Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO

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alfio lora
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Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
4 months ago

Hello everyone,

In certain reviews on the Nikon D7100 and noise handling at high ISO, they show sample pics with very good handling even at ISO as high as 3200.

I have used mine at ISO 2500 and notices a LOOOTTTTT more noise than those sample pics. does not perform the way I have seen in the reviews.  I use the Nikon 28-300mm FX lens and shoot manual.  Is there any special trick on lowering noise at a certain high ISO that I may not know about ?

I greatly appreciate eveyone´s help !!

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alfio

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Leonard Migliore
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How are you looking at the images?
In reply to alfio lora, 4 months ago

alfio lora wrote:

Hello everyone,

In certain reviews on the Nikon D7100 and noise handling at high ISO, they show sample pics with very good handling even at ISO as high as 3200.

I have used mine at ISO 2500 and notices a LOOOTTTTT more noise than those sample pics. does not perform the way I have seen in the reviews. I use the Nikon 28-300mm FX lens and shoot manual. Is there any special trick on lowering noise at a certain high ISO that I may not know about ?

Are you looking at 100% views? Then the D7100 is going to look noisy indeed. But it's a 24 MP camera; at any reasonable viewing size, you won't see anything at all.

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Leonard Migliore

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alfio lora
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Re: How are you looking at the images?
In reply to Leonard Migliore, 4 months ago

Hi Leonard,

I am not cropping, this is whats strange,  I am viewing them at regular size. It is quite confusing.

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alfio

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Alleg1
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to alfio lora, 4 months ago

alfio lora wrote:

Hello everyone,

In certain reviews on the Nikon D7100 and noise handling at high ISO, they show sample pics with very good handling even at ISO as high as 3200.

I have used mine at ISO 2500 and notices a LOOOTTTTT more noise than those sample pics. does not perform the way I have seen in the reviews. I use the Nikon 28-300mm FX lens and shoot manual. Is there any special trick on lowering noise at a certain high ISO that I may not know about ?

I greatly appreciate eveyone´s help !!

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alfio

Some general suggestions which might help...

1) Make sure you are not underexposing as this creates noise; many people try to keep the ISO level down to avoid noise, but if this is overdone it can lead to worst noise through underexposure.

2) Noise can be reduced to an extent in post processing, using programs such as "Neat Image" or "Noiseware" amongst others.

3)If you shoot Raw, noise reduction can be applied in Raw conversion rather than relying on in camera settings, so it can be better controlled.

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tjwaggoner
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to alfio lora, 4 months ago

alfio lora wrote:

Hello everyone,

In certain reviews on the Nikon D7100 and noise handling at high ISO, they show sample pics with very good handling even at ISO as high as 3200.

I have used mine at ISO 2500 and notices a LOOOTTTTT more noise than those sample pics. does not perform the way I have seen in the reviews. I use the Nikon 28-300mm FX lens and shoot manual. Is there any special trick on lowering noise at a certain high ISO that I may not know about ?

I greatly appreciate eveyone´s help !!

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alfio

A lot of test shots you see online are shot in good light but use high iso. This is misleading to a lot of people I think. They do this to make test scenes identical for all settings on all cameras.

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Constructive Criticism is always welcome, however please understand that I am not a pixel peeper.

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RhysM
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to alfio lora, 4 months ago

To get the best low noise performance out of the sensor you need to nail the exposure, any under exposed images will show up noise when pushed in post production.

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bobn2
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to tjwaggoner, 4 months ago

tjwaggoner wrote:

alfio lora wrote:

Hello everyone,

In certain reviews on the Nikon D7100 and noise handling at high ISO, they show sample pics with very good handling even at ISO as high as 3200.

I have used mine at ISO 2500 and notices a LOOOTTTTT more noise than those sample pics. does not perform the way I have seen in the reviews. I use the Nikon 28-300mm FX lens and shoot manual. Is there any special trick on lowering noise at a certain high ISO that I may not know about ?

I greatly appreciate eveyone´s help !!

-- hide signature --

alfio

A lot of test shots you see online are shot in good light but use high iso. This is misleading to a lot of people I think. They do this to make test scenes identical for all settings on all cameras.

The exposure should be the nominal exposure for the ISO set, if the test is done properly, so the light is the amount of light for that ISO. The 'good light' question is more that in low light scenes there tends to be proportionately more shadow, and in many cameras shadows suffer proportionately more than the brighter areas, because the electronic noise is visible there. The usual tests still give a guide as to how the camera will perform in low light scenes, just concentrate on the quality of the darker bits.

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Bob

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Draek
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to alfio lora, 4 months ago

There's some, most if not all based on the simple fact that more light means less noise, and conversely less light means more noise, regardless of ISO. Thus:

- Overexpose if you can without blowing the highlights, but certainly never underexpose. Overcast days are a common culprit since few metering systems deal well with them, and a -1EV underexposure turns your ISO1600 shot into something mildly worse than a normal ISO3200 shot. Even if you don't brighten it, since you're still pushing the whole of the image into the noisier shadows.

- Watch out, and compensate if you're able, for White Balance. Think about it: to bring the yellow light of a tungsten bulb back to white, the camera needs to boost the blue channel to bring it up to par with the green and red ones, right? but, that same boost is what happens when you raise the ISO, so one way of looking at it is that your reds and green pixels might be working at the ISO400 you set, but your blue pixels are working at ISO1600 instead (this isn't exactly accurate from an engineering standpoint, but it's close enough). This issue is also why cameras, specially compacts, show large amounts of speckled noise when shooting outdoors at night, even at base ISO; most cities still use sodium lights for street lamps, which produce light only in a very narrow spectrum near yellow, much narrower and yellowish than even tungsten -- thus, effectively the only blue the sensor is taking in comes from the moons and stars. So, what's the ideal for a camera? something as close to daylight as possible -- LED panels and strobes produce less noise than tungsten bulbs for the same apparent illumination, for instance, due to this issue.

- If you can, don't shoot with the lens wide open. The reason is that lenses have not only f-stops, which determine DOF, but also t-stops, which determine how much light reaches the sensor. At typical f-stops (say, f/8) the difference is within measuring error, but in many lenses, specially fast primes, the difference can be of 0.5EV or more due to issues like vignetting, incident angle of the light, etc. So how come the exposure still seems to follow the "halve one, double the other" rule? easy: most cameras' firmware compensates for the difference when shooting with fast lenses wide open by silently raising the ISO. Of course, this isn't too relevant outside of tripod shooting since f/1.4 and ISO1250 (appearing as 800) is still better than f/2.8 and ISO3200, but it's something to keep in mind when comparing against online samples. And remember, even if you get unchipped manual lenses which the camera won't compensate for, vignetting and problems with the incident angle will still happen, throwing you back to the issue of underexposure in the corners as per above.

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alfio lora
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Draek, 4 months ago

Excellent advice and input from everyone, Thank you very muuuuchhhh !!  I will use them

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alfio

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Jack Hass
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Draek, 4 months ago

Draek wrote:

There's some, most if not all based on the simple fact that more light means less noise, and conversely less light means more noise, regardless of ISO. Thus:

- Overexpose if you can without blowing the highlights, but certainly never underexpose. Overcast days are a common culprit since few metering systems deal well with them, and a -1EV underexposure turns your ISO1600 shot into something mildly worse than a normal ISO3200 shot. Even if you don't brighten it, since you're still pushing the whole of the image into the noisier shadows.

This is an absolute farce. Overexposure assumes you have room for a slower SS, and if you had room for a slower SS in the first place, why not just use a lower ISO with a normal exposure which would lessen the chance of blown highlights and still offer less noise???

The rule of thumb for experienced photographers is always use the slowest SS possible, which means you must know your subject to obtain the nominal IQ. With the slowest SS possible, you will be able to either under expose by using lower ISO in camera, pulling it up in post, or, use the appropriate ISO in camera for proper exposure. Either way, you can move the little exposure sliders around all you want and it doesn't change the amount of light being recorded, but to risk highlight clipping because you think you found some tricky way to beat physics just shows your ignorance.

I remember reading this "trick" in the sony forum a while back, when people were complaining about noise when the 24mp apsc sensor was new. When people claim you can overexpose using longer SS, it shows they weren't using proper technique in the first place. Perhaps you should spend less time programming "software" and more time learning good photography technique, at least before you try giving advice to strangers.

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Jack Hass
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Alleg1, 4 months ago

Alleg1 wrote:

Some general suggestions which might help...

1) Make sure you are not underexposing as this creates noise; many people try to keep the ISO level down to avoid noise, but if this is overdone it can lead to worst noise through underexposure.

Again, completely untrue. Noise is determined by the amount of light hitting the sensor, which is determined by SSxAperture. ISO isn't even really part of the exposure "triangle", it is just a digital boost to the visual brightness of an image (keep in mind, be it PP boosting or in camera ISO, the "brightening" of an image brightens both the color and noisy pixels, hence why noise is more apparent at higher ISO). Some people shoot at base ISO all the time, and only adjust SS/Aperture as needed. Then they boost "exposure" in post by pulling it up to whatever suits their taste visually, which is, again, essentially what your camera does with ISO.

2) Noise can be reduced to an extent in post processing, using programs such as "Neat Image" or "Noiseware" amongst others.

Always at the expense of sharp details, as averaging is all that can be done with software for now.

3)If you shoot Raw, noise reduction can be applied in Raw conversion rather than relying on in camera settings, so it can be better controlled.

Very true, and some believe this is also true with ISO.

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Draek
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Jack Hass, 4 months ago

Jack Hass wrote:

This is an absolute farce. Overexposure assumes you have room for a slower SS, and if you had room for a slower SS in the first place, why not just use a lower ISO with a normal exposure which would lessen the chance of blown highlights and still offer less noise???

Because most cameras typically offer 1EV increments for ISO when set manually. And, in my experience, it's either equal or better to overexpose then pull than underexpose then push with respect to noise.

The rule of thumb for experienced photographers is always use the slowest SS possible, which means you must know your subject to obtain the nominal IQ. With the slowest SS possible, you will be able to either under expose by using lower ISO in camera, pulling it up in post, or, use the appropriate ISO in camera for proper exposure. Either way, you can move the little exposure sliders around all you want and it doesn't change the amount of light being recorded, but to risk highlight clipping because you think you found some tricky way to beat physics just shows your ignorance.

Nope, it's you who's showing his ignorance, by making quite a few assumptions about sensor design and image processing which do not necessarily hold in the real world.

Ever heard of these long-coveted "ISOless" sensors? ever wondered how those that aren't "ISOless" behave?

I remember reading this "trick" in the sony forum a while back, when people were complaining about noise when the 24mp apsc sensor was new. When people claim you can overexpose using longer SS, it shows they weren't using proper technique in the first place. Perhaps you should spend less time programming "software" and more time learning good photography technique, at least before you try giving advice to strangers.

Or perhaps you should get an actual clue about how things really work before mistakenly "correcting" someone else.

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Alleg1
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Jack Hass, 4 months ago

Jack Hass wrote:

Alleg1 wrote:

Some general suggestions which might help...

1) Make sure you are not underexposing as this creates noise; many people try to keep the ISO level down to avoid noise, but if this is overdone it can lead to worst noise through underexposure.

Again, completely untrue. Noise is determined by the amount of light hitting the sensor, which is determined by SSxAperture. ISO isn't even really part of the exposure "triangle", it is just a digital boost to the visual brightness of an image (keep in mind, be it PP boosting or in camera ISO, the "brightening" of an image brightens both the color and noisy pixels, hence why noise is more apparent at higher ISO). Some people shoot at base ISO all the time, and only adjust SS/Aperture as needed. Then they boost "exposure" in post by pulling it up to whatever suits their taste visually, which is, again, essentially what your camera does with ISO.

2) Noise can be reduced to an extent in post processing, using programs such as "Neat Image" or "Noiseware" amongst others.

Always at the expense of sharp details, as averaging is all that can be done with software for now.

3)If you shoot Raw, noise reduction can be applied in Raw conversion rather than relying on in camera settings, so it can be better controlled.

Very true, and some believe this is also true with ISO.

Thanks for your comments, but I have to disagree about the noise issue. The problem of underexposure and noise is well documented.

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Kodachrome200
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Jack Hass, 4 months ago

there is a difference in the sort of gain used in post processing and changing iso, the deleterious effects of using relying on gain in post are well documented.

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Kodachrome200
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Jack Hass, 4 months ago

Jack Hass wrote:

Draek wrote:

There's some, most if not all based on the simple fact that more light means less noise, and conversely less light means more noise, regardless of ISO. Thus:

- Overexpose if you can without blowing the highlights, but certainly never underexpose. Overcast days are a common culprit since few metering systems deal well with them, and a -1EV underexposure turns your ISO1600 shot into something mildly worse than a normal ISO3200 shot. Even if you don't brighten it, since you're still pushing the whole of the image into the noisier shadows.

This is an absolute farce. Overexposure assumes you have room for a slower SS, and if you had room for a slower SS in the first place, why not just use a lower ISO with a normal exposure which would lessen the chance of blown highlights and still offer less noise???

The rule of thumb for experienced photographers is always use the slowest SS possible, which means you must know your subject to obtain the nominal IQ. With the slowest SS possible, you will be able to either under expose by using lower ISO in camera, pulling it up in post, or, use the appropriate ISO in camera for proper exposure. Either way, you can move the little exposure sliders around all you want and it doesn't change the amount of light being recorded, but to risk highlight clipping because you think you found some tricky way to beat physics just shows your ignorance.

I remember reading this "trick" in the sony forum a while back, when people were complaining about noise when the 24mp apsc sensor was new. When people claim you can overexpose using longer SS, it shows they weren't using proper technique in the first place. Perhaps you should spend less time programming "software" and more time learning good photography technique, at least before you try giving advice to strangers.

I have to agree with Draek. while you are correct that experienced photographers may try to use the slowest shutter speed they can. they also realize that just about any amount of movement means slowing the shutter down is going to lower resolution. so will hand holding. also when shooting alot of the time you can constantly be fiddling with iso and shutter speed to get the shot you want so to say that experienced photographer never waste an iota of iso on shutterspeed. well thats just not true. Also you are dead wrong about how experienced photographers expose. IT IS absolutely optimal to expose as brightly as possible with without clipping the highlights. as Draek said there is no such thing as an ISOLESS sensor

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Allan Olesen
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Alleg1, 4 months ago

Alleg1 wrote:

Thanks for your comments, but I have to disagree about the noise issue. The problem of underexposure and noise is well documented.

Yes, but a lot of times it is documented by people who don't understand what they are seeing, and consequently they draw the wrong conclusions. And basically, the problem is that they don't even understand their own decision making process.

I often see recommendations like: "You can get good photos with camera X at ISO3200 if you just set your exposure compensation to +1 EV and darken the photo later."

Well, let us look closer into that recommendation with some Q and A:

Question 1: Why do we pick ISO 3200?

Answer: Because a lower ISO would require more light than we can get into the camera with the shutter speed and aperture we can accept under the given circumstances.

Question 2: What happens if one sets the EC to +1 EV?

Answer: The camera will reduce the shutter speed or open up the aperture to let in more light.

Question 3: But if we were already at the limit of acceptable shutter speed and aperture, won't we get an unacceptable shutter speed or aperture when we do that?

Answer: Yest we will. That is why the recommendation is meaningless.

Question 4: And if we really did have room for reducing shutter speed or opening the shutter speed 1 stop, couldn't we achieve exactly the same if we had just picked ISO 1600 and no exposure correction?

Answer: Yest we could. That is why the recommendation is meaningless.

At lower ISOs where some (a lot, actually) cameras have lower noise at the same shutter speed and aperture if you increase the ISO, it can make sense to increase the ISO as long as you don't get unwanted clipping of highlights. But such choices can be made much more consciously if one first thinks about aperture and shutter speed and then thinks about ISO. The idea of first thinking about ISO leads to misconceptions as the one I described above.

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alfio lora
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Kodachrome200, 4 months ago

Carefully analysing what everyone is inputing. there is correct information from everyone, but I believe that darks show noise more than whites it is absolutely true, and if we can expose to to the limit without clipping whites, then when we blow up the shadows, the damage will be less.

I believe what was said about using the "perfect" light in those sample pics showing ISO performance could also be misleading. High ISO performance should be shown with tons of dark areas ,  there is where we can really see what the real output is

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alfio

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Jack Hass
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Allan Olesen, 4 months ago

Allan Olesen wrote:

Alleg1 wrote:

Thanks for your comments, but I have to disagree about the noise issue. The problem of underexposure and noise is well documented.

Yes, but a lot of times it is documented by people who don't understand what they are seeing, and consequently they draw the wrong conclusions. And basically, the problem is that they don't even understand their own decision making process.

I often see recommendations like: "You can get good photos with camera X at ISO3200 if you just set your exposure compensation to +1 EV and darken the photo later."

Well, let us look closer into that recommendation with some Q and A:

Question 1: Why do we pick ISO 3200?

Answer: Because a lower ISO would require more light than we can get into the camera with the shutter speed and aperture we can accept under the given circumstances.

Question 2: What happens if one sets the EC to +1 EV?

Answer: The camera will reduce the shutter speed or open up the aperture to let in more light.

Question 3: But if we were already at the limit of acceptable shutter speed and aperture, won't we get an unacceptable shutter speed or aperture when we do that?

Answer: Yest we will. That is why the recommendation is meaningless.

Question 4: And if we really did have room for reducing shutter speed or opening the shutter speed 1 stop, couldn't we achieve exactly the same if we had just picked ISO 1600 and no exposure correction?

Answer: Yest we could. That is why the recommendation is meaningless.

At lower ISOs where some (a lot, actually) cameras have lower noise at the same shutter speed and aperture if you increase the ISO, it can make sense to increase the ISO as long as you don't get unwanted clipping of highlights. But such choices can be made much more consciously if one first thinks about aperture and shutter speed and then thinks about ISO. The idea of first thinking about ISO leads to misconceptions as the one I described above.

I may be late to respond, but this is exactly what im talking about. Why would anybody start with ISO??? You wouldn't know what ISO you needed to begin with unless you had your SS/aperture set already. Unless of course, you can meter with your eyes and know exactly what settings are needed with what ISO.

If you are already at the slowest SS you can use, and are already wide open, then the only thing left to do is raise ISO. So the suggestion is to rais ISO a stop to get that +1EV exposure, only to pull it down in post in hopes to get less noise? Perhaps somebody can post two shots showing the benefits.

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Jack Hass
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Kodachrome200, 4 months ago

Kodachrome200 wrote:

I have to agree with Draek. while you are correct that experienced photographers may try to use the slowest shutter speed they can. they also realize that just about any amount of movement means slowing the shutter down is going to lower resolution. so will hand holding. also when shooting alot of the time you can constantly be fiddling with iso and shutter speed to get the shot you want so to say that experienced photographer never waste an iota of iso on shutterspeed. well thats just not true. Also you are dead wrong about how experienced photographers expose. IT IS absolutely optimal to expose as brightly as possible with without clipping the highlights. as Draek said there is no such thing as an ISOLESS sensor

There is no isoless sensor? Here is a thread discussing it, and Here is another. Furthermore, if the ramblings of your peers are not enough to convince you, here is another very math heavy explanation from http://www.josephjamesphotography.com. Here is a simple quote explaining the situation as it applies to our thread:

"Unlike film, the sensitivity of the sensor is fixed -- that is, the ISO setting does not affect the efficiency of the sensor. However, for sensors with noisy ADCs (Analog to Digital Conversion units), higher ISO settings result in less read noise than lower ISO settings. For example, the read noise for the Canon 5D3 at base ISO (100) is 33.1 electrons, drops to 18.2 electrons at ISO 200, and continues to drop until it finally levels off at around 3 electrons at ISO 3200. On the other hand, some sensors, like the Sony Exmor sensor in the Nikon D7000 and D800, have the same read noise throughout the entire ISO range. These types of sensors are referred to as "ISOless", although it's worth noting that even "non-ISOless" sensors usually become ISOless after some point in the ISO range."

So as was already discussed, certain sensors like canon can benefit ever so slightly at higher ISO than low ISO because the read noise is a fraction lower, although this difference is hardly visable. If  you however have an isoless sensor, one whos read noise is not increasing with ISO level, there is NO advantage to overexposing with higher ISO. Which means you should not risk highlight clipping for no reason. It seems nobody here was aware of these sensors being available today, let alone 2 years ago, which begs the questions, what the eff have you guys been doing? Handing out advice which clearly contradicts reality because you didn't know what sensors were available? These sensors are in more cameras than they aren't, which means we have some people in this thread who are very behind in their knowledge.

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Jack Hass
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Re: Nikon D7100 and Noise at High ISO
In reply to Alleg1, 4 months ago

Alleg1 wrote:

Jack Hass wrote:

Alleg1 wrote:

Some general suggestions which might help...

1) Make sure you are not underexposing as this creates noise; many people try to keep the ISO level down to avoid noise, but if this is overdone it can lead to worst noise through underexposure.

Again, completely untrue. Noise is determined by the amount of light hitting the sensor, which is determined by SSxAperture. ISO isn't even really part of the exposure "triangle", it is just a digital boost to the visual brightness of an image (keep in mind, be it PP boosting or in camera ISO, the "brightening" of an image brightens both the color and noisy pixels, hence why noise is more apparent at higher ISO). Some people shoot at base ISO all the time, and only adjust SS/Aperture as needed. Then they boost "exposure" in post by pulling it up to whatever suits their taste visually, which is, again, essentially what your camera does with ISO.

2) Noise can be reduced to an extent in post processing, using programs such as "Neat Image" or "Noiseware" amongst others.

Always at the expense of sharp details, as averaging is all that can be done with software for now.

3)If you shoot Raw, noise reduction can be applied in Raw conversion rather than relying on in camera settings, so it can be better controlled.

Very true, and some believe this is also true with ISO.

Thanks for your comments, but I have to disagree about the noise issue. The problem of underexposure and noise is well documented.

Again, another person who is not informed. Read my above post. Welcome to modern photography.

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