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Yisehaq
01-26-2009, 07:28 AM
Hi Everyone,
Could someone explain to me the use of higher ISO meaning ISO greater than 800?
When I don't have enough light around I just try to use higher ISO but almost always it will be filled with noise. I can understand that is filled with noise but my question is when will we use this effectively. And I have heard that some cameras have ISO like 2600 or something.

Ben H
01-26-2009, 07:45 AM
When I don't have enough light around I just try to use higher ISO but almost always it will be filled with noise.

This depends entirely on your camera. Better cameras have a better noise performance, meaning you can increase the ISO with much less noise than cheaper cameras.

You can also use noise reduction on the camera (most have a variety of NR settings) and can also do extra noise processing on the image.

My Canon 450D has good performance at 400, perfectly fine at 800, and 1600 (it's highest) is useable on prints and fine on the web, but does benefit from a little noise reduction.

I'm happy to use 1600 for indoor shots if necessary - if there's motion, slightly increased noise but higher shutter speeds is a good trade off, especially as you can improve noise in PP but can't improve blurry images.

If your camera doesn't offer you the low light performance you'd like, it might be time to start thinking about upgrading, perhaps?

BTW Each ISO doubling is an extra stop: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 and so on.

Yisehaq
01-27-2009, 02:03 AM
Thanks Ben H,
Never thought of the noise reduction on PP. Can you please give me some hints?

Barefoot
01-27-2009, 02:09 AM
The newer offerings from Nikon and Canon have amazing quality at higher ISO’s and sooner or later, it will work its way down to the entry level models. In my humble opinion, the consumer has directed the market in the wrong direction. Instead of the never ending quest for higher megapixals, (in some cases, there is more resolution in the body than the lens are able to provide) we should be demanding the same image quality at ISO 1600 that the pros are getting with their rigs. I’d much rather have a 6mp camera that shot cleanly at ISO 1600 than a 12mp one that struggled with ISO 800.

For example, here’s one shot with available light at our state museum at ISO 1250. I don’t know about you, but I see very little, if any, noise in either the highs or lows. No post processing.

Yisehaq
01-27-2009, 02:24 AM
I don't see either the picture is really nice.
But there seems IMHO to be enough light there. Usually the problem comes when there is not enough light and you are struggling to get that you end up in noise.

But for example if you use higher ISO for sport photography in order to get higher shutter speed then I don't usually experience that much noise.

Barefoot
01-27-2009, 02:39 AM
I don't see either the picture is really nice.
But there seems IMHO to be enough light there. Usually the problem comes when there is not enough light and you are struggling to get that you end up in noise.

But for example if you use higher ISO for sport photography in order to get higher shutter speed then I don't usually experience that much noise.

This is where I’ll probably step beyond my ability to comment with any authority, but I think that the reason that there appears to be enough light is that it was shot at ISO 1250. The museum doesn’t allow the use of tripods. If I had tried to make the same shot handheld at say…ISO 600 I imagine the exposure time would have gone from the 1/10 of a second this one was made at to an exposure of over a second with a much different result (i.e.blurred beyond use). One-tenth of a second at ISO 600 would have been a bit darker.

Ben H
01-27-2009, 05:12 AM
Thanks Ben H,
Never thought of the noise reduction on PP. Can you please give me some hints?

There are fairly sophisticated software packages optimised for this, like Nik's Dfine, Noise Ninja and other similar stuff - they are really pretty good...

Ben H
01-27-2009, 05:15 AM
In my humble opinion, the consumer has directed the market in the wrong direction. Instead of the never ending quest for higher megapixals, (in some cases, there is more resolution in the body than the lens are able to provide) we should be demanding the same image quality at ISO 1600 that the pros are getting with their rigs. Id much rather have a 6mp camera that shot cleanly at ISO 1600 than a 12mp one that struggled with ISO 800.

If you nose around on the forums, the general popular opinion is exactly this - we have enough megapixels, we don't need more, but instead give us better low light/noise performance.

Cameras that come out with higher mp and more noise are not being received particularly favourably within the community.

Now how quickly this attitude moves along to the general consumer, and finds it's way to feedback to the manufacturers I don't know.

Being able to shoot at 6400 with acceptable noise performance would be great. Getting up to the 25000 range and still being able to produce usable images would be fricken' fantastic..! :)

fangelico
02-04-2009, 11:43 AM
Good discussion.. Does anyone have an opinion on an acceptable ISO for the Nikon D80....?

Marko
02-04-2009, 12:07 PM
Good discussion.. Does anyone have an opinion on an acceptable ISO for the Nikon D80....?

Yup ISO 640 is the max IMO. The noise becomes noticeable (to me anyway) at ISO 800. Noise reduction software helps A LOT.

mindforge
02-04-2009, 12:11 PM
I love the d90 and I don't know how the d80 performed but the d90 is amazing at 3200. I never regret having to crank up my ISO. I would rather do other things first but in the past when I had to risk noise over getting the shot I wanted I always turned to flash. I never turn to flash now. I literally only use flash on bright days now or in the studio. I can't wait till I get my D3 or D3x - not sure which one right now.

Ben H
02-04-2009, 12:14 PM
I can't wait till I get my D3 or D3x - not sure which one right now.

If you don't know whether you need the D3x, then get the D3 imo.

Decent resolution, fast camera. The D3x is much slower, the filesizes are bigger (hence you computing/post-processing will take longer and use more computer resources) and do you *really* need the godzilla-like mega-giga-woppa-pixels..?

edbayani11
02-10-2009, 04:11 AM
do you think we can ever get rid of noise completely? it's like film, higher iso, more grain. i think it is better to have a good picture even with noise than a bad picture with no noticeable noise.

jjeling
02-10-2009, 09:51 AM
Ok, I do not hesitate to take an image at 800 iso. Rarely will I go up to 1600. To me that is just desperation and would only use such a high speed if I am forced to. Knowing there will be thousands upon thousands of shots coming from my camera, if the noise is even a question I throw it into the 'almost' folder. Its the folder of images that are good, but just don't make great. To me, if there is one thing that ruins a picture, its noise. Noise to me is really only acceptable in black and white images for added effects. It takes away any depth the picture might have and is generally used at the lowest f-stop because light is needed. How many images has anyone seen that are considered great, with noise in them? Generally the only ones I can remember are pre digital, and are about 40 years old. As far as getting rid of noise completely, I would love to see what happens in the new Sony HD camera. It is 24 megapixels. That is HUGE! A higher megapixel sensor inherently will have more noise but I am not so sure in this case. Anyways, that is just my take on things.

Ben H
02-10-2009, 10:23 AM
Having come from a P&S with dreadfull noise performance (dreadfully bad at 200, unusable at 400) I was initially hesitant to go up on my new DSLR, and wouldn't go above 400, until I bit the bullet and did some tests to work out what I was and wasn't acceptable on my camera.

I recommend doing this. Now I will bump to 800 without worrying about it, and I will go 1600 if I need to and the images aren't super important. I always have the option of tackling some of this noise in camera and/or in post.

Barefoot
02-10-2009, 10:43 AM
I love the d90 and I don't know how the d80 performed but the d90 is amazing at 3200. I never regret having to crank up my ISO. I would rather do other things first but in the past when I had to risk noise over getting the shot I wanted I always turned to flash. I never turn to flash now. I literally only use flash on bright days now or in the studio. I can't wait till I get my D3 or D3x - not sure which one right now.

I'll echo those thoughts. I love the D90 and find it an amazing camera for the price. Not ready to move up to the D3 just yet as the D90 still hasn't finished teaching me.

Do you ever travel over to The Nikonians website and have a listen to their podcast by The Image Doctors? Great stuff for the Nikon shooter. It can be subscribed to in iTunes as well.

Travis
02-11-2009, 07:01 PM
When having to increase ISO one of the tricks is to be aggressive with it(raw shooters). Try to keep the shadows and lowlights as far right on the histogram as possible (without clipping hightlights). More tonal data is available on the right side of the histogram. Then adjust back down in post.

Sometimes people are too afraid to push the ISO and end up with combined noise from an underexposed image and increased SNR from the ISO amplification.

Experiment with overexposing your high iso shots (without clipping). You will be pleased.

tomorrowstreasures
02-12-2009, 07:09 PM
Yup ISO 640 is the max IMO. The noise becomes noticeable (to me anyway) at ISO 800. Noise reduction software helps A LOT.

Which software do you recommend? No matter how nice the shot, digital noise KILLS a shot - unless artistically intended! This is what I have to deal
with : :mad:

1517

1518

Ben H
02-12-2009, 07:38 PM
That's pretty bad. My 450D is *way* better than that even at ISO1600...

Is that taken with your 40D? Should have the same noise performance as mine more or less...

tomorrowstreasures
02-12-2009, 08:10 PM
I think at this time in the ceremony, I was using the 5D... I think i will go hunt down the original files to see the data... brb with uploads - i hope!:fingerscr

tomorrowstreasures
02-12-2009, 09:07 PM
the little girl was shot at f/4.5, ss of 1/500 70-200mm, f2.8 lens shot at 200 iso 3200

bride and groom was shot at f/5.6 1/250, same lens shot at 70mm, same iso

both were set to auto.

could not upload raw file like i wanted to.:(

that is what i know for my case.

Mad Aussie
02-12-2009, 11:28 PM
I find that higher ISO's are acceptable also if the photo is a very busy photo. No large areas of solid colour for instance.

Travis
02-13-2009, 07:52 AM
sometimes auto makes bad choices

the little girl could have been shot at 1/125 iso 800 instead of 3200 1/500

since the little girl is the only subject you could have pulled the aperture down to 2.8..

either way here is a sample of the noise reduction in the $79 paint shop pro x2... it would do even better with a higher rez image..

mindforge
02-13-2009, 11:34 AM
Looks so waxy, Noise Ninja is the same way. I think I would have to flip a coin between noise or that plastic look.

Ben H
02-13-2009, 12:03 PM
I'll echo what Travis said - a better choice of camera settings would have given the same picture with far less noise - but the 40D will give a better noise performance than the 5D anyway.

As for noise removal - he only did that as an example. Like all processing, it's possible to go too far. For me, his example is way too much - it's certainly possible to improve the noise in an image without it being obvious, and if anything, I will stay on the side of underdoing it rather than overdoing it.

tomorrowstreasures
02-13-2009, 12:25 PM
lesson learned on this one - the iso was definitely way too high. my excuse is being rushed and relying on auto to make it work. why is it that the 40d would have better noise control than the much more expensive 5d? i won't give up on these those,,,, johnnyray sent me info on some programs that could help - one is by nik. thanks for all of the help!

Ben H
02-13-2009, 12:35 PM
The 40d is a later model and uses a newer sensor with better performance.

I also use Nik's dfine for noise removal. It's pretty good.

tomorrowstreasures
02-13-2009, 12:40 PM
The 40d is a later model and uses a newer sensor with better performance.

I also use Nik's dfine for noise removal. It's pretty good.

does it look plastic like the one redone here?

Ben H
02-13-2009, 01:14 PM
Noise reduction can't perform miracles - all noise reduction will lose detail. The key is to find an acceptable improvement without getting fake.

Here's an example with Nik's Dfine working at about 74% noise reduction (default is 100%)...

http://www.benhall.co.uk/pics/noise.jpg

Of course, this is a low res image, taken from a compressed jpg and recompressed as a jpg again, so...

This one at 122%

http://www.benhall.co.uk/pics/noise2.jpg

kat
02-13-2009, 01:20 PM
Are these programs purchased or downloaded...I didn't know you could do that - now the images of mine that may benefit from this are coming to mind. How much are these?

Ben H
02-13-2009, 03:09 PM
Nik Dfine:
http://www.niksoftware.com/dfine/usa/entry.php

Note that at least in this case, it's a Photoshop plugin, not an actual stand alone program, so you need Photoshop to be able to use it. Not sure about the other ones offhand.

In general, the most highly regarded NR solutions are DFine and Noise Ninja, but there are others...

Note that also I just did a quick blanket approach, but as DFine just returns a noise-removed layer to Photoshop, you can mask it and paint it in and out however you'd like, so you get a lot of control over how to apply the effect even after the plugin has done it's magic...

kat
02-13-2009, 03:18 PM
Thanks Ben! Much appreciated!

tomorrowstreasures
02-13-2009, 04:35 PM
Hey every one -
Thanks so much for taking the time with this issue!

This is why Photography.ca is my photographic e-home!

:goodvibes

jellotranz
04-01-2009, 09:10 PM
[QUOTE=Ben H;11132]Nik Dfine:
http://www.niksoftware.com/dfine/usa/entry.php
In general, the most highly regarded NR solutions are DFine and Noise Ninja, but there are others...
QUOTE]

I have used them all as I am always pushing my ISO and underexposing... Dfine for my stuff seemed to leave the image too soft and didn't remove some of the noise. Noise Ninja seems to work the best for me... But they both have free trials.. Try em

krphotogs
04-29-2009, 09:53 PM
I cannot speak for Canon products, but the D700 eliminates noise problems almost completely. I have routinely shot at ISO 4000 in an arena, and this last weekend the light at the skating competition I was working was terrible and I, reluctantly, pushed it up to 5000 to get a faster shutter speed.... loaded them on the PC and... no issues.... Got to love the newer technology! :clap:

kat
04-29-2009, 09:56 PM
I cannot speak for Canon products, but the D700 eliminates noise problems almost completely. I have routinely shot at ISO 4000 in an arena, and this last weekend the light at the skating competition I was working was terrible and I, reluctantly, pushed it up to 5000 to get a faster shutter speed.... loaded them on the PC and... no issues.... Got to love the newer technology! :clap:

If there was a smilie that drools I would be posting it right now! I can't wait to upgrade my camera!!!!!!

Mad Aussie
04-30-2009, 01:39 AM
If there was a smilie that drools I would be posting it right now! I can't wait to upgrade my camera!!!!!!
http://www.mtbdirt.com.au/home/smf/Smileys/classic/drool.gif ;)