October 23, 2014, 07:21:12 AM

Author Topic: High noise at low ISO  (Read 5957 times)

Anzer

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High noise at low ISO
« on: April 23, 2013, 06:58:18 PM »
Dear Friends,
Have just shot some footage using Canon 5D Mark III @ 500 ISO(!), 1920 x 1080 ALL-I, ZEISS ZE-series lenses.
Here are the grabs from the footage while playing in QuickTime.
Shot in Technicolor Cinestyle profile. No editing/grading whatsoever.
The question is - how come the noise is so bad?
1. Could I mess up the settings?
2. Is it a sensor issue (i.e. technically bad performance of the sensor itself)?
3. Could it be the Firmware issue?
4. ???
5. ???
Any word of advice is absolutely precious.
Thanks from Moscow, Russia.

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High noise at low ISO
« on: April 23, 2013, 06:58:18 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 07:55:02 PM »
I don't do video, but a couple things stand out.

First, as I understand it, Cinestyle is intended to be a very flat, low-contrast space optimized for later post-production. Before worrying about the visible noise -- and, yes, it is visible -- first see if it remains visible after you've performed your standard post-production. It may well be a non-issue for the final print, even if it's annoying right now.

Next, in a similar vein...it sure looks awfully dim to me. That may be what Cinestyle does, but my gut tells me that the intended use instead is that you'd shoot for a much brighter image and then compress the shadows to get your contrast, rather than to expose for the shadows and expand and lift them for detail.

Did you use some sort of a standard calibrated reference to set a proper exposure, such as a light meter or a chart or a test pattern? If not, I would absolutely do so before doing any other tests or investigation.

Regardless, I can all but guarantee you that it's a technical problem with your setup or workflow. I've seen samples of the 5DIII shot at much higher ISO settings that don't have anywhere near the noise in your shots; the problem isn't with the camera itself.

Cheers,

b&

JasonATL

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 09:19:52 PM »
Dear Friends,
Have just shot some footage using Canon 5D Mark III @ 500 ISO(!), 1920 x 1080 ALL-I, ZEISS ZE-series lenses.
Here are the grabs from the footage while playing in QuickTime.
Shot in Technicolor Cinestyle profile. No editing/grading whatsoever.
The question is - how come the noise is so bad?
1. Could I mess up the settings?

Yes. Your settings are most likely the problem. For video, the general rule is to use ISO multiples of 160: 160, 320, 640, 1250,... These are the low-noise ISO's for video. You are likely to have much less noise at ISO 640 than at ISO 500. In fact, ISO 640 is less noisy than ISO 200 for video.

Also, make sure that you have disabled Highlight Tone Priority (set it to OFF in the third camera menu).

Cinestyle is fine. You might also try Neutral (0,-4,-2,0).
See this video: 5D Mark III ISO Noise on Vimeo

syder

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2013, 10:30:34 AM »
As jason said... the multiples of 160 is a must for reducing noise on video...

Also I'd question using Cinestyle if the framegrabs you've posted are typical of the material. Cinestyle does give you more DR than the Canon picture styles, but at the cost of making all your blacks grey and people look slightly clay-like.

You're frame grabs don't look like they have an awful lot of DR in them - so by using a picture style which compresses colour data (and with 8 bit colour we don't have much to work with anyhow) you actually have less data to work with than using other styles.

Consequently I'd recommend either using neutral, or looking at the Flaat or VisionColour picture styles which both give Cinestyle-like DR but without some of the drawbacks.

Axilrod

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 02:10:33 PM »
Cinestyle tends to really bring out the noise, I used it on one shoot and never used it again.  Honestly the grabs don't look that bad, but like Jason said you should be using ISO's in multiples of 160, they tend to produce the least noise.  And if you check his video out you'll notice that ISO 500 seems to be a sweet spot for terrible noise (640, 800 and 1250 seem to have less). 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 02:13:53 PM by Axilrod »
5DIII/5DII/Bunch of L's and ZE's, currently rearranging.

Mpicts

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2013, 11:29:42 AM »
I am experiencing the identical problem; faint vertical noisy stripes in the video.  It can be seen in still grabs, but is particularly obvious in pans on moving video.  Using the correct ISO helps, but doesn't eliminate the problem.  I'm returning my second Mark lll today.  Was a bad batch manufactured?  Friends who have a good eye and experience with the M ll have never seen the issue in their cameras.

Policar

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 02:03:45 PM »
The Mark III has a lot of noise in the shadows (high read noise) at low ISOs. 500 ISO is a digital push, brining the blacks up. Cinestyle further raises the blacks.

This looks underexposed. Did you meter correctly? Not in-camera but through an incident meter. The internal meter is not accurate for cinestyle. Looks nicely lit and composed, but the underexposure will get you. HTP further exacerbates this issue, and it's there to some extent on all Mark III video, even raw.

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 02:03:45 PM »

titokane

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2013, 03:44:37 PM »
I agree with everybody else here. Because of the way Canon pushes and pulls ISOs, the multiples of 160 are the cleanest, then 100, then 125. For instance, on the 6D and 5D3 you can shoot ISO 6400 and have it be cleaner than ISO 125. Check out this video for reference -- it's for the 6D but should hold true for the 5D3: https://vimeo.com/55543194

Blew my mind when I saw those results.

AprilForever

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2013, 04:11:18 PM »
I believe it is under exposure, Dovaritch!!!
What is truth?

Cannon Man

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2013, 05:00:00 PM »
I wonder if the same thing goes to the 1D X.. that 160, 320, 640 etc are cleaner.
Is it the same for videos and stills?

luciolepri

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2013, 07:45:37 PM »
I wonder if the same thing goes to the 1D X.. that 160, 320, 640 etc are cleaner.
Is it the same for videos and stills?

http://home.comcast.net/~NikonD70/Charts/RN_ADU.htm
Yes, it's the same for videos and stills. It's all about the sensor.

luciolepri

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2013, 08:27:13 PM »
Dear Friends,
Have just shot some footage using Canon 5D Mark III @ 500 ISO(!), 1920 x 1080 ALL-I, ZEISS ZE-series lenses.
Here are the grabs from the footage while playing in QuickTime.
Shot in Technicolor Cinestyle profile. No editing/grading whatsoever.
The question is - how come the noise is so bad?
1. Could I mess up the settings?
2. Is it a sensor issue (i.e. technically bad performance of the sensor itself)?
3. Could it be the Firmware issue?
4. ???
5. ???
Any word of advice is absolutely precious.
Thanks from Moscow, Russia.

As said, noise is to be expected when you underexpose, expecially with flat profiles like Cinestyle and with hi ISO. If you're willing to loose a little bit of DR, you can use the ISO settings that are best for noise performances (160, 320, 640 etc) or, even better, the Magic Lantern "special" ISO settings, but the problem will remain. 

The picture here is a frame from a video shot at 12800 ISO with the Canon Mark III, with standard profile and maximum hi ISO noise reduction enabled. As you can see, just like in your captures, video noise is very noticeable in the darker and underexposed areas (like the vest, in this case) while is not awful at all in the correctly exposed areas of the frame.

cayenne

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 11:39:17 AM »
The Mark III has a lot of noise in the shadows (high read noise) at low ISOs. 500 ISO is a digital push, brining the blacks up. Cinestyle further raises the blacks.

This looks underexposed. Did you meter correctly? Not in-camera but through an incident meter. The internal meter is not accurate for cinestyle. Looks nicely lit and composed, but the underexposure will get you. HTP further exacerbates this issue, and it's there to some extent on all Mark III video, even raw.

I think I have the same problem.
ugh.
I had been playing with Marvels Cinestyle..and early test seemed to show if I slightly underexposed I had lots more room to try to use Resolve to bring up exposure, and get good color saturation, etc.

I'd gone through my whole video on Davinci Resolve (edits done on FCPX), and it looked great.
I brought it back to FCPX...and most of it looks good, except anywhere with dark/black is highly noisy, I mean really bad.
:(

I can't seem to find a happy medium. When I exposed in camera for proper exposure, it always seems things get blown out, so, I tried underexposing by about 1 stop on everything...but now full of noise.

I didn't think the 5D3 had noise problems till you got in high ISO? Or is that just with stills?
I shot everything in multiples of ISO 160, trying to keep  it below 800 -640 as a last ditch high value...most of it was 480 and below.

*sigh*

this is getting frustrating, I desperately want to try to shoot with a cinestyle and learn color correction and color grading, and get great images like I've seen others get out of the 5D3, but I've not hardly gotten anything near what the baked in Canon Styles seem to result in....I just don't know what I'm missing.

I have all my lights matching color temp, I have decent lighting, good WB...and yet, my images look like they came out of an early edition iphone or something.

:(

cayenne

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 11:39:17 AM »

JasonATL

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2013, 08:54:28 AM »
Cayene - when you say, "blown out", do you mean that the whites are clipped? Specifically, have you lost detail in the highlights? In Resolve's scopes, this would show up as a straight horizontal line at the top of the Waveform monitor or straight vertical lines at the right of the histogram.

How did you expose in camera? Were you relying on the 5D's exposure meter to hit the center (or 1 stop below, when underexposing)? I have found that Cinestyle really needs to be exposed by ignoring the meter, looking at the histogram and overexposing (commonly called "expose to the right" or "ETTR" for short),  but being careful so that nothing important is clipped (i.e., no vertical line showing up on the right side of the histogram). This is really easy when there is no highlight in the scene that SHOULD be blown out. If there is something in the scene that should be blown out, such as shooting directly at a light source or a reflection of a light source, then that should show up as clipped. Once I got used to using the histogram, I could figure out what was clipping and what wasn't. Basically, the histogram gives you more info than the light meter and you expose what you want.

When using ETTR, the image will look like crap prior to color correction. But, after you bring down the shadows (and perhaps the mids) and add contrast, it should look very good, assuming no important highlights were actually blown out or clipped. In essence, you are pushing the noise to black by doing this.

By underexposing and then lifting the exposure in post, you are adding digital gain, which will increase the noise, not decrease it. You want to go the other way: overexpose and then decrease the exposure in post. This reduces noise. As I said above, the catch here is to not overexpose so much that you lose the highlight detail.

cayenne

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2013, 10:09:31 PM »
Cayene - when you say, "blown out", do you mean that the whites are clipped? Specifically, have you lost detail in the highlights? In Resolve's scopes, this would show up as a straight horizontal line at the top of the Waveform monitor or straight vertical lines at the right of the histogram.

How did you expose in camera? Were you relying on the 5D's exposure meter to hit the center (or 1 stop below, when underexposing)? I have found that Cinestyle really needs to be exposed by ignoring the meter, looking at the histogram and overexposing (commonly called "expose to the right" or "ETTR" for short),  but being careful so that nothing important is clipped (i.e., no vertical line showing up on the right side of the histogram). This is really easy when there is no highlight in the scene that SHOULD be blown out. If there is something in the scene that should be blown out, such as shooting directly at a light source or a reflection of a light source, then that should show up as clipped. Once I got used to using the histogram, I could figure out what was clipping and what wasn't. Basically, the histogram gives you more info than the light meter and you expose what you want.

When using ETTR, the image will look like crap prior to color correction. But, after you bring down the shadows (and perhaps the mids) and add contrast, it should look very good, assuming no important highlights were actually blown out or clipped. In essence, you are pushing the noise to black by doing this.

By underexposing and then lifting the exposure in post, you are adding digital gain, which will increase the noise, not decrease it. You want to go the other way: overexpose and then decrease the exposure in post. This reduces noise. As I said above, the catch here is to not overexpose so much that you lose the highlight detail.

Yes, I was using in camera metering.

I'm just now learning about the histogram.  I'd gotten the expose to the right advice on my stills, but there I was shooting at high ISO, and was underexposed.

I didn't think to find how to see the histogram for video.  I'll give that a shot.

Trouble is, I have a whole cooking video shot and edited, that I don't know how to finish grading without it looking like crap.
:(

Everything is slightly underexposed...so, I have to raise exposure.

Yes, the blown out I referred to...the scopes were peaked out up top.

Any suggestions for salvaging my current shoot? It is going to YouTube for HD....otherwise I guess I'll just have to live with this one being noisy.

But man...I have yet to get a decent looking video out of the 5D3 so far...best one done was the first one that used the standard setting.

OH well, I'll keep trying...thanks for the ETTR advice and the histogram on the video, I'll try that next!!!

cayenne

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Re: High noise at low ISO
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2013, 10:09:31 PM »