D90 Noise...am I crazy?

Started Nov 30, 2010 | Discussions thread
sensibill Veteran Member • Posts: 5,401
I think the shots look right.

I'm not seeing that much chroma (color) noise - just a bit of luma.

500 isn't base ISO and anything above that will be an increasing exercise in noise vs. light performance. At some point, noise will become too bothersome otherwise everyone would always be shooting at ISO-6400+

Also, fleshtones are notorious for showing the limits of a sensor. My D3100 showed grotesque amounts of white specks that I now think were 'NR'ed hot pixels' (I am not positive but have come to think NR tends to mask hot pixels in some cases by making them white instead of colored).

I didn't read the whole thread so I don't know what NR setting you were using. If you're just going with JPEG and not bothering with RAW, I'd suggest Normal or High when doing portrait low light shots. Nikon does a good job with their NR for the most part, unless you're pixel peeping - and in that case, you ought not to be worrying with JPEG because that's not your best image quality.

If you don't have one, I'd suggest a cheap low light lens like a 35mm 1.8G or 50mm 1.8D (former gives you a wider field of view, latter is more of a close portrait lens). That faster lens will let you dial ISO down. You might get some CA but that might be preferable to seeing noise grain.

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