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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Camera Noise -- Are my expectations too high!?
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07/27/2017 10:21:57 AM · #1
Ok -- you're probably all sick and tired of my noise tirades on the 7D (which I've loved, other than the noise, and has been incredibly disappointing over the last 1.5 years.)

I'm finally ready to fix the problem. I've rented a Sony 6500 and started doing some test shots. Here are the issues:

1. I had congenital cataracts with lousy vision until about 1.5 years ago. They implanted a lens, and I now have 20/20 vision far away. (need readers close up). I'm seeing the noise more than I used to, but I don't see the noise in other peoples photos (for the most part)

2. I just had a hole in the retina in my dominant eye, and it's really really cloudy at the moment.

3. With doing wildlife photography, I many times want to view/crop a portion of the photo at 100%. With my Canon 40D, I thought that I used to do this very frequently without noticing noise.

Ok: So here are the questions:

A. Is this asking too much? I tried the 6500 at 100%, 800 ISO. The dog face seems ok. The background is really noisy, imo.

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203140.jpg

B. The 7D noisy background:

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203144.jpg

When you start going 100% and try to take the noise out, you loose a lot of details

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203145.jpg

Am I expecting too much? I see people saying that they're shooting at 1600-3200, but I don't shoot at more than 400, and even that seems too noisy.

Message edited by author 2017-07-27 10:25:51.
07/27/2017 10:33:06 AM · #2
Only the A6500 is at 100%. IMO to be at 800 ISO is way too noisy, A6300/A6500 have a perfect behaviour at that level. Looking for a file at 800ISO and I will show you
07/27/2017 10:43:01 AM · #3
Looking at yours again, the noise in the background dark areas I guess is not that much. And above all Sony files is very easy to be cleaned.

In any case this is a 100% file at ISO800 (A6300):

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203146.jpg
07/27/2017 12:26:15 PM · #4
Wendy,
What software are you using for RAW conversion? Lr? If so, what do the sharpening slider settings look like in the Details section? The applicable sliders are:
- Amount
- Radius
- Detail
- Masking

ETA: I'm specifically asking about the dog pic...

Message edited by author 2017-07-27 12:28:49.
07/27/2017 01:53:15 PM · #5
I can't help you on this. The Pentax K3 is very noisy at ISO 800. Especially if I don't get the exposure DEAD ON (which I almost never do because I've spent far too many years underexposing for highlight control and now I'm married to it). So I've just kind of learned to work WITH the noise. Turn it into a bit of a "like film" experience.

lol.

Luckily for me, most of my photos don't in any way need to be glass smooth.

Anyway, I'm just responding to respond because I'm a bit bored. Sorry :D
07/27/2017 02:14:41 PM · #6
all this is of interest. (I too am married to the underexposure. I too am thinking of the Sony a6500).
07/27/2017 02:58:32 PM · #7
The Sony sensors are great sensors--that's what's in my Fuji.

Underexposure is not the cause (at least regarding boosting via ISO)...almost all modern Sony sensors are ISO invariant. (The new a9 might be an exception.)

By that, I mean if you take the same photo at ISO 200 and ISO 3200, and increase the exposure 4x in the ISO 200 shot, it should be almost exactly the same as the ISO 3200 shot. There are exceptions to this rule, certain high ISO values (extended ISO) set in camera trigger special handling in camera. (Also, per below, there's some difference in very low light situations...the advantage of shooting a low ISO though and then later boosting the exposure/iso is that you control highlights!).

BUT: What I'm saying is that ISO doesn't matter in how much noise you have. Obviously, the more light you have, the better, of course, and the less noise at all ISOs. So a very dark room will produce more noise at ISO 200 boosted to 3200, but it will still be the same if you shot it at 3200. A good light situation will be better at 200 and 6400, except you will probably blow the highlights at 6400.

Here's a comparison of ISO performance of the Sony 6500 and the always touted performance of the Fuji X series. As you can see, the Sony is basically equivalent.

http://mirrorlesscomparison.com/sony-vs-fujifilm/a6500-vs-xt2/#ISO-Performance

If you're a pixel peeper (like me), you will see noise at high ISO. What's different about the modern Sony sensor is how much the noise resembles photographic grain. Especially the Fuji's, since they use a non-Bayer pattern filter. The trick is that you can't see that noise when printing or looking at normal sizes. Unless you post-process somewhat extremely in terms of clarity/sharpening, which can enhance the noise.

Regarding your shots--are they using the kit lens? I had a 6000 for a month (I ended up returning it and buying the Fuji for handling reasons) and the kit lens was very soft. The 16-70 Zeiss was much better, as was the 10-20 Sony. (I had all three.)


Message edited by author 2017-07-27 15:18:47.
07/27/2017 07:23:25 PM · #8
Originally posted by Neil:

Regarding your shots--are they using the kit lens? I had a 6000 for a month (I ended up returning it and buying the Fuji for handling reasons) and the kit lens was very soft. The 16-70 Zeiss was much better, as was the 10-20 Sony. (I had all three.)

I'm pretty sure she's testing with a Metabones adapter and her Canon glass. She has decent glass.
07/27/2017 08:33:22 PM · #9
Really anxious to read this - flu - will catch up soon.
07/27/2017 09:33:52 PM · #10
Originally posted by vawendy:

Really anxious to read this - flu - will catch up soon.

Flu - in July? Dang, that's a bummer. Get better soon.
07/27/2017 11:09:13 PM · #11
Noise, grain, high ISO's .... we need to stop this. Most all cameras are amazing these days ... really.

If you are viewing your images at 1:1 how about stepping it back to 1:2 and consider what application this image is for - web, small prints, medium prints, large prints, billboard.
Will it really be seen in the end product? Will the people purchasing it even be seeing it or looking for it? Prints don't tend to show the grain like a screen zoomed right in does.

Photographers are the worst for picking at photos we need to stop this.


Message edited by author 2017-07-27 23:13:55.
07/28/2017 04:03:01 AM · #12
embrace noise
07/28/2017 07:35:01 AM · #13
Canon 80D - ISO 800

Crop
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203206.jpg

Full photo
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203205.jpg

Canon 80D - worst case scenario, ISO 6400:

Lots of visible noise in the crop
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203203.jpg

Really doesn't bother me too much in the full (unedited) photo
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203204.jpg
07/28/2017 12:53:17 PM · #14
Originally posted by kirbic:

Wendy,
What software are you using for RAW conversion? Lr? If so, what do the sharpening slider settings look like in the Details section? The applicable sliders are:
- Amount
- Radius
- Detail
- Masking

ETA: I'm specifically asking about the dog pic...


I'm just using photoshop camera RAW editor. I haven't done any denoising on anything. When I've done the sliders in the past, I've lost detail. So when looking at cameras, I'm trying to find the best I can get with the lowest noise so I have the least loss of detail when I denoise.
07/28/2017 12:56:21 PM · #15
Originally posted by Neil:



Regarding your shots--are they using the kit lens? I had a 6000 for a month (I ended up returning it and buying the Fuji for handling reasons) and the kit lens was very soft. The 16-70 Zeiss was much better, as was the 10-20 Sony. (I had all three.)


Bear was right. I'm using the metabones with canon lenses. That was with the 24-105 f4L
07/28/2017 12:58:26 PM · #16
Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

Canon 80D - ISO 800

Really doesn't bother me too much in the full (unedited) photo
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203204.jpg


Hmmm... it bothers me in the background of this one. It's a great photo, but the background seems distracting with the noise.
07/28/2017 12:58:55 PM · #17
Originally posted by Alexkc:

Looking at yours again, the noise in the background dark areas I guess is not that much. And above all Sony files is very easy to be cleaned.

In any case this is a 100% file at ISO800 (A6300):

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203146.jpg


This seems very noisy...
07/28/2017 01:17:04 PM · #18
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by Alexkc:

Looking at yours again, the noise in the background dark areas I guess is not that much. And above all Sony files is very easy to be cleaned.

In any case this is a 100% file at ISO800 (A6300):

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203146.jpg

This seems very noisy...

Sheesh, Wendy; that 100% file, as viewed on your screen, is at LEAST a 300% view, larger than life-size of what's actually captured by the sensor on the APS-C camera. I'm not sure what you're expecting, but in practical terms this means not much at all. ANY image looks like heck if you get that close to it.
07/28/2017 01:24:14 PM · #19
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by Alexkc:

Looking at yours again, the noise in the background dark areas I guess is not that much. And above all Sony files is very easy to be cleaned.

In any case this is a 100% file at ISO800 (A6300):

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203146.jpg

This seems very noisy...

Sheesh, Wendy; that 100% file, as viewed on your screen, is at LEAST a 300% view, larger than life-size of what's actually captured by the sensor on the APS-C camera. I'm not sure what you're expecting, but in practical terms this means not much at all. ANY image looks like heck if you get that close to it.


I fear the mighty DPC and possibly things like hyper-processed magazine images and the like have sullied her view of the real world ;)
07/28/2017 01:25:27 PM · #20
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by Alexkc:

Looking at yours again, the noise in the background dark areas I guess is not that much. And above all Sony files is very easy to be cleaned.

In any case this is a 100% file at ISO800 (A6300):

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203146.jpg

This seems very noisy...

Sheesh, Wendy; that 100% file, as viewed on your screen, is at LEAST a 300% view, larger than life-size of what's actually captured by the sensor on the APS-C camera. I'm not sure what you're expecting, but in practical terms this means not much at all. ANY image looks like heck if you get that close to it.


I was about to say the same. A6500 is probably the best APSC camera when dealing with low light capabilities. No doubt extremely better than 7DII. One close friend of mine, awarded with a top 5 at last BBC Wildlife photographer of the year is switching from 7DII to A6500 right now.
07/28/2017 01:33:32 PM · #21
For what it's worth, here's a 100% crop off a properly-exposed wide-angle show with the FF a7r at ISO 1250, followed by the same thing on the 1-stop-under side of the bracket:

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203219.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203220.jpg
07/28/2017 02:09:51 PM · #22
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

Canon 80D - ISO 800

Really doesn't bother me too much in the full (unedited) photo
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203204.jpg


Hmmm... it bothers me in the background of this one. It's a great photo, but the background seems distracting with the noise.


Yes, but how often are you going to use ISO 6400? (Your quote has the ISO from the first photo.)
07/28/2017 02:17:26 PM · #23
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by Alexkc:

Looking at yours again, the noise in the background dark areas I guess is not that much. And above all Sony files is very easy to be cleaned.

In any case this is a 100% file at ISO800 (A6300):

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1203146.jpg

This seems very noisy...

Sheesh, Wendy; that 100% file, as viewed on your screen, is at LEAST a 300% view, larger than life-size of what's actually captured by the sensor on the APS-C camera. I'm not sure what you're expecting, but in practical terms this means not much at all. ANY image looks like heck if you get that close to it.


Hey -I'm just starting to move around after being sick for two days, and I can't see much out of my left eye. I was thinking I was viewing 100% not 300%.

That makes more sense because I couldn't understand why anyone would think that was acceptable noise!!
07/28/2017 02:19:03 PM · #24
Sitting on the ferry having taken photos of some birds. Can't see the screen on the 6500 at all during the day. Luckily everything including playback can be done through the viewfinder.
07/28/2017 02:47:57 PM · #25
It's distracting seeing the shot in the viewfinder. This seems extremely nice for street photography, portraits, or still wildlife. I missed shots having it come up during actions, though. But I assume you can turn this off.

I also miss the double click of the shutter. I didn't realize how much I used that to simply "hear" when I was using too slow of a shutter speed.
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