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ISO Noise

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    Gary66  2158 forum posts England
    27 Nov 2012 - 9:50 AM

    I have recently viewed a blog by Jestertheclown (Brendan), where he was experimenting with ISO and referred to noise, I have heard this term but to be honest clueless as to what it is, I assume it's not a good thing.
    Would appreciate some explanation.
    Many thanks.

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    Nick_w e2 Member 73906 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Nov 2012 - 9:55 AM

    When you increaae ISO, the image has what appears to be "specs" on. Its caused mainly by the camera amplifying the signal from the sensor to give an image - also by heat from the electronics (more applicable to long exposures). IMHO theres too much made of it - if you print and not just look on the web, you can have quite high noise levels before they become visable in print (due to dot gain, paper etc). Also in black and white it can give atmosphere. Its knowhere near the levels you used to see in the film days - then it was regarded as artistic and desirable !!

    miptog  93532 forum posts United Kingdom61 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Nov 2012 - 9:55 AM

    In simple terms this is where the image looks grainy to varying levels of "graininess", in which extreme cases the image looses a lot of detail. Noise is most apparent in shadow and dark areas of the image. Simple test, in a low light situation take a shot at the lowest iso, and then take the same shot at the highest iso. Compare the two, and you should be able to see the difference in noise.

    Last Modified By miptog at 27 Nov 2012 - 9:56 AM
    cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Nov 2012 - 10:12 AM

    Quote: IMHO there's too much made of it

    Absolutely spot on Nick.....Smile

    Its really the prerogative of the pixel peepers, Or technophiles who don't actually take photographs......Grin

    mikehit  56692 forum posts United Kingdom11 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Nov 2012 - 10:18 AM

    Any electronic circuit has random signals in it and this is passed to the image eletronics creating the noise you are referring to.
    In good lighting conditions, the amount noise signal is very very low compared to the signal created by the high amount of light hitting the sensor so you don't see the noise in the picture.
    When light is low the noise is the same but amount of signal from the light hitting the sensor is lower in comparison so the noise becomes more apparent.

    You can overcome the low light in two ways: you can take the picture at low ISO and 'boost' the signal in post-processing to recover the low-light detail, or you can boost the ISO setting and let the camera do the recovery. In both cases you amplify the noise as well as the light signal.

    You can to some extent compare film grain and digitalnoise, but many people say that film grain is more acceptable visually and it has been proposed that digital noise is less random than film grain so is more noticable.

    Gaucho e2 Member 122319 forum postsGaucho vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Nov 2012 - 10:32 AM

    Sums it up quite well mikehit Smile

    puertouk  31080 forum posts United Kingdom17 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Nov 2012 - 10:55 AM

    The easiest explanation is, the higher the ISO the more noise (specs) you get on your image. Bearing in mind, some cameras are better with higher ISO´s than others. Simple!

    Gary66  2158 forum posts England
    27 Nov 2012 - 2:39 PM

    Thanks for your time everyone.


    In old "film" days it was called grain! The higher the ISO the faster the film was but the more grain you got in your pictures. In those days there wasn't a lot you could do about it but in today's brilliant digital era there are programs and software which can greatly reduce the noise (grain).

    Paul Morgan
    Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315630 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
    3 Dec 2012 - 7:42 PM

    Quote: In old "film" days it was called grain

    But there is still a big difference.

    Grain is more visable in the lighter areas, while noise shows more in the darker areas.


    True, dark grain and white noise!

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