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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
Off
Low
Standard
Strong

 

Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of luminosity on the vertical axis.

High ISO Noise Reduction Crops

  Off Low Standard High
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 12800

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
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 12800
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Comments

Total comments: 12
Joewho

I've just switched from Nikon to Canon and am completely lost, I shoot birds in flight a lot and cannot get my head around how to engage burst on the 7D, can't get built in flash to "raise it's ugly head" also how to change menu settings. Wish Canon had stuck to more universal icons and menu.
Despite all that was very impressed with fast focus on few single shots that I took
Could any one please help?

0 upvotes
Phil Hol

If you have a filter fitted to protect the lens try shooting without. After buying my 100-400 lens I returned to the shop after finding my images soft using a 7D. They tested my lens with a second one they had in the shop and agreed the first lens was faulty. When I got the second lens home I found it as poor as the first until I realized the second lens tested had not had a filter fitted when tested in the shop and I had transfered my filter to the second lens when I got home.
Conclusion: I only use filters for effects and I have remove all my "protective filters" from my L lenses. Why spend hundreds of pounds on lenses just to add a piece of cheap glass on the front.

0 upvotes
Girish Madpuwar

I am 7D user and have noticed that my images are considerably soft. I mostly use canon 100-400L lens. Initially I thought that its problem with the way I use camera. I tried all possible things. Searched lot and found many discussion about AF problem with 7D. Can someone share their experience?
It seems 7D AF is not consistent although manual focus gives considerably crisp and sharp image.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Patcheye

I'm a wheelchair user and have gone for the 7D because of the increase in range when using a shorter lens over full frame which means though I often cannot get close I often achieve a useable image.

Live on the coast so to avoid problems re dust on the sensor from the beach I purchased a second one a few months back which says, I think, just how pleased I am with the product. Re low iso and noise, possibly because of high light levels from sea reflection and living in a flat open area I personally find no problems but using 2.8 lenses helps. Not professional but have had people use my stuff on their websites - so for my needs the 7D works well - Oh, and if like me you have poor dexterity you'll find the raised buttons really helpful even when wearing gloves.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Ajaykdelhi

I have a 70D, am getting a used 7D at $ 800 next week, will provide a comprehensive review after that

0 upvotes
TahoeJohn

My Review of the Canon 7d as the owner of one for 1yr is this.I shoot Professionally and have used the 7d for just about 1yr.It is a bit bigger,heavier than my other EOS Canon's.Picture quality is top of the line.Video quality is top of the line.The Grain Factor when using the ISO at a higher number is compensated by a setting in the Menu so no problem.At 8fps continuous it stands above the others.Weather proof as well (Body only).Recently my Canon 7d was knocked over while mounted atop a 6ft tripod landing on solid asphalt.A little scratch on the body was all the damage it received.Though bigger and heavier the construction,function,image quality of this Camera is incredible.I shoot Landscape,Portrait,sports(MMA Fights) and everything in between.Canon went above and beyond with this model.A+ is the grade I give for this one.

0 upvotes
Shashank90

Which one is a better model 70d or 7d , I have read numerous reviews and seen plenty of videos, even though 70d is a much newer version I would like to know from some one who has used them side by side.

0 upvotes
Jostian

I think both are great, depends on your needs, the 7D is like a tank, the build quality is incredible, its AF is phenomenal (a cut above the 70D in terms of customization options), the 70D has slight advantage 2/3 of a stop at higher iso's, has wifi and touchscreen, the 7D has bigger and better OVF, and the 70D have awesome video capabilities. I played with both and went for the 7D (easy choice), the 70D felt like a toy and I didnt like the plasticky feel (compared to the 7D). Bit both are great, you'll enjoy either depending on your needs.

0 upvotes
EhXsan

what is max usable ISO on canon 7d?

1 upvote
PhotobyCarlos

www.photobycarlos.com all my pictures with 7d

2 upvotes
DreamRunnerPhotography

Checked your photos at photobycarlos.com. Really it was awesome :) Finally I decided to go for 7D after saw your website. Tnx !!!
please suggest me some good lenses which are more better for portrait & landscape shooting

0 upvotes
gjpuk

For potraits i use 5omm prime canon 1.8mm
for landscapes a sigma 10-20mm

0 upvotes
Total comments: 12