ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels (contd.)
In-camera High ISO noise reduction
Like other recent Canon DSLRs the EOS 7D offers four noise reduction settings - Off, Low, Standard and Strong - and the default setting is Standard. High ISO Noise Reduction settings can be changed via C.Fn II-2. Noise reduction is applied at all sensitivities but gets stronger at higher ISOs. The difference between Off and Low is fairly small and only has an impact on chroma noise. At the standard and strong settings gray and black luminance noise are effected as well. If you are worried about noise the Standard setting is probably best for you. It presents a good compromise between noise reduction and retention of image detail but leans a bit towards the heavy-handed side. Therefore, if image detail is higher up your priority list the Low setting is a good alternative too.
|Noise Filter Settings compared|
Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of luminosity on the vertical axis.
High ISO Noise Reduction Crops
Noise reduction and fine detail
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 new studio scene and produced crops from the feathers in the image. We have left out the 'Low' noise reduction setting as it only appears to apply chroma noise reduction which tends to have little impact on detail (fine contrast).
|To check the effect of noise and noise reduction on low contrast detail we shoot our new studio setup at various ISO and noise reduction settings, then crop an area that's challenging to any camera. 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
As you can see from the crops below even at the 'Off' setting the camera still applies some noise reduction, there is visibly more chroma noise in the RAW shots. The 'High' setting is very strong and blurs detail from the lowest ISO settings. Of course at higher sensitivities it's always going to be a compromise between detail and noise but when you are shooting RAW you have much more control over the application of noise reduction.
|ACR RAW NR OFF||JPEG NR-Off||JPEG NR-Standard||JPEG NR-Strong|
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP Digital SLR Camera
with Dual Pixel CMOS AF Full HD 1080p Video with Movie and EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM with Canon EF-S 55-250mm STM f/4-5.6 IS Image Stabilizer Telephoto Zoom Lens + 58mm 2x Professional Lens + High Definition 58mm Wide Angle Lens + Auto Flash + Uv Filter Kit withwith 24GB Complete Deluxe Accessory Bundle
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera
with 18-135mm IS STM Lens
19 Piece Super Zoom Kit
with Canon EOS 7D 18 MP Digital SLR Camera Body with Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS Lens + Canon 75-300mm Telephoto Zoom Lens + Rokinon 650-1300mm Lens with 2X Converter (=1300-2600mm) Zoom Lens + 8 GB Memory Card + Multi-Coated 3 Piece Filter Kit + Extra High Capacity Li-Ion Battery + Back Pack Case + 57" Tripod + 6 Piece Camera Accessory Kit + 3 Year Celltime Warranty Repair Contract
Canon EOS 60D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only (discontinued by...
Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Canon EOS 7D 18MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera
with 3-Inch LCD With Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Camera Lens +Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Autofocus Lens + 58mm 2x Professional Lens +High Definition 58mm Wide Angle Lens + Auto Power Flash + UV Filter Kit with 32GB Compact Flash Card 400X Complete Deluxe Accessory Bundle
Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera
with 18-135mm STM Lens
Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera Body - Imported
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera 20.2 MP CMOS
with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Zoom Lens + EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens Telephoto 500mm f/8.0 T- Mount Lens (Long) With 58mm 2x Professional Lens +High Definition 58mm Wide Angle Lens + Auto Flash + UV Filter Kit with 64GB Complete Deluxe Accessory Bundle