I have been doing a lot of research lately in planning an upgrade to my old D70. One thing that has really jumped out at me is that I've seen the same general phrase repeated on three different discussion sites, from three different users, from time periods spanning several years. The phrase is always some variation of:
only photographers care about noise; real people don't even notice
My first foray into photography was in my teenage years with a 1996 P&S digital camera. I learned to hate photography because every image I took was full of noise, and I certainly wasn't a photographer at a time. Ever since, I've been on a crusade to reduce noise at all costs. That said, I've also learned over the years to be careful in extrapolating my own life experiences to others.
I'd like a answer that is as objective as possible. As such, I'd like to ask for some form of support for any claim. Some examples, in descending order of preference:
- A peer reviewed study
- A well designed and applied formal survey
- An informal study
- A casual public survey
- Anecdotal evidence
I'm sure noise becomes a problem for everyone at some point. So it may be helpful to also address at what level noise becomes an issue for photographers vs 'regular viewers'.