Every time I get a new camera, like most photographers, I spend some time getting acclimated to the camera’s new capabilities and performance characteristics. However, maybe unlike many other photographers, I don’t just jump in the car and head off to my favorite haunt and start shooting. Instead I spend some time with a test chart that I’ve designed that enables me to really dial in to what the camera is doing, in a very controlled manner.
I do this for two reasons. First, to get the most out of my photography, I want to understand exactly how my camera is going to be have at all of it’s ISO settings. Remember, the ISO setting controls how much noise will be in the image, and as a result, it also has a major impact on the camera’s dynamic range when shooting at that ISO.
The second reason I do this is to be able to carefully setup ISO specific defaults in Lightroom Classic CC to optimize my sharpening and noise reduction settings. This is a great time saver as you can optimize your noise reduction and sharpening settings with the changes in noise as you move through the camera’s ISO range, saving you from having to both compromise on the default quality and from having to spend additional time tuning each image.
The test target I used in this video is of my own design, and you can download it from my article covering the process of Testing and Acclimating to a new camera. Additionally, you can find a more detailed video on how to figure out what your sharpening settings should be on my YouTube Channel.