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I enjoy the color and aesthetics of film photography which try to reproduce on my digital camera with various film simulations. Lately, I've noticed a high amount of digital noise as a result of high auto ISO settings. I do like having film-like grain in my images. Any help would be appreciated.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not quite clear what you are actually doing. If I was doing this, I'd just shoot digital photos as normal, and then use something like DxO FilmPack or Nik Analog Efex to post-process my images. While digital noise is sometimes compared to film grain, these are not really the same, so I don't think you should be looking at high ISOs to emulate film grain. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Apr 24 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Having said that, why not just give actual film a go? I love the results I get with my film cameras. You could have paid for an awful lot of film and developing and scanning for the price of your Sony camera ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Apr 24 at 19:43

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The character of noise does not change if you increase ISO, it simply becomes stronger and overwhelms more details of the image. There's no universal appreciation for digital noise (i.e. it's bad) so there is no answer to your question about what's the best.

Digital noise differs a lot from film grain because it's independent even for adjacent pixels. It means that it can form ugly sharp details. Film grain causes noise in adjacent pixels to correlate, it's smoother. If you want a better image you should always use lowest ISO possible and then add film grain with an editor or whatever you are using.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answers to my inquiry. I'll keep the ISO lower and add the film grain later in post-processing. My goal was to get the most film-like images SOOC. I shoot Raw + jpeg. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25 at 13:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WilliamBlaesing Why? I mean, why do you want to get this look SOOC? Sometimes (like here) that's just not the best way to do it - you're overly constraining yourself - better to do it in post (even applying a batch preset). Sony doesn't provide film simulations in-camera - that's not the target for a company like Sony. You could look at Fujifilm. Or, as I suggested, shoot actual film - then you'll get the look without doing any extra work. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Apr 25 at 13:38

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