How Do I Measure Noise Using Photoshop? And What Is A Significant Change?

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photonut2008 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,969
Re: How Do I Measure Noise Using Photoshop? And What Is A Significant Change?

MrBrightSide wrote:

Question 2: Once the noise is measure[d,] what constitutes a significant difference in the noise level? Does it fall at 1 percent noisier? 10 percent? 100 percent?

Think stops rather than percentages. I think a third of a stop wouldn't be very much because in practical terms you can open up your lens or slow down your exposure time by that much and it is rarely a dealbreaker. A stop is 50% less or 100% more, which may seem like a lot, and given what I just wrote it clearly is a lot (having to double your exposure often pushes the outer boundaries of what would be acceptable), but keep in mind that we do not see things linearly, so if the light level is doubled your eyes will simply adjust to that and you won't feel like it's twice as bright as it was before even though it is measurably twice as bright.

Working from the above logic, I would say half a stop is a significant enough difference to matter once you are in the higher ISO range, but that begs yet another question:  What constitutes higher versus medium ISO? That will depend on your output size and your format. A smaller output size with a larger format probably does reasonably well at ISO 6400, but a larger output with a smaller format probably doesn't do as well at ISO 1600. The bottom line then is that it's all relative.

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