i'm trying to produce a few mockup pictures of a person using a tablet around the house. These are the conditions:

  • Camera Nikon D90, Lens 18-55
  • The pictures were taken in the morning
  • Indoors but the room has a lot of natural light
  • I didn't use zoom, the 'subject' was around half meter away from the camera
  • Shooting Mode 'A', Image quality is RAW Fine, ISO 200 - 2000, F5.6v

The result was not good, the pictures have a lot of noise and grain.

enter image description here

How can i take crystal clear pictures without grain?

Thank you

  • 1
    What is your exact ISO setting? What postprocessing did you do? I can't believe you have this photo with ISO 200, f5.6, no postprocessing. What could have happened is that you underexposed and brightened the photo in postprocessing, which is just a gain boost similar to what an increased ISO does, with the consequent increase of noise level.
    – TFuto
    Aug 11, 2014 at 8:58
  • it says 200-2000 iso Aug 11, 2014 at 9:27
  • Sure, but we need to know the actual settings used for the photo that's been shown.
    – Philip Kendall
    Aug 11, 2014 at 10:04
  • 2
    Sounds like it could be some sort of automatic iso setting, and has most likely chosen somewhere around the 2000 end rather than the 200 end Aug 11, 2014 at 10:22

3 Answers 3


Light is made up of particles emitted randomly from a lightsource. If the camera doesn't collect enough light this randomness causes neighboring pixels to be either too light or too dark which is perceived as grain in the image.

So to get less grain you need more light. This is achieved by either:

  • opening the shutter for longer, if your subject is stationary using a tripod will allow much longer shutter times.

  • opening the aperture further (this will probably require upgrading to a faster lens, ideally a 30mm f/1.8 or 50mm f/1.8).

  • using a flashgun (the onboard flash will give a harsh non-flattering light unless you diffuse it somehow, or use a hotshoe flash in bounce mode).


When you say "ISO 200-2000" I assume you are using auto-iso, is that correct? Try using P mode instead of A, and select a 200 or 400 ISO.

  • 2
    Why are you suggesting using program mode rather than aperture priority?
    – Philip Kendall
    Aug 11, 2014 at 10:05
  • Sorry, I was mistakenly thinking that A stands for "fully automatic", when you have no control on which ISO the camera uses. As other users have pointed out, the problem with the picture is due to the high ISO setting. A lower ISO will produce a much clean image. Aug 22, 2014 at 0:35

You are most probably using Auto ISO. Turn it off, set the ISO to a low level (200), that will handle the pictures being noisy and grainy. You are in aperture priority mode (A), so you will have long shutter, so to avoid your pictures getting blurry, use a tripod. Or use better lighting.

  • I am not using Auto ISO, i tried ISO from 200 to 2000 and the result was roughly the same Aug 11, 2014 at 12:05
  • So what was your exact shutter/aperture/ISO of that picture?
    – TFuto
    Aug 11, 2014 at 12:09
  • ISO 2000, Aperture priority, 1/160 Aug 11, 2014 at 12:10
  • Ok, you said you tried from ISO 200. Do you have a picture of that? Could you post it?
    – TFuto
    Aug 11, 2014 at 12:13
  • 1
    Because, for ISO 2000, that is kind of the expected graininess and noise level...
    – TFuto
    Aug 11, 2014 at 12:14

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