Grain from a Sony A7iii

Started 5 months ago | Questions
Paul Barnard
Paul Barnard Veteran Member • Posts: 3,635
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

gezzamondo wrote:

Thanks everyone!

I've always under exposed after watching many post processing tutorials on YouTube but I've always felt there was so much noise and I wasnt doing something right

With ETTR, are you aiming to get the histogram peaks closer to the right than them being central before the whites start clipping then

You might like to read this by DPReview.  It talks about RAW exposure on theSony A7Riii and how to set up zebra for ETTR. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7r-mark-iii-review/4/

There is also a bit of a thread about it here https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60822051

You can also just set your Zerba's to 108+ to get a similar result.

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blokeyknockers
blokeyknockers Senior Member • Posts: 1,271
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

Paul Barnard wrote:

gezzamondo wrote:

Thanks everyone!

I've always under exposed after watching many post processing tutorials on YouTube but I've always felt there was so much noise and I wasnt doing something right

With ETTR, are you aiming to get the histogram peaks closer to the right than them being central before the whites start clipping then

You might like to read this by DPReview. It talks about RAW exposure on theSony A7Riii and how to set up zebra for ETTR. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7r-mark-iii-review/4/

There is also a bit of a thread about it here https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60822051

You can also just set your Zerba's to 108+ to get a similar result.

What jpeg settings should be used when using the zebras?

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Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,607
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

blokeyknockers wrote:

Paul Barnard wrote:

gezzamondo wrote:

Thanks everyone!

I've always under exposed after watching many post processing tutorials on YouTube but I've always felt there was so much noise and I wasnt doing something right

With ETTR, are you aiming to get the histogram peaks closer to the right than them being central before the whites start clipping then

You might like to read this by DPReview. It talks about RAW exposure on theSony A7Riii and how to set up zebra for ETTR. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7r-mark-iii-review/4/

There is also a bit of a thread about it here https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60822051

You can also just set your Zerba's to 108+ to get a similar result.

What jpeg settings should be used when using the zebras?

Use Zebra only if you shoot raw, since jpg + raw doesn't match when "exposing to the right".

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Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,607
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

Moses wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

gezzamondo wrote:

kind of.

I thought one of Sonys biggest selling points was that it could handle low light /high iso without causing too much grain?

Is better to over expose and reduce the hightlights to prevent grain then?

You will get blown highlights if you over-expose. It's easier to lift shadows and fix the noise than it is to recover blown highlights.

Expose so that you can recover the highlights, not more or less. This is about 1.5 to 2 stop more than the right edge of the in-camera jpg histrogram shows. Expose like this, then the shadow data will follow as nicely as possible.

If even more shadow detail is needed, make an extra exposure and run HRD post processing.

Whoa! This is a new concept to me. I know about ETTR which I use. Do you mean that, using the live histogram, you expose until there there is something almost touching the right edge (highlight) AND THEN YOU ADD ANOTHER 1.5 stops of exposure to that so that the graph is 'blown' but in reality your RAW sensor is still registering actual data?

Yup, this is ETTR for raw files.

Tis is how you take adventage of the full dynamic range of the sensor. If you don't need all this DR, you at least get as clean exposure as possible.

And is this a commonly known technique? This is fascinating as I have never heard of this before.

Yes, this is how ETTR have been used by raw shooters for decades.

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jb12 Regular Member • Posts: 229
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

I think the dinamic range these days is so good, if you cannot take a good photo, you are doing something fundamentally wrong. I.e. you should use flash or come back to the scene few hours later (earlier). Images at harsh light are crap anyway. Personally if I see that I need to bracket, I just accept that this will not make a good photo and its just not worth it.

Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,607
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

jb12 wrote:

I think the dinamic range these days is so good, if you cannot take a good photo, you are doing something fundamentally wrong.

Depends on what you are doing, and the characteristics of the scene.

Images at harsh light are crap anyway.

Light is what shapes the subject. The challenge is how you use the light, much more than the quality of the light. Harsh light might be great light.

Personally if I see that I need to bracket, I just accept that this will not make a good photo and its just not worth it.

Why limit yourself like this?

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blokeyknockers
blokeyknockers Senior Member • Posts: 1,271
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

Magnar W wrote:

blokeyknockers wrote:

Paul Barnard wrote:

gezzamondo wrote:

Thanks everyone!

I've always under exposed after watching many post processing tutorials on YouTube but I've always felt there was so much noise and I wasnt doing something right

With ETTR, are you aiming to get the histogram peaks closer to the right than them being central before the whites start clipping then

You might like to read this by DPReview. It talks about RAW exposure on theSony A7Riii and how to set up zebra for ETTR. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7r-mark-iii-review/4/

There is also a bit of a thread about it here https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60822051

You can also just set your Zerba's to 108+ to get a similar result.

What jpeg settings should be used when using the zebras?

Use Zebra only if you shoot raw, since jpg + raw doesn't match when "exposing to the right

But even when shooting raw the live preview is based on the jpeg settings (creative style) isn't it? If so, then don't we need to set those settings a certain way to allow the zebras to be as accurate as possible?

 blokeyknockers's gear list:blokeyknockers's gear list
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jb12 Regular Member • Posts: 229
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

Magnar W wrote:

jb12 wrote:

I think the dinamic range these days is so good, if you cannot take a good photo, you are doing something fundamentally wrong.

Depends on what you are doing, and the characteristics of the scene.

Images at harsh light are crap anyway.

Light is what shapes the subject. The challenge is how you use the light, much more than the quality of the light. Harsh light might be great light.

Personally if I see that I need to bracket, I just accept that this will not make a good photo and its just not worth it.

Why limit yourself like this?

Even if I like a photo taken in harsh light, I will always think that if the light was not as extreme the photo would be better.

Never mind a photo, what would you prefer, looking at a scene in harsh sunny mid day or enjoying it when the light is not as harsh? It does not have to be sunset/sunrise.

That is my personal opinion. Its ok if you disagree.

Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,607
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

blokeyknockers wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

blokeyknockers wrote:

Paul Barnard wrote:

gezzamondo wrote:

Thanks everyone!

I've always under exposed after watching many post processing tutorials on YouTube but I've always felt there was so much noise and I wasnt doing something right

With ETTR, are you aiming to get the histogram peaks closer to the right than them being central before the whites start clipping then

You might like to read this by DPReview. It talks about RAW exposure on theSony A7Riii and how to set up zebra for ETTR. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7r-mark-iii-review/4/

There is also a bit of a thread about it here https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60822051

You can also just set your Zerba's to 108+ to get a similar result.

What jpeg settings should be used when using the zebras?

Use Zebra only if you shoot raw, since jpg + raw doesn't match when "exposing to the right

But even when shooting raw the live preview is based on the jpeg settings (creative style) isn't it? If so, then don't we need to set those settings a certain way to allow the zebras to be as accurate as possible?

With zebra +108 you can trust the pattern with raw. I have used this as my exposure meter for raw files for some years now, with very consistent results.

 Magnar W's gear list:Magnar W's gear list
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blokeyknockers
blokeyknockers Senior Member • Posts: 1,271
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

Magnar W wrote:

blokeyknockers wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

blokeyknockers wrote:

Paul Barnard wrote:

gezzamondo wrote:

Thanks everyone!

I've always under exposed after watching many post processing tutorials on YouTube but I've always felt there was so much noise and I wasnt doing something right

With ETTR, are you aiming to get the histogram peaks closer to the right than them being central before the whites start clipping then

You might like to read this by DPReview. It talks about RAW exposure on theSony A7Riii and how to set up zebra for ETTR. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7r-mark-iii-review/4/

There is also a bit of a thread about it here https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60822051

You can also just set your Zerba's to 108+ to get a similar result.

What jpeg settings should be used when using the zebras?

Use Zebra only if you shoot raw, since jpg + raw doesn't match when "exposing to the right

But even when shooting raw the live preview is based on the jpeg settings (creative style) isn't it? If so, then don't we need to set those settings a certain way to allow the zebras to be as accurate as possible?

With zebra +108 you can trust the pattern with raw. I have used this as my exposure meter for raw files for some years now, with very consistent results.

Ok, so the jpeg settings have no effect on the zebra's then? Whether i set contrast at -3 or +3 the zebras will still behave the same?

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FingerPainter Veteran Member • Posts: 9,755
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

poipoipoi_2016 wrote:

gezzamondo wrote:

I never used any exposure compansation. Or do you mean when i increased the exposure and shadows in post that would generate grain?

Yes.

No.

Noise is a relationship between pixel values.

Increasing all the pixel values by the same factor doesn't change the relationship between them. So lightening in development doesn't increase noisiness.

When you increased the shadows and exposure in post, you also magnified all the sensor noise that was happening below the surface by a factor of 5.

Huh? How did you come up with a factor of five?

Exposure compensation is your way of saying "I think your light meter is wrong and I want a different picture than the one you're trying to get me to take". Which then lets you avoid having to do post-processing off bad data.

Close enough.

Also, bracketing, which would probably have saved you here.

To use my test metaphor, what you did was say:

1) Everything between 70-100 is now 95-100

No, If 70 is now 95, then 100 is now 136.

2) Everything between 10 and 70 is now increased and compressed into 50-95.

If 70 is now 95, then 10 is now 14,not 50.

3) Everything between 0 and 10 is now stretched to cover 0 and 50.

Nope.

Do you understand why #3 would result in noise?

But 3 is not what happens.

FingerPainter Veteran Member • Posts: 9,755
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

Moses wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

gezzamondo wrote:

kind of.

I thought one of Sonys biggest selling points was that it could handle low light /high iso without causing too much grain?

Is better to over expose and reduce the hightlights to prevent grain then?

You will get blown highlights if you over-expose. It's easier to lift shadows and fix the noise than it is to recover blown highlights.

Expose so that you can recover the highlights, not more or less. This is about 1.5 to 2 stop more than the right edge of the in-camera jpg histrogram shows. Expose like this, then the shadow data will follow as nicely as possible.

If even more shadow detail is needed, make an extra exposure and run HRD post processing.

Whoa! This is a new concept to me. I know about ETTR which I use. Do you mean that, using the live histogram, you expose until there there is something almost touching the right edge (highlight) AND THEN YOU ADD ANOTHER 1.5 stops of exposure to that so that the graph is 'blown' but in reality your RAW sensor is still registering actual data? And is this a commonly known technique? This is fascinating as I have never heard of this before.

The histogram displayed is the histogram of the JPEG, displayed on your screen/EVF, not of the RAW file. Since RAW files have more bits per channel than JPEGs, they can store a wider range of values than JPEGs can.

The amount of room you have above the histogram's limit varies between cameras, but it is always more than 0, and on some cameras may indeed by 1.5 stops.

FingerPainter Veteran Member • Posts: 9,755
Noise is NOT...
4

gezzamondo wrote:

i took some photos the other day using these settings

f/5.6 70mm 1/160sec ISO 200

I shot slightly under exposed due to shooting directly into the sunset and so i can recover the shadows in lightroom

but when i increased the shadows i noticed a lot of grain even though i only shot at ISO 200

Noise is not:

  1. the same thing as grain
  2. caused by the ISO setting.
  3. caused by lightening an image in development

Details follow below.

Is it normal for it to be so grainy from the sony at those settings?

In that light, yes.

See examples below including histogram

The histogram of the first one indicates you could have exposed a couple stops higher. Had you done so, it wouldn't have been as noisy.

I suggest you read the articles here on DPR about the causes of noise, and how to avoid it.

1. Grain is a physical property of film, due to the coarseness of the light-sensitive particles in the emulsion. B&W films with a higher ISO rating have larger pieces of silver halide so they can react better to diminished light. These larger pieces create a grainier look.

Noise in digital images is not grain. It is not a physical property of anything. It is variation in the digital values of nearby pixels. Most of the variation in pixel values is due to the fact that there is a natural random variation in the arrival rate and colour of photons reaching your camera.

2. When you take a photo of a given scene at {f/5.6, 1/160}, the photo will have nearly the same noisiness if you take it at ISO 1600 as if you take it at ISO 100. That's because both photos will capture about the same amount of light. The noisiness of a digital image depends primarily on how much light was captured by the image.

In fact, on many digital cameras, the image taken at ISO 1600 might be slightly less noisy. On your a7III, the photo taken at ISO 1600 will have about 5/6 stops less noisiness in the shadows. It might blow some highlights though.

Many people associate a higher ISO setting with more noisiness because they use their camera in an auto exposure mode in which they set the ISO manually, but the camera sets the exposure by altering one or both of the shutter or aperture settings. In these modes, if you raise the ISO, the camera responds by reducing the exposure, either by speeding the shutter or narrowing the aperture. Speeding the shutter or narrowing the aperture reduce the amount of light the camera will capture. It is the reduction in light capture that is the cause of the increased noisiness.

Because noise and grain are different things with different causes, they have different solutions too. You avoid a grainy image in film by using a film with smaller particles - one with a lower ISO rating. The way you avoid the noisiness effects of variation in light on digital images is to capture more light. That way, the variations tend to cancel each other out or get hidden.

To make digital image with as little noisiness as possible, use the slowest shutter and widest aperture that don't blow important highlight detail.

Your ISO 200 images are noisy because you didn't capture very much light in them. Using a negative EC or deliberately under-exposing makes an image noisier, because less light is captured.

3. Lightening a digital image in software after capture does not make the image noisier. Operations like bringing up the shadows just apply a fairly simple multiplication to digital values of pixels. Nearby pixels will be increase by about the same factor. That means the variations between them - what we see as noise - won't change.

Paul Barnard
Paul Barnard Veteran Member • Posts: 3,635
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

blokeyknockers wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

blokeyknockers wrote:

Paul Barnard wrote:

gezzamondo wrote:

Thanks everyone!

I've always under exposed after watching many post processing tutorials on YouTube but I've always felt there was so much noise and I wasnt doing something right

With ETTR, are you aiming to get the histogram peaks closer to the right than them being central before the whites start clipping then

You might like to read this by DPReview. It talks about RAW exposure on theSony A7Riii and how to set up zebra for ETTR. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7r-mark-iii-review/4/

There is also a bit of a thread about it here https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60822051

You can also just set your Zerba's to 108+ to get a similar result.

What jpeg settings should be used when using the zebras?

Use Zebra only if you shoot raw, since jpg + raw doesn't match when "exposing to the right

But even when shooting raw the live preview is based on the jpeg settings (creative style) isn't it? If so, then don't we need to set those settings a certain way to allow the zebras to be as accurate as possible?

The thread I posted has a custom jpg setting to make it all look right.

 Paul Barnard's gear list:Paul Barnard's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 70-200 F4 Zeiss Batis 25mm F2 Sony 1.4x Teleconverter (2016) +5 more
blokeyknockers
blokeyknockers Senior Member • Posts: 1,271
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

Paul Barnard wrote:

blokeyknockers wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

blokeyknockers wrote:

Paul Barnard wrote:

gezzamondo wrote:

Thanks everyone!

I've always under exposed after watching many post processing tutorials on YouTube but I've always felt there was so much noise and I wasnt doing something right

With ETTR, are you aiming to get the histogram peaks closer to the right than them being central before the whites start clipping then

You might like to read this by DPReview. It talks about RAW exposure on theSony A7Riii and how to set up zebra for ETTR. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7r-mark-iii-review/4/

There is also a bit of a thread about it here https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60822051

You can also just set your Zerba's to 108+ to get a similar result.

What jpeg settings should be used when using the zebras?

Use Zebra only if you shoot raw, since jpg + raw doesn't match when "exposing to the right

But even when shooting raw the live preview is based on the jpeg settings (creative style) isn't it? If so, then don't we need to set those settings a certain way to allow the zebras to be as accurate as possible?

The thread I posted has a custom jpg setting to make it all look right.

Thanks!!

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gezzamondo
OP gezzamondo Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

thanks. really appreciate it

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gezzamondo
OP gezzamondo Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii
1

yes ill post it tomorrow

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gezzamondo
OP gezzamondo Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

i wasnt using a tripod, it was handheld

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KneeConWon Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

Note that exposure is only aperture and shutter speed (at base ISO). ISO isn't part of exposure. Keep this in mind when following advice given here.

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DenverSteve Contributing Member • Posts: 573
Re: Grain from a Sony A7iii

gezzamondo wrote:

kind of.

I thought one of Sonys biggest selling points was that it could handle low light /high iso without causing too much grain?

That is true but there's a difference between low-light and no light. In the case of no light, you need to supply light via some fill-flash. You have to bring the highlights and shadows into your camera's dynamic range. You can't create detail in post - where there was no detail.

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