This is a shot at ISO 200 on my D40: As you can see, the sky is quite noisy. This is because I made some extreme adjustments to the curves to give it the contrasty look that I wanted. Here is the dull original: Now, I know one way I can avoid exaggerating the noise so much is to shoot in RAW, but that can only work so much. Would a camera with a newer, better-performing sensor (eg.: D90, D300, etc.) allow for a less exaggerated effect on the noise upon such extreme curve adjustments?