I was a bit surprised when I saw this photo shot with a D800

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ann_overland, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. I came across this photo of the die Karslkirche in Wienna, shot with a D800. It looked so nice and well lit. Then I went for the bigger copies and to say that I was surprised by the noise level is an understatement. Is the noise level really still this bad in some of the higher end cameras?
     
  2. no image....
     
  3. Now it is in there, thanks David.
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    First of all, this is a link to the image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/b_olsen/7902375582/sizes/c/in/pool-75844019@N00/
    It is also available in other sizes.
    I just took a look at the largest version, and EXIF shows that ISO was 1600, 1/13 sec and f3.5, and the noise level is expected.
    Last month, I was the "official" photographer at my wife's high school reunion. I bought three flashes with me for their group pictures: SB-700 on my D800E as the master and two SB-800 as slaves. It was all fine after a bunch of group pictures, and as I was packing up, all of a sudden they wanted another group picture with everybody in it. Since we were kind of in a rush, I only use one SB-800 as the others were packed already. I ended up using ISO 1600 on the D800E for a group shot with about 50 people. I was just checking that image this morning, and it was a bit noisy. It still makes a fine 8x10 print, but looking back, I wished I had asked them to wait that extra minute or two so that I could get up three flashes again.
    If I were to capture that image in Vienna, I would certainly set up on a tripod and use the base ISO 100 for a time exposure. The problem is that there were some people at that location. You may see some motion even on a one-second exposure.
     
  5. This oversharpened little image is too small to show noise properly. I'm guessing the visible speckling is caused by an aliasing effect between noise in the original picture and screen pixelation at a reduced scale. There's also some colour banding or "blotching" visible as well, and that's definitely not typical of a D800 image.
    We also don't have any exposure details. Maybe LE noise reduction was turned off.
     
  6. If you right click on the image, you can chooce the other sizes, Joe.
     
  7. Bah
    Nicely composed and poorly shot. Must have been under exposed then brought up in post to have that much noise. Looking at the EXIF data they had -1 EV dialed in. Looks to me like they exposed to the left and not the right.
     
  8. It looks like this could have been shot with the noise reduction completely off, which would make the noise bad, but this is still not terrible considering the pixel density of the D800. At the same aperture, this could have been shot at 0.625 sec at ISO 200 on a tripod with much less noise.
     
  9. If you are shooting in aperture priority, you would usually have to make some reduction in exposure to avoid blowing the highlights from the indoor lights showing through the windows. I know I have to do that on my D300. But I would have thought that the D800 would do much better than my D300 in the dark areas in a motif like this.
     
  10. I was going to suggest underexposure and correction in post, as Michael B. has. This has happened to me many times. I don't let that stop me. I think mistakes are really enjoyable the 50th time around....
     
  11. PS Properly exposed even my D700 produces less noise than that at ISO 1600. Not a lot less, but less.
     
  12. Hehehe....

    But seriously, you have to expose for the hightlights, if you only make one exposure of a motif like that. I would think that this is what he has done here.
     
  13. Like any camera, post processing makes the difference between a noisy or noise free shot at higher ISOs. After post processing, my ISO 6400 shots with the D800 printed at 8 x 10 size easily look like ISO 200 - ISO 400 and have incredible detail.
     
  14. Do you also get this much noise when shooting with your D800 at ISO 1600, Elliot? Or could there be something wrong with his camera?
     
  15. I don't think there is anything wrong with his camera. I just think his image is minimally processed without much if any NR applied. Any simple NR program would easily handle the linked image and produce a noise free image without loss of detail for a smaller print.
    I have NR turned off on my camera as I prefer to handle noise during PP myself. Good post processing software along with down sampling combine to produce stunning 8 x 10 prints from the D800.
     
  16. I have NR turned off on my camera as I prefer to handle noise during PP myself. Good post processing software along with down sampling combine to produce stunning 8 x 10 prints from the D800.​
    Hopefully I will live to see the day when a camera can do that on it's own and I would not have to worry about that anymore.

    Edit: With no down sampling needed to hide the noise.
     
  17. This is a 100% crop from an ISO 6400 + .3EV.
    00bCnn-512225584.jpg
     
  18. DXO processed...
    (I have an uncropped print of this shot hanging on a wall. The detail in the eyelashes and skin tone color is truly amazing.
    00bCno-512225684.jpg
     
  19. There were no highlights to avoid there, Elliot. Otherwise that is a very good result when using ISO 7163.
     
  20. Hmm! I clicked on the "all sizes" link earlier and got nothing. Now, having looked at the link Shun gave I notice the largest size is still only 3024 x 2178 pixels, and the Exif data reveals it was taken with a 16mm DX lens. IMO there's absolutely no point in using this image as a guide to the noise you could expect from a D800 when used with full-frame lenses. Besides, the IQ in terms of lens sharpness is pretty poor, which further enhances the impression of noise.
    All I can say is that I've been able to get perfectly acceptable handheld shots well after twilight from the D800, with noise that isn't anywhere near as bad as that Karlskirche shot.
    Elliot, I think we should bear in mind that noise is also a function of light level and exposure time as well as the camera ISO setting. Your example was obviously shot under far higher lighting conditions than the church at night, but even so the noise difference is quite startling.
     
  21. But even if the lens was a bad one, it shouldn't be causing sensor noise, should it? Which lens did he use?
     
  22. Unprocessed D800 images at ISO 1600, or even ISO 800 are not noise free out of the camera.
    But the prints are perfect (at 8x10 size).
    Below is a 100% crop at ISO 1600. Again, after processing, the print looks amazing at 8 x 10).
    (The unprocessed sample images I have posted have absolutely no NR or other image processing - they look substantially better when opened with Nikon software like View NX2 - my images are 'real' RAW unprocessed images so you are seeing them at their 'worst'.)
    00bCoD-512235584.jpg
     
  23. I have taken many photos in poor lighting and the end result is not different than the samples I have posted - noisy to some degree out of the camera, but after processing and printing look great.
     
  24. I have never been using any noise reduction software on my photos from the D300. Now I am thinking that I might as well do that instead of buying a higher end camera and still have to apply noise reduction software on the photos.
     
  25. "Now I am thinking that I might as well do that instead of buying a higher end camera and still have to do apply noise reduction software on those photos." Good idea, why spend money on a new camera that takes noisy images.
     
  26. I had a D300 and it is really not that much different in the noise department, meaning that if you look at the true unprocessed RAW files, they will have noise.
    The crop below was opened and converted to a JPG in Nikon View NX2, with all in-camera settings applied. Noise reduction was set to low.
    00bCoa-512239584.jpg
     
  27. Those images are impeccable. Better than what I get on my 6 year old 6MP Pentax K100D.
    You're comparing apples to donuts examining and judging quality comparing high ISO induced noise versus low light induced high ISO noise.
    1/800th of a second shutter speed on Elliot's image? From those exposure parameters you had plenty of light so what was the point of testing at high ISO to compare against a scene that practically has no light?
    High ISO's primary purpose is to allow fast shutter speeds in dim light, not immaculate shots with no light. A sensor counts photons and if there's little to no photons to hold a charge in the sensor site then it uses electronic amplification to raise the noise floor which is what high ISO settings do. You're suppose to get noise. Nature dictates it. You can't fight physics. Nikon electronics is doing a darn good job of it though considering the size of the pixel sites.
    You folks do realize that those shots are capturing a level of detail in a night shot that our own eyes can't even come close to seeing on their own even with binoculars, right?
     
  28. You're suppose to get noise. Nature dictates it. You can't fight physics.​
    What nature and physics would that be, Tim?
    Nikon electronics is doing a darn good job of it though considering the size of the pixel sites.​
    It seems to me like the noice amount is the same on the D800 as it is on my D300. The only difference is that the dots are smaller and that there are a lot more of them per square centimeter.
     
  29. But even if the lens was a bad one, it shouldn't be causing sensor noise, should it?​
    Ann is right, you know. I have the D800E. It is a great camera in good light. A great low-light camera it ain't. The problem is that, in order to get such wonderful resolution from a full-frame sensor, the pixel density has to be very high, causing interference and thus reducing the S/N ratio. I suspect that we are approaching the limits of how many pixels one can pack onto a full-frame sensor using our present technology.
    --Lannie
     
  30. Ann it's all or nothing, eh? I think you will get many shocked arguments to that statement.
    Me I can't wait til Nikon comes out with a pro camera with the D600 specs.
     
  31. So we're back to the D3s are we? So be it.
     
  32. You do have a way of putting it, Vince :)
    Would you say the D600 is a better camerea than the D800 - regarding noice?
     
  33. Still, a shot that could have been made with a 6 MP camera (check the pixels) is not going to be capable of being downsampled enough to be noise-free. Lens selection was definitely a factor in making the noise more noticeable.
    For most practical applications, the D800 does pretty well in low light. It simply is not the best in low light. There are compromises here between high resolution and low-light capabilities. The One Best Camera for all possible applications does not exist.
    Would you say the D600 is a better camerea than the D800 - regarding noice?​
    The tests I have seen do indicate that the D600 is slightly better at high ISO. I used it for an afternoon and still decided to return it and get the D800E. I have not regretted that decision.
    --Lannie
     
  34. What nature and physics would that be, Tim?​
    The Big Bang for starters.
    On top of the electronics of the Nikon and the A/D converter and the software that is suppose to clean up the noise.
    What you should be debating is the quality of the noise suppression algorithms engineered into Nikon software and/or third party software when shooting Raw. No one knows what the incamera jpeg noise suppression does. Test that first. You don't know what processing or noise suppression software was applied to that flickr image.
    Until you know for sure what was done to the final image you're not really comparing apples to apples.
     
  35. I still think that the highlights could have been exposed a little hotter and that would have helped with the noise. Unless they are totaly blown out you can pull them back in post. And a little noise reduction can go a long way.
    I never like going much above 3200 ISO with my D300 as the noise in the shadows would really start to show up. But with the right shot it gives it an atmosphere.
    00bCpn-512261584.jpg
     
  36. Beautiful shot, Michael.
    Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. I only wish I had a Nikon. Unfortunately the lenses and body are too expensive for my budget as a "start out and learn digital" camera.
    The noise granularity in the Nikon shots are so fine you wouldn't even see them through the stochastic dithered dot pattern in an inkjet print.
    You guys just don't know how good you got it.
     
  37. Ann, I haven't used either the D600 or the D800 but at 22 or 24 megapixels a topnotch Nikon has to be a more forgiving camera than the D800. As we see in another thread, if the AIS 105/2.5 comes up short for a D800 landscape shooter who loved it before, I can't imagine spending the money on the lenses that do the trick. I might save my pfennigs and buy one anyway because i would like to have the 2 different media slots and a few other features only the D800 has. (I'm busted now having bought an M6 TTL, ain't got no megapixels....) But the D600 has scored extremely high on the DXO sensor tests and the price is already softening.... It seems as if it's smaller than the D300 which might annoy me. I also just suspect that other technologies being equal as most of them likely are, the FX 24mp sensor will handle low light / high iso a bit better than the FX 36mp, although some say it ain't true. If I was buying I'd do a lot of research.
     
  38. I knew when I got the D800E that it would not be the very best camera in low light. After all, with that level of pixel density, the pixels are simply going to be too close together to avoid all noise (electrical interference) problems.
    That said, the remarkable thing is how well it does in low light. I have owned the Canon 1Ds Mark II, the Canon 5D, and the Canon 5D II, and none of them came close in overall quality to what I am getting with the D800E. The 5D II was indeed better in low light, but that should not be surprising, considering that it had "only" 21 MP. The D800E really is a better camera--at least the best that I have used, and I used the D600 for an afternoon before I sent it back. It was not flawed. I simply wanted more resolution. I knew that at times the increased resolution would come at the cost of some noise, but it really has not been bad. I have to say, though, that I do not typically try to shoot higher than ISO 3200, and I shoot at even lower ISOs when I can.
    Is the noise level really still this bad in some of the higher end cameras?​
    Well, no, and it typically is not that bad in the D800E. The photographer made just about every mistake one can make. How often does one print at the size of 100% crops, after all? With the D800E, that would be over seven screens wide and seven screens high. Emphasizing how images look at 100% crops can be very misleading. Typically the noise simply will not be visible once the file is resized or printed at a different size, as it always will be for routine applications.
    This is too fine a camera to be judged on the basis of the worst shot that one could find that was made with it.
    --Lannie
     
  39. Now, having looked at the link Shun gave I notice the largest size is still only 3024 x 2178 pixels, and the Exif data reveals it was taken with a 16mm DX lens. IMO there's absolutely no point in using this image as a guide to the noise you could expect from a D800 when used with full-frame lenses.​
    Rodeo Joe was right. There is nothing in the picture that justifies any conclusions about the quality of the camera.
    I can't believe that this thread was argued on the basis of a six megapixel image.
    --Lannie
     
  40. Frankly I am surprised at some of the comments about the high ISO and other capabilities of the D800/D800e. My D800 consistently delivers exceptional high ISO results that look like low ISO results when I make prints, with more detail and color than anyone could hope for at this time - standard size prints at ISO 6400 looks like ISO 200 from my D3 (perhaps better).
    I shoot a lot of sports and several years ago I took a shot of my son with my D3/70-200mm lens that has been hanging on on his bedroom wall since I took it. A couple of months ago, by chance, I unknowingly took a similar shot using the D800/70-200mm with the exact same player taking the exact same type of shot on my son (my son is a goalie). Aside from the kids being about 12" talller, the overall framing, shooting position, etc. of the two shots is pretty much the same. The D800 picture is so much better in every way - its not even close.
    Noise has never really been an issue as there have always been great programs to remove it. But what has happened in the past is that detail had been lost along with the noise. The latest NR programs to a great job and maximize detail. Specifically because the D800 has such high resolution/dynamic range/color range, prints look exceptional compared to just about anything else. The fact that the OP's linked picture even has noise tells a tale... I think that indicates the level of processing (or lack thereof) that has been applied to it. It is certainly capable of much more.
    I have taken just a few nighttime shots with my D800 as a test, but know it probably can't be beat with proper technique and processing and will produce spectacular results in the right hands.
     
  41. Unprocessed vs processed, night shot, ISO 6400, 1/200, f2.8, 100% crop
    For fun, I printed the full shot as an 8 x 10 - the print is near perfect and IMHO, and it would virtually indistinguishable from a carefully taken identical low ISO tripod time exposure shot.
    00bCrp-512287584.jpg
     
  42. Elliot,
    That initial post-process was really nice. Which DxO software package did you use and process steps did you use? I may give it a test spin.
     
  43. ISO 1600? NOISE?
    We would have killed for that little "noise" [ok, we would have had grain, not noise, but still] in a picture of even ASA 500, much less shots at 1000 film speed, back in 1976.
    Youse guys are a bunch of woosies, letting a little noise stop youse.
    00bCsA-512293584.jpg
     
  44. NTIM, but that view of the arch at dawn, is the Carrousel du Louvre. It was taken with a Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 lens on GAF 500 slide film. It may have been pushed to 1000 ASA, my notes fail me on that point.
    The phrase, "when film was grainy and photographers were seedy" is ©2013 JDMvW
     
  45. Kenneth, I use DXO version 8 (their latest version). They do offer a fully functional 30 day 'test drive' if you want to give it a try. I really don't notice much of a difference in IQ over Version 7 - the interface has changed a bit though and a couple of new features have been added.
    The default settings are usually pretty good. Modifications are easy as almost all features use sliders.
    With care, Photoshop does a great job - DXO is just really fast and easy to use as pretty much everything is automatic (if you want). I find it saves me a lot of time, especially when processing hundreds or thousands of images at a time.
     
  46. Thanks Elliot! I downloaded the trial and I'm probably going to purchase. I does make things pretty easy, especially with any shots that need a little work but I don't want to perform extensive Photoshop on (i.e., random snapshots).
     
  47. You don't know what processing or noise suppression software was applied to that flickr image.​
    Tim, I don't. But I have been under the impression that you didn't have to apply any noise reduction to the D800 photos. And if you look at the biggest size shown in flickr, one would think (at least I would) that the size reduction would have taken care of the noice already. But it didn't.
     
  48. I still think that the highlights could have been exposed a little hotter and that would have helped with the noise. Unless they are totaly blown out you can pull them back in post​
    I agree with that, Michael. Great shot.
     
  49. If any of you with a D800 have a flickr account, could you make a photo with the D800 with a FX lens under similar exposure conditions and with no noise reduction applied? Maybe this was just a single incident.

    Edit: 'Original' size (3024 x 2178)
     
  50. I have been under the impression that you didn't have to apply any noise reduction to the D800 photos.​
    For brightly lit shots, Ann, you would not have to. For shots made at night, it would depend on the size at which you planned to print--and just how bad the noise was to begin with. In many cases, unless the noise were excessive, you would not have to apply NR, rather simply downsample. The noise would still be there, but it would not be visible to the eye.
    The problem with the file in question (shot with a DX lens) is that it is a bit over 3,000 pixels along the long dimension, whereas a full-sized file would be about 7300 pixels along the long dimension. In those cases (full-sized, not shot with a DX lens), you often would not have to fool with NR at small print sizes.
    Shadow noise in portraits would require more care, I believe, although I have yet to use the D800E for portraits.
    --Lannie
     
  51. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    First of all, I should point out that the person who captured the image Ann Overland points to, B Olsen, did not post that image for us to critique here. He merely posted it to Flickr. Therefore, it is not entirely fair to critique it here.
    Having said that, checking the EXIF data on that image, as I mentioned before, it was captured with a D800 at ISO 1600, 1/13 sec and f3.5. Furthermore, the lens was a 16-85mm/f3.5-5.6 at 16mm, which is a DX lens with AF-S and VR. Since there is no obvious vignetting in the corners at the bottom, most likely the D800 was in the DX crop mode. Once you realize that the D800 was in the DX crop mode (or he might have captured the entire FX frame and then cropped out the center is post processing), you should know that the largest image sample available probably didn't go through that much down sampling because in this case, the D800 is a 15MP rather than a 36MP camera.
    The exposure information shows that most likely, this image was captured hand held with the lens wide open and a rather high ISO, perhaps with VR on. It is more like a snapshot rather than a carefully planned image captured from a sturdy tripod to take the full potential of the D800. The whole church is leaning backward, so there was also little effort in post processing to correct the keystone effect.
    But again, the original photographer can do whatever he wants to do. He did not ask us to critique his image here.
     
  52. In ViewNX2 I am not getting any exif data, except for the file size of 4.79MB for the biggest size.
    It is supprising to me that the camera would go all the way down to 15MP in DX mode. But I guess that would explain why the noise didn't disappear in downsampling.
     
  53. In ViewNX2 I am not getting any exif data, except for the file size of 4.79MB for the biggest size.​
    If you go back to the Flickr shot, right click it to see "Original," and then load that and right click on that, the EXIF data will be displayed ON SCREEN if you simply scroll down to "Exif data" and click that. You don't need software, just your mouse. The actual dimensions as shown are about 3,000 by 2,000 pixels, or 6 megapixels, implying that he might have either cropped or downsampled to get it to the size posted on Flickr. There is no way to know for sure what he might have done with it before posting it.
    --Lannie
     
  54. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I opened the image in PhotoShop and the full EXIF data are there, including the D800's serial number. It shows that the lens is a 16-85mm at 16mm with the "35mm film equivalent" of 24mm. Once you see that 1.5x crop factor, you know that the original is probably a DX image, despite the camera is capable of FX.
     
  55. As I was reading through this thread, someone asked to see examples of other pictures shot at 1600 on a D800. This is just one of many examples of 1600 ISO pictures and if I could figure out way to post the full image, I would.
    D800, 200-400mm f4 @ f4, 1/60 at 310mm.
    00bCtV-512319684.jpg
     
  56. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Steven, you might recall this thread from April, 2012. We studied the D800's ISO 6400 capability when I first got my test sample camera from Nikon USA, and I compared it against my D700: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00aEHd
    I have returned that D800 back to Nikon a long time ago, but now I have my own D800E.
     
  57. scroll down to "Exif data" and click that​
    Thanks, Landrum. I didn't know that. Very helpfull.
     
  58. Steven, I think if you just upload the bigger size image the same way as you did with this one, it will show up as an attachment.
     
  59. Ann, you can right click above on the file Steve just uploaded and do the same thing. Isn't that neat!
    Even attachments can only be so big, Ann. You can't attach the full-sized file.
    --Lannie
     
  60. Shun, thanks for linking to that thread. I must have missed that one. The D800 downsampled images really can approximate the low noise levels of the D3, D700, and D3s. That is really awesome.
    --Lannie
     
  61. Very neat! :)
     
  62. I will try the full size (29.8 MB)...
     
  63. I will try the full size (29.8 MB)...alas it is too large to upload
     
  64. Downsized to 4256x4256...about the size of a d700 image
    00bCtz-512325584.jpg
     
  65. Does anyone know the file size limit of an attachment?
     
  66. Shun, Yes I remember that lengthy discussion. The conclusion that I came away with was pretty simple. At 100% viewing at higher ISO, the D800 would be noisier than the D700. BUT, if one downsized the D800 image to be the same size as the D700, the D800 was equal or better than the D700 in terms of ISO noise. Is that your recollection as well?
     
  67. Shun, Yes I remember that lengthy discussion. The conclusion that I came away with was pretty simple. At 100% viewing at higher ISO, the D800 would be noisier than the D700. BUT, if one downsized the D800 image to be the same size as the D700, the D800 was equal or better than the D700 in terms of ISO noise. Is that your recollection as well?
     
  68. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    BUT, if one downsized the D800 image to be the same size as the D700, the D800 was equal or better than the D700 in terms of ISO noise. Is that your recollection as well?​
    Absolutely. If one is willing to down sample a D800 RAW file from 36MP to 12MP, on par with the D700 to "equalize the playing field" so to speak, IMO the D800 has about one stop of better high ISO results than the D700 around ISO 6400 or so. That should put the D800 on par with the D3S, but I never had a D3S and D800 at the same time to compare them side by side. As far as I know, the D4 should be around there as well as far as high ISO capability goes, but I have never used a D4.
    Otherwise, the D800 has 3 times as many pixels as the D3/D3S/D700. When we pixel peep, everything is greatly magnified so that images look noisy and soft; all mediocre lenses will look poor under the scrutiny of 36MP.
    However, as we learn on this thread, not all D800 images are 36MP. :)
     
  69. That conclusion was an important one in my decision making process for purchasing a D800. ISO performance equal or better than the D700 at same sized images. Other important things was the ability to crop significantly and still have a workable image and finally, the amazing resolution when I had done things right. But I digress from the topic....
     
  70. However, as we learn on this thread, not all D800 images are 36MP. :)
    If the image was shot in the camera's DX mode, that would mean that you would have to apply more noice reduction in the DX mode as opposed to the FX mode.
     
  71. Ann wrote: It seems to me like the noice amount is the same on the D800 as it is on my D300. The only difference is that the dots are smaller and that there are a lot more of them per square centimeter.​
    That is not far from the truth. According to dxomark the D800 photosites have about 1/2 stop less noise than the D300 photosites. 1/2 stop is hard to detect with your eyesight alone so at the pixel level noise is virtually the same.
     
  72. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    According to dxomark the D800 photosites have about 1/2 stop less noise than the D300 photosites. 1/2 stop is hard to detect with your eyesight alone so at the pixel level noise is virtually the same.​
    But again, that is a comparison without a leveled playing field. The D300 has 12MP within a DX area, roughly 16x24mm. The D800 has 36MP in an FX, 24x36mm area. Once you down sample the D800 image to 12MP, the D800 will have a huge advantage over the D300 in terms of the absence of noise.
     
  73. I understand that it is better when downsampled from 'the FX mode'.
     
  74. Here is a D4 shot at ISO 4000 from today. Amazing what kind of shots you can get with it. So far there is only 5 views.
     
  75. I just scrolled through this, so apologies if I missed something, and I'm repeating what has already been said.
    Someone said 'you can't fight noise - it's physics' earlier in the thread. I forget whom, but he makes a good point. To explain it a little more thoroughly though, higher ISO equals more noise (obv), and noise is more visible in shadow areas ... which this image is made of almost entirely. Thus, shooting a dark image at a high ISO will always yield noise. If the photographer of this image had exposed it as brightly as possible without clipping highlights (even if he had to use 3200 ISO), and then brought down the exposure in post-processing, it stands to reason that the image would have significantly less noise. Sure it would be a higher ISO, but the exposure would have fewer areas where noise normally occurs.
    By the same token, underexposing, and increasing the exposure in post, greatly increases noise, even if you think it does the opposite. You're still increasing the "gain" of the image just as if you boosted the ISO, but now there are many more places for that noise to be, due to all the extra shadow areas.
    I can tell you that shooting the way I described, I could get an image at least that clean with my D7000. Of course it would be much lower resolution, but would certainly be fine for flickr or the like.
     
  76. I think we can agree on that, Zack. However, the biggest 'problem' with this exposure seems to be that it is shot in the D800's DX mode.
     
  77. Shun wrote: But again, that is a comparison without a leveled playing field. The D300 has 12MP within a DX area, roughly 16x24mm. The D800 has 36MP in an FX, 24x36mm area. Once you down sample the D800 image to 12MP, the D800 will have a huge advantage over the D300 in terms of the absence of noise.​
    Well, not really. If you are upgrading from the D300 to the D800 with the intention of printing bigger it's very much a leveled playing field. Going from 8x10s on a desktop printer to 14x17 on an Epson 3800 will give the same pixels per inch on the print. Which means that the D800 have no real noise advantage over the D300 anymore.
    I mean you read that the D800 is giving you less noise, higher resolution, more cropping ability etc, etc. The truth is that you can have it all but not at the same time. Just a thing to keep in mind I think so expectations stay realistic.
     
  78. Ann
    If you would like to see what I think is a very cool shot from a D4 take a look at this link
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/14133178@N04/8078880252/
    ISO 12800 1/13th of a second f/2 handheld
    Getting sharp focus in the low and oddly colored light of the darkroom was a challenge.
     
  79. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Pete S., I was expecting that you would ask this question and you yourself gave the right answer.
    As I have been saying from the beginning as soon as the D800 was announced in February last year, if you want to get the most out of the 36MP from the D800 for large prints, you must:
    • Use a tripod as much as you can
    • Shoot at the base ISO 100 as much as possible
    • Use the best lenses and at their optimal apertures, such as around f5.6. Otherwise, diffraction will start to play a role by f8 and certainly at f11.
    • I use a one-second exposure delay to let any mirror slap subside
    And shortly after that, Nikon published a web page that gives essentially the same suggestions as I did.
    So if you want to make large prints, get the tripod out and shoot at ISO 100, which means a time exposure for the night scene.
    Or you can hand hold the D800 at ISO 3200 or 6400 and take some casual pictures at a party. You can make some 5x7 prints, and your D800 5x7 prints are going to be better than 5x7 prints from the D300.
    I mean you read that the D800 is giving you less noise, higher resolution, more cropping ability etc, etc. The truth is that you can have it all but not at the same time. Just a thing to keep in mind I think so expectations stay realistic.​
    That is exactly right. The higher pixels, larger sensor area, and newer electronics in the D800 will give you those advantages over the D300, but those advantages are available individually. You have a choice to get which advantage you want in each situation, but you cannot get all of them simultaneously.
    I probably will never print at 16x24 with an ISO 3200 image from the D800. Besides noise, dynamic range and color quality seriously degrade at high ISO. That is just a waste of ink and paper.
    However, occasionally I myself use the D800E casually and capture some snapshots, hand held, as you'll see in the following example. There is nothing that wrong with it, but in such situations I am using the D800E as a glorified point and shoot, and you can't expect the D800 at its best.
    A week ago, my wife and I were walking around downtown La Jolla, California, near San Diego. I took some snapshots hand held after dinner.
    00bCwi-512355684.jpg
     
  80. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    700x700 center crop, from the full FX frame
    The bright areas look ok, but as usual, noise comes from under-exposure, and you'll find noise in the dark areas.
    00bCwj-512355784.jpg
     
  81. And if you look at the biggest size shown in flickr, one would think (at least I would) that the size reduction would have taken care of the noice already. But it didn't.​
    But we don't know if that size posted was downsized straight from the camera or done in Photoshop, but it wouldn't matter anyway because downsizing at least at that rate doesn't do anything to noise especially when not knowing the sampling algorithm used Nearest Neighbor? Bicubic Smoother?, etc. and/or what recipe the incamera downsizing used which may have been applied within or downstream from the A/D converter.
    Still too many unknowables to judge camera performance based on viewing a flickr image.
     
  82. I've never heard of a place called Wienna.

    There's a city in Austria called Wien that English speakers refer to as Vienna. Beethoven spent some time there. :)
     
  83. Hi, all
    As the owner and the photographer of the picture that startet this thread.. always great to get feedback and critique, good or bad, thats what make us better photographers...
    Anyway, I don´t think this picture is quite fair to the D800.. First, sadly I didn´t have any tripod with me, so this is shot almost handheld, only had some support from a brick wall to steady things. Second I didn´t have a proper lens either, only had the Nikkor 16-85 mm VR, and all in DX mode, its a ok lens, but it shouldn´t be used with the D800, it´s not good enough.
    It´s shoot in raw nef format, original size is 4489x2992, then imported to lightroom, reduced the highlights and lightend the shadows, and a small touch of clarity. Then cropped and straightend a bit. No noise reductions, not in software or camera.
    Only wished I´ve had an tripod and the Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8 lens with me at the time..
    Bernt
     
  84. Great! The mystery is (re)solved. We can all stop speculating now.
    It is still a very nice picture, Bernt.
    How did you find out about this thread?
    --Lannie
     
  85. Didn't know lens manufacturers engineered their lenses to filter noise or reduce the appearance of noise seen in the final image. That's what I'm assuming from those posting about not using the best lens.
    Or is a suboptimal quality lens being attributed to other image degradation I'm not aware of?
     
  86. thx a lot..

    Got it from the flickr stats.. 1.600 hits on the Karlskirche in one day..
    Bernt
     
  87. And Zack is right about using a tripod and over exposing a dark seen using high ISO to reduce noise.
    I just tried it out on my Pentax K100D 6MP camera shooting a very dim scene next to my display requiring an exposure of 33mm, 1 second, f/5, ISO 1600. The histogram highlights nearly peaked against the right side making a bright looking scene. I could've over exposed even more.
    After hitting Auto adjust in ACR making the scene look normal, I could see very little noise even after sharpening to 150 Amount, Radius 1.5, Luminance noise set to 40. Without those Detail panel settings applied there was no visible noise but the image was slightly soft due to my camera not focusing well enough in a dark scene.
     
  88. Thanks Tim. All credit for that trick goes to Steve Smith, photographer extraordinaire and RISD professor, for teaching me not to trust my gear :) Not sure if he's the same Steve Smith that posts here though.
     
  89. Oh, and on a related note ... somebody asked about portraits with a D800E. It looks like I'll be borrowing a friend's D800E for a photoshoot next week, so I'll try and remember to post a comparison image with that and my medium/large format cameras.
     
  90. Whoops! Double post! Or triple!
     
  91. That's just not a very technically well done shot. It's underexposed and it was shot in DX crop mode using a 16-85mm DX kit lens, wide open at widest setting, handheld with slow shutter, and it's had the darks pulled up. Used properly, a D800 can render a very good image under these conditions.
    Ann, you know all that, so why do you keep posting stuff like this? Are you just trying to get people worked up over camera brands?
     
  92. Actually, looking back, this conversation really was over when it was revealed the first time that the photo was taken on a DX lens shot at 1600. As I suspected, too, that noise looks just like what I've gotten when lightening in PS any truly underexposed area of a ISO200+ photo.
     
  93. Didn't know lens manufacturers engineered their lenses to filter noise or reduce the appearance of noise seen in the final image. That's what I'm assuming from those posting about not using the best lens.​
    Tim, the discussion was all about the size of the file being downsampled in order to reduce the visibility of the noise. The noise will still be there, but it will not be visible to the eye in some cases.
    The choice of a DX lens affected the size of the original file available for processing. There's more about it in the thread.
    --Lannie
     
  94. Re: why Ann keeps poking at this photo, it's been pretty clear from the beginning she's trying to quiet her D800 lust. Be satisfied with what she's got. Don't blame her. This is how most men get to keep their wives.
     
  95. Best nugget to come out of all this and definitely worth remembering:
    And Zack is right about using a tripod and over exposing a dark scene using high ISO to reduce noise.
    I just tried it out on my Pentax K100D 6MP camera shooting a very dim scene next to my display requiring an exposure of 33mm, 1 second, f/5, ISO 1600. The histogram highlights nearly peaked against the right side making a bright looking scene. I could've over exposed even more.
    After hitting Auto adjust in ACR making the scene look normal, I could see very little noise even after sharpening to 150 Amount, Radius 1.5, Luminance noise set to 40.​
    Definitely worth remembering.
    --Lannie
     
  96. Ann, tell you what I'm gonna do. I have to run out and do a few things, in an area that's good for some night shooting. I'll take a few photos with a D800 and show you.
     
  97. Here is the Hist O'Gram of the original image under discussion. If it looks like this, there WILL be noise.
    [​IMG]
     
  98. If it looks like this, there WILL be noise. --Les Berkley​
    Also definitely worth remembering. . .
    Ann, you never knew what you were starting.
    --Lannie
     
  99. I think this has been a very good thread. It has learned me and many others quite a lot about the D800. There certainly are more folks than me that are interested in exposure on full frame cameras.
    Andy, please do.
     
  100. Question for Zack, Tim, etc.:
    Is turning up the ISO the best way to reduce noise, given all the side effects of turning up ISO? Wouldn't it be better to use exposure compensation to get the desired over-exposure?
    Hist O'Gram
    Les, thanks for the creative Irish spelling. I'll drink to that.
    --Lannie
     
  101. Bernt, nice to know all the details of the exposure first hand. I hope you are not too upset with me bringing your photo as an example in this thread. It was just the surprise of looking at the noise in the original size that made me do it. I didn't expect that in a D800. Now we know why.
     
  102. Welcome, Bernt! Thanks for the detailed explanation!

    Try Lightroom's Luminance Noise Reduction. It works well. I find that I need to boost the detail
    slider a bit in order to maintain sharpness. If the noise is particularly heavy, I'll also lower the sharpening radius to between .5 and .8

    Best wishes and good shooting!
     
  103. Ann, you never knew what you were starting.​
    That's right, Lennie. And I just start threads with topics that are of interest to myself in my own shooting. Whatever anyone else try to pin on me. It's my hobby, and this is how I try to learn more.
     
  104. And Zack is right about using a tripod and over exposing a dark scene using high ISO to reduce noise.​
    Lannie, I tried to say the same thing long ago in another forum, and the roof fell down.
     
  105. I believe there is a paradox with ISO noise, but I have never fully explored it. At a given shutter speed and f-stop, I believe that pushing the ISO higher to shift the exposure to the right will result in less noise in the image than keeping the ISO lower. In other words, using ISO to 'over expose' a bit is better on noise issues than trying to hold the iSO as low as possible.
    Not sure I am explaining this very well
     
  106. I understand what you mean, Steven.
    But what happens when you use the EV to increase the exposure? What is actually happening in the camera when you do that? In which way is more light getting in?
     
  107. Here's a 100% crop of the scene next to my display shot with my Pentax K100D with ACR defaults on the left and just hitting Auto and applying sharpening to make it look presentable on the right. Without the Detail panel settings applied it still shows no noise.
    00bD0Y-512419584.jpg
     
  108. Landrum Kelly [​IMG][​IMG], Jan 06, 2013; 05:51 p.m.
    Question for Zack, Tim, etc.:
    Is turning up the ISO the best way to reduce noise, given all the side effects of turning up ISO? Wouldn't it be better to use exposure compensation to get the desired over-exposure?
    Hist O'Gram
    Les, thanks for the creative Irish spelling. I'll drink to that.
    --Lannie​
    If you use exposure compensation, where do you think the extra light comes from? :p
    I shoot almost entirely in aperture priority mode. So I would open up to the largest aperture I'm comfortable using, and boost my ISO to the point where my shutter speed is fast enough that I could hand-hold the camera. I shoot at night a lot, using a NEX-7 and a Minolta 58 f/1.2. I'm usually at 1600, but sometimes 3200. If I can overexpose, awesome. If not, that *should* get me an acceptable exposure anyway, but you really can't go past 3200 on that camera without your images being nearly worthless. On the off-chance that the image actually clips the histogram, then I usually stop down to f/2 first, and lower ISO second.
    If there's enough light to overexpose and darken in post, then the images come out really well for a camera with poor high ISO abilities. If there isn't ... well, it is what it is, and that was the camera that I had with me when I took the photo :)
     
  109. And here's how dark the scene actually looks. Remember I shot ISO 1600, 1 second, f/5. Phonebook was placed on top of Mac Mini.
    00bD0b-512419684.jpg
     
  110. Is that a RAW file, Tim? It looks as if ACR is adding noice to your shot.
     
  111. If you use exposure compensation, where do you think the extra light comes from? :p
    Zack, I had been assuming that either aperture or shutter were changing with added exposure compensation, not ISO.
    Exposure can be adjusted by changing either the lens f-number or the exposure time; which one is changed usually depends on the camera's exposure mode. If the mode is aperture priority, exposure compensation changes the exposure time; if the mode is shutter priority, the f-number is changed. If a flash is being used, some cameras will adjust it as well. (Wikipedia)​
    --Lannie
     
  112. The exif doesn't show what the camera is doing when you are using the EV compensation. That is the reason why I am asking the question. Raising the ISO? Not very likely. I think I would have noticed on a D300.
     
  113. It's Raw, Ann. I cranked up the sharpening to 150 Amount, Radius 1.5, Luminance Noise reduction 40. If I reduce Radius to 1 the noise clumps get smaller on the top flat section above the phonebook. The bottom Mac Mini metal below the phonebook is not noise but the burnished metal texture.
    Believe me it's a surprisingly clean looking image but I think the softness/blur may be hiding a lot of the noise. Not sure. The image viewed full frame at lower zoom looks very detailed. This is a 6MP image so thick hard edges are going to look almost like a vector graphic.
    Higher resolution of the Nikon will change this relationship of noise clump size to detail edge softness. The thing about newer versions of ACR CS5-CS6 (CS3 used here) is that they changed the Radius so you can't get these vector like clean edges. Further sharpening in Photoshop is required on higher resolution images.
     
  114. Look top right in the image, Tim.
     
  115. Top right is what I'm talking about, Ann. But really there isn't that much noise considering ISO 1600 and how dark the scene really is. There should be a ton of noise everywhere and there isn't. Here's the entire image. Compare it to the original dark scene I posted.
    00bD14-512429884.jpg
     
  116. It looks very good in that size. Good test.
     
  117. There may be a cause for why that shot looks so clean and it probably has something to do with the skylight peaking through the blinds in that scene. Natural light seems to clean things up even if there's a tiny bit where as artificial light (tungsten) like in that Nikon night shot tends to amplify noise I assuming due to it's spectrum of photons it delivers.
    The scene is still dark but there's just enough of late afternoon diffused sun light with the sun positioned on the opposite side of the building the blinds of my window are facing. I noticed this about fill flash shooting in dark areas. Even at high ISO just a little bit of full spectrum light can clean things up considerably.
     
  118. Even at high ISO just a little bit of full spectrum light can clean things up considerably.​
    Absolutely. I have noticed that too.
     
  119. Here's the same 100% crop with just ACR defaults and -4.00 maxed out exposure reduction to darken the over exposed shot. No sharpening or noise reduction.
    00bD1y-512443584.jpg
     
  120. Very clean, Tim.

    I just found another example, sitting here looking at photos in a flickr group for the 28-300mm lens . The scene is more evenly lit, and there is still day light. It's a D600 shot at ISO 1000, with -1/3EV exposure compensation. Ehm....I am still a bit surprised...
     
  121. Ann -- You're never gonna give up on that D300 (even if it does have a bad job, a growing waistline, and an undeniable alcohol problem... til death do you part). You're out there scouring flickr for these noisy pitchers. (This noise really ain't that bad unless you're printing at 24 x 36 or something. Though I do notice a little color fringing around the arched windows on the left....)
    Are you really trying to tell us that the new emperors of FX have a wardrobe problem? Because while I have no real stakes in that contest I do believe that there are plenty of examples of similar-circumstance photographs, properly taken, that do not have these difficulties. There might be a bit more faith involved in this conviction than there is observed evidence on my part, but still, I'm betting it's true.
     
  122. I just found another example​
    It was shot at f/8 and 1/10 sec while boosting ISO to 1000. WHY? And then he compensated negatively? The left hand did not know what the right was doing.
    It was not crisp at 1/10 sec, and so he tried to sharpen it out of its blurriness. WHY? Sharpening is going to exacerbate the ugliness of whatever noise there might be.
    The giveaway to these errors is the beady noise in the darker sky to right. This is simply bad exposure decision-making, compounded by bad (and futile) post-processing efforts to try to pull off some kind of recovery. I won't blame the camera for those bad calls.
    --Lannie
     
  123. That D600 shot also shows the indication from the sharpening texture that it was hand held with IS more than likely turned on. I get the same clay textured feel to edge detail seen in the neon signs and edges of buildings when over compensating through sharpening IS induced slight softening.
     
  124. Ann, that D600 image isn't particularly well done and looks like it was shot through window glass. Really, what is the point in going through Flickr looking for problem samples from particular cameras? You can get any camera to look bad. But anyway, here are a few I shot tonight. I tried doing some noise reduction, but I'm crap at it because I never use it except to kill the chroma noise because I don't like what it does to the detail, so I'm sure there are others here who could get better postprocessing results. I used a 50mm/1.4 AIS lens and a $40 tripod.
     
  125. What is tread about? Ann if your trying to prove that even best cameras, can produce noisy pictures, when used in way less than ideal setting, everybody already knows that.
    If you intend to use yours the same way, I can highly recommend use of the professional mode, it is marked “P” on mode dial, you will have way better results.
     
  126. @ PeterS
    "...Which means that the D800 have no real noise advantage over the D300 anymore."


    Noise is easy to remove. And always has been. So your statement is partially true. But at equal FOV, there is no print size that the D800 would not have a huge IQ advantage over the D300 with regard to detail, which is what really counts, isn't it?. The D800 gives noticeably improved IQ (vastly improved detail) without noise at any print size over the D300 (and just about any 'common' camera body to date).
    "I mean you read that the D800 is giving you less noise, higher resolution, more cropping ability etc, etc. The truth is that you can have it all but not at the same time. Just a thing to keep in mind I think so expectations stay realistic."

    My D800 must be defective because it has it all. My guess is you have never used a D800. Am I correct? Any image at any ISO shot at an equal FOV and equal ISO between the D800 and any Nikon (and probably Canon body) will have less noise, higher resolution (more detail) and more cropping ability.
     
  127. Andy, those are awesome D800 shots. I love the reflections off puddles and wet pavement.
    If a camera can do that once, but does not do it the next time, the second time is user error, and THERE IS A LOT OF USER ERROR IN THIS WORLD!
    I know that I have made my share of errors, and blaming the camera has not made me any better.
    --Lannie
     
  128. @Ann "I have been under the impression that you didn't have to apply any noise reduction to the D800 photos."

    You pretty much don't IF you are a JPG shooter and have NR turned on in the camera and get the exposure right.
     
  129. You're never gonna give up on that D300.​
    Till death do us part, Vince. I'm gonna care well for him in his old days. His health is not what it used to be, and he is not that good looking anymore. He is already 4 you know. But I still love him. Most of the time.
    Are you really trying to tell us that the new emperors of FX have a wardrobe problem?​
    Not really. I am trying to find out if Nikon FX is a good alternative for me when I need to buy a new camera. There is a lot of money involved.
     
  130. It was shot at f/8 and 1/10 sec while boosting ISO to 1000. WHY? And then he compensated negatively? The left hand did not know what the right was doing.​
    Lannie, and why can't a camera handle that in the end of 2012? If that were me, and I had to handheld the camera, I could have chosen the same exposure: aperture priority, ISO 1000 and -1/3EV. Dependent on how sharp the image turned out, I might have boosted the ISO some to avoid camera shake. (As was done in die Karlskirche photo)
     
  131. Andy, you have been busy! You know how to handle the camera. Nice shots.
    You can get any camera to look bad.​
    I know that. I am trying to find a camera that can do well in low light shooting. I hope my old lover won't die on me before I have found one.
     
  132. If you intend to use yours the same way, I can highly recommend use of the professional mode, it is marked “P” on mode dial, you will have way better results.​
    I bet you are getting good results when you are using P mode, Nick. Have you ever tried aperture priority mode? It is not difficult to use. You will soon get the hang of it :)
     
  133. Have any of you found out exactly what the camera is doing when exposure compensation is applied? What does it boost to get more or less light into the exposure? Or is the boosting done by the software? If so, could it be that it is better to do manual exposure than to use exposure compensation in one of the automated program modes?
     
  134. If you use aperture priority mode it's pretty easy to see what the camera does when you compensate: it slows or speeds up the shutter. You can observe this in the viewfinder. Presumably, though I never use it, on shutter priority it would open and close the aperture and on program it would deploy both based on some calculation typical to P.
     
  135. Ann, exposure compensation on any normal camera makes the camera behave as if the meter reading were different by the amount of the compensation. So whatever the variable is will get varied.
    But anyway, my point - if I can get noticeably better results than what you saw on Flickr by using a pretty small amount of care while multitasking (and I've only used this camera on a tripod in these conditions a couple of times and have no real knowledge of how to properly use noise reduction software) in just about no light, then if you were using one of these cameras you could do at least as well. What you're seeing in those photos on Flickr isn't "these cameras are noisy in low light," it's "if you don't use proper care and technique you can end up with various technical issues like too much noise, blur, failure to focus, etc."
     
  136. Andy, those are awesome D800 shots. I love the reflections off puddles and wet pavement.​
    Not only that but I downloaded one of Andy's full rez "straight up" (the first cityscape) shots and uprezzed it to 3ft.x2ft. @ 300ppi using Bicubic Smoother and viewing at 100% in Photoshop shows a perfectly shaped tiny cross on top of one of the skyscrapers among all the clumps of noise in the sky.
    Are freakin' kidding?! That's a miracle camera.
     
  137. @Elliot

    I'm sure you think your D800 is the bee's knees. Myself I don't believe in old wives tales or the emotionally skewed view and unavoidable placebo effects that seems to follow from a camera purchase. I believe in science, measurements and facts and what I stated above is just that. Shun confirmed that as well.
    If you for instance take you D800 image and and use you cropping ability as in the image below
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/prcrash/3021705947/
    According to dxomark what you then have is an image that is just as good as a D7000 image but not better. About the same resolution, the same noise etc etc. This is just reality.
    And you are correct that I don't shoot with a D800, I use a D600 and film as well. But more importantly what I do have is a large format 24" inkjet printer. So I can print bigger than any dSLR today can resolve without stitching. What I see is that noise doesn't translate to the print as one would expect and you need loads of resolution to able to notice the resolution increase in a big print. And I'm not talking from far away but close.
    What matters a lot though is post production and a lower resolution noisier image expertly processed will appear sharper and more detailed than than the same image shoot with the higher resolution and less noise with just average processing. Very small prints like 8x10" can be made to look good with almost any camera and that goes for flickr and online viewing as well. What I'm trying to say is that the new generation of FX cameras are good but they are not miracle machines as some are led to believe.
     
  138. Quite a long discussion this is.
    As the point seems to be noise generated by the D800 at high ISO I wonder if testing it shooting a neutral surface perfectly exposed at different ISO levels wouldn't show more than looking at real scenes requiring challenging exposure techniques, dynamic ranges beyond the sensor capabilities and images resulting from conversions and editions that can influence their final aspect.
     
  139. <<Have any of you found out exactly what the camera is doing when exposure compensation is applied?>>

    Assuming a fixed ISO value:

    In Aperture Priority Mode, exposure compensation lengthens or shortens the shutter speed. In Shutter Priority Mode, is
    opens or closes the aperture if more values are available in the required direction. P mode is unpredictable, but it would
    be one or the other of these adjustments or some combination.

    I wrote a description of what would happen in M mode, but my iPad ate that paragraph, and I don't feel like retyping it.
     
  140. @ peter
    You are correct if I was referring to a DX crop comparison. If you reread my comments, you will see I clearly stated "equal FOV", "But at equal FOV, there is no print size that the D800 would not have a huge IQ advantage over the D300"
    Further, taking a DX image and equal FOV FX image, and equally cropping both, the FX image will without a doubt be superior in every way.
    When it comes to IQ, the D600 and D800 'are the bee's knees'!
     
  141. Dan South [​IMG], Jan 07, 2013; 06:28 p.m.
    <<Have any of you found out exactly what the camera is doing when exposure compensation is applied?>>
    Assuming a fixed ISO value:
    In Aperture Priority Mode, exposure compensation lengthens or shortens the shutter speed. In Shutter Priority Mode, is opens or closes the aperture if more values are available in the required direction. P mode is unpredictable, but it would be one or the other of these adjustments or some combination.
    I wrote a description of what would happen in M mode, but my iPad ate that paragraph, and I don't feel like retyping it.​
    I can only speak for the cameras that I have spent a lot of time with, which is mostly Nikon. Assuming a fixed ISO, Dan is correct. At some point, you will need to raise the ISO manually, if hand-holding. If you are using auto ISO, then the camera will boost ISO based on what it thinks is hand-holdable. I find that cameras under $1000 or so are usually more likely to boost ISO than more expensive bodies, and that with a manual or other non-communicating lens attached, anything could happen.
    If you're using Manual mode, my experience is that adjusting the EV dial alters the meter readout, but has no bearing whatsoever on your actual exposure.
    All that is assuming that whatever your camera calls the 'dynamic range control' is off. If it's on, then the image is probably boosted in "post." If you're shooting RAW, it will usually show you the boosted image on the LCD (since it uses a jpg for preview), but it will load onto your computer as a non-boosted image.
    I say 'probably' because I don't have a lot of experience with those functions - I turn them all off. If I want my midtones boosted, I'll do it myself. I really don't like the 'sometimes stuff just happens' aspect of DSLRs.
     
  142. Ann, you seem to have an unusual phobia about "noise." I shot film for so many years that I just see some texture in an image as equivalent to the grain we got in a film image. The grain or noise in almost any digital camera since the before D70 has been amazingly unobtrusive even at 1600 iso in my opinion. I shot extensively indoors with my D70 at 1600 iso with no more noise than I am seeing in examples of many newer cameras. Some of it is learning how to use the tools, such as ACR, and exposure, sharpening, etc. To me acceptable noise in an image looks more like film grain in that it is does not look like pixels. Simple texture is beautiful! Texture increases the visual perception of sharpness too. Check out a book: "The Edge of Darkness, The art, craft and power of the high definition monochrome photograph" by Barry Thornton. Any modern camera on the market today is capable of producing high quality images at any iso you you want, providing you can accept some grain at the higher end. Repeat after me: "grain is not bad, grain is not bad," etc."
     
  143. Ann, you seem to have an unusual phobia about "noise." I shot film for so many years that I just see some texture in an image as equivalent to the grain we got in a film image. The grain or noise in almost any digital camera since the before D70 has been amazingly unobtrusive even at 1600 iso in my opinion. I shot extensively indoors with my D70 at 1600 iso with no more noise than I am seeing in examples of many newer cameras. Some of it is learning how to use the tools, such as ACR, and exposure, sharpening, etc. To me acceptable noise in an image looks more like film grain in that it is does not look like pixels. Simple texture is beautiful! Texture increases the visual perception of sharpness too. Check out a book: "The Edge of Darkness, The art, craft and power of the high definition monochrome photograph" by Barry Thornton. Any modern camera on the market today is capable of producing high quality images at any iso you you want, providing you can accept some grain at the higher end. Repeat after me: "grain is not bad, grain is not bad," etc."
     
  144. Grain isn't bad, but I'm not a fan of noise. The two have very different patterns, and noise is accompanied by a reduction in tonal range, while grain is not.
    But if you can't reduce noise without making an image too soft, you CAN add a little grain on top of it to cover it up. I find that generally works wonderfully for monochrome images, but isn't so great with colour.
     
  145. At 100%, D800 has lots of noise.
    Down-sampled, it doesn't.
    It's how you look at it.
     
  146. At 100%, D800 has lots of noise.​
    You want to show us photos under any and all conditions and ISO settings backing that up? I would not claim that it is the world's best low-light camera, but, as has been shown above, there are ways to pull out clean-looking files even in the dark. In good light, you won't have any trouble with noise whatsoever.
    You came late to the party. There is a LOT above which is worth reading.
    --Lannie
     
  147. I've been away for a day or so and might have missed some posts, so forgive me if anyone has pointed this out already: the DXOMark low light ISO scores (one of three measures that goes into their sensor tests) "is based on Low-Light ISO performance (values in ISO index). Low-Light ISO indicates the highest ISO sensitivity to which your camera can be set while maintaining a high quality, low-noise image (based on a Signal-to-Noise-Ratio [SNR] of 30dB, a dynamic range of 9EVs and a color depth of 18bits)."

    Now I ain't sayin it's right but -- top score goes to the Nikon D3s at an amazing 3253 -- this means you have to hit ISO 3200 before the image fails to meet the parameters indicated. Second is the D600 at 2980, then (a point behind...) the D800E at 2979. After that is the D4 at 2965 and then the D800 at 28something. The Canon EOS 1Dx at 2756.
    The D300s shows up at 787. This is behind the D5000, D3000, D90, D3100, D5100, D7000, and D3200.
    For what it's worth. check it out here at http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Ratings/(type)/usecase_sports
     
  148. I always found the names DXOMark gives their measurements a bit odd. The high ISO rating is called "Use Case: Sports" - but it's not by any means a list in order of how likely I'd be to want to use them for sports.
     
  149. Here is the DXOMark score for overall sensor performance:
    [LINK]

    --Lannie
     
  150. I have a question about these DXOMark numbers, which someone who's conversant with them will likely be able to answer: you'll see, and this is just one arbitrary example, that the D2H scores a 40. Now did it get a 40 score at the time of its release? With 40, presumably, at that time, being a very high score? Because with the D800e and the D600 at 95 or whatever, are we nearing a 100-level the parameters of which were established somehow years ago? Or is this a scale that adjusts as it were to the forward movement of time? So that the D2H might once have scored an 84 or whatever.
    This is how I waste my days.
     
  151. I've been wasting my day on some spreadsheets.
    I think the overall number is some synthetic score, based on a weighted average of scores, normalized so the numbers would be nice and readable. Or something to that effect. I don't think they've ever re-scaled them, or said that 100 was the limit. Presumably some time soon some camera would get over a 100, and there would be a lot of ooh's and ahh's, but it wouldn't really be anything mind-blowing, just an incremental update.
     
  152. Ann,
    you do realise, don't you, that all you're commenting on here is these photographers' conversion and post processing skills? Nothing in the images you complain about says one single thing about the inherent abilities of the cameras in question.
    I've seen the same thing for years when people have banged on about the "noisy" Canon 7D: it's actually an amazingly capable high ISO camera for a crop camera, but it needs an intelligent approach to conversion and processing which is apparently beyond some people.
     

Share This Page