What can I do to lessen noise?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by AUZambo, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

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    I've been so disappointed in the high ISO performance of my camera that as soon as funds will allow me I'm going to sell my gear and swap to another system...but with a 4 month old at home that may be a LONG LONG way away!

    Anyway, I know the photographer can do some things to lessen noise. Obviously a lower ISO would be a great start, but sometimes ISO settings lower than 800 just give too much motion blur when shooting kids. Other than that and post processing, what can be done to lessen noise?
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    What camera/lens do you use?

    Nail the exposure.

    Use a lens with a wider maximum aperture (allows faster shutter speeds). Both Canon and Nikon make inexpensive 50mm f/1.8 lenses.

    Use de-noise software in post processing.
     
  3. AfroKen

    AfroKen TPF Noob!

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    You should mention what kind of camera you have so someone can advise you about low-light noise correction that it may have internally.

    Getting the exposure as best as possible is obviously always best.

    Other than that, using a faster lens or a flash can help.

    Reducing noise in Photoshop is possible, especially with some of the third-party plugins or noise reduction software. Sometimes i can go in with Photoshop and eliminate some of the anomalies by selecting them (Select > Color) and then altering the color (Color Balance) or darkening them or both. I go through, hitting the noisy pixels a few times, and usually within a few minutes, it's gone. I don't know if this is a common technique, but whatever...it works. There's probably a more efficient way to do this, but I'm not that good with Photoshop.
     
  4. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

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    I'm shooting with a Sony A700. I've tried upgrading to the latest firmware which was suppose to address the noise issue, but it didn't make much a difference, if any at all.

    The lens I use most is a Tamron 17-50/2.8 and for the most part I keep it wide open when shooting indoors.
     
  5. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like you need to become one with your flash.
     
  6. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

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    Yeah...the batteries died a while ago and I keep forgetting about them 'til it's too late.

    I suppose I could start by buying or building a decent diffuser. Any tips on that??
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Do you find that your shots are noisy right out of the camera and/or does it come out when you edit the photos?

    As Keith mentioned, when trying to control noise, it's fairly important to nail the exposure.
    Some will even say that it's better to overexpose (expose to the right) when trying to control noise.

    Another thing to consider, is that if you are shooting at F2.8 & ISO 800...and still can't get fast enough shutter speeds...then you just don't have enough light. Sometimes we just have to break down and use flash (or add light another way).
    A lot of people don't like to use flash because they don't like how the pics tend to look...but that's usually because they are using the built-in flash. You can get pretty creative with an accessory flash, and then you don't have to worry so much about slow shutter speeds, high ISO & noise.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you are shooting indoors, bouncing the light is usually nice & simple...and it can give you better results that just using a diffuser.
     
  9. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    If you put a diffuser on the front of your flash and point the flash up at the ceiling it will give you lots of light and pretty much no shadows.
    Assuming an on the camera external flash.
     

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