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ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels (contd.)

Noise reduction compared

The biggest issue with noise reduction - especially luminance noise reduction - is that in the process of blurring away the noise it can also have a very destructive effect on the detail in an image, particularly the fine, low contrast detail you might find in hair, fur or grass. To better judge the effect on fine detail lost due to noise reduction we have shot our lovely model and produced crops from the feathers in the image. We have left out the 'Low' noise reduction setting as there is not a huge difference between that setting and 'Disable'.

To check the effect of noise and noise reduction on low contrast detail we shoot our lovely model framed as shown here, with the new added feature of feathers. The very fine detail in the feathers will help to better judge the effect of noise reduction on fine detail.

Raw vs in- camera JPEG noise reduction low contrast detail comparison

The Standard setting is the default in camera setting for JPEG noise reduction, but at higher ISO settings it appears to produce pretty much the same results as the strong setting, blurring away the fine detail of feather strands. The low setting does a better job of retaining that fine detail, but there is still more to be gained by using the RAW file here. At lower ISO settings this is just the usual advantage we see using ACR vs JPEG (and basically comes down to superior demosaicing), but at higher ISO settings Canon is definitely sacrificing fine detail for smoother output, and if you want all the detail (but can live with the grain) you're better off shooting RAW.

JPEG NR-Strong
ISO 50
JPEG NR-Standard
ISO 50
JPEG NR-Disable
ISO 50
ACR RAW NR OFF
ISO 50
JPEG NR-Strong
ISO 100
JPEG NR-Standard
ISO 100
JPEG NR-Disable
ISO 100
ACR RAW NR OFF
ISO 100
JPEG NR-Strong
ISO 200
JPEG NR-Standard
ISO 200
JPEG NR-Disable
ISO 200
ACR RAW NR OFF
ISO 200
JPEG NR-Strong
ISO 400
JPEG NR-Standard
ISO 400
JPEG NR-Disable
ISO 400
ACR RAW NR OFF
ISO 400
JPEG NR-Strong
ISO 800
JPEG NR-Standard
ISO 800
JPEG NR-Disable
ISO 800
ACR RAW NR OFF
ISO 800
JPEG NR-Strong
ISO 1600
JPEG NR-Standard
ISO 1600
JPEG NR-Disable
ISO 1600
ACR RAW NR OFF
ISO 1600
JPEG NR-Strong
ISO 3200
JPEG NR-Standard
ISO 3200
JPEG NR-Disable
ISO 3200
ACR RAW NR OFF
ISO 3200
JPEG NR-Strong
ISO 6400
JPEG NR-Standard
ISO 6400
JPEG NR-Disable
ISO 6400
ACR RAW NR OFF
ISO 6400
JPEG NR-Strong
ISO 12800
JPEG NR-Standard
ISO 12800
JPEG NR-Disable
ISO 12800
ACR RAW NR OFF
ISO 12800
JPEG NR-Strong
ISO 25600
JPEG NR-Standard
ISO 25600
JPEG NR-Disable
ISO 25600
ACR RAW NR OFF
ISO 25600
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Comments

Total comments: 3
BobFoster

I work in Nyc as a fashion photographer and I have to say the the 5d series are the most used cameras out side of medium format cameras .Ive been shooting with the mark 3 for over a year after shooting with the mark 2 for 2 years great both great cameras. You can see the shots I've taken with it for my work on my website www.brianschutzaphotography.com hope it helps!! also note I only shoot RAW format.

1 upvote
EcoPix

Was it really 2009? I'm still in the first flush of my love affair with this camera. And I'm still fathoming the depths of its capability. Okay, she's got a lot of paint missing these days, but the images are still magic. Whenever I use another camera, I sigh and wonder why I didn't use the 5D2.
A brief history of photography:

silver chemistry

flexible roll film

Kodachrome

Velvia

5D Mark 2...

0 upvotes
reanim888

As I know when the original 5D debuted three years ago, it wasn't clear why most enthusiasts would want such a camera. Though it captured excellent, high resolution images, it was slower and bigger and more expensive. Today the market has changed significantly, and it's clear that the market is ready for full-frame digital SLRs that can turn out high image quality. High quality is one thing, but being a camera that can deliver high quality over a wide range of lighting conditions and different ISO settings is what makes the Canon 5D Mark II such a compelling choice, and a clear Dave's Picks.
It's really very very good.

1 upvote
Total comments: 3