D810 noise at 400 iso - am I imagining this or not?

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  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    I am curious... here is an image from my D800E, ISO 560:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/17003629588/sizes/o/

    I do not see any "noise". There is a characteristic of digital images which is certainly different, actually much better resolution, than we used to see in film media, but I cannot call it "noise".

    Your comments on the above image?
    Msmoto, mod
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    If you are really concerned about noise and if you a use a Mac computer. MacPhun have brought out a new software called Noiseless Pro Having tried most noiseless softwares this takes it to a new level. Just try the usual 30 day free trial to test.

    http://macphun.com/noiseless
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    I am curious... here is an image from my D800E, ISO 560:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/17003629588/sizes/o/

    I do not see any "noise". There is a characteristic of digital images which is certainly different, actually much better resolution, than we used to see in film media, but I cannot call it "noise".

    Your comments on the above image?
    I think what the OP meant by noise is the fine "grain" in the photos that appears as the ISO increases. The same shot of yours (with a light source to give the same exposure) at ISO 100 or below would have less demonstrable grain. In honestly it really only is noticeable to 100% crop pixel peepers, as at less than 100% it is not noticeable at all (and makes no difference on print). To me the ISO increase is a trade off, as your image demonstrates the image is still very sharp and to me personally that is more important then any grain-like effects from the ISO rising above 100.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    I don't think the simple description 'noise' tells the whole story really. There is the noise levels one sees when using hi ISO in quite good light to get faster shutter speeds and there is the noise one gets when shooting in poor or abysmal light - completely different things! Ettr-ing helps hugely in my experience, but where subject movement requires the fastest shutter speeds, that is not so available and that noise is pretty ugly.
    Always learning.
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 469Member
    +1 Spraynpray to high ISO noise being different in light-abundant situations ...

    I see most high ISO performance tests being done/ sample shots taken when there is plenty of light ( and no need for high ISO ) and the results are always misleading... Many people expect same clean shots in 12800/25600 ISO under any light condition and end up being disappointed when they start to see noise at much lower ISOs in practice.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    Absolutely. @Paperman. Lab tests can get a bit away from real-world usage it seems.
    Always learning.
  • tektradertektrader Posts: 58Member
    edited May 2015
    I routinely see that noise in ISO's beyond default. This leads me to religiously apply ISO 100 in my D800 many times to the detriment sharpness due to camera shake.

    This is why I love VR as those 2-3 stops of improvement give me back the noise floor that I would have lost at higher ISO. AND one of the reasons I sold my 24-70 and now use the 24-120 F4. The VR alone for me was worth it.
    Post edited by tektrader on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    Well, in a D800E, I do like to use ISO 100. However, al of this is so dependent on how I am using the camera. On a D4, ISO 12,800 is common, even up into the 20,000 range if needed.

    For me, coming from the days of ASA 400 Tri-X film, or ASA 80 Plus-X (overexposed, underdeveloped) the issue of noise, grain, whatever is simply a result of the conditions under which I am attempting to grab the image. And, at ISO 12,800 on the D4, or ISO 6400 on the D800E, I am still much less "noisy" than with film, even Plus-X processed as above.
    Msmoto, mod
  • EricBowlesEricBowles Posts: 27Member
    Okay - I see the small amount of noise in the image. It's nothing to worry about and it's normal.

    You've taken an image of a plain blue sky at ISO 400. Both the original thumbnail and the image viewed in Lightroom show the noise - but to different degrees. That means processing has something to do with the amount of noise in this image.

    I'm not sure of your default picture control settings, but my guess is you have some sharpening applied globally in your picture control that is adding to the noise. Contrast can also add noise. The reason for this comment is when I open the image in Lightroom/ACR with flat settings, the noise is reduced. The leaves in the image are pretty sharp, so there is some sharpening taking place. Use the Standard picture control as the default - and Neutral is a good choice for noisy or high contrast situations. If you use Normal, your LCD and thumbnails will look a little flat.

    There are several possible sources. The main source is probably that you have a plain blue sky, and the camera is trying to pick up detail. What it is picking up is small variations in the color of the sky, but without a wide spectrum monitor, the small variations are more noticeable. A wide spectrum monitor will have smoother transitions between similar colors. They are unlikely to show up in a print. I had to look at the image at 1:1 to see noise - which is equivalent to a 7 foot wide print.

    Just as noise reduction reduces noise by softening the image, sharpening increases noise. You can turn down sharpening and apply sharpening locally rather than globally to reduce noise. Noise reduction could just be applied to the sky - if at all.

    This has nothing to do with your camera, and only is an issue as ISO increase with very smooth areas of an image.
  • RiptideRiptide Posts: 3Member
    I went through the exact same thing with several cameras. I shoot stock and it's really hard to pass an editor's eyes. I've learned that cameras with sharper images produce more noise. Editors look at images up to 100-200% and will not accept noisy images. I bought camera after camera trying to fix this issue. It wasn't until I purchased the D700 that I no longer had noise problems. If you are shooting to sell images than noise does matter. Shooting in low light should be more important than sharpness because that can always be added later where needed. Noise reduction doesn't always work and can be extremely time consuming to edit out. You can't just click NR in PS because it will soften the entire image. Based on your review and hearing this before, I will NOT be purchasing the D810. I'm sad, but I've learned to wait for the camera that performs the way it should. Especially at such a high price.

    Happy Snapping
  • RiptideRiptide Posts: 3Member
    P.S. You should never get noise at 400 ISO, especially on a pro camera. Maybe 1200 ISO but even that would be horrible. I'm truly sorry you had to deal with this problem. Sell your camera and get a D700 until Nikon goes back to making great cameras again.
  • NikoniserNikoniser Posts: 100Member
    What you are seeing is "shot noise" not "electronic noise" from the camera

    http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8189925268/what-s-that-noise-shedding-some-light-on-the-sources-of-noise

    "the key lesson from this article is that a lot of the noise you see isn't coming from your sensor or your camera: it's inherent in the randomness of the light you captured and it's primarily dependent on the exposure you chose."

    The D810 has such a fine pixel pitch that this is to be expected. It happens with every manufacturer with a high pixel pitch without an agressive AA filter, Sony A7r, Canon 7D2 and 5DSR etc.

    Cameras with large pixels and AA filters like the D700 and 5DMkII and D300 "smear" the shot noise out and average it so you don't see it. However it is still present - just smeared out. If you take a D810 shot and downsample it from 36mp to 12 mp the shot noise goes away and it looks the same as a shot from a D700 - just with 6 times the dynamic range ! ( D810 + downsampling advantage )

    You can get still get shot noise at at iso 100 on the D810/Sony A7RII/Canon 5DSR - just underexpose the image by 4 stops and take a look at the RAW files, you will see the same shot noise if you push the exposure a little.

    Its a function of physics, not a problem with the camera. If you are waiting for a camera that has no shot noise you are going to be waiting a very long time until sensor design fundamentally changes.

    My recomendation if it bothers you is to use software with advanced noise reduction capabilities - like DXO Optics PRIME noise reduction. DXO optics retains the details and removes the shot noise - without downsampling. So you *can* have a 36mp sharp as a tack image with no noise, and I sell 36mp stock photos all the time processed with DXO and never get rejected, and also sell BIG crops from the D810, 50% and more without issue, something you could *never* do with the D700/5dMkII !

    The D810 has an advantage over the D800E and Sony and Canon models - you can use iso 64. this gives more light and therefore less shot noise and more dynamic range at the base iso level. If you can therefore learn to use proper lighting and exposure for your professional photography the d810 is still the pinnacle of quality available.

    I hope this helps clears up a few misconceptions about high Mpix cameras and noise.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,445Member
    I shoot auto iso 200-6400 so all my flash stuff is at iso 800......I have not seen noise affecting my pictures but then I shoot JPEG with everything wound to the max .
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 469Member
    The article Nikoniser has given link to clearly explains the fact we discussed above - how visible noise at a high ISO in well lit scene differs from the one at same high ISO but low light.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    I well remember saying before how I would ettr to get round this and was speedily jumped on by a couple of members who said they never do that because the shadow recovery is so good on the D810 that they routinely under-expose to be sure they don't blow out highlights. I still stand by my statement that ettr-ing is the way to go when possible. I find that the shadow recovery on my D7100 and D750 is excellent too BTW but my files always look best ettr'd as much as poss without losing sky highlights.
    Always learning.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    I have my Fn button set to shoot the number of images that bracket mode is set to when I shoot in S (on my D800). I usually have bracket set on 3 with 0.7 EV. So effectively, every capture is ETTL, spot on and ETTR. Which one I pick depends on whether shadows or highlights are my problem. I find that 90% of the time I ETTL.
  • RiptideRiptide Posts: 3Member
    15 years shooting and I still haven't learned everything. I'm always open for good advice and recommendations. If you say the D810 is awesome than I'm excited to check it out!!! I'm renting the D810 next weekend so I will know for sure. I'm a low light photographer primarily so it's going to get tested like crazy. Let me know if any of you have tips on making the magic happen.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    What cameras do you have at present @Riptide? I rate my D750 in low light.
    Always learning.
  • MegapixelSchnitzelMegapixelSchnitzel Posts: 185Member
    Looks like the typical grain from a Kodacolor 100 35mm negative. Okay, yeah, its shot noise. But its also perfectly fine and will print beautifully.
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