Questions tagged [noise]

Image perturbation caused by electronic transformation and processing.

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What is "ISO" on a digital camera?

What is "ISO" in general, and how is the scale defined? How does the ISO scale for film speed differ from ISO sensitivity as used in digital cameras? Is lower ISO always better?
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Is it better to shoot with a higher ISO, or use lower ISO and raise the exposure in post-processing?

Suppose there are two photos taken in the following scenario: Scenario 1 - Photo taken using ISO of 3200. Scenario 2 - Photo taken using ISO of 100. Both photos are taken in a medium light scenario....
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31 votes
4 answers
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Why is the blue channel the noisiest?

It is widely observed that the blue channel in digital cameras is the noisiest. I've certainly noticed that with my camera. Why is this? Is it an artifact of some particular technology (e.g. Bayer ...
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What is noise in a digital photograph?

What kinds of effects are present in digital images that are referred to as "noise"? What are the different sources of noise? What causes each type of noise? What are the characteristics of the ...
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Is it really better to shoot at full-stop ISOs?

The second half of this answer says Notice that I only shot full-stop ISO which is important with Canon DSLRs because the gain to obtain the 1/3 stops in between is applied in software by the ...
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24 votes
8 answers
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How can I reduce the noise present when taking pictures without lowering my ISO?

I know that high ISOs tend to produce more noise, and some cameras' software can handle that noise better than others, but are there any other settings or conditions tha affect visible noise? I'm ...
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22 votes
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Is it true that "only photographers care about noise"?

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 ...
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22 votes
2 answers
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What is sharpness vs. clarity in photo editing software?

I have been using Lightroom and Photoshop Pro for past 7 months. For all my photos, I used to increase the sharpness using the options available. I now see another option called clarity, and when I ...
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21 votes
5 answers
11k views

What is so special about ISO 1600?

I have heard many times that to minimize noise, the highest ISO you want to use is ISO 1600, and that no matter what camera or sensor you use, once you have passed this (ISO 1600) threshold, the noise ...
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Is it true that shooting in live view mode adds noise to the picture?

I heard from some experienced photographers that shooting in live view mode creates additional noise compared to shooting through the view finder under the same conditions. I assume that while using ...
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19 votes
5 answers
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Might future advances in sensor technology reduce or eliminate noise?

Is there a possibility that future tech advances may reduce or eliminate the noise when using high ISO setting, or is this noise unavoidable and inherent to all digital sensors? If there is a ...
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15 votes
4 answers
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Why is there the illusion of detail in photographic noise?

I have the following image which contains noisy mountains. In the lower part of the image, the signal-to-noise ratio is too low to contain actual details, but when I remove all the noise from this ...
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11 answers
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What noise removal tools work best, and why?

Can anyone recommend some good noise removal tools, free and commercial? Should support RAW and JPEG. Are certain tools better than others in particular situations? Do some integrate better with other ...
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15 votes
3 answers
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Does the order of sharpening and noise reduction matter?

I have been shooting for more than three years, but I never do too much in post-processing. I tend to be strict and keep in mind that PP can only do little to save an otherwise-great photo. I was ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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Signal to Noise Ratio over the years

I've been enjoying Marc Levoy's Lectures on Digital Photography and have reached this point. Marc has broadly said: Sensors have got better at reducing noise But pixels are gotten smaller so there ...
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13 votes
3 answers
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Why is my camera drawing labyrinths on my photos?

On the photos where the lens flare is present, my Nikon D7000 is drawing strange labyrinth-looking artifacts. Here's an example. The first image is a screenshot of a little part of the original photo ...
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12 votes
9 answers
11k views

Why aren't my night shots sharp even when I shot at ISO 100 on a tripod?

I recently purchased a tripod because I really want to do some night photography. I have tried practicing with street lamps, moon shots etc with my Canon 550D and 70-200 f/4L and most of them are shot ...
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12 votes
3 answers
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How can I reduce noise at ISO 100 in photos taken in the twilight?

I shoot with a Canon EOS Rebel T5 and sometimes see noise even when shooting at ISO 100. Is this just because there is not enough light in the dark portions of the picture (seen below)? Is this a ...
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12 votes
4 answers
13k views

Astrophotography picture with too much noise. How do I correct this in postprocessing?

This is the Milky Way above Kakadu National Park, Australia, and my first try at astrophotography. Thirty second exposure, f/4.0 at 17mm with ISO 12800 (!!) which in hindsight probably was way too ...
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12 votes
4 answers
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Does the human eye experience noise as a camera would?

I've noticed when I am in very low light (light that isn't in the same room I'm sitting in), when my eyes adapt to the dark that I see colored particles. Do these colored particles resemble noise in ...
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12 votes
3 answers
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Continuous Bursts of Many Short Exposures vs. A Few Long Exposures for Astrophotography?

When reading many sources that address doing astrophotography, I often see the advice to take multiple exposures and stack them rather than one long exposure. Often the reason given is that the longer ...
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3 answers
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Do mirrorless cameras have more sensor noise because they are constantly exposed to light?

I have been wondering if the following is true and the implication for mirrorless cameras. DSLR camera sensors are only exposed to light when the picture is taken, so the sensor presumably produces ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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What is the statistical distribution of sensor noise?

Sensor noise is a random variation in pixel values, but what kind of random is it? Does it follow a normal distribution, one of the gamma distributions, or something funky like an F distribution? ...
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10 votes
6 answers
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Why would using higher ISO and faster shutter speed yield more noise than using lower ISO and slower shutter speed?

I'm trying to see how this answer correlates with practice. That answer basically says I need to let enough light into the camera and then use the highest ISO value and I'll get the lowest noise then. ...
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10 votes
8 answers
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Is noise related to shutter speed as well as ISO?

I understand that as I increase ISO, I'll increase the amount of noise in the resulting image. With a constant aperture I can decrease ISO and slow the shutter speed (assume a non-moving subject, ...
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10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is Poisson Noise ("Shot Noise") a significant source of noise for typical photography?

In this answer, @jrista states that even a camera with a perfect, noiseless sensor would still have noise due to "Poisson noise" aka "Photon Shot Noise" - noise caused by the random variations of ...
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10 votes
2 answers
5k views

Where does the noise come from in a long exposure?

I created another test. This time I exposed for 36 minutes, because I wanted to test star photography. This is not meant to be a nice photo; I really just tested. Camera was inside the house behind ...
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9 votes
3 answers
3k views

How does averaging images or lowering resolution reduce noise?

This answer lists 3 techniques to reduce noise: Keep the camera's sensor cool. Take a burst of photos, then average them. Lower the resolution. Can someone shed more light about the last two ...
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9 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to test noise?

I'm just looking for what's the best technique to test for noise on a camera. Like what settings are best? What type of photo is best? What lenses should I test with? Like those sorts of things. I'...
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9 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can an electronic shutter reduce dynamic range?

I read a recent review of a camera which can use either its mechanical shutter or an electronic shutter. The review mentions a problem they noticed with the mechanical shutter, and then notes that the ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Why doesn't noise depend on exposure time?

In the post Why do cameras use a single exposure rather than integrating across many very quick reads? an important question was if the noise depends on the exposure time or not. By noise I mean the ...
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8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why is the North America Nebula so hard to see on this astrophoto?

Parameters: Canon EOS 70D, astromodified Canon EF 100–400 mm f/4.5–5.6 L IS Astronomik UHC filter iOptron Pro mount + bar with 1.5 kg counterweight + Slik travel tripod ISO 1000 150 mm f/5 50×13"...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What texture is used in this photo?

I want to know what texture is used in this photo. If you zoom in on the lighter parts of the photo, there seems to be some little tiny digital bubbles/circle type things (some type of grain or noise?)...
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8 votes
5 answers
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Photostacking - Why does this technique fail for my astrophotos?

Last week I went to Tahoe to do some astrophotography. I watched this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rydg7JGTAbw) about image stacking to reduce noise in my photos so I decided to give it a ...
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8 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to avoid the grainy background in sunset picture?

I was taking this picture of the sunset. I used auto focus, but the trees are not really that focused. Also, the red background is grainy. Any tips if I get this opportunity again? I was using a ...
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8 votes
7 answers
5k views

Does noise in images depend upon "Megapixels" or "ISO"?

I have a question about image quality. Does noise in an image is depends upon "Megapixels" or on "ISO"?
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8 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why are sensors less sensitive to blue light?

This is a followup question to Why is the blue channel the noisiest?. The simple answer to that question is that sensors are less sensitive to blue, and therefore require more amplification, which ...
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7 votes
7 answers
8k views

Cause of grainy photos?

Whenever I view my 12MP photos on my computer at 100% zoom (they're roughly 4200x2400), there always seems to be a lot of grain and noise to the image quality. What, specifically, causes this and what ...
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7 votes
5 answers
6k views

How can I tell if two pictures were taken with the same camera without metadata?

Is it possible to identify images (without exif data) and link them to the exact same camera? If so, I'd like some software recommendations to get the job done. I have two photos that I'd like to ...
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7 votes
1 answer
3k views

Strange pattern in picture

I took a picture this weekend with my Canon 450D, and I noticed an area with a strange pattern: What could possibly be causing this? Does it come from the sensor? Feels to me like it's the physical ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is analog gain really actually power-of-two only?

Context I'm using a Nikon D5200, which features extra ISO values between powers of two, that the Nikon D60 did not offer. D60 offers 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (1-stop interval). D5200 offers two ...
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7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it me or is the Lightroom's zoomed out preview inaccurate in displaying noise and color?

I'm having some trouble with the Lightroom viewer (In develop mode) when zoomed out. Look at this picture: http://mugredelcajon.com.ar/photose/1.png See how the sky seems to have a lot of chroma ...
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6 votes
4 answers
550 views

How do I properly determine which camera is better in low light?

This question is motivated by the fact that I'm trying to decide between the the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800. I really would prefer the one that will perform better in low light. As far as I ...
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6 votes
6 answers
403 views

Why are my sports team pictures fuzzy?

UPDATE: I added the largest jpeg files I could with the original tone, unedited except for a cropping and the change from RAW to jpeg. Thanks for everyone's advice!! This forum is awesome! I use a ...
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6 votes
3 answers
374 views

How much does in-camera image processing affect noise on Canon DSLRs?

I've found out that some of photos take with my 5D MkII have more shadow noise than I like. I know there are some obvious settings that affect this, such as ISO a noise reduction settings. But there ...
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6 votes
2 answers
391 views

Why does raising ISO make image quality appear lower even though my measurements suggest it shouldn't?

I know this may be rehashing one of the most discussed topics, but I would like to take it a slightly different direction and solicit input. First of all, I am familiar with the electrical ...
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6 votes
1 answer
599 views

When is high ISO noise not noticeable?

I noticed that sometimes when taking pictures with my D5100, they come out with very little visible noise with ISO 800 and up, for example this picture. It was taken at ISO 1600 if I remember ...
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  • 163
6 votes
1 answer
515 views

Long exposures create red noisy glow.. but only with one of my lenses. Why?

I recently started having a problem with long exposure (30 sec +) photos having a pattern of red noise. The problem started in the middle of a camping trip - long exposure pictures looked fine one ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do I prevent intensive red noise on a deep-sky photo?

This is a fragment of my recent photo of the pinwheel galaxy (M 101): As you can see in this enlarged (200%) detail, the image is full of red noise, which makes all red objects (M 101 has several ...
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6 votes
2 answers
888 views

What is the source of this multicolored noise in these samples?

I shot many long exposure photos (from 5 minutes to 30 minutes) back in December of 2010 with a two month-old Nikon D7000 and Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. The photos I took had very little noise. I ...
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