D-300 Noise...Disappointed

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kevin_delson, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. I've had the D-300 for several months now.
    First; it is a wonderful camera in many ways..perhaps one of the best in the APS-C sensor arena.
    I am somewhat disappointed in it's low light ISO performance even at ISO 400-800.
    I know it's an improvement over the D-200 in sensor design, but still, it seems this sensor will not produce professional quality images at even ISO 400.
    Here's a sample I shot with the SB-600 and simply dragges the shutter a little.
    Personally, for me, it's unusable.
    I wonder if anyone has feels the same?
    Comments that you should have bought a 700 or D3 are forgone conclusions.
    00UeJD-177775784.jpg
     
  2. You have a well-lit foreground and a dimly lit background.
    That is, imho, the challenge here, not the camera.
     
  3. Thanks Peter, BUT,
    Even the referee is not that acceptable noise wise.
    Again, great canera, but IMO lacking in low light higher ISO's.
    I really expected ISO 400-800 to be better.
     
  4. Since it looks like you shoot sports, and often the games are in the evening, I generally use ISO 1600 or higher. I always use noise reduction software in post processing. This should solve the problem. Do a search of the forums for recommendations on noise reduction software and techniques.
     
  5. Kevin, what is "acceptable" noise or grain is very subjective. Also, factors such as raw processing, amount of sharpening, exposure and final printed size are all important factors in determining what is acceptable or not, IMO. I shoot available light with D70 and D80 all the time at iso 1600 and get very acceptable results. Here's a shot at iso 400 with some bounce flash in a dark room. Shot in raw with D80, processed in ACR in CS4 with no sharpening. Processed to full size at 300 ppi, which would make a roughly 8.5 x 13 inch print at 100%. I even sharpened some with smartsharpen at amount=200, radius =0.3 at the final size. What do you think of the amount of noise here?
    00UeKi-177783584.jpg
     
  6. here's full frame
    00UeKl-177783684.jpg
     
  7. That sample photo of the referee is too small to see any noise. Are you referring to luminance noise, chroma noise or artifacts from editing and JPEG compression?
     
  8. Steve, Thanks.
    Seriously? I find the level of noise I'm seeing in these two shots unacceptable for anything except snapshot printing for family & friends. Please; I intend no disrespect; it's my honest evaluation.
    I'm fairly well versed in PP noise reduction, but all those basically do is a reverse engineering of gaussian blur and often make the image worse. I'm ok with (selective) NR, such as a large expanses of sky, but not on facial skin tones.
    My OP was not so much a complaint as it was expressing my disappointment.
    Other than that, I think the D-300 rocks!
    Perhaps in the next generation of APS-C sensors, the engineers will continue to improve in this area. It's either that or I will soon be purchasing a FX body since I do shoot some sports and submit images to magazines.
     
  9. Thanks Lex....
    The original was shot RAW lossless compressed.
    The histogram was great (ignoring the clouds)..I think I did 1/3 stop down exp comp as the ref was a little high in the whites. I set Capture NX at 249-249-249 as my clip level.
    Chroma noise is present and very heavy where I expect it to be (blue channel)
    All was saved as JPG at the max setting via Capture NX.
    I realize it's difficult to analyze photos from the web, but believe me, this image of the ref, (ignore the clouds) would not survive the scrutiny of a magazine submission based on the noise in the Ref's shirt and hat.
     
  10. When I first got my D-300 I was also expecting better noise characteristics, then two things changed my mind. First I went back and reviewed my D80 images and the noise was definitely worse (probably because the D80 was constantly blowing the highlights, which the D300 does not, and I had to constantly dial in -0.7 EV or so). AND I recently started scanning a bunch of my slide and negative collections. Boy, talk about noise! We are all spoiled by todays generation of DSLRs compared to transparency and negatives from 10 years ago.
    If the D300 is too noisy for you then it is the wrong tool - perhaps a full frame D700 would suite you better, but if you really look you can find noise in its images as well.
    Also, remember that you need to ETTR (expose to the right) to get the least noise in your images with the D300.
    My 2 cents - John
     
  11. Not wanting to beat a dead horse..here is the last sample image I'll post.
    Same night...ISO 800..shot RAW. Facial?..No way.
    Still; I was only wondering if anyone else felt as I did?
    00UeLo-177787784.jpg
     
  12. Perhaps you'd rather the noise of high-ISO film?
    How big are you printing that you are seeing this noise in the prints? Or how do you use them?
     
  13. John, I think you are correct..The D-700 will probably suit me better for this type of shooting; esp when I need to go up to ISO 1,600.
    Peter, the 2nd test image was going to go to a magazine, but I'm afraid to even send it to them. For lack of a better term, the quality sucks! LOL..I know it was a difficult shooting scenario getting the white pants and shirt stripes not to blow out and still render acceptable exposure of the faces. I believe a FX sensor would have rendered the faces considerably better (Less noise artifacts)
     
  14. I too, have a D300 after upgrading from a D200. I see a bigger improvement overall in my purchase of the higher grade 2.8 Nikon Zooms. The noise is less with the D300, but I must say the original reviews touted ISO as high as 1200-1600 with acceptable results. I disagree as well. I set my D300 usually to no higher than 800. I also agree that using noise redux in PS4 rather than Aperture gives WAY better results due to the amount of control. I have also started to stay away from Sharpen in aperture and the noise in the background is greatly reduced. There are so many variables it really takes a while to see what works best for each shooting situation, then post.
     
  15. For some strange reason I find the D300 performs better at ISO 1600 than 800. When I look at the "this vs. that" camera reviews (DPR) the D300, still leads the pack in high ISO noise performance. So, like it or not, there isn't anything better out there in APS size sensor DSLR's, in my opinion.
     
  16. John... please explain ETTR Expose to the right.
     
  17. It's hard to tell anything from small jpgs, we need 100% crops. Unless they mag is printing it as a double page spread I can't imagine the D300 at iso 400 not cutting it, I'm sure not all sports shooters are using D3/D700s.
    If the noise is unacceptable in the faces did you underexpose at all? *ANY* change of exposure/brightness in post seems to really being out the noise. NX2 is also much better than anything else I have tried at dealing with it.
    For the second shot you could have used a tripod.
     
  18. yes, the second image doesn't tell us much without 100% crops.
    Tom, ETTR, means that you try and get your histogram to "kiss" the right side of the scale (highlights) rather than the left side (shadows). The difference between those two images would be humongous, potentially.
    ETTR-ed images on a D300 should be nearly as good as it gets with high ISO these days. Again, what are you comparing it to that you've used in the past?
     
  19. sorry, i'm just not seeing the problem here.
    i've printed as big as 16x20 and found noise levels acceptable, even at high ISOs.
    to each his own, i suppose.
     
  20. get better glass. not everyone uses a full frame camera or for that matter the latest gear on the market. plus these conditions your shooting in aren't a piece of cake either. also i agree with some of the other posters saying that we need a 100% crop to accurately judge.
     
  21. I can't tell anything from your small jpgs except that you have badly burnt out the whites.
     
  22. Thanks all for the responses.
    Sure, I can post 100% crop when I get home if you are all curious.
    ETTR is pretty meaningless in low light levels.
    For the second shot you could have used a tripod.​
    Why?
    David, thanks..and I whole heartedly agree; the conditions last night were terrible...poorly lit stadium and relying on the flash to carry the day is not the best scenario. I was hoping to balance the fill with available, not last night with the low light.
    Mark; I'm a firm believer is "face-masking" and did so with the 2nd image..Histogram looked well balanced with no wild fluctuations or low levels buried in the noise floor.
    I appreciate all the input on my disappointment; not my complaint..I'll say it again; despite this, I find the D-300 a great piece of hardware.
     
  23. Hmmmm. My example printed at 8.5 x13 would not exhibit any noticeable noise at normal viewing distances. Another consideration is that if I were to print at 8.5 x13 in. or larger I would only have selectively sharpened a few details on the girl's face and dress, meaning the out of focus areas would be even less noisy. In ACR I turn up chroma noise reduction all the way and leave luminance noise reduction at zero. Can you do that in NX? On your second shot the only problem I see is blown highlights. In assessing noise one has to determine final image or print size. How big do you want these prints? Only then can you asses noise acceptability.
    As others have noted, it would be nice to see your examples at 100%.
     
  24. Steve, Thanks again.
    I could have exposed for the ref's pants but then the faces would be wayyyyyy too dark. LOL
    It was just a tuff shooting situation at night and using straight on flash.
    The faces are still underexposed a bit; curious when I consider I used FV lock off the facial tones for my TTL metering; but that is off my main disappointment posting.
    I'm going to re-shoot the ref crew in daylight with balanced fill.
    I know better then to try to pull off a shot like this under such conditions, but it was a assignment I agreed too w/o fully evaluating the D-300 low light high ISO performance. Usually I have more time before accepting a assignment where I will bring additional lighting etc..I was caught off guard and have only myself to blame.
    The guys in the photo are rated #8 out of 165 Ref Crews, so I have to do this over; and better. :)
    I'll get a 100% crop later for you all to examine.
    I've pretty much concluded the S/N is less with the D-300 than it's FX counterpart...I think my research may well prove this when I get home.
     
  25. I agree that the samples provided don't help us see the noise at all. 100% crops of a section of the photo with low jpeg compression would tell us more. Also, it would help if we knew the shutter speed and aperture that was used. Also, the type of lens makes a huge difference. When I started shooting with my D300 with a 2.8 lens in a indoor concert setting I was very happy with the noise compared to previous generation digital cameras.
    Using a monopod or tripod would allow you to use a slower shutter speed with less camera movement/blurring. This allows more light in and therefore less noise. But I'm curious as to the original shutter speed used in the examples photos.
     
  26. ETTR is pretty meaningless in low light levels.​
    I disagree. A 'pulled' shot at a higher iso works better than a 'pushed' shot at a lower iso.
    For the second shot you could have used a tripod.
    Why?​
    A longer shutter speed with lower iso could have been used while keeping the same detail in the background. I assume the reason you used a higher iso in the first place was due to trying to handhold?
     
  27. Welllllll;
    I was at 125th VR engaged...too much slower than that would risk subject blur.
    The shot was not 100% flash.
    Here's the image zoomewd to 100% or actual pixels..EXIF date is intact.
    My opinion?..Horrible chroma & Luminosity noise. Unacceptable IMO.
    00UeRX-177819684.jpg
     
  28. All I see in the second picture is insanely high contrast, such that the faces are the ONLY places you can see any detail. How is a magazine supposed to work with that, anyway? The hyper-vivid stripes make my eyes ring, but there's nothing in that picture that looks like sensor noise.
     
  29. Kevin, how many pictures you submitted to magazines were refused because of noise? I'm curious. The D300 is one of the best APS-C cameras around when it comes to low noise. I'm not a pro but I know many sports pros shoot D300 or similar quality APS-C cameras so if that's not good enough I wonder what is.
    Of course the S/N is less with the D300 than its FX counterparts. If you expected that to be different it's no wonder you are disappointed. Still, it's good enough for most.
    In that last picture the face looks to me like an attempt at salvaging a slightly misfocused image by relatively large amounts of deconvolution sharpening, which causes some speckles. Not saying that is the case, only that if I do that it looks like this. I see the same speckles in the black stripes but I don't see any chroma noise worth mentioning in the background or in the black stripes, but that might be because of the contrast, or a high black point or low color saturation.
     
  30. Shoot Film. No noise!
     
  31. I actually think that both pictures of the ref are pretty good, and I don't see any grain. Maybe that's my problem.
     
  32. Based on the 100% crop with good post processing that should be fine.
    Also there is no way you would have got subject blur on that shot, the guys are lit almost entirely by flash and even then I have got portraits at 1/30 with zero subject blur. You could have shot that at much lower iso especially shooting at 27mm (135 equiv)
     
  33. I can get really good results, even out to 3200, so I think you are not using the cameras picture controls and Active D lighting features properly
    I'll take some samples and post them up. If you search the Nikon threads you will find all sorts of tips on this.
     
  34. I think you are not using the cameras picture controls and Active D lighting features properly​
    hmm...i try to turn active d-lighting off at higher ISOs, especially with people shots...i had it set at low, then finally turned it off altogether. IMO it works best at lower ISOs...as far as the d300 goes, i've gotten good no-flash shots up to 2500...
     
  35. I felt somewhat as you do when I first got my D300. But within a short time I learned that I through effective post processing I could get superb ISO 1600 images with the D300 that rivaled ISO 200 and ISO 400 for detail and IQ.
     
  36. Too me what seems unusable isn't this "noise" debacle but the content an composition/balance of the photograph.
    If you want 100% noise free images why not paint-over the areas? 98% of people who aren't photographers don't even notice or care.
     
  37. I think noise is over-rated, i.e. over-discussed. What we are looking for is clarity of expression. Getting that encompasses much more: image sharpness; lens resolution; accuracy of focus; tonal range and highlights are way more important to carry "reality;" fine discrimination of and among colors; what we used to call micro-contrast. I get many wonderful images from several low-megapixel, point and shoots of the past because these particular cameras had (maybe by blind luck at times!) accurate focus, uniform sharpness across the image, and what I like to call "plasticity" of the lens. Hopefully, as digital matures, there will be more opportunity to exploit and celebrate the character of individual lenses. Those were trying conditions. And, yes, there is nothing wrong with a tripod.
     
  38. I agree with Eric Arnold that ADL should be off at high ISO. I also find it messed up flash exposure (with a SB600, in aperture mode), somehow seemed to induce a lower flash output (while SB600 was not at max), causing a rather severe underexposure. Which in turn lead to a lot more noise.
    Sure the D300 is not noise-free, but ISO1600 is usable, and ISO800 is perfectly usable for larger prints. For ISO1600, getting the proper exposure is very important though.
    Chroma noise, by the way, I never really saw on any D300 file unless exposure was way off, or when it was ISO1600 processed with Adobe RAW converters.
    By the way, your second picture looks quite over-processed to me. Too much noise reduction, and too much sharpening somehow (2 activities that bite each other). For a magazine, I would reject such picture for that, not the first one for alleged noise. But my job is nothing like that, so take that for what it's worth (not much).
     
  39. I think this subject has really been beat to death. Though he's not using a D300, I've got to agree with Steve Murray. He says it very well.
    I've used the D300 for quite some time & have no problem with the results, unless I screw up the shot
     
  40. Again, as others have said, it depends on how large you are going to print. The resolution certainly is not spectacular (not surprising with no tripod), but it is probably adequate. I'm not seeing the noise.
    I think that you have a decent picture (based on the one offered as a 100% crop) provided that you don't expect it to be printed too large.
    --Lannie
     
  41. Expectations--buy a new camera and all noise goes away
    Don't happen. The vast majority of the noise in any image is from the light not the camera. Photon shot noise, statistically dependent and caused by the random emission of photons that make the photo electrons that make the image. Fancy way of saying more light , less noise.
    But worth keeping in the back of your mind since the same laws of physics say to half the photon noise you need to make the pixels four times larger. Which you don't do when you move to a full frame camera.
    Pros end up with better pics in part by using faster full frame lens but mostly by using better techniques. Since the noise in the ref's shirt bothers the OP, he should mask it and and then clean it up using a decent wavelet noise reduction package. Wavelet noise reduction loves large areas of black and white with no detail.
    My two pennies.
     
  42. Crap light, high contrast processing => noise.
     
  43. kevin d-
    i have looked at both of myour nimages in pse7. and i find no noise that is objectionable. if you are thinking that you images should have no noise at all, it will never happen. forme, the images are finde. i cxome from a background of 32yrs of shooting slides. i would have given almost anything to have image that are as noise free, as not only your 2 but ANY DSLR CURRENT DSLR. compared to film they are all noise free.
    also, in pse7, the histogram shows both images have both the shadows and the highlightts blown. in other words you are trying to capture an image from a scene that has a larger dr than your d300 can capture with its sensor. you tried to get the whole scene, what happened is that you blew both ends of the histograms. you, like a lot of users, will have to decide whether you value and wish to get the highlights OR the shadows and shoot for THAT. in such a scene all parts of the dr is just not possible. and if you thinking of going to a d700, do not bother. the histogram shows it is heavily blown on both ends, the histo line was crawling heavily up both the right and left walls. personally, i would have shot for the highlights and made that work. as a side benefit, since the exposure would be less the noise would be reduced as well. i used noise ninja on both images to check for noise amounts. the first image showed almost zero noise, while the second showed very light amounts. perhaps it is best if you describe what you see as noise, since the images do not show heavy noise at all.
     
  44. In the days before digital cameras, photographers understood that shooting under certain lighting conditions and boosting the ISO of your film lead to certain image compromises. Also, the final goal was a print, usually 8x10 in size. Now people have expensive DSLR "imaging Devices" which are expected to make every mediocre shot a winner. Also you can enlarge details in Photoshop to ridiculous magnifications invisible to the human eye, which leads to a sort of photographic hypochondria.
    Have you made prints of any of these shots? If so at what size? How does the noise look on the finished print? I see no serious grain issues in the relatively small shots posted here. As I see it you have a couple of options if you're not satisfied with the D300; sell it and get another body. Get some superior post processing software. Or understand how photographic images are made with digital cameras and that they are not perfect.
     
  45. The scene presents extreme conditions, and the short range flash which cannot light the dark background is no solution for the entire scene -- it compounds the dynamic differences. The scene exceeds the dynamic range of a very good sensor. It would likely do so on the D700 (I have both) as well or any other digital camera too. If you want more dynamic range, consider going to print film which can give you several extra stops. (Slide film with its narrow dynamic range would present the same limits as a digital sensor.) To ask more from a digital camera is not reasonable under those condtions.
    Opening the first jpg in NX2 shows the histogram to be blown at both ends of the range. There is a LOT of information to be drawn from the shadows in NX2, even for a jpg. If the noise from the dark areas does not meet the standards of a small size print found in many magazines, then it is time for more sophisticated post processing than a couple of sliders. It's not the camera's fault in my estimate.
    Just my two cents.
     
  46. I switched from my D300 to a D90 for the same reason, Noise was just unacceptable for me, but I use ISO 1600 all the time, the D300 can not even come close!
    http://www.stepanovphotography.com
     
  47. I do not use Nikon, I use Canon but I have to say I still can not see a distracting noise issue in any of the samples posted.
    The fact is that the D300 does produce pro quality results even at high ISOs.
    The defects of any image become apparent usually at large magnifications on monitors. This are not the usual viewing conditions for professional images.
    Professional images (especially of this type) are printed 4 color at sizes much smaller than A4, displayed on the web and only infrequently printed larger than 11x14. None of these conditions would reveal noise artifacts to any distracting degree. More importantly, sports photography trends to news style imagery where the capture of a great play overrides technical concerns.
    I feel others have addressed this similarly in saying that noise issues are over emphasized.
    Noise is the new megapixel war.
     
  48. Kevin,
    For what it's worth....I used to use Adobe Camera Raw as my first processing tool, including the ACR sharpening device. Often I noticed considerable moise in shadow and under-exposed areas and blamed myself, the camera and everything but ACR. (This was on my venerable 5D!)
    Since changing to Lightroom and using a different capture and post processing sharpening the noise problem is back under control. I wonder if your excellent D300 is being hamstrung by the order and amount of sharpening.
    Last bit of gratuitous advice...make a print or portion thereof the size you expect to have the picture reproduced and exanmine that...everything can look dodgy on the screen at 100%.
     
  49. I assure you, there are plenty of working professional sports photographers using the D300 and getting their images published. The camera is not the issue here if your concern is in getting your work out there.
     
  50. I've been considering upgrading to FX for precisely this reason. "All the noise, noise, noise," (A quote from the Grinch). At a relative's wedding recently, I toted along my D300 to take photos for my wife mostly. They had already hired a photog and I try not to do weddings, especially for family. I was asked not to use my flash during the ceremony to cut down on distraction. No problem, I'll just crank my ISO to 800 to get the sp I need. The noise was horrible, almost to the point I didn't even want to show them to my wife.
    While this wasn't a surprise, it's frustrating and a bit demoralizing getting that kind of results, especially when so many tout this as a great camera for low light. The wedding photog had two D3s hanging on his neck. We spoke at various times throughout the night and he showed me shots taken at 5000 ISO. No noticeable noise - zip. I double checked the photos once he published them online and they looked incredible for that ISO. So Kevin, definitely feel your pain.
     
  51. Kevin: From the crop posted, I judge the following:
    - out of focus = more noise
    - underexposure = more noise
    - image difficult to expose (black/white stripes with flash)
    - pixel peeping (it's really not that bad)
    Generally, flash work needs some very precise setting if you want to eliminate noise, even on Nikons. On my D200, I can get worse noise then this at ISO 100 if I use the flash improperly, or completelly noise-free ISO 800 image with good flash.
    Experiment with the flash settings/exposure, in particular try slow flash and a VR lens. If that doesn't help, you need a stronger flash (or more of them) and/or a faster lens. These images would be nicer if there is more ambient light.
     
  52. Jeff Marten
    If you got "Horrible" noise at ISO 800 with a D300 you where doing something wrong.
    I shoot my D300's at a ISO of 1200 with no problems. 1600 is starting to push the envelop. I do not do it for fun I make my living with my cameras.
    If you (the photographer) do your part the D300 will more then hold up its side of the bargain.
     
  53. Perhaps, Michael. I'm not so overconfident or arrogant that I would totally rule out having contributed to noise issues, at least at times. But I've experienced it often enough, and under such various and diverse conditions and situations, that I believe it's possible that it may be more than simple user error.
    Since you are, as you stated, a professional, would you kindly share with me what aspects of user control I could take a closer look at in order to rule out my own contribution. I mean that sincerely because other than issues with noise, I really enjoy shooting with this camera. I never intended to dis the D300. So, if you're willing, enlighten me.
     
  54. Wow!
    Tons of info. Appreciated.
    Interesting how some agree the APS-C is somewhat disadvantaged in this shooting scenario and some say methodology/technique. Perhaps a little of both. Crazy almost impossible situation.
    I'm reshooting this Monday evening..No game, but the refs have graciously agreed to the re-shoot...
    I'm bringing my softboxes! LOL..and will shoot at LOW -.3 ;)
    The magazine editor has seen the image..He's ok with it; I'm not.
    Thanks again for all the great thoughts.
     
  55. I agree with John Morriss.
     
  56. Kevin, are you really a Canon shooter?
     
  57. This may be just dropping in more of the same, but I've got nearly 50k shots on a D300, and a lot of it has been higher ISO work for concert/theatre and some nighttime sports. For noise, I have found the poor lighting in a couple stadiums to be a problem, both because it's very dim and because the color balance is shifted pretty far. In a couple of those situations, I've had to dig out to ISO3200 to stop action and the files have been pretty muddy, though the real problem is that the lighting kinda sucks and the shadows are hard to work with. It does look worse to my eyes when the picture isn't sharp to start with, which is what the 100% crop of the ref shot looks like to me. However, I find that looking at 100% crops is, well, fine for comparing cameras I suppose, but unrealistic when considering printed output. 50% works better for me as an evaluation.
    That all said, whenever I get decent exposures at ISOs 1600 and lower, I'm finding the files to be ok. I'm looking at a 12x18 I just printed from ISO800 and find it to be easily acceptable. Not "perfect" under very close examination, but way the heck better than when I shot performers on Fujipress pushed a stop, and with much better color to boot.
    Other people's mileage may vary. The guy who said the D300 can't come close to the D90 - looks like he's working with the camera and I'll trust that he's describing what he's finding. DXOmark says that the cameras are within 1/3 stop of each other for noise an dynamic range, with a very slight edge to the D90. (I need the AF speed for sports, so the D90 isn't a great option for me, but for others it may well be worth it.)
    Anyway, not sure if that's all helpful or not, but there's another person's thoughts.
     
  58. I don't see any noise in the photo. Because the file is so small, I see pixelation when I zoom in to look for noise, but that's perfectly natural for a file of this size.
    There are two problems here: (a) the lack of balance between the darkness of the playing field and the too-high-powered flash bouncing off of the official's shirt - perhaps you can rescue the shadow and highlight areas in Photoshop? - and (b) the merge problem, i.e. the official's arm cutting off the player's body at the waist. But, IMO, noise isn't a problem in this image.
    Perhaps you can attach a 100 crop from another image that you think is too noisy.
     
  59. I get a kick out of posts like these, too much noise! posts. These are people who probably never shot fast film back in the day. Try scanning a well exposed 35mm neg from Fuji NPH and see how much noise that will have! You will instantly appreciate the D300 for sure. I personally like noise, it means the photo has bite, it has structure. Completely free of noise photos bother me, they don't look like they are in focus, and they don't look like "photography" to me. But that's just my age showing... I had to add noise to some of my D700 photos for them to look "sharp" to me. It's all relative...
     
  60. Both of these images look totally fine noise-wise for the situation you were shooting in. There are other issues though, such as the 'shoulder antlers' growing out of the middle guy in the second photo.
     
  61. Good point, Dave. Folks today have such high expectations, but anyone getting worse results from a D300 than a D90 is just not using the D300 properly.
    Also, coming from film where I shot using Fuji Press 800, knows how nice grain can be. Its the texture behind an image. Who wants a TV image. We are photographers are we not?
     
  62. Having a Fuji S5 and a D300, I often find the baseline noise on the D300 annoying - it definitely seems higher than any DSLR I've used (which also includes Fuji S2, D80, and D40x). However I don't find it critically deficient.
    I will also note that if you use Capture NX it does a much better job in my opinion of masking that noise cleanly than Lightroom (though I still use Lightroom because it's just too convenient).
    Anyway, mostly I'm just saying the OP is correct in their point that the D300 does have a surprising amount of base ISO noise.
     
  63. The magazine editor has seen the image..He's ok with it; I'm not.​
    That about sums it up. They guy who has to buy the photos so that he can make a living by selling your pictures decides that noise is not a problem.
    CaNikon love guys like you :eek:)
     
  64. They guy who has to buy the photos so that he can make a living by selling your pictures decides that noise is not a problem.​

    Heh-Heh..Thanks Mike.
    While in it's purest form, your statement is true; but I'm the guy that needs to use the tearsheet if they go with this photo...personal preference; that's all.
    I did work the image extensively and have reduced much of the noise selectively, though I will be shooting this again tonight.
    'Moose Antlers"? LOL..I thought they were called "Goal Posts"?
    Ya, maybe you're right; perhaps a little compositional change.
    Thanks again.
     
  65. Again, great canera, but IMO lacking in low light higher ISO's.​
    Are you kidding? Go shoot with a D200 for a while then tell me how horrible the D300 is at higher ISOs. Go shoot with a Canon 50D, then tell me how horrible the D300 is at higher ISOs.


    I know it's an improvement over the D-200 in sensor design, but still, it seems this sensor will not produce professional quality images at even ISO 400.​
    I'm sure that a few pros making a living with this camera would disagree. But then again, they don't expect the camera to provide the results....they provide the results.
     
  66. Wow!..Thanks Keith.
    Very helpful participation.
    I'll try to incorporate all your advice into my shooting assignments. ;)
    To all the rest; your participation IS appreciated.
    I love it.
     
  67. Don't dare upgrade to a more expensive camera. That's not the problem here.... I won't add my two cents, or even one cent. I won't even beat this dead horse one more time. Just stop. Please stop.
     
  68. I beg to differ Stephen, my D90 constantly delivers higher quality image quality, which is why I switched from a D300 to a D90, check out all of the "pixel peeping forums" and you will see that my statement is a fact. The D90 does not measure up to my main camera, the D700 but it definitely beats the D300, in terms of IQ.
     
  69. Sy, according to tests on dpreview.com, the D90 does not deliver the same resolution as the D300, and also the D90 has lower dynamic range than the D300. That is not to say the D90 is a bad camera, but if it had identical image quality to the D300, it might have hurt sales of the D300.
    Take a look for yourself at this page comparing the image quality of the D90 to the D300 in JPEG:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/NikonD90/page29.asp
    And in RAW:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/NikonD90/page33.asp
     
  70. Kevin, you seemed to know what you are doing so why didn't you try out a D300 before you bought it? I am not being critical, just curious. Sy, why are you trying to sidetrack everyone with the "D90 is better than the D300" thing. That is your opinion but not everyone agrees so leave it for another post.
     
  71. you seemed to know what you are doing so why didn't you try out a D300 before you bought it? I am not being critical, just curious​
    Tim,
    I don't consider your question critical at all.
    This thread is getting almost unmanageable, but if you read earlier, I have no intention of selling my D-300. To re-iterate, I am somewhat disappointed in the D-300's low light performance..this was not a complaint; there is a difference. The camera serves me well in MANY areas.
    I, like many others read reviews. I understand the numbers and will often listen to a concensus if it carries the majority.
    The Nikon groups, forums and reviews in my opinion went a little (gaga) or overboard in their praise when the camera was released.
    I can understand the excitement and even exaggerated claims when you consider the D-300 was being compared to the D-200.
    I did try out the D-300 prior to a purchase, but there is no way one can look at all shooting scenarios.
    It's all cool though as I have other cameras if that type of shooting situation ever arises again.
    The moderator should probably close this discussion. I doubt few will read all 65+ posts. People now are stepping in and think it's a D90 Vs D300 discussion.
    I am more more amazed at some of the responses when you look at my original question.
    People defending their camera as though it was their first born; blaming the photographer (always one of my favs, "It's the photographer, not the camera") LOL..Attempting to tout and sell NR software..and the always helpful advice such as "get a Canon or get a D3"
    Had I known my (disappointment) in the D-300's low light performance would have stirred up such a hornet's nest, I would not have posted it.
     
  72. The moderator should probably close this discussion.​
    Well, considering that the original post was more of a troll than anything, I agree.
    There are dozens of threads discussing the performance of the D300 at higher ISO. Why did you feel the need to start another one, Kevin?
    If you want constructive replies, try posting a constructive question in ther first place. Because honestly, complaining about your D300 isn't very constructive.
     
  73. Well, considering that the original post was more of a troll than anything, I agree.
    There are dozens of threads discussing the performance of the D300 at higher ISO. Why did you feel the need to start another one, Kevin?
    If you want constructive replies, try posting a constructive question in ther first place. Because honestly, complaining about your D300 isn't very constructive.​
    Keith,
    Just for you.
    1st: I am not a troll.
    2nd: A complaint was never posted by me, disappointment was my word, there is a difference...learn to read.
    Keith, you obviously have some deep seeded emotional problems. I suggest if you need to vent, provide counter productive comments and generally slam people that get under your skin; you need to try another forum other than photography.
    Obviously the moderator saw no problem with my question, nor most of the interesting thought provoking replies that followed.
    If you want constructive replies, try posting a constructive question in ther first place.​
    Keith, not one of your replies added anything to this discussion. Not one. Why didn't you just move on and ignore it; or are you now the "forum police" ridding us all of anything or anybody that does not line up with your sense of what a justified question is or is not?
    If YOU want to be constructive, be constructive, you will be a better person for it.
     
  74. "Seriously? I find the level of noise I'm seeing in these two shots unacceptable for anything except snapshot printing for family & friends."
    It looks pretty good compared to high speed film. All the same, I skipped the D300 and upgraded from a D200 to a D700 because I often shoot sports in poor light.
     
  75. Moderator's note: Let's stick with the topic - solutions for the original problem presented. Let the moderators handle problems with trolling, which is not applicable here.
    Kevin, I haven't handled the D300 so my only suggestion is to try what I do with my D2H files at high ISOs: Use a good noise reduction application such as Noise Ninja or Noiseware to tackle the problem. If the noise appears to be a problem on specific areas, such as faces, you can reduce noise selectively through various means. I'll occasionally apply noise reduction only to certain channels, or to a duplicate layer and then blend the two to retain as much fine detail and realistic texture as possible, while minimizing unsightly chroma noise. Luminance noise rarely bothers me, but that's a very personal, subjective issue.
    Frankly, for newspapers, low end magazines and most online reproduction, I wouldn't worry about it. It'll never be noticed in newsprint, some magazines or in compressed JPEGs. For high end publication, sales of prints or high resolution files directly to customers, or stock photo use, sure, you might find it worth the effort to do some careful, selective editing.
     
  76. Couldn't read the whole thread so I don't know if this has been mentioned, but apparently focus has alot to do with noise from what I just recently read in an article. Secondly, if the camera is not performing for you send it in and get it checked/fixed. Not every camera is perfect out of the box. Maybe you got one thats marginal?
     
  77. The problem isn't noise from the camera. The problem is poor lighting with much too wide a dynamic range for a digital camera to handle. The solution would be to decrease the intensity of the flash and shoot with as wide an aperture and as long a shutter speed as possible to pull in the available light in the background. Then resist the temptation to up the contrast until the black and white stripes are true black and white. You can make very dark and very light shades look better by setting them against a more neutral background. They will appear to be clean black and white if they are against a midrange tone instead of near blackness. The sharp dark background is killing your picture.
     
  78. Kevin,
    I applied noise reduction to your 100% crop using Dfine 2.0 and it did seem to clean up some of the grunge in the face tones. I'm sure it would have done a better job with your RAW file rather than the jpeg. Below is a compilation of the two images. The original is on the left.
    00UhKs-179029584.jpg
     
  79. Oskar Ojala [​IMG], Oct 04, 2009; 11:40 a.m.
    Crap light, high contrast processing => noise.
    ---------------------
    BINGO!!
     
  80. Hi Kevin,
    The first image, file OOUeJD-17775784-1.jpg
    A processed 172kb jpg reduction from RAW isn't really a great starting point when discussing professional quality images.
    I gotta be honest I couldn't find noise anywhere in the image. That's because the image pixelated very quickly. I did see sharpening artifacts in almost every contrast transition. This wasn't a single session export from RAW to JPG.
    The problems I see here can be addressed well before discussion of sensor performance.
    Good luck!
     
  81. Since noise is "subjective" as also some people judge sharp pictures in a extreme way, I really think that maybe you where on a extreme and was over expecting results on the D-300.
    On the first picture I see that is a action shot and nothing you can do to get better light to get a better picture, but for the second one you could have use a second flash to get some light on the back ground because this is a posed picture!
     
  82. Oskar Ojala [​IMG], Oct 04, 2009; 11:40 a.m.
    Crap light, high contrast processing => noise.​
    Wow this thread must run into thousands of words now!... But Oskar managed to explain it perfectly in six.
     
  83. Russ I think that your are great! I really hit the spot! Wooooooooooow!
    In the days before digital cameras, photographers understood that shooting under certain lighting conditions and boosting the ISO of your film lead to certain image compromises. Also, the final goal was a print, usually 8x10 in size. Now people have expensive DSLR "imaging Devices" which are expected to make every mediocre shot a winner. Also you can enlarge details in Photoshop to ridiculous magnifications invisible to the human eye, which leads to a sort of photographic hypochondria.
     

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