December 22, 2014, 10:08:45 AM

Author Topic: 5DIII - too grainy or not?  (Read 14310 times)

jabbott

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2014, 10:27:12 AM »
Here it is:  https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/23585527/_N3A8532.CR2
Thanks for uploading. I loaded it into Lightroom and tried the following which seems to help:

- "Auto" tone in the Develop > Tone section
- Noise reduction to 25

This brightens the background, keeps noise under control and keeps highlights from blowing out. Note how the highlight and shadow adjuster both go to 40... this means that Lightroom is having to reduce highlights and boost shadows equally to get a more even exposure. It's also a testament to the 5D3's metering system which struck a nice balance between highlights and shadows, regardless of how prevalent they were. All of this just helps the existing photo though... I still think it would help to boost ISO for future shoots.

If you boosted ISO in camera it would certainly help get the shadows exposed without as much noise, but you'll want to experiment to find the point at which highlights start significantly clipping. Quickly looking at the RAW, it looks like you might have around two stops of additional room to safely expose to the right. The Mac version of RawDigger says that 0.3-0.4% of the photo is overexposed, while 30-43% is underexposed. I don't have the Windows version of RawDigger which shows a nice histogram plot so if anyone does I would be curious to hear what they find. Here's an informative guide on ETTR I recently found:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6641165460/ettr-exposed

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2014, 10:27:12 AM »

climber

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2014, 01:01:17 PM »
I read this article along with some others. I understand that base ISO (100 in may case) is needed for ETTR to "saturate" sensor. But let see my case. Aperture f/2.8 is max.  and I could not set a longer shutter speed because of fast moving object. Thus, ISO 200 should be appropriate for ETTR. And If I look for flickering that shows overexposing parts of image, I see them only in lights and on the small part of skater arm. Which should be just like ETTR should be.

So, why should be good to increase an ISO?

If I campare my image with that one in the article where two men sit in the room with a small window, they seem quite similar. If so, I could also bring out of my image details and colors.

Yes, one thing is for sure. I have to learn a lot of things.

Marsu42

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2014, 02:03:18 PM »
Thus, ISO 200 should be appropriate for ETTR.

ETTR only has to do with the histogram - you need to raise iso until you touch the right side (save some safety margin in changing light). You can use Magic Lantern to automate this process btw.

And If I look for flickering that shows overexposing parts of image, I see them only in lights and on the small part of skater arm. Which should be just like ETTR should be.

The Canon blinkies do not measure for raw, but for jpeg - so if it blinks, it might very well be you can still recover it. To get real raw metering and histogram, again use Magic Lantern.

Your shot is underexposed in raw - this is after an edit, due to the underexposure it's still noisy (I just used acr denoising) and has banding ... it seems the 5d3 is really worse here than the 6d, I've never seen that on the latter.


climber

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2014, 04:23:49 PM »
If you look at this image (http://4.static.img-dpreview.com/files/articles/6641165460/250/2790690.jpg) in this article (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6641165460/ettr-exposed) it's obvious that it is under exposed - and I think also much more then my image. But, at the end he got out very nice result. As I undertand, he under exposed this image with purpose to preserve the sun just on the right side of histogram. I wonder now two things:

1. How was he able to get such a nice result from that under exposed image?
2. Why is he advocating that kind of underexposing if everybody says, that pushing data out of the shadows is not the best thing and will result in more noise at the end?

jrista

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2014, 05:38:56 PM »
@Climber:

ETTR is very simple: Expose to the right! That's really it. You honestly don't have to get too technical about it, and if you DO try to get too technical about it, your going to spend more time fiddling than photographing.

The concept is pretty strait forward. Noise in an image signal is a ratio of the saturation of the signal. When using a digital sensor, where exposure in post is effectively "fluid", you should maximize the saturation of your signal as best as possible, and correct the exposure in post. By "exposing to the right", you increase the number of pixels that have a higher signal to noise ratio, and thereby reduce the amount of noise in those pixels. You also put a larger percentage of the image signal above the read noise floor, and usually require a post-process exposure pull in order to correct, meaning you reduce the read noise floor even further than is otherwise the case.

The mechanics are also pretty simple. First, choose the shutter speed you REQUIRE in order to freeze the motion in your shot. Then, push ISO until your histogram reaches well into the right-most vertical box in the histogram display. You do not want the histogram to ride up the right-hand edge, and to maintain the best color fidelity in the highlights, you want the histogram to peak just a little before the right-hand edge, then fall.

Regardless of how the exposure looks when you do that, that is considered "correct exposure" in the digital world. Making the image look "correct" to human eyes is a post-processing matter, and a matter of personal taste, so don't bother trying to achieve that in camera. Just expose to the right. It's not really hard, and as you practice with it, you'll get a feel for how far to the right you can push without running the risk of clipping highlights you don't want clipped.

I also want to point out a fact about noise in regards to the processed image Marsu42 shared. He lifted the background shadows quite a bit, and revealed some banding noise. Banding noise like that is primarily a problem at the lower ISO settings. You were at ISO 200. To expose properly (without flash) you would very likely have been at ISO 800 or ISO 1600...at these settings, banding noise is extremely low to non-existent on most current Canon cameras (older cameras, like the 5D II, might still exhibit some banding at higher ISO settings.) You will still have read noise, but you'll be able to lift it more without that unsightly banding.

I use a Canon 7D myself currently, and I employ ETTR in most of my work. The 7D has terrible banding in the shadows at ISO 100, 200, and 400, but that banding is almost non-existent at ISO 800 and not present at higher ISO settings. I usually shoot at ISO 800 and above, and I often lift the shadows by several stops in photos where I try to preserve the highlights, which results in my key subject ending up mostly in the darker midtones and upper shadow tones. I never have problems with banding.

klickflip

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2014, 06:37:12 PM »
Hi Climber, nice to see someone else shooting skate shots. -hence my screen name :) Now is that a make ? looks like an ollie north but back foot looks like a reply sketchy land!!

Yeah bringing up shadow in shots like these will bring out a fair bit of noise, I generally live with it no ones going to notice too much. Couple of other things look like they need dealt with at time of shooting tho..
Isn't sharp! mix of motion blur, camera movement and focus being off. Focus looks like its on the  background.
Dont shoot flash at full power, if its speedlights use them at 1/4 power and it should freeze most things if you can manual so it won't fluctuate and shoot fairly wide open.

Or going for a higher iso and HSS flash so mix ambient and flash at say 1/2000s to get a more even look but think starker flash is better and darkens down distracting backgrounds.

Personally I tend to do a lot of post in capture one and PS to get a more interesting grade / look to indoor skatepark shots as are generally pretty horrible looking. Black and white tends looks a lot better.

I've made two quick grades to make it look a bit more stylish and compensate for the lack of colour and hard environment.

BTW the wee corner QP looks rad and great fun :)



pwp

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2014, 07:27:00 PM »
ETTR is very simple: Expose to the right! That's really it. You honestly don't have to get too technical about it....
ETTR is the strongest noise reduction tool you have. I'm consistently gobsmacked how much detail there is hidden in the highlights of not just my 5D3 which is plain phenomenal, but in almost equal measure in files from my 1D Mk4 and my little travel camera, the truly tiny APS-C SL-1 (aka EOS 100D).

ETTR can be counter intuitive particularly for photographers who learned shooting film, but once this very simple technique is mastered you'll barely even think about it. Until you get the feel of it, keep an eye on histograms and highlight alert.

With carefully exposed files, it's extremely rare to go to the noise reduction slider in LR5 or call in the useful abilities of Nik D-fine. Too many steps in post-pro slow things down to a crawl. ETTR is your friend!

-pw

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2014, 07:27:00 PM »

pdirestajr

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2014, 08:09:37 PM »
You could have shot at a slower shutter speed to expose the background better since the flash would help freeze the subject.

Also, why care so much about a little noise in a shadow? You only really see "noise" when pixy peepin'. Doubt you"ll notice it in a print, or an image reduced for the webby.
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pdirestajr

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2014, 08:16:45 PM »
@Marsu42,
That's an extreme push on that file! That skater looks purple now. Any file would/ should fall apart being pushed that far.
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YuengLinger

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2014, 08:27:08 PM »
Great thread!

jabbott

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2014, 11:02:07 PM »
I should also mention dragging the shutter may help... depending on your shutter speed it might even provide a nice motion blur effect behind the subject, while the subject is still sharp from the flash. There's a lot of creative possibilities. Here's an article with more info:
http://ilovephotography.com/article9.html

Marsu42

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2014, 12:29:53 AM »
That's an extreme push on that file! That skater looks purple now. Any file would/ should fall apart being pushed that far.

I wasn't editing it for visual beauty, but to show how much data is hidden mind you - and I would speculate that a) if this was ettr'ed the iq would have been better after push and b) the banding is really a bit strange, I wish I would have be able to compare the 6d against that.

climber

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2014, 03:04:12 AM »
Thanks to all again, expecially to "jrista" for his comprehensive and understandable explanation.

@klickflip: I really don't know these tricks, I was just shooting. :P Ask me something about my hobby, if you want. (its in nickname) ;)
And I like your corrections.

I just didn't understand why an author of the linked article in dpreview.com said that it is a "must" to shoot at the base ISO. As "jrista" said in his post, the best option is to push ISO as high to reach ETTR with required (desired) shutter speed and f-stop.

I want to ask you one more thing (jrista or anybody else). In what way do you make an ETTR when you have one very very bright part of image. Like sun, small window in a dark room, or anywhere there is big dynamic range. Ok, HDR is one option but let say you want to make a single shoot. Will you sacrifice that bright part of an image with purpose to put the rest of an image into the right side of histogram. Or will you shoot like an author of the previously linked article where he put that window and sun on the right edge, but the major part of image was under exposed?

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2014, 03:04:12 AM »

wickidwombat

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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2014, 03:30:29 AM »

I want to ask you one more thing (jrista or anybody else). In what way do you make an ETTR when you have one very very bright part of image. Like sun, small window in a dark room, or anywhere there is big dynamic range. Ok, HDR is one option but let say you want to make a single shoot. Will you sacrifice that bright part of an image with purpose to put the rest of an image into the right side of histogram. Or will you shoot like an author of the previously linked article where he put that window and sun on the right edge, but the major part of image was under exposed?

My basic rule of thumb here is if there are people in the shot i will expose as far as their faces do not get blinkies if clothes do thats usually fine and will be recoverable but faces and skin tones suffer as the red channel clips first so i expose with aiming to keep the faces in the sweet spot if i blow out a bit of sky it doesnt matter as long as the faces are fine.

a very tiny bit of blinking on the face though and that will show i am as far ETTR as I want to go.

same would go for anything non people too i guess preserve the most important thing in the shot

now to process the ETTR shot simply drop the overall exposure by 1 to 1.5 or even maybe 2 stops (depends on the shot)
then pull up the shadows 100% and in some places you might need to paint in some extra shadow recovery or pull up the shadow section of your curve and you will have nice clean noise free recovered shadows. might need to pull down some highlights to taste. oh and also set your black point and white point after you have done these changes too

this will give you the cleanest exposure for your shot
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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2014, 04:46:07 AM »
On my self calibrating Eizo monitor I see nothing wrong with the exposure of this image and the grain in the shadows is sensor grain. I wouldn't even define it as noise.

Yes, you can get sensor grain. Every sensor has a specific design and feel to it. Shadows show this more because the brightness and colour is all flat vs in the highlights where there is distracting colour and contrast.

For me I'd warm it up slightly with the WB tool but if your idea was to nail the exposure on the skateboarder then you did an excellent job. But next time 1/400 at ISO800 F4. Shoot manually, you're in a constant environment with static lighting.

Also note that when resizing a 5000 pixel wide image to 1024 noise disappears anyway. Same goes for prints. So unless the gallery you want to hang this sucker has a 50 inch screens instead of prints nobody will see or care about it anyway.

Stop worrying, go out and keep shooting. If you really want to see some noise go and shoot a 7D at ISO400.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 04:47:47 AM by wockawocka »
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Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2014, 04:46:07 AM »