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ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels (contd.)

Raw noise compared EOS 5D Mark II vs Nikon D700 vs Sony A900 (ISO 1600 - 25600)

In this RAW comparison you get a better idea of how noisy these three cameras actually are without the veiling effect of in-camera noise reduction. As seen earlier, the Sony A900 is quite a noisy camera compared to the 5D Mark II and the D700, which are suprisingly similar (we'd expect the Nikon to be less noisy, but the difference is actually very small). All the way to ISO 25,600 the D700 and 5D Mark II are very close in terms of noise and fine detail retained, with the D700 slightly better at all settings. These results, especially at the top two ISO settings illustrate how much in-camera noise reduction is applied to JPEGs, and that both the 5D Mark II and D700 have very effective noise reduction algorithms.

EOS 5D Mark II RAW
ISO 1600
Nikon D700 RAW
ISO 1600
Sony A900 RAW
ISO 1600
EOS 5D Mark II RAW
ISO 3200
Nikon D700 RAW
ISO 3200
Sony A900 RAW
ISO 3200
EOS 5D Mark II RAW
ISO 6400
Nikon D700 RAW
ISO 6400
Sony A900 RAW
ISO 6400
EOS 5D Mark II RAW
ISO 12800
Nikon D700 RAW
ISO 12800
Sony A900 RAW
N/A
EOS 5D Mark II RAW
ISO 25600
Nikon D700 RAW
ISO 25600
Sony A900 RAW
N/A

sRAW1 noise (ISO 800 - 25600)

Here you can see the noise performance of the sRAW1 files. Compared to the full resolution RAW files, there is no noticeable noise advantage to shooting in sRAW1 mode. Considering that more fine detail is retained in the full size RAW file, in terms of high ISO noise performance there is really no reason to shoot sRAW1 over full resolution RAW.

For the sRAW1 file, the processing steps taken are as follows:

  • Load RAW file into Adobe Camera RAW (Auto mode disabled)
  • Set all noise reduction settings to 0 (all other settings default)
  • Open file to Photoshop
  • Save as a TIFF (for cropping) and as a JPEG quality 11 for download
ISO 800 sRAW1
ACR, No Noise Reduction
ISO 1600 sRAW1 ISO
ACR, No Noise Reduction
ISO 3200 sRAW1
ACR, No Noise Reduction
ISO 6400 sRAW1
ACR, No Noise Reduction
ISO 12800 sRAW1
ACR, No Noise Reduction

ISO 25600 sRAW1
ACR, No Noise Reduction

 

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