Expose to the right to minimize noise

Started May 23, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Mark Turney
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Expose to the right to minimize noise
May 23, 2007

I don't usually worry too much about noise. But being a geek, I sometimes can't help but try to make my images technically perfect as well as artistic. I was reminded today by a fellow photographer to make sure that I expose to the right side of the histogram, especially when using a small sensor P&S.

So, I did a test this afternoon with the GRD. I shot in manual mode, varied the exposure by about 1 EV each shot @ ISO 400 in RAW format. No adjustments were made in ACR, and the only manipulation in Photoshop was to adjust levels, as I would have done with any image. The EV values are shown in the bottom right of each shot.

It's very clear that exposing to the right of the histogram yields much lower noise.

Hope this helps someone to realize how important proper exposure is, especially with our cherished little Ricoh's.... ; - )

Mark T.

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