Previous page Next page


ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels


Standard Test

ISO equivalence on a digital camera is the ability to increase the sensitivity of the sensor to enable faster shutter speeds and/or better performance in low light. The way this works in a digital camera is by "turning up the volume" (gain) on the CCD's signal amplifiers. Nothing is without its price however and doing so also typically increases visible noise (random speckles visible all over the image).

We are now using a more reliable, repeatable and neutral method for evaluating noise. Shots are taken in daylight lighting in our studio. Noise is measured as the standard deviation of the medium gray patch on a Gretag MacBeth ColorChecker chart. The image is normalized before measurement of noise to remove the possibility of figures being affected by image contrast (one method of masking noise). Note that noise numbers shown on the graphs below can not be compared to those in older reviews.

Test notes:

  • Shots taken at approximately 21°C (~70°F)
  • Lighting was simulated daylight
  • Manual white balance
  • Aperture Priority

Nikon D70 vs. Canon EOS 300D

  • Nikon D70: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority (F3.5), Manual WB,
    Default Parameters, JPEG Large / Fine
     
  • Canon EOS 300D: Canon 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority (F4.0), Manual WB,
    Default Parameters (Standard), JPEG Large / Fine
  Nikon D70
n/a
Canon EOS 300D
ISO 100
, 1/100 sec, F4.0
 Partial crop
Red Green Blue
channels
  Nikon D70
ISO
200, 1/200 sec, F3.5
Canon EOS 300D
ISO 200
, 1/200 sec, F4.0
 Partial crop
Red Green Blue
channels
  Nikon D70
ISO
400, 1/400 sec, F3.5
Canon EOS 300D
ISO 400, 1/400 sec, F4.0
 Partial crop
Red Green Blue
channels
  Nikon D70
ISO
800, 1/800 sec, F3.5
Canon EOS 300D
ISO 800
, 1/800 sec, F4.0
 Partial crop
Red Green Blue
channels
  Nikon D70
ISO
1600, 1/1600 sec, F3.5
Canon EOS 300D
ISO 1600
, 1/1600 sec, F4.0
 Partial crop
Red Green Blue
channels

Visually a very similar performance, although looking at the split out RGB crops you can see that the pattern of noise is quite different at higher ISO's. At ISO 1600 the 300D's noise pattern is quite large and blotchy, the D70 with much finer more granular noise.

Nikon D70 vs. Nikon D100

  • Nikon D70: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority (F3.5), Manual WB,
    Default Parameters, JPEG Large / Fine
     
  • Nikon D100: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority (F3.5), Manual WB,
    Default Parameters, JPEG Large / Fine
  Nikon D70
ISO
200, 1/200 sec, F3.5
Nikon D100
ISO 200
, 1/200 sec, F3.5
 Partial crop
Red Green Blue
channels
  Nikon D70
ISO
400, 1/400 sec, F3.5
Nikon D100
ISO 400, 1/400 sec, F3.5
 Partial crop
Red Green Blue
channels
  Nikon D70
ISO
800, 1/800 sec, F3.5
Nikon D100
ISO 800
, 1/800 sec, F3.5
 Partial crop
Red Green Blue
channels
  Nikon D70
ISO
1600, 1/1600 sec, F3.5
Nikon D100
ISO 1600
, 1/1600 sec, F3.5
 Partial crop
Red Green Blue
channels
  Nikon D70
n/a
Nikon D100
ISO 3200
, 1/3200 sec, F3.5
 Partial crop
Red Green Blue
channels

Unsurprisingly the D70 and D100 appear to be neck and neck, the D70 makes a better job of the manual preset white balance and maintaining color neutrality at higher sensitivities, the D100's higher ISO gray patch taking a slightly pink cast.

Luminance noise graph

Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of luminosity (normalized) on the vertical axis. Note that we have standardized on a 0-10 scale.

RGB noise graph

Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of each of the red, green and blue channels (normalized) are on the vertical axis. Note that we have standardized on a 0-10 scale.

Previous page Next page
238
I own it
6
I want it
443
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

jkittyler
By jkittyler (1 week ago)

Hi am just asking i real don't know what wrong with my camera D70 i just took 350 picture then there no more spice in my me Compact Flash Memory Cards is full

0 upvotes