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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Grain? Noise?
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12/16/2007 12:48:27 PM · #1
I have a question. I know it is probably in a post already but I am not sure where to look. My photos appear to be really grainy or noisy. It's been years since I took my courses in high school on photography, but then we called it grain, and I think in the digital format it is called noise. Someone suggested that my ISO is set too low or incorrectly. I usually always shoot at ISO 400. What should I do to correct this?
12/16/2007 12:55:25 PM · #2
OK, ISO 400 on the 350d shouldnt be hugely noisy, but it will be a bit noisy.. The lower the ISO the cleaner the image. Someone on here could give you the technical reason why, but all you really need to know is that the higher the ISO, the higher the noise.

However, bear in mind that when viewing on screen, noise is far more apparent than when viewing as a print. I have used ISO1600 or even ISO3200 when I shoot weddings, granted, when viewed at 100% the noise is a bit `yeuck`, but when printed out it generally is quite acceptable.. Even then, there are tools such as Neatimage and Noiseninja that can deal with the worst of the noise..

Also, in some styles of photography noise can actually add a certain something to the shot, but to keep people happy in DPCland I wouldn't advise introducing it too much..
12/16/2007 12:57:16 PM · #3
It's also very important that the image is properly exposed for the amount of noise to remain at a reasonable level. Underexposed shots will be full of noise to a point where you can't get rid of it with any tools without sacrificing a large amount of detail.
12/16/2007 12:58:19 PM · #4
Well usually it's because your ISO is too high, so it produces more grain and noise. Sometimes noise and grain can be used effectively, but i don't like it much on most digital photographs. For my 30D, i usually set my ISO at 100, which is very low, but you should be able to get away with ISO 300 or 400.
12/16/2007 01:19:21 PM · #5
Originally posted by cujee:

Well usually it's because your ISO is too high, so it produces more grain and noise. Sometimes noise and grain can be used effectively, but i don't like it much on most digital photographs. For my 30D, i usually set my ISO at 100, which is very low, but you should be able to get away with ISO 300 or 400.


ISO300?? thats a new one :)
12/16/2007 01:31:34 PM · #6
The best explanation I ever got for the relationshio of noise to ISO, is to think of it like an amplifier. If you use an amplifier for music, as you turn up the power on the amp, which increases the level of the sound, you increase the amount of noise you would hear as well, especially on older or shoddy amps. It works the same way with digital camera's.

There is also two different kinds of noise in digital photography from what I have read, color noise and luminence noise. Luminence noise is the one that most looks like film grain. Color noise can look like spotches in the color and can really look bad. I always try to eliminate the color noise and keep some of the luminence noise. I like the "film look" it gives it.
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