Started Mar 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mark van Dam Regular Member • Posts: 288
Re: Settings to reduce banding; are DPReview samples immune?

creaDVty wrote:

I'm also tempted to go back to the store and see if there is banding on another sample.  But I really wonder how it could be sample variation if DPReview's D7100 and D5200 both do not exhibit any banding, and Imaging Resource also doesn't have any banding with its D5200 and D7100.  Could DPR and Imaging Resource be so lucky?

At the same time, responses like yours suggests that it is not uncommon to find banding.  So I'm really confused.

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The two cameras I tried were close in serial number as they were both purchased from the same store in the initial days of release, so the sensors could have and most likely were produced in the same production run.  This suggests that banding might be limited to certain units, although I have seen banding in some review samples around the web too.  I'm in Ontario, Canada.

My second camera also had autofocus problems (left AF sensors way off, and different AF fine-tuning settings required for the same lens for bright versus low-light), so it was an easy decision for me to return it.  I've decided to wait a couple of months to see if this issue is resolved or wait for a different model and/or brand of camera that better suits my needs.

In my opinion, banding on these cameras should not be caused by any settings the photographer chooses, as the previous generation of cameras (ie. D5100/D7000) did not exhibit these artifcats no matter how high you cranked ADL or how severely you underexposed.  If ADL was not supposed to be used, why would Nikon include it as an option?  On my units, banding was visible in both jpeg and raw conversions, with only Silkypix 5 Pro offering the ability to eliminate it in raw, with some resulting loss of fine detail.

I seriously doubt that the settings either dpreview or IR have used to shoot their sample shots would eliminate the banding you are seeing on your particular camera. If I were in your position I would definitely return your camera either for a refund or replacement.

When I examine raw files from a Fuji XE1 or X100s, for example, there is almost no limit to how hard you can push the shadows.  The question I asked myself was, "would I rather be able to do this with my raw files?"  The answer for me was easy.

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--Mark van Dam

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