Shooting to Minimize Noise

Started Feb 25, 2004 | Discussions thread
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Gordon W
Gordon W Veteran Member • Posts: 4,062
Shooting to Minimize Noise

Several times recently I've read where people were recommending underexposing images when shooting and then brightening the images back up to normal in post-processing.

Why anyone would want to do this completely baffles me, because as long as you don't clip highlights (easy to avoid if you have a live histogram or shoot brackets) you will have less image noise when you overexpose than if you underexpose, and I'm all for minimizing the image noise I get.

As evidence, here's a 0.7EV bracket I recently shot and the histograms indicate no clipping (a testament to the incredible range of my F707, especially when considering the high contrast of the scene)...

After adjusting Curves and Levels to get all three images to more or less match each other, 100% crops of the noisiest area clearly show that as exposure decreased, noise increased...

For this reason, I typically shoot +0.3EV and if there's any doubt the dynamic range of the subject will cause clipping, I then shoot a bracket.

Can anyone tell me what the benefits are of underexposing that I'm missing?

 Gordon W's gear list:Gordon W's gear list
Canon PowerShot S100 Panasonic FZ1000 Nikon Coolpix B700 Panasonic FZ80/FZ82 Nikon Coolpix P1000 +5 more
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