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I have been using my 7D for 4 years now and never really noticed luminance noise but a couple of recent batches off photos with low ISO and nice bright sunlight conditions are yielding more noise in the images than I am used to. My question is, can a camera's noise performance degrade with age?

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    If you have old picture files then you can make a direct comparison. Using e.g. ImageJ you can measure the noise. – Count Iblis May 8 '16 at 23:35
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    Mine had always been terribly noisy. The 7D Mark II is much better in this respect. – Michael C May 9 '16 at 1:46
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    FWIW, I've not noticed this with my 7D Mk I, but I've also been buying better lenses since I got the body. It sounds plausible that it could be happening, but as @CountIblis suggested, you can compare images. If you want to post a couple of examples taken with the same lenses and settings, we could give our opinion of whether it seems problematic or not. – user1118321 May 9 '16 at 3:22
  • Just having plenty of light does not mean that the exposure is optimal. If you under expose at any ISO you will have more noise than a properly exposed image. So be careful comparing. The only way to know for sure is to test in a controlled, reproducible lighting situation with all your settings recorded and repeat this from time-to-time. What I have noticed about me and my own perception of noise is that as cameras get better and I do not get the newest, my perception of my own device degrades over time, but the noise has been consistent. – bethanyP Jul 12 '16 at 16:02
  • Also be aware that the amount of noise the sensor produces is also dependent on how warm it is. The hotter it gets the more noise it will produce. Especially on sunny days avoid using live view or shooting video right before you want to take exposures. Also the longer your shutter speed the warmer the sensor will get, so take that into account. This is especially noticeable when shooting long exposures, e.g. capturing star trails at night. – Sam Figueroa Aug 2 '16 at 11:43
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Definitely sensor can degrade with the age of the camera, but also with the number of shots you made.

Professional equipment has normally a kind of build in shot counter and one of measures how old or how much the camera is used is this one. And exactly the number of exposures somewhat damages sensor.

But I am not sure in what range of shots is your camera. The comments left to your question are very useful.

Other option is that the sensor is dirty. See: CAMERA SENSOR CLEANING Sensor Cleaning

Finally - you can test if your sensor is damaged or not: How can I easily tell if a sensor or lens is damaged?

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