Light Sensitivity boost is the ability for some cameras to boost past their normal max ISO level, often the file size is lowered as a consequence of this. Lowering the file size allows the camera to use the full sensor in order to capture enough light for fewer pixels helping reduce the noise per pixel. The boost levels can be extremely high but they do come with a subsequent increase in noise. Boost modes are still useful especially when you can't use a flash and you have no other choice.

Example of Super High ISO Boost

The following is an example of light sensitivity boosting on a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, one photo shows the resultant image resized down from 16MP to a web size print and the other shows a full crop (cropped portion is the black square. As you can see even after resizing down to a very small photo the noise cannot be hidden. Whether this is still usable depends on the use - but for some work, especially when converted to BW where the noise is less offensive, this is acceptable. The 100% crop clearly shows that most of the sensors resolution is being shedded in exchange for sensitive 10 stops over 100 ISO - allowing exposures of 1/1000 the length - very impressive!

Resized - Canon EOS 1D Mk IV 102400 ISO Example
photo of art gallery taken on a Canon EOS 1D Mk IV at 102500 ISOPhoto via SlvrScoobie taken with a Canon EOS 1d Mk IV at 102,400 ISO.
100% Crop - Canon EOS 1D Mk IV 102,400 ISO Example
photo of art gallery taken on a Canon EOS 1D Mk IV at 102500 ISO - 100% crop100% crop of photo via SlvrScoobie taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mk IV at 102400 ISO detailing noise levels.

High ISO Digital Cameras

The following SLRs provide the highest ISO sensitivity boost.

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