D7500 iso noise

Started 4 months ago | Questions
potterjo New Member • Posts: 6
D7500 iso noise

My d5100 is dying and looking to upgrade.  I take mainly wildflower photos.   Many of these are in low light situations and need to bump the iso.  The drawback is that anything above 250  the noise is unacceptable to me.  Will I have the same problem with the D7500 or do I need a full frame sensor?

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Nikon D5100 Nikon D7500
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romfordbluenose Veteran Member • Posts: 5,040
Re: D7500 iso noise
6

The D7500 is far better than the D5100 when it comes to ISO noise performance. The D5000 series moved to the next generation of sensors after the D5100 and it was quite a significant improvement. If you are worried about noise and ISO performance then going to full frame will give you a 1 stop improvement over DX on the same generation of sensors. The D5300 onwards will also give you ISO/noise performance improvements over the D5100.

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toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 13,404
Re: D7500 iso noise
4

potterjo wrote:

My d5100 is dying and looking to upgrade. I take mainly wildflower photos. Many of these are in low light situations and need to bump the iso. The drawback is that anything above 250 the noise is unacceptable to me. Will I have the same problem with the D7500 or do I need a full frame sensor?

First, I had the D5100 a long time ago and didn't find low ISO noise objectionable but everyone has their own personal tolerance for noise.

I now have the D7500 and yes it's an improvement over the D5100. Of course, it's a Gen 5 camera.

As far as thinking that a full frame will solve all your noise issues, well....it will be "better" with a full frame sensor (currently I have a D7500/D610/D800 and a D850) but I've found my D7500 is pretty darn competitive.

But, that's my tolerance for noise vs your tolerance.  If you were to buy a D7500 and found it's noise level to still be too much for you I doubt you'd be happy with any full frame either.

Shunda777 Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: D7500 iso noise
1

The sensor in the D5100 is actually still pretty good, apart from resolution it is still nipping at the heals of later DX sensors.

I have both the D5100 and the D7500, the D7500 has an incremental advantage, not revolutionary. It retains noticeably better dynamic range as iso increases, but the signal to noise ratio is only slightly better. The 16mp sensor in the D5100 has very malleable RAW files, some argue more malleable than latter DX sensors.
And regarding noise, it comes down to the way the sensor produces it and how you can deal with it in post, some would argue that the D7500 noise is easier to deal with when processing the files.
If you want the best image quality that will be noticeably better right away, then consider getting an FX D610, this has a full stop noise advantage over the D7500 and you could pick one up for less money (if budget is a concern).
For the image quality the D 610 produces (still near the top of FX sensors) it is a bargain.

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Bender79ita
Bender79ita Regular Member • Posts: 421
Re: D7500 iso noise
2

I think you simply need a tripod.

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romfordbluenose Veteran Member • Posts: 5,040
Re: D7500 iso noise
3

Bender79ita wrote:

I think you simply need a tripod.

A tripod isn't that much help if the flowers in the wind as you still need sufficient speed which will raise the ISO. More light is the best answer.

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Bender79ita
Bender79ita Regular Member • Posts: 421
Re: D7500 iso noise

romfordbluenose wrote:

Bender79ita wrote:

I think you simply need a tripod.

A tripod isn't that much help if the flowers in the wind as you still need sufficient speed which will raise the ISO. More light is the best answer.

My experience with flower photography is limited to some macro shots, but if you have to add camera shake to the wind, the picture will always be worst regardless.

The thing is, when you're over 50mm a tripod is always gonna be a great help to take these 1/10 or 1/8 second shots that you can't take handheld, regardless of the wind, and even if you don't go this slow, when you use a 24mp camera it's always better to use a tripod unless you're dramatically far away from the "reciprocal rule" (1/1000 at 100mm in example, but given the possibility I'd still use it even at such high speed).

A model that allows for upside down center pole can be bought for 60€ on Amazon, there is no reason besides lazyness not to use it. Gets even better with a cage, so you don't have to use the camera upside down (which is very annoying) but you can screw it to one of the topside holes.

I mean we're talking about 250 iso being noisy, so if we're splitting hairs, let's split hairs.

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FingerPainter Veteran Member • Posts: 9,590
If above ISO 250 is unacceptable...

... on the D5100, then anything above ISO 400 will be unacceptable on the D7500 and anything above ISO 800 will be unacceptable on the D850, which is the highest rated Nikon FX camera.

I think you need a medium format sensor, or to change your technique or to lower your expectations.

First of all, you should realize that noise is an inherent part of photographs. Noise is variation in pixel value, and it stems primarily from variation that occurs naturally in light due to the random nature of photon emission.

Buying a camera with a larger sensor will reduce noisiness, as long as you can shoot with at least as wide an f-number and at least as slow  a shutter. It will only improve the SNR by the increase in sensor diagonal.

Something that may help reduce noise is to learn ETTR.

If you do buy a new camera with a larger number o pixels you will be tempted to compare its images with those from the D5100 by looking at each at 100% zoom. This will inevitably lead you to conclude that your new camera is noisier than the D5100. It isn't though, You will just be seeing the effect of examining a smaller portion of the frame taken by the higher pixel count sensor. To compare noise performance between two cameras, compare the same fraction of the image. That means examining the D7500 at 60% zoom if you look at the D5100 image at 100% zoom.

Related to this is any time you crop an image or zoom into a subset of an image, what you will see will be noisier than the whole image.

FingerPainter Veteran Member • Posts: 9,590
Re: D7500 iso noise

romfordbluenose wrote:

The D7500 is far better than the D5100 when it comes to ISO noise performance.

Well, it is if you consider 2/3 of a stop "far better".

The D5000 series moved to the next generation of sensors after the D5100 and it was quite a significant improvement.

Then the improvement you get from moving from a D7500 to a D750 must be beyond amazing.

If you are worried about noise and ISO performance then going to full frame will give you a 1 stop improvement over DX on the same generation of sensors.

Which is more than twice the improvement you get from moving to a D5200 from a D5100.

The D5300 onwards will also give you ISO/noise performance improvements over the D5100.

Yes, but the D5300 will not give you as much improvement over the D5100 as the D5200 will. This is mostly because of different ISO calibration on the D5200.

Even the D5600 is worse than the D5200 at nominal ISOs. but about the same at the same saturation.

The D7500/D500 sensor represents the first real improvement in Nikon APS-C noise performance since the D5200. Even then, the D7500  is only about 2/3 of a stop better than the D5100 at the ISO ranges OP is talking about.

Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 19,889
Re: If above ISO 250 is unacceptable...

FingerPainter wrote:

... on the D5100, then anything above ISO 400 will be unacceptable on the D7500 and anything above ISO 800 will be unacceptable on the D850, which is the highest rated Nikon FX camera.

I think you need a medium format sensor, or to change your technique or to lower your expectations.

That was my first thought. I had the 16MP D7000 before the D7500 and there's not a huge difference. I would regularly shoot the D7000 up to ISO 6400. Granted, those were shots I'd only ever put in a photo book at roughly snapshot size ...

Imaging-resource's evaluation of the D5100 was:

ISO 100 images make excellent 24 x 36 inch prints ...
ISO 1,600 prints look quite good at 13 x 19 inches.
ISO 6,400 shots are pretty good at 8 x 10, better than usable.

I always wonder, when people complain about noise, if they're basing that on pixel peeping in editing software.

I have a 20x30" print on my office wall taken with a 12MP DSLR (older & noisier than the D5100) at ISO 400 (even cropped down to about 10MP) and it looks great.

Buying a camera with a larger sensor will reduce noisiness, as long as you can shoot with at least as wide an f-number and at least as slow a shutter.

That's the key ... and if you have some need to keep the shutter speed at a certain point (handholding or avoiding subject motion blur) *and* you need to stop down a little for a certain depth of field, then you'll just be increasing the ISO even further with a FF camera, because you'll stop down more for DOF.

To avoid noise, you want to put as much light on the sensor as possible. A bigger sensor does this at the same exposure settings (but you give up DOF); a slower shutter speed does this (can you use a tripod or rely on image stabilization ?); a faster lens does this (again, you give up DOF) and auxiliary lighting does this.

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Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 16,358
Re: D7500 iso noise

potterjo wrote:

The drawback is that anything above 250 the noise is unacceptable to me.

Are you brightening the images on the computer? Lifting shadows?

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erv60 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: D7500 iso noise

FF will have 1 stop advantage in noise, if you accept 1 stop less depth of field. That may or may not work for your flower pics, depending on your style.

Personally I am happy with noise on my D7500 up to ISO5000, (processed with capture one 20 which is quite decent at converting high ISO).

Also depends on how you view the images. Reduced in size on a high density monitor is very different than at 100% on a big 1080p monitor.

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OP potterjo New Member • Posts: 6
Re: D7500 iso noise

Usually use one,  the problem with wildflower photography is the wind.  I need to use higher shutter speeds so in low light situations it is a problem.  And I do not like the results with flash. But that is a whole other story.

OP potterjo New Member • Posts: 6
Re: If above ISO 250 is unacceptable...

I will look into ETTR

OP potterjo New Member • Posts: 6
Re: D7500 iso noise

Usually use curves,  sometimes will lighten the shadows.

erv60 Junior Member • Posts: 39
With example
2

The software that you use makes a lot of difference. This is a 100% crop from an D7500 ISO5000 image, processed with DXO deep prime. No other action done, except some color balance.

Not much need for FF for amateur purposes IMO

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toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 13,404
Here's some high ISO samples from a recent road trip
1

I only chose these because they're representative of high ISO snapshots I took, not because they're works of art. Check the exif for ISO. On a side note, all of these are shot handheld and my D7500 plus 18-140 can get blur free shots at pretty darn slow shutter speeds (like 1/30 on the last shot)

These are SOOC jpegs with no noise reduction in-camera or any processing.  I checked the raws and they look the same, noise-wise

I also shot a series of shots of some cows in a field next to the campground early morning, starting at ISO 800 and up to ISO 51,200 and 3200 is reasonably as high as I would want to go (determined by checking the shots one after another Sure, 51,200 works in a pinch if you absolutely have to get the shot

erv60 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: With example

erv60 wrote:

The software that you use makes a lot of difference. This is a 100% crop from an D7500 ISO5000 image, processed with DXO deep prime. No other action done, except some color balance.

Not much need for FF for amateur purposes IMO

Somewhat different edit with Capture one 20 (I am testing alternatives for lightroom for the moment)

And a 100% crop from the embedded jpg in the NEF file

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PhotoAuk New Member • Posts: 11
Re: D7500 iso noise
1

I moved from a D5100 to a D7500 and I am impressed with the improved high ISO performance.  I haven't done a side by side comparison but the D7500 is noticeably better in my humble opinion.  ISO 1600 was "okay" on my D5100 and 3200 was tolerable if needed (e.g., shooting concert and indoor sports) but not great and usually had noticeably noise even on small prints.  I don't hesitate to shoot 3200 with the D7500.  I've captured great shots at 6400 and  higher with the D7500.  I'm not a pixel peeper and I don't print large prints (yet).  Maybe I have low standards.

Loved my D5100.  Got me through tons of my kid's  gymnastics, basketball, night baseball, and string concerts under hideous lighting.  As good as many of those photos were, I think they would have been even better with the D7500.

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Shunda777 Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: With example

erv60 wrote:

Not much need for FF for amateur purposes IMO

I've got the D7500 and love it, but it doesn't produce files anywhere near as good as full frame.
Once the argument went along the lines that is was better to invest in good glass for your DX than pay a small fortune for a new full frame body, and that was certainly true in the past.

But now with the price of a used D600/610 in great condition being around the same price as a new D5600 body, things have changed somewhat.
I got a D610 with only 2900 shots on the shutter for NZ$850 ($567USD), the sensor output is as good as any of the later full frame Nikons. Pair that up with the tokina 100mm 2.8 macro and you've got an awesome set up for flowers, macro and a perfect portrait capability to boot.

If someone is after the best image quality for their money it is a very compelling option to consider.

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