Noise? Old School vs New School

Started Dec 25, 2010 | Discussions thread
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CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,429
Noise? Old School vs New School

First, Happy Holidays to all those who are observing the various ones people embrace this time of year.

Old school being those of us who learned photography with film cameras and thought it was an amazing advancement when Kodacolor 400 or Ektachrome 400 were released. When we had to we lived with the grain of Tri-X pushed to 800 or if we were really brave, 1600. (Or we bought Kodak Recording film 2475 which could be pushed to 3200 and had grain so big you could count it-literally.)

New School being people who have learned photography on digital in which noise has long been used as a standard of performance. (different from film in which grain was an accepted trade off for wanting high speed, but also the best darkroom workers could control grain somewhat through processing.) New School is perhaps a bit spoiled, having observed ISO 400 on many to be as low noise as Kodachrome 64 was regarding grain.

I think we see a trend in which New School people criticize the noise level of a given Oympus camera at certain ISOs while Old School people find the same camera/ISO level acceptable. Also, it seems Old School tends to emphasize color rendition more.

It's a matter of perspective , really. Neither is "right" or "wrong", but rather is basing opinion on comparative experience.

Are you Old School or New School, and how much do you think that contributes to your preference (or at least acceptance) of Olympus cameras?

I'm Old School. I like my E520 because of the color palette (I can emulate the look of my beloved K64). I'm delighted to shoot at ISO400 regularly without the color balance issues associated with EK or Kodacolor400. Yes, I notice (ahem) "grain" at ISO 800 but it's still better than the grain I got used to with 400 speed films (and I know how to expose at those light levels to avoid underexposure which exacerbates noise).

Do I respect/admire/envy cameras which produce virtually noise free images at ISO's that I seldom use (or aren't even available) on my E520.

Yes. But not enough to outweigh my preference for the color palette I experience with my E520 and observe in other Olympus models.

Please, this thread isn't intended to degenerate into a debate on whether CaNikon or other makes can produce "Olympus colors". It's asking people to politely share whether you are "Old School" or "New School", and how much you think that influences your preference for (or against) Olympus cameras.

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Some people operate cameras. Others use them to create images. There is a difference.

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