One of the main reasons for my recent camera upgrade from the Canon 5D to the new 5D mark II was the ability to shoot at higher ISO settings without a significant degradation to the image. In my stock photography, I never went over ISO 400 with the original 5D and typically stayed under 200. While this was fine for shooting in studio, when I shot outdoors with existing light I frequently found myself shooting at a slower shutter speed than I would have preferred.

On a recent outdoor session, I was able to put the Mark II’s higher ISO ability to a test. It was an overcast day and I used a combination of reflector and speedlite to accentuate the diffused natural lighting. By pushing the ISO to 800 for this image, I was able to use a shutter speed of 1/250 to eliminate camera shake. Had I used ISO 100 for this image I would have been forced to a shutter speed of 1/30, all but guaranteeing camera shake.

The final test for this image was to submit it to iStockphoto for inspection. I’m pleased to report that the shot passed and is now in my stock portfolio. My next test will be to submit an image shot at ISO 1000.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200 f/4L lens – 1/250 second, f/4, ISO 800