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Author Topic: 5DIII - too grainy or not?  (Read 37064 times)

climber

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5DIII - too grainy or not?
« on: February 09, 2014, 03:51:25 AM »
Hi. I took the attached picture at ISO 200 and it looks quite noisy/grainy in the shadows at 100%. Could someone take a look and say if this is normal or not? Or it is just me doing something wrong? Picture is converted in LR 4.3 and unprocessed.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 03:53:13 AM by climber »

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5DIII - too grainy or not?
« on: February 09, 2014, 03:51:25 AM »

Harry Muff

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 03:57:23 AM »
Noise appears in the shadows at low as well as high ISOs. Middle ISOs give decent results. Try shooting at 640.
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climber

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 04:07:37 AM »
Noise appears in the shadows at low as well as high ISOs. Middle ISOs give decent results. Try shooting at 640.

If I understand , you recommend to shoot at higher ISO (640) to gain less noise in the shadows. Interesting. Should try next time.

xps

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 04:29:01 AM »
I had an similar problem with my 7D. Someone in the CR forum told me to shoot @ 160 not @100 ist, 320,... and so on. And the pics at Iso 160 are really better than @100. And i recogniced, if the shot is not 100% sharp, the picture is much more grainy than if it is really sharp.

Marsu42

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 05:22:48 AM »
If I understand , you recommend to shoot at higher ISO (640) to gain less noise in the shadows.

That's what it's for - higher iso *reduces* noise vs. low iso underexposed, or we wouldn't need high iso at all. Btw if shadow noise is your problem in a high-dynamic range moving scene, you should try Magic Lantern's dual_iso module which is designed just for this purpose.

Someone in the CR forum told me to shoot @ 160 not @100 ist, 320,... and so on. And the pics at Iso 160 are really better than @100.

The 160x isos have marginally higher dynamic range than full iso stops, but in your case 100->160 the same thing as above applies - use the iso to properly expose the picture unless it's >12800 (5d3) or >6400 (6d) or >3200 (rest) because these isos are just digitally pushed.

climber

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 06:45:21 AM »
Thanks.

One more thing. I don't know if down listed options, that are built in camera actually have any effect on RAW format or does they effect only if shooting in JPEG.

I mean for:
- High ISO noise reduction
- Long exposure noise reduction
- Auto Lighting Optimizer
- Highlight tone priority

xps

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 08:34:28 AM »
If I understand , you recommend to shoot at higher ISO (640) to gain less noise in the shadows.

That's what it's for - higher iso *reduces* noise vs. low iso underexposed, or we wouldn't need high iso at all. Btw if shadow noise is your problem in a high-dynamic range moving scene, you should try Magic Lantern's dual_iso module which is designed just for this purpose.

Someone in the CR forum told me to shoot @ 160 not @100 ist, 320,... and so on. And the pics at Iso 160 are really better than @100.

The 160x isos have marginally higher dynamic range than full iso stops, but in your case 100->160 the same thing as above applies - use the iso to properly expose the picture unless it's >12800 (5d3) or >6400 (6d) or >3200 (rest) because these isos are just digitally pushed.

A Canon professional trainer told me, that the 7D has best performing iso - 160 for normal, or multiplicated by 160 (320,...). @ this ISO steps the picture quality will be best. But the 7D´s IQ  gets worse over 1600...


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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 08:34:28 AM »

Marsu42

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2014, 12:39:57 PM »
A Canon professional trainer told me, that the 7D has best performing iso - 160 for normal, or multiplicated by 160 (320,...). @ this ISO steps the picture quality will be best.

That's an urban legend, the guy is professional because he's getting paid to tell you things, not because he has an insight like the Magic Lantern devs :-) ... if you want max. quality, shoot iso 100.

ISO 160x in the in the low regions up to 640 add a *tiny* bit more dynamic range, but of course lose a bit shutter speed vs. the next full iso stop ... read all about it here: http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=9867.0

jabbott

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2014, 02:01:09 PM »
Hi. I took the attached picture at ISO 200 and it looks quite noisy/grainy in the shadows at 100%. Could someone take a look and say if this is normal or not? Or it is just me doing something wrong? Picture is converted in LR 4.3 and unprocessed.
This is a classic example of underexposure. Take a look at the histogram in Lightroom and notice how most of it is bunched up on the left side. You want the histogram to be about 2.5-3 stops more to the right. You have some options... the first is to try setting the ISO speed higher (ISO 500 should work nicely assuming all other exposure settings are unchanged). You can also reduce your shutter speed (not a good choice due to the fast-moving subject) or use a faster aperture lens like a 35mm f/1.4 to get up to 4X more light as any f/2.8 lens at the same focal length. Note that if you shoot at f/1.4, the tradeoff is having a much lower depth of field which is more challenging for the 5D3's autofocus system. When you increase the ISO speed, you'll notice that the histogram starts to fall more in the center, with the lights and subject possibly being overexposed a little. If some areas appear overexposed, adjust the highlights slider downward in Lightroom until the overexposure isn't noticeable/pronounced. Also be sure to shoot in RAW which gives Lightroom the most data to work with for highlight and shadow recovery. One other tip is that the 5D3 has support for a live histogram using live view mode so you can adjust exposure settings and get instant feedback about whether the photo is properly exposed.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 02:02:52 PM by jabbott »

meli

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2014, 02:27:18 PM »
This is a classic example of underexposure. Take a look at the histogram in Lightroom and notice how most of it is bunched up on the left side. You want the histogram to be about 2.5-3 stops more to the right. You have some options..

Nope. This is not a classic example of underexposure and it would be silly to overexposure by 2.5-3 stops this particular scene since the subject's highlights are already bordering on overexposure; doing so would result in no noise in the bg and a white hot blob in the center

Marsu42

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2014, 02:51:02 PM »
Nope. This is not a classic example of underexposure and it would be silly to overexposure by 2.5-3 stops this particular scene since the subject's highlights are already bordering on overexposure; doing so would result in no noise in the bg and a white hot blob in the center

Who said again that Canon doesn't need more dynamic range :-p ?

Having said, the op should really shoot raw if he doesn't for more highlight recovery & try to raise the shadows + denoise in DxO with their PRIME algorithm (takes 1/2 hour on my laptop per shot) to make most use of the existing dynamic range.

climber

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2014, 03:23:57 PM »
I shoot RAW with aperture 2.8, 1/200 s and ISO 200. Skater was illuminated with two external flashes. Maybe I should use higher ISO for background and reduced flash power.

Marsu42

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2014, 03:44:03 PM »
Maybe you should post the raw file, it's amazing what other people can do sometimes with different techniques.

Maybe I should use higher ISO for background and reduced flash power.

Good idea, unless the dynamic range loss @high iso is higher than the gain from you lowering the contrast... look for the dr data on your camera here: http://www.sensorgen.info/

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2014, 03:44:03 PM »

climber

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2014, 04:27:46 PM »
As you guys said, histogram of the unprocessed photo is almost all on the first (left) third. I read something about ETTR exposing and thus I should aim to put it on the right side next time.

jabbott

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2014, 04:54:58 PM »
Nope. This is not a classic example of underexposure and it would be silly to overexposure by 2.5-3 stops this particular scene since the subject's highlights are already bordering on overexposure; doing so would result in no noise in the bg and a white hot blob in the center
Lightroom 4+ would have no problem recovering highlights even if this scene were 2.5 stops brighter. The result with a brighter exposure would look cleaner than if shadows were pushed in post, especially because the highlights represent such a small fraction of the overall image. Using a moderately higher ISO of 500 should significantly help here. Same goes with reduced flash power to prevent blown highlights on your subject. ETTR is the key, and the 5D Mark III has a great amount of highlight headroom when shooting RAW. Good luck climber with your next round of shots.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 05:07:14 PM by jabbott »

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2014, 04:54:58 PM »