Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Canon 7D terrible noise levels! Disappointed.

certx 11 415 1 United States
26 Jul 2011 1:33AM
Let me start with, I know the 7D is an aps-c sensor. I get that. But I am sorely disappointed with this body. The noise levels on this camera are terrible! I saw reviews that seemed to show good noise levels with decent detail retention. I have had this body for some time now and have had to fight it in any sort of even semi low light conditions. Even shooting at ISO 400 the noise level is bad enough that fine detail is starting to be lost. ISO 100, as with any other camera is basically noiseless, as is ISO 200. But once I reach or exceed ISO 400, I am very disappointed in all but the best light.

With all the reviews and sample photos I went through before deciding to buy this camera, I am simply baffled by the noise. I have tried every in camera high ISO NR setting except Strong, as that would undoubtedly leave no fine detail at all in the image. At least, at 8x10 print size, ISO 400 is acceptable, but anything beyond is not. ISO's 800 and 1600, there is no way I would print at above 4x6. I simply cannot imagine this camera is actually this bad on noise as a matter of course. It is still on the market. Surely it would not be. So... is it just my body? Is there something askew with the hardware in mine? Or has anyone else noticed very bad noise levels on the 7D?


Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
26 Jul 2011 1:51AM
Are you shooting in RAW format? (I'm guessing not?)

To get a camera like the Canon 7D and shoot JPEG is a waste of money - you might as well have bought a P&S ! Smile
certx 11 415 1 United States
26 Jul 2011 1:58AM
Actually... ummm this is not my first rodeo. Of course I'm shooting in RAW.
certx 11 415 1 United States
26 Jul 2011 2:03AM
Sorry... that was a bit .... short. It was not intended to be. It's just the extreme frustration I have over this particular body. My 5d mkII, or course, performs wonderfully all the way to 6400 before REALLY dropping off toward 12,8. But this damn 7D is just bugging the crap out of me. I wouldn't give a damn except that is was $1700 when I bought it, and for that, don't have any intention of trashing it. Unless it's truly just trash! I'm just really frustrated over it.
certx 11 415 1 United States
26 Jul 2011 2:05AM
Well... the photos I'm currently going back through were with a 24-70 2.8 L. In slightly low light. They are just crap with the noise. And seriously... they're at ISO 400. I'm completely shocked at the noise.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
26 Jul 2011 2:05AM
How are you processing the RAW files?

Many people find a better route to good results is to turn off all in-camera NR and deal with noise during the RAW conversion process.

You will never get the results from a Canon 7D that you get from a 5D Mk II. I owned a 5D II but am now using an Olympus Pen which has similar performance to the Canon 7D, so I am aware of the difference in noise handling.
certx 11 415 1 United States
26 Jul 2011 2:15AM
Smile Yeah, I know it's never gonna be a 5dmk2 Smile but really. My 30D was better on noise at 800 than this seems to be at 400.

I am shooting with high ISO NR set to standard in camera. Of course, this does not effect RAW, only in camera JPG (and does a fair job of producing JPG). As for NR, I use ACR normally, but sometimes Canon's DPP while I'm using it to outtake frames I don't like. Again, though, it is not the NR that's the issue. I'm all about NR when necessary... my issue is that ISO 400 if should virtually NEVER be necessary. And it appears to be a fair mix of both chroma and luminance.

I am just really lost as to why the noise is so high to begin with at 400.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
26 Jul 2011 2:22AM
Interesting comparison here .
certx 11 415 1 United States
26 Jul 2011 2:23AM
For what it's worth, the camera, prior to this becoming an issue recently, was used in controlled light. It was used virtually with only studio strobes, and occasionally daylight with fill.... all shot at ISO 100, and occasionally 200. It wasn't until the first time I shot it in semi low light and started bumping up the ISO... which I quickly bumped down to 400 as the best possible I could get and still have exposure.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
26 Jul 2011 2:30AM
The NR setting is a tag in the RAW file. Purists consider it worth setting NR completely off so that when you start your RAW processing, you are starting from scratch so to speak. Perhaps give that a try?

TBH, I wouldn't worry overly about a bit of noise, even at ISO 400 or even 200. So long as you can process it out and get a decent result, that is what matters.

The Canon 5D II is exceptional in its RAW images. There were often times I wondered why I needed to process them at all! Wink
certx 11 415 1 United States
26 Jul 2011 2:50AM
Ok... thanks for the link. Mine... just won't clean up as much as those. I followed their link to the RAW file comparisons... My 7D has FAR MORE noise at 400 than those. I do not know why. Perhaps it is worth an authorized warranty repair shop to look at it. Or a shipping to Canon. As for noise at 200...I have virtually none. If it were just "a bit" of noise at 400 I wouldn't be concerned. NR would easily deal with it in PP. But like I said... RAW's from my 7D at 400 have more noise than RAW's from my old 30D at 800.

As for the 5d2? I could not agree more. I do very little NR on 1600 or lower. At 3200 it still produces great clean photos, just needs a bit heavier NR, but still acceptable detail after processing.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
26 Jul 2011 7:36AM
CB seems to have covered most of it. Some people have reported seeing high noise with their 7D which was resolved after sending it back to canon, so it may be worth trying.

I can produce high noise with my 7D if I under-expose shadow by about 3 stops then try to pull it back in PP (but from what you have already said I'm guessing that isn't the case), otherwise I see no problems and happily use ISO800 on a regular basis, have sold large prints of images shot at ISO3200 and so on

I hope you get this sorted as the 7d is a great tool
sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
26 Jul 2011 7:59AM
As you say - this isn't your first rodeo - so sorry for asking a basic question? (no offence meant, but after you've seen a number of these posts it's always worth checking the usual suspects)

You are ensuring that you are exposing the images properly and that you are not boosting the exposure in post production? Low light work can be a pain to expose correctly, and images from an aps-c sensor will not tolerate a great degree of post production exposure latitude without showing noise.

Right, having asked the basic question I'll get my coat... Wink
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
26 Jul 2011 9:59AM
A guy in our camera club has the 7D and will not use above ISO 400 for competitions because of the noise that starts to come in at ISO 800. I got the 7D for birding and have been disappointed with the native noise (compared to my 30D) and I am understanding what many have said about having to redesign my workflow for the 7D. I am still working on it.

Mind you, I have also seen posts from a guy who shoots indoor swimming meets with his 30D at ISO 1600 and I can see very little noise even in the black swimming costumes - but he is very careful to avoid underexposure. So I am sure the 7D should be able to meet this standard at least.

When sending it back to Canon would you ask for a general overhaul or would you need to ask for a specific thing(s) to be checked?
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
26 Jul 2011 10:16AM

Quote:Some people have reported seeing high noise with their 7D which was resolved after sending it back to canon

I know someone who had noise issues with a Canon 5D MkII, Yeah! And at anything above 400 ISO, ISO 800 was horrible especially in blue skies....Sad

Anyhow they sent it back to Canon, Where they claimed to have adjusted something, Its now a lot better but still way behind my Nikon D700 in the noise deparment....!!!

So if its under warranty ( or not ) try giving Canon a go at sorting it out, As you rightly say it should not be that bad under ISO 1600 at the very least.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.