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Noise Comparisons - D100, D60, S2pro


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#1 james

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 09:45 AM

To provide more information about ISO, have a look at this page from DPreview:

http://www.dpreview....d100/page16.asp

This graphic by Phil Askey of Dpreview.com shows a comparison of noise results between the D100, the S2, and the D60 - when shooting JPEG:

Posted Image
(Hopefully Phil Askey will allow linking to graphics on his site. If not, click the link)

Shooting underwater, we will stay in the ISO100 to ISO400 range. (I have shot ISO400 w/ my S2 on a wreck dive).

You'll note that at ISO200, the S2 has less noise than the D100. Shooting the S2 at 6 megapixel jpeg (equivalent to what the D100 does) the S2 has MUCH LESS noise.

The following graphic compares noise results when shooting in RAW mode:

Posted Image

For people that want really really clean blue water shots and shadow detail w/ less noise, ISO100 on the S2 is the way to go. Almost half the noise of the D100. The D60 takes the prize though.

Cheers
James
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#2 scorpio_fish

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 10:13 AM

Almost half the noise of the D100



Half of what? Let's face it. All the cameras perform marvelously at 400 or slower. Visually, the noise is less than the equivalent film grain at 200 and higher. Yes, there is noise at 800 and above, but it is not as severe as the grain in an 8x10 film image shot at 800. I've noticed no noise at 800 JPEG, noticed it some at 800 RAW. Can't see much of it at 400 or less.

People gripe more about noise than grain. Maybe it's because we are used to seeing grain. Noise just looks different.

At first I was a little miffed that the D100 didn't have an ISO 100. This was just a mental block from too much film shooting. If I can get no discernable noise at 200, what's the difference? It only helps that I get 2 more stops of light. If I walked up to a film shooter and said, "I've got Velvia at ISO 200. Same results as your ISO 50." Everyone would jump on it.

The results are they all do an excellent job on noise, plus there is always NeatImage for noise reduction.
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#3 james

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 10:37 AM

You have a point, however I have shot a lot of photos where the shadow detail is pretty important.

I really encountered this with my Coronado pics of the Sealions, where I was underexposing all of my shots. I was shooting in RAW and tried to push them up later. Eric's photos kicked my butt (for many reasons), because he was shooting ISO200 JPEG on his D60.

Live and learn.

On my next trip, I shot ISO200 and even 400 when necessary - although I prefer to shoot ISO100 when possible for beautiful clean big prints.

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#4 wesley

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 10:37 AM

Thank you scorpio fish for the voice of reason. Even when we are all shooting 12MP cameras and need a microscope to see any noise there are still going to be people arguing about this stuff. Sheesh

#5 tshepherd

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 10:43 AM

nah, when we're on 12 MP cameras we'll find some other little minor technical detail to argue about, it's just the nature of technology...

#6 james

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:03 AM

Wesley,

Take one of your underexposed shots and open it in photoshop. Select Image -> adjust -> levels

Now take the center slider for the midtones and move it over to bring out some more of the shadow detail.

If this is new to you - get used to it as you're going to be doing it a lot for a while...:-) (At least until you start consistently getting good exposures).

This is where noise gets to be a problem. Obviously, if you get perfect exposures every time, you don't need to even think about this ... :-)

Cheers
James
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#7 scorpio_fish

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:03 AM

nah, when we're on 12 MP cameras we'll find some other little minor technical detail to argue about, it's just the nature of technology...



Got that right. We will just create new quantitative scales and units of measure.

"When I examined the 13"x19" print with my 10x loupe I noticed.............................." This was a real thread. Think about it.
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#8 james

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:05 AM

As we strive for perfection...
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#9 wesley

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:09 AM

Wesley,

Take one of your underexposed shots and open it in photoshop.  Select Image -> adjust -> levels

Now take the center slider for the midtones and move it over to bring out some more of the shadow detail.

If this is new to you - get used to it as you're going to be doing it a lot for a while...:-) (At least until you start consistently getting good exposures).

This is where noise gets to be a problem. Obviously, if you get perfect exposures every time, you don't need to even think about this ... :-)

Cheers
James

Luckily I am a professional digital photographer and a master of Photshop and create digital images for one of the largest clothing companies in the US...so i think I can handle some minor photoshop adjustments....although your suggestion for using the levels tool is not going to get you the best results. Try using curves as you get more precise control...and for bringing out shadow detail you should be concentrating on individual color channels. Like I said in my earlier post...if you are a good photographer you will get good results...the camera alone is not going to save you.

#10 scorpio_fish

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:16 AM

And another thing.......

Once we get off the megapixel count/full size sensor kick, we will start seeing some real gains in more important areas. Better dynamic range that will enhance shadow detail. Even less noise at all ISOs.

Just a couple of years ago, many (including me) thought CCD was the way to go. CMOS was just too noisy. Canon put it in gear and came up with patented technology to address the problem at the sensor level. Voila! Less costy, lower energy consuming, low noise CMOS sensors, more readily scalable to full frame size.
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#11 james

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:18 AM

Hi Wesley,

It's good to hear that we have another photo-pro on-board. It sounds like you have a lot of knowledge to share with the folks here at Wetpixel. Welcome to the board. Hopefully you don't think I'm a total **** yet... and if I came across as one, I certainly didn't mean to. I apologize if I did.

I posed the "levels example" as a way to illustrate my point about noise, and I'm glad that you gave it some thought. It's not the only feature of Photoshop of course ..lol ;)

But it sure helps illustrate my point about noise in this thread, doesn't it?

It's but one of many tools in the digital-workflow toolbox.

Another point I would like to make (and I remember discussing this with Eric before the cold-water dives we did in California) is that sometimes, you just don't have the time to set up a shot perfectly underwater - or in other cases - you are just more worried about staying alive. At some point, you have to lower your expectations for the number of "keepers" you are going to get - no matter HOW GOOD of a photographer you are.

Hopefully that didn't sound too "preachy."

Cheers
James
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#12 wesley

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:24 AM

Hi Wesley,

It's good to hear that we have another photo-pro on-board.  It sounds like you have a lot of knowledge to share with the folks here at Wetpixel.  Welcome to the board.  Hopefully you don't think I'm a total **** yet... and if I came across as one, I certainly didn't mean to.  I apologize if I did.

I posed the "levels example" as a way to illustrate my point about noise, and I'm glad that you gave it some thought.  It's not the only feature of Photoshop of course ..lol ;)  

But it sure helps illustrate my point about noise in this thread, doesn't it?  

It's but one of many tools in the digital-workflow toolbox.

Cheers
James

Don't worry james...I still like you

I just spent close to $7000 for my underwater set up so I have to say good things about my chosen camera (D100). ;-)

I'll tell you I use top of the line medium format digital cameras at work and we still spend a lot of time correcting images. Digital still has a way to go. But i am an early adopter just like the rest of you. Can't wait to see whats available in 2 years...

#13 bobjarman

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:32 AM

As the Grinch once said, "And the worst of it all is the noise. All that noise , noise, noise noise!"

;)

I agree that noise is usually managable or non-existant at lower ISO's, but there is nothing worse imo than a bright blue sea speckled with red/yellow/green noise.

Wesley, I would love to read a brief post in the image editing section on how you use channels and curves to eliminate or reduce noise if you have the time.

Thanks

#14 wesley

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:38 AM

As the Grinch once said,   "And the worst of it all is the noise.  All that noise , noise, noise noise!"

;)

I agree that noise is usually managable or non-existant at lower ISO's, but there is nothing worse imo than a bright blue sea speckled with red/yellow/green noise.    

Wesley,  I would love to read  a brief post in the image editing section on how you use channels and curves to eliminate or reduce noise if you have the time.  

Thanks

Will do...

When I have some extra time I will put together a lesson on image editing....

actually if wetpixel wants I would be happy to write an article on tips and tricks for digital retouching and color correction specific to underwater images.

Just let me know.

#15 yahsemtough

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:38 AM

Another point I would like to make (and I remember discussing this with Eric before the cold-water dives we did in California) is that sometimes, you just don't have the time to set up a shot perfectly underwater - or in other cases - you are just more worried about staying alive.  

James

I want to preface that I am quite sure you are a talented diver but, can you clarify what it is you were doing on your dive that put your life in danger?

Sorry to be slightly off topic but I had not heard there was a problem on your trip.
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#16 james

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 12:15 PM

I'm not talking about any one trip Todd - but whenever you go on a self contained underwater breathing apparatus, you are taking a risk - however small - and putting your life in danger.

Add to that: skip breathing, swimming up and down and up and down following a manta ray, jumping into 42 degree water (ERIC!!), etc. At the Flower Gardens, you are diving 110 miles offshore on a 110 foot boat. If you "get into trouble" you can get help - but it may take some time.

Cheers
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#17 scottyb

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 12:25 PM

I always heard that color suturation was better at the slower film speeds as well as being finer grained. This non - professional wants to know if this applies to digital?

#18 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 12:32 PM

This has to be said:

WESLEY:

I am sure all of us who frequent this site would have appreciated you having the manners of introducing yourself in the first instance formally as a professional photographer, together with a photograph.
There are too many "professional photographers" with "day Jobs" as it is.
This is what the intro thread is for - it helps everyone in the long run, so that advice can be tailored to suit, the level of experience - if any is required. This saves the possibility of publicly humiliating someone, in either direction.

It has been the policy on this site not to belittle anyone no matter what their experience, and no matter how their pictures arrive on our screens. This has been working very well indeed on the whole and a mutual respect is evident throughout these various levels of expertise.

If someone is genuinely trying to offer advice and assistance and you consider it below you then contact them privately by message or email.

James, has been a treasure on this site, (although he wanders sometimes) and I won't see him crapped on!

There are a great number of "masters of PS" around and offering advice on the site already, including people responsible for designing it.

#19 james

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 12:38 PM

Bob,

Don't sweat it! I don't think Wesley or myself were trying to be obnoxious. Maybe it just looks that way...:-) We have straightened it out. That's the internet for you - things are really hard to pick up on sometimes.

Your comments are a good guideline though Bob - everyone here at Wetpixel should try to help everyone else out - no matter what the skill level. Constructive criticism is also encouraged, but destructive criticism is also DIScouraged.

Wesley has already said that he doesn't think I'm a **** (whew!) and he's even volunteered to author a Photoshop Tips document for us.

Cheers
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#20 yahsemtough

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 12:38 PM

I have to reiterate some of Bob's comments. I have seen James get crapped on a few times for his comments.

I know he means no offense by them and is truly trying to just help others and improve this board.

Many comments he has made have truly helped myself and, made this board a truly useful source of info. Not to mention the friends that I feel I have gained as a result. The jury is out on Bob. LOL

I don't always fully agree with him and do think he sleeps with that S2 but, he means no offense. (Usually I prefer to bug engineers)

Thanks for the insights and, I still say diving does not have to be considered dangerous but, we have addressed this in a earlier thread. You are the reason I pay more for my life insurance. LOL

Keep up the good work James it is appreciated.
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