Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi/ Kiss X Digital Review
ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels (contd.)
UPDATE 18/Dec/06: In our original review a mistake was made in the measurement of ISO sensitivity, this has now been corrected and the releveant pages of this review updated.
RAW noise or just how much in-camera noise reduction
One thing we observed quite early when dealing with higher sensitivity images from the EOS 400D was the difference in noise levels between JPEG and RAW. This tells us that the camera is actually applying fairly significant and sophisticated noise reduction which has the strongest effect at ISO 800 and 1600. Obviously the RAW data has no noise reduction applied, so when we convert we 'reveal' the actual noise produced by the sensor.
Interestingly Canon's own Digital Photo Professional exposes this most clearly, especially at ISO 1600, with clear noise as well as white speckles in shadow areas (although thanks to what seems to be a complete lack of noise reduction, lots of detail). What we can conclude from this is that the in-camera NR is actually very good, keeping luminance noise down while maintaining detail, however it's a pity there isn't at least a little chroma NR to remove those color blotches.
JPEG vs. RAW (ISO 400 - 1600)
- JPEG: Jpeg original from camera
- DPP: Digital Photo Professional 2.2
- ACR: Adobe Camera RAW 3.6 beta
Luminance noise graph (JPEG vs. RAW)
As you can see noise levels from RAW converted files are considerably higher than JPEG from the camera. Up to ISO 400 this would be difficult to see, however at ISO 800 and 1600 it would be a lot more obvious.
Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of luminosity on the vertical axis.
Chroma (color) noise graph (JPEG vs. RAW)
Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of color on the vertical axis.
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