking car against a driving one: rather pointless. Enough time given, endless orgies of manual setup are possible. On a tripod. While “changing” the “sensor” after each shot. While other times I’m happier to set up guidelines for some automatic function, knowing I can rely on it. And knowing I could not be faster setting up everything manually. I can be faster using a simpler body with only basic, but well inplemented functions than pulling out a manual (or starting it on a tablet) to find out in which sub-sub-cave of the menu a rather “normal” function is hidden.

I don’t. I use manual when I want to and other modes like aperture priority, speed priority and continuous auto-focus when I need them. As a professional photographer, I have learned to be skilled in whatever suits the image(s) I want to produce.

After around 60 years of photography experience, just hand me a camera and I will produce a correctly exposed, framed, focused, etc image


Still don’t seems to get it do you? Sony Click doen’t prevent us from doing all the things you say you like to do. It just gives you a better starting point and far better odds not missing any images because your camera settings happens to be out of sync with the moment. It’s just a safety net checking exposure and AF-conditions 60 times a second.

I’m not just talking about the images you and I for that matter managed to take - I’m really more interested in the ones both you and I missed because we didn’t have the timing right in those old bad days of poor equipment. Modern cameras and equipment like drones for example has made it possible to take a lot of images that we just hadn’t been able to take before and some of the images we take now are a late proof of that.

Still there are photographers that believes nothing has happened and that their present images quality happened because just they happened to be in the possession of some sort of unique skillfulness. I find that a little amusing.

I’m talking about technical image quality now and that isn’t always determining what people might perceive as a good image but often it is a prerequisite we have learned to take for given these days - so much that we hardly recognize they are the very backbone of photography to day and if they hadn’t a lot of people would swear about what is coming out of both system cameras and mobile phones and mostly they don’t.

Drop it, that isn’t the point at all. Even a camera like best in class A7 III gets problems already at 6400. Earlier I had my top ISO set to 8 000. Now I have it on 10 000 but some people still think it’s alright at 12 800 in bad light. Still the noise is visible from time to time even at both 200 and 400 but there is a limit at 10 000 to 12 800 even with the help of Deep Prime XD. Still an image taken above that is better than nothing at all.

It’s not about just a nominal ISO-values either and realizing that is just to look at some testers on the net like Ken Rockwell that dial in even higher ISO-values witout putting it to a test because of the use of too well lit motifs. Look at his test of A7 III and you will understand what I mean.

@Stenis debating ISO on a technical basis, and not defining the “problems” questionable “best in class” cameras have from questionable “ISO limits” on is simply ridiculous and not worth a serious debate!

Why? If I need high ISO, then there’s no way around and I have to use them. Few posts ago you were making fun of f/1.2 lenses, but as it was the same post in which you stated there was not much of sensor improvement

I thought it’s pointless to discuss. So many errors, keep 'em.

All hardware achivements when it comes low light performance for sensors and lenses are very very limited with one exception. Today most modern lenses are sharp wide open. They were not earlier. Then they had very impressive nice and low F-numbers that renderad the manufacturers a far better revenue but frankly, most of them were pretty useless wide open.

A7III is the second best lowlight score ever measured on a FF at DXO, just the new R3 is better period. Still nothing much has happened with the sensors in 10 years when it comes to low light performance.

Almost all of significance has happened in the software the last 5-10 years. That is what it all boils down to and that isn’t all that hard to verify if we just make a few empiric tests ourselves.

Of course a lot of other things has been very important as the AF-revolution that really have improved AF accuracy even in very low light. Image stabilisation now 8x in the newest cameras will also contribute a lot.

When I look at the old images I scan for the moment like dia positives it’s really striking how poor their technical quality is concerning color stability, DR, sharpness etc compared to what I get out of my A7IV BUT If I put the same lenses I once used on my Pentax ME from the seventies on my A7IV, it strikes me how good they really are stopped down a stop or two. So what explaines these differences. My remarkable development as a photographer the last ten 15 years? - I admit myself to smile :-).

No, manual focus with really archaic and shitty focusing aid and the media limitations that were very limiting explaines a lot. Just having to live constatly with a film sensitivity of 50 ASA/ISO was a hard school or maybe 400 ASA with B/W at the most

Today we have on top of all other modern features an EVF that tells us in real time how our images will look even before we have taken them. How can anybody with this technical support really fail, would be a more relevant question, wouldn’t it? Isn’t that so Joanna :slight_smile: Today a monkey can take better images technically than I managed to do with my analog camera and the film of those days back in the seventies.

I agree to 100% with Mark @rrblint. I have drawn exactly the same conclusions of what the last five years have ment purely practically when it comes to postprocessing and high ISO-images, taken in poor light conditions. Deep Prime, Sony Real Time AF Tracking and Auto ISO Min.Shutter Speed changed everything for me including how I use and configure my cameras and how I postprocess my images. I’m not at all alone when it comes to conclusions like that.

A lot of users is doing exactly the same nowadays - becsuse they also have found that these systems will greatly improve their timing and giving them more keepers than before

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Exactly what don’t I get?

For me, personally, my style of photography and the equipment I use, suit me.

Having said that, there are all sorts of cameras out there, that suit all sorts of people. If they are happy, I don’t see a problem. Unless they are having problems getting the type and quality of imagers they want to get. Which is when I sometimes advise such folks to “take back control”.