Ugly clipping in the sky - what to do? (DP1x)

Started Apr 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
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I'll answer as best I can:
In reply to Felix E Klee, Apr 27, 2012

As you no doubt know, an amplifier increases the size, or strength, of the signal. In doing so, it also increases the size, or strength of any 'noise', or un-wanted data. With a strong signal, the signal is greatly increased in strength. Being significantly weaker than the signal, the noise is increased in strength by a much lower amount---although the degree of amplification is the same for both the signal and the noise.

Assuming that you have an input signal strength of 10 and a noise strength of 1 you could discard everything with a strength of 1 or less, leaving only the signal, which would be at a strength of 9. If you amplified everything by a factor of 10 before discarding anything, you'd have a relative signal strength of 100 and a relative noise strength of 10. In that case you'd discard everything below 10, leaving a 'pure' signal with a relative strength of 90.

As the signal strength decreases wither because of lower light levels, smaller apertures, faster shutter speeds, or higher ISO settings, the difference between the strength of the signal and the noise decreases and it becomes more difficult to eliminate the noise. I presume that changing the ISO setting changes the point where 'data' is discarded, and therefore the relative signal to noise ratio.

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William Wilgus

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