It has been shown time and again that the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and other Canon cameras perform better at the following ISO settings: 160, 320, 640, 1250, 3200 when shooting video. These are multiples of 160.

Tho – to be sure, you should do your own testing. Most of these tests were done with the lens cap on and then the noise was exaggerated to make the evaluations… most people won’t be shooting in that much dark.

The problem is, as the ISO gets higher, the dynamic range decreases drastically. The challenge thus is to find the balance between low noise and proper dynamic range to preserve the highlights.

So watch the histogram carefully before pressing the record button, you dont want to have anything blown out!

As a rule of thumb, if you keep the ISO under 800 the loss in dynamic range is relatively minimal but at 800+, it goes down drastically. Then again, you are better off with a clip with blown highlights than nothing, so sometimes you have to get more light in.

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chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind — which covers every aspect of HDSLR cameras (and a whole lot of other cameras as well). A lover of photography since his early days, he graduated to selling stock photos to make a little bit of spare cash. It wasn’t much, but it allowed him to upgrade to better cameras as well as computers, and it wasn’t taking money away from feeding his family.
He loves the stories that the still image can tell. In the summer of 2008, he read a story written by Arnold Kim called “I Quit My Job” — Arn is the owner of He started macrumors in 2000 as a hobby, and by 2008 he was making more money with the site than he was on his day job, so he quit. The surprise to the story is that he was a doctor making more than six figures! Right then and there, planetMitch dreamed about doing the same thing.
September 2008 rolled around, and Canon announced this new version of the incredible 5D — the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. It was the first Canon DSLR to shoot full HD video and the earth moved! (It really was a huge deal in the photography world.) planetMitch knew if there was ever a chance to ride a wave of something he was really passionate about, this was it — and the blog at was born. It is now one of the most popular HDSLR blogs on the planet, and he is making a full-time living from blogging. He couldn’t be happier!
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