a900 + ISO 6400 = noisy mess?

Started Nov 29, 2008 | Discussions thread
OP Hot Shoe Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: a900 + ISO 6400 = noisy mess?

Here is the scene on my kitchen table. No flash, no studio lights, just an overhead fluorescent fixture for light. The camera is tripod mounted and is using a converted MD mount 58mm f/1.2 lens at f/6.3. I know the exif says it's a 50mm f/1.7, but that because of the chip used.

a900 ISO 6400, exp comp = +1, manual exposure, 1/13 sec, f/6.3, AWB, cRAW, with 2 sec timer, high iso NR = off.

Obviously resized from 6048 pixels to 1024 hides the noise, so here's the crop.

Here is the same area cropped after using noise ninja and a custom profile I did for the a900 at iso 6400.

As you can see, the noise ninja crop loses some detail (and a bit of saturation), but there is still a lot of detail there. I am not interested in removing all the noise, just in reducing it while retaining as much detail as possible for prints.

The raw was processed in my traditional workflow. That is using the Ufraw plugin and The Gimp in Linux. No sharpening or noise reduction has been done to the first crop. It was simply imported and saved without any further processing.

The second crop was run through a very light noise removal in noise ninja and then curves were adjusted in the gimp.

My particular camera under exposes raws by 1.0 to 1.3 EV consistently. My a700's are 1.3 and 1.5-1.7 in under exposure for raw. You can't afford to under expose and then bring up the values in pp. You need to get as close to the correct exposure as possible for high ISO work. This is true with any camera, not just the Sonys. Just remember that when you are shooting raw, what you see on the LCD is not what you will see in the raw. Take the time to figure out what settings you need for jpeg AND raw.

I like the noise pattern that I'm seeing from the a900 so far. It is easy to work with as long as you keep the camera happy with correct exposure. I think I'll keep it...

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