Wednesday, April 10, 2013

In Camera High ISO Noise Reduction Comparison

With modern camera's more is always better, or rather more is almost always the trend when it comes to specifications. ISO ratings are no exception, as new cameras push the available ISO settings higher and higher with each new model. The higher ISO options help with low light but come with a big downfall in the form of higher concentrations of noise present in the resulting photos. To help offset this, many cameras offer a High ISO Noise Reduction option, and photography development software also offers noise reduction modules . The downside to noise reduction can be a loss of image quality as the algorithms tend to soften the image in the process.

For an experiment I set my Nikon D5100 to ISO 6400, placed it on a tripod and took four successive photos. The first with High ISO Noise Reduction set too off, the next set to low, then medium and finally high. Below are crops of the resulting images for comparison to see how the various levels of noise reduction look in a final image. I also used Darktable to run noise reduction and some slight sharpening on the image with noise reduction set to off for some additional comparison (this image is labeled ISO 6400 DT).

Quality wise, I think the low and medium strike a good balance. My approach so far has been to leave my camera on low reduction, and then use Darktable to do some additional noise reduction and/or sharpening when needed. I have been very happy with the results from this setup when I have needed it.

How about you? Do you find a particular noise reduction setting gives better results balancing quality and noise reduction than others?



No comments:

Post a Comment