Crazy rumor: freeze your camera to get better high ISO

Read the whole story @ ThePhoblographer. Btw, the camera used in the experiment was a Sony A350.

Want to see a frozen Nikon D90 camera?

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  • Jesus_sti

    A part of the noise is creat by the heat of the captor. Sony have this problem about heat. Froze it and no more problem.

  • Derek

    That is NOT A SONY A350. That is a Canon of some sort. ( I promise ).

    • WoutK89

      Maybe you need to read that the camera used in the link, IS a a350

    • PR admin

      sorry, could not find a frozen Sony on flickr :)

      • Sky

        When I’ll freeze my A200 you may take a photo. ;)

  • Tomas

    It is very much likely to improve signal to noise ratio. At cool temperatures, the heat generated noise becomes less important. There are numerous examples from liquid nitrogen cooled overclocked CPUs to NMR cryprobes. I’ve used the latter one for 13C spectra, and it makes such a huge difference over regular probes with far less sample.
    The important thing here is not kill the camera when it thaws out due to moisture condensing inside.

  • Ciprian

    Which gives me a very good idea: I’ll keep all my long exposure photography for the winter nights. Which means I’ll be freezing along with my beloved D300. We’ll both be less noisy after a few hours in the cold :(

    • PR admin


  • dude

    next alpha DSLR will come with built-in freezer.

  • Gobyli

    actually…I wonder if any of the researchers had cryogenic processed CCD or CMOS sensors to check their effects on sensors…
    it’s gonna increase the production cost of course, but if that can bring exceptional iso performance, that should justify the extra cost of the sensors as they’re only gonna be used on pro bodies

  • Lyr

    Having used single photon detectors (so very very sensitive light sensor), I know that cooling it is good to reduce thermal noise.

    But reducing temperature is also reducing electron mobility, i.e. reducing amplitude of the signal received for a given amount of light. Thus reducing the S/N ratio, because even at 0 thermal noise, you’ll still have statistical noise because light is quanta.

    So the detector we were using was cooled down to -70°C for the best tradeoff between thermal noise and efficiency.

    In short: don’t put your camera in liquid helium, it’s of no use, it will be worse (and I’m only talking about sensor ;op )

  • Rich Seiling

    Dedicated CCD cameras used for astronomical photography have chillers built in to achieve this effect.

  • Anonymous

    Yyep,, that is exactly why video on DSLR is stupid because it heat up the sensor ang you get more hot captors and lots of noise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • danm_cool

    This is not new! I heard about high iso and fridge trick at least 5 (FIVE) years ago. Of course never tried because I was afraid of breaking the camera, but I have one friend that did it several years ago with different cameras, compact and dslr, and it works at some point, don’t expect the change to be huge though!

  • Dude

    Keep in mind that the A350 is not targeted to high ISO.
    So the effect might be more stunning over cameras that have good high ISO performance by default.

    On the other hand people that love the A350, do it for it’s great low ISO performance.
    I would go that far to say the dynamic range and colours at ISO100 are the best over all APS-C DSLRs.

    Sony has got a lot of bad reviews for their high ISO performance.
    But the base ISO image quality is often better than Canon and Nikon.
    too bad they seem to jump the mainstrem boat in the future (looking at A500/A550).

  • Geoff

    High sensitivity cameras for fluorescence microscopy are cooled (usually to -10C) by a Peltier device to give a better SNR. This is usually coupled to a small fan to remove the heat from the other side of the Peltier- not something that is really practical for an ordinary camera.

  • Fotograf Stuttgart

    freeze your camera or buy Nikon D3*

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