Popular Photography tough on noise issues

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by RichA, May 16, 2005.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    They don't mince words;
    Nikon D2x; Noise low right up to ISO 3200 where they call it
    "moderately low."
    Canon Digital Rebel XT: moderate at 800, unacceptable at 1600.
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20: Unacceptable at ISO 100(!)
    RichA, May 16, 2005
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  2. RichA

    Norm Dresner Guest

    And you think this is wrong why?

    Noise in a digital photograph is worse than grain in film because of the
    unpredictable nature of it and the potentially large range of pixel values
    that result. Assuming that they're being consistent in their appraisals, I
    heartily approve of calling a "spade" a pointed garden implement whenever
    it's encountered ;-))

    Norm Dresner, May 16, 2005
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  3. I would venture to suggest that noise in digital images is /more/
    predictable than grain in film. The acceptability or not of noise is, in
    any case, a subjective judgment. Does their measurement method allow for
    the differing sensitivity of the eye to noise at different spatial
    frequencies? I suspect not. Having said that, with similar sensors and
    similar image processing, comparative measurements may be rather more
    valid than absolute levels.

    The FZ20 is perfectly capable of producing acceptable pictures at ISO
    100 - at least to my eyes and brain it is. But I'm not printing at 11 x
    14 and using a magnifying glass to examine the print...

    David J Taylor, May 16, 2005
  4. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Not at all. I just surpised me, given the sugar-coated reviews of
    most mags.
    It does makes choosing a camera a bit easier.
    RichA, May 16, 2005
  5. RichA

    dylan Guest

    Have to disagree, no garden spade of mine could be called 'pointed' :eek:)
    dylan, May 16, 2005
  6. RichA

    MarkH Guest

    Personally I believe in calling a spade a manual excavation implement.
    MarkH, May 16, 2005
  7. RichA

    james Guest

    Are you suggesting that the CCD response isn't deterministic?

    I think the preference for film grain over digi-noise is something
    similar to the preference for analog distortion ("warmth") in audio.

    There's an aesthetic element to film grain that may be desirable in
    situations where digi-noise is seen as ugly.
    james, May 16, 2005
  8. RichA

    Paul Furman Guest

    Awaiting Mr Scharf's comments....

    A bit skeptical myself.
    Paul Furman, May 17, 2005
  9. RichA

    Stacey Guest

    If they are looking for the noise in a given print size I agree. If they are
    looking at 100% crops from 8MP+ images, it's absurd. I've made 11X14 size
    prints from files that look "noisy" at 100% but none of it is seen in the
    print so why would I care? I do suppose if your wanting to make 20X30
    prints with no post processing it would matter.
    Stacey, May 17, 2005
  10. RichA

    Clyde Guest

    Ah, Stacey. You know better than to bring actual photography into this
    newsgroup. This is a place for technical debate, personal opinions, and
    (if all else fails) flames. Here we talk about numbers. Pictures have no

    If your gear is not up to EVERYONE's spec (even if that is impossible)
    please confine yourself to actual photography. In actual photography you
    can actually use camera equipment that is not perfect. You are in luck,
    as 99.9% of the great photographs in this world were taken with
    equipment that wasn't even close to perfect -- by the standards of this

    For example, if you had a camera with any of these flaws, you wouldn't
    be able to take pictures: Film, very grainy film, very slow film, film
    that didn't see all or even most colors, film you had to make and
    develop yourself - on location, film with no color or bad color, manual
    focus lenses, really slow lenses, poor optics, primitive optic design,
    no lens coatings, no zooms lenses, no alternative lenses at all,
    exposure meters that read only one place, no exposure meters at all,
    inaccurate shutters, shutters with only a few speeds, no shutters at all
    (that's what lens caps are for), huge & very heavy cameras, nothing
    waterproof, and on and on...

    As our forefathers and foremothers had no technology even close to what
    we spend hours arguing about, we have no idea how they took all those
    great pictures. Shouldn't we be taking pictures that are 10x better than
    their's? So, get out there and do actual photography.

    [Hum, I wonder if there is an inverse correlation between the ease and
    amount of technology and the photographic/pictorial quality of the picture?]

    Clyde, May 17, 2005
  11. RichA

    Owamanga Guest

    An excellent post, Clyde.
    Well a lot weren't actually that great. Many are interesting purely
    because they are old - and evolution let only the best ones survive.
    It's been discussed here before, and I am convinced this is true in
    many situations. However, timing is an important part of some types of
    photography (and I don't mean sunrise for landscapes, I mean split
    second reactions to events that are unfolding). In these situations
    you'll simply fail to get the photograph if you are forced to do it
    the old way: ..starting with getting out your tape measure etc to set
    the focus..
    Owamanga, May 17, 2005
  12. RichA

    Tumbleweed Guest

    You read my mind!
    Tumbleweed, May 17, 2005
  13. RichA

    John Francis Guest

    No. A good photographer will take good photographs with just about
    any camera. Some good photographers have high-tech cameras, etc.
    Therefore, some good photographs get taken on high-tech equipment.
    John Francis, May 17, 2005
  14. RichA

    RichA Guest

    What you've said presuposes that more pictures today turn out to be
    "good" ones than years ago. But my hunch is that the sheer number
    taken today means that isn't the case.
    RichA, May 17, 2005
  15. RichA

    Jack Rosier Guest

    My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic (ca1973). My new camera is a
    Panasonic FZ20.
    There have been several in between, Practica, Nikon, Hanimex, Polaroid.
    While they were all good enough in their time, I wouldn't want to have to go
    My 70's vintage Nikons were among the best in their day but they can't
    compare to the features and control of the FZ20 and a good editor (psp9).
    By the time that I have gotten good enough that the camera is a limitation,
    better cameras will be available.
    I'm looking forward to being as good as Ansel Adams, and hoping someone is
    working on a 8x10" ccd ;))
    I'm sitting here, totally impressed by a 12X zoom with image stabilization,
    a Leica lens and a card that holds 400 - 5MP images.
    My goal is to get 1 or 2 good images per cardful, good enough that the image
    makes up for the limitations of the photographer and his equipment.
    I frankly don't have time to whine or worry about the limitations, real or
    imagined, of the FZ20. I'm enjoying the hell out of this camera.
    I'm having a great time finding out what the camera CAN DO and what I CAN DO
    with it.
    These are the good old days!
    Jack Rosier, May 18, 2005
  16. RichA

    Stacey Guest

    Clyde wrote:

    Sure they do, post an image to show the color the "firmware" creates or the
    optical properties of the lens and all anyone wants to see is full screen
    100%+ crops to look for stuff you'll never see in a print or viewing the
    whole image on any monitor created today. These same "technoids" I guess
    are used to looking at their film prints with a loupe or even a microscope?

    Another case of they can't see the forest for the trees? If I can't see it
    in the finished product, why would I even care about it? Then again you
    can't graph objectivity.
    Stacey, May 18, 2005
  17. RichA

    RichA Guest

    You could make one. Just use 20, 16-22 megapixel CCDs in an array,
    and then remove the dividing lines in software. Trouble is, images
    would be about 7 gig each. Cost would be around $150,000, not
    including the software to work with it.
    RichA, May 18, 2005
  18. " look for stuff you'll never see in a print or viewing the
    whole image on any monitor created today."

    I don't know about that. I've already run into a few CA issues that I
    would have never expected to be significant, until I got them on a
    photo and they annoyed me.

    And what's wrong with close inspection of your images? That doesn't
    strike me as being overly obsessive.
    James Of Tucson, May 18, 2005
  19. "Cost would be around $150,000, not
    including the software to work with it. "

    Be sure to compare the results with what you get from the Horseman.
    James Of Tucson, May 18, 2005
  20. Why would you want a grayscale CCD?

    Steve Cutchen, May 18, 2005
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