Exposure is key (plus a55 noise boasting ^^)

Started Jan 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
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AlexK-12 Forum Member • Posts: 90
Exposure is key (plus a55 noise boasting ^^)

First off, I'd like to make a few assertions. I am by no means a professional (obviously) but I have been shooting for a few years. Second, this is by no means a scientific or well thought out visualization of how exposure affects the noise of an image. Last, I love my a55 and it does wonders for me!

I had read a couple of times that the way you expose your image can greatly affect noise performance. Some people never shoot above ISO 1600 yet some claim to achieve great quality pictures worthy of prints at ISO 3200 and even 6400. For the most part I believed them since I've seen some of the great shots at 6400. I wanted to push this a little farther and see how well a camera could handle at ISO 12800!

I shot a simple scene in very low light with the same aperture and ISO all hand held and then touched them up in lightroom with the same exact settings except with different adjusted exposure values. The following settings were uniform among the three images. (Again, not scientific).

Contrast: -15; Highlights: -15; Shdows: +15; Whites: +33; Blacks: -33; Clarity: -25

Sharpening: 25; Radius: 1.0; Detail: 25; Masking: 0

Luminance: 50; Detail: 50; Contrast: 0

Color: 25; Detail: 50

Here are the crops of each picture:

+1.3 EV picture

0.0 EV picture

-1.0 EV picture

As you can see, overexposing by a bit can greatly affect the noise of an image (even a poor one such as this) and even allow it to be usable for prints (okay, maybe at ISO 6400).

The sony a55 may not be the best high ISO camera, though I'm content with it, but with the proper exposure and post processing, it can produce some really decent pictures! Thank you for reading and any comments are always welcome (you know, because it's a forum).

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 AlexK-12's gear list:AlexK-12's gear list
Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Sony SLT-A55
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