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Author Topic: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D  (Read 55251 times)

Trovador

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #165 on: December 16, 2011, 10:45:39 AM »
Huh? I shoot everything with my 7D and never do any noise reduction in post process, I mainly shoot raw and have never had any problems with noise on ISOs up to 1600... I've printed my pictures on sizes up to 40''x56''...here's a gallery of some of my pics (landscapes, portraits, action, macro, you name it...)

http://www.500px.com/ruddyflorentino

Really good photographs Trovador.  What lenses and extras do you have in your kit if you don't mind me asking?

Thanks! my "go to" lens is the Canon 10-22, but I also have the 24-70L, 70-200L 2.8 IS II, 100L 2.8 macro, 100-400L and a few other from other brands :) In terms of extras the things I use the most are a Manfrotto tripod/head and Cokin Z-Pro graduated filters.
Canon 6D+7D; 17-40L, 24-70L, 70-200L 2.8 IS II, 100-400L IS, 50 1.4, 100L 2.8 IS, Rokinon 8mm fisheye
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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #165 on: December 16, 2011, 10:45:39 AM »

Trovador

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #166 on: December 16, 2011, 10:47:04 AM »
Huh? I shoot everything with my 7D and never do any noise reduction in post process, I mainly shoot raw and have never had any problems with noise on ISOs up to 1600... I've printed my pictures on sizes up to 40''x56''...here's a gallery of some of my pics (landscapes, portraits, action, macro, you name it...)

http://www.500px.com/ruddyflorentino

Nice work!

(sarcasm on) But you better zoom in to 300% because I think there's noise and you need a D3s  ;D (sarcasm off)

Thank you!
Canon 6D+7D; 17-40L, 24-70L, 70-200L 2.8 IS II, 100-400L IS, 50 1.4, 100L 2.8 IS, Rokinon 8mm fisheye
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KeithR

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #167 on: December 17, 2011, 09:16:35 AM »
I suspect the 7D would struggle with iso 4000

Why? It doesn't struggle with 8500 ISO (6400 ISO underexposed then equalised in conversion/PP):



Looks like there's more light in your shot too - Exif's in mine.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 09:19:21 AM by KeithR »

KeithR

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #168 on: December 17, 2011, 09:59:24 AM »
How about these? All straight out of Lightroom, no additional NR:

4000 ISO


6400 ISO



12800 ISO

« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 10:01:34 AM by KeithR »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #169 on: December 17, 2011, 10:09:48 AM »
How about these? All straight out of Lightroom, no additional NR

Doesn't a 75-88% downsampling constitute substantial NR?  Not being facetious - I've taken a badly underexposed shot at ISO 3200, pushed it 2.5 stops in post, and it didn't look bad as a 4x6" print. But it would have been horrible as a large print.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 10:17:28 AM by neuroanatomist »
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bikersbeard

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #170 on: December 17, 2011, 11:03:43 AM »
are those samples of high ISO on the 7D ? they look way better than my 5DII and i mean way better..

Orangutan

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #171 on: December 17, 2011, 11:29:44 AM »
Doesn't a 75-88% downsampling constitute substantial NR? 

Yes, which is why these conversations are so difficult: each person evaluates the photo based on personal expectations.  Those who typically downsample for electronic viewing will have different expectations from  someone who prints large, who will have different expectations from someone who peeps pixels.  It's been said before, but it's important to put your photo in context when talking about image quality: how's it going to be displayed?

Another note: The ISO 12,800 photo (fishing reel?) was taken at f/6.3 at 1/160s with -0.3 exposure bias.  This was an extremely well-lit photo, so it's probably also free of shot noise.  It's my personal experience with my 60D that, at high ISO's, well-lit photos look much better than low-light photos.

To compare high-ISO quality "apples-to-apples," we'd need to have a standard for downsampling and exposure settings as well.

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #171 on: December 17, 2011, 11:29:44 AM »

infilm

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #172 on: December 17, 2011, 12:48:26 PM »
I posted last week to get advice on getting a 7D now... and got some truly wonderful responses about how I should take the plunge... and I did.

I got it last night and took some photos around town today.  While I was shooting around town I thought the PQ looked GREAT... I could definitely see improvements in the evaluative metering over my XSi... and shouldn't even have to mention the HUGE improvements to AF over my XSi.

Everything was going great... until I got home and loaded up those photos in LR3... and saw a ridiculous amount of high frequency noise ALL over the place... even when shooting at ISO 100-200!

Hi Derek,

I think I may have been one of the ones who recommended the camera to you last week. I'm a little surprised you're having such a problem. While I do think the 7D is a tad noisy at low ISO, I found for myself that ISO 160 seems to be great. I'm not exactly sure what Canon says about the 7D, and whether it differs from their other cameras in any way...however I've heard two things about it:

1. The 7D, unlike other canon DSLR's, has ISO 80 as a base, making ISO 160, 320, 640, 1250, and 2500 ideal.
2. The 7D IS a bit noisier than their other DSLR's (not surprising given its pixel density), and ISO 160 a -1/3 stop pull from ISO 200, resulting in a slight deamplification of the image, lowering noise, but also slightly lowering DR. (Additionally, ISO 125, 250, etc. are pushed from the previous native setting, which contributes to their CONSIDERABLE noise...avoid +1/3 ISO stops at all costs!)

This video is a helpful demonstration: http://vimeo.com/10473734

Either way you slice it, you should try ISO 160, 320, 640 and see how you like the results. I have not noticed any huge issue with using those ISO's, and if there is any loss in DR, its never been a problem for me. Additionally, remember that the 18.1mp of your 7D is 48% MORE detail than the 12.2mp of your XSi. At 100% pixel peeping, your looking at noise at a much finer level of detail thann the XSi. If you scale the 7D image down to the size of an XSi image with some standard bicubic, the additional noise should be mitigated against, if not entirely normalized with, your 450D. I've also found that Lightroom 3.5's NR does a pretty good job at reducing noise, and when I print at home with a Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 Mk II @ 13x19", the noise is usually invisible (and some noise is always a bit beneficial for printing smooth gradients, like a fade into shadow or a sunset sky.)
I'm with jrista. I have had my 7D for about 8 months. If I stay at ISO's of 80, 160, 320, ect. I get very good results. Once I go into the 1/3 stop variants of the native ISO the noise comes running in.
Canon 7D gripped - 5D2 gripped - 16-35 f2.8l - 24-70 f2.8l - 70-200 f.2.8 IS l - 35 f1.4l - 50 f1.2l - 85 f1.2 l - 135 f2 l - 300 f4 l Tokina 10-17 Fisheye - 580EX II - And not much drive space left on my computer...

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #173 on: December 17, 2011, 12:53:18 PM »
How about these? All straight out of Lightroom, no additional NR

Doesn't a 75-88% downsampling constitute substantial NR?  Not being facetious - I've taken a badly underexposed shot at ISO 3200, pushed it 2.5 stops in post, and it didn't look bad as a 4x6" print. But it would have been horrible as a large print.

Not unless he cropped out 600-700 pixels of the file representing the 100% view...but then again this would need to be specified and it's all subjective... as we've debated before neuro... your expectations for noise and my expectations for noise are two separate expectations and tastes and frankly, when shooting for clients, I usually light my subjects or shoot in good conditions so i shoot low ISO and rarely need high ISO unless i'm in a pinch, and my clients are cool with that... Plus my work is 90% printed on commercial printers so I get away with a lot especially printed at CMYK... Anyways... I personally think this debate has gone on long enough... There are no right or wrong answers on what is acceptable or not acceptable... it either works for you or it doesn't and to argue and complain is futile in the end. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

Edwin Herdman

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #174 on: December 17, 2011, 10:10:50 PM »
Those who typically downsample for electronic viewing will have different expectations from  someone who prints large, who will have different expectations from someone who peeps pixels.
Who needs to downsample for electronic viewing?  If you have a decent sized monitor you can view enough of a RAW file at 100% to get an idea what is going on.  In practice, I think most everybody has to switch between "downsampling" (resampling, actually) and 100% views on the fly when electronically editing.  The mythical user who only views at 100% or only views downsample must be a very rare species, because even if your preference is "full image view" (aka resampled fit-to-screen) or 100% peeps, the other view still has its uses.

friedmud

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #175 on: December 17, 2011, 10:55:47 PM »
If this is true, wouldn't it support the idea that you and friedmud would know about the noise before purchasing the 7D?

I will admit that I didn't do the "right" research this time around.

I had planned on picking up a T3i or 60D since I thought that's the best upgrades I could get in my price range... then my wife said "why don't you go for the 7D?"... well I'm sure all of you with wives out there understand that when a statement like that gets uttered by "the boss" you don't tend to do a lot of research past that point ;-)

That said I _did_ read quite a few reviews that raved about the 7D... but almost universally they were talking about how awesome the high ISO capability was.  My failing was in believing that if the high ISO is that good then certainly the low ISO wouldn't be worse than my XSi... that didn't exactly pan out.

Yes, I have "made peace" with my 7D.  I've already shot about 600 photos with it (been traveling a lot lately) and I am in _love_ with the camera itself.  Just tonight I was out shooting some great tree silhouettes in the sunset... and the way the camera works allows me to get the camera out of the way and really focus on the creativity of the shots I'm trying to produce.

However... I _do_ still have a tinge of regret over the noise.  It really is there.  I really wish it wasn't.

Even so, I think I'm going to have a long and productive friendship with this machine.  I don't sell my photos to stock houses or anything... so if it helps me get the shot I have in my head into a RAW file better and that translates well to the web and print... then I'm happy.

Cameras and Lenses are a series of tradeoffs.  If there was a "perfect" camera body _everyone_ would buy it.  Unfortunately, the reality of price / performance rears its ugly head and the mortals among us have to make tough decisions.  Fortunately that formula continues to drift further and further in favor of mortals all the time...

jrista

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #176 on: December 18, 2011, 12:57:43 AM »
Doesn't a 75-88% downsampling constitute substantial NR? 

Yes, which is why these conversations are so difficult: each person evaluates the photo based on personal expectations.  Those who typically downsample for electronic viewing will have different expectations from  someone who prints large, who will have different expectations from someone who peeps pixels.  It's been said before, but it's important to put your photo in context when talking about image quality: how's it going to be displayed?

Another note: The ISO 12,800 photo (fishing reel?) was taken at f/6.3 at 1/160s with -0.3 exposure bias.  This was an extremely well-lit photo, so it's probably also free of shot noise.  It's my personal experience with my 60D that, at high ISO's, well-lit photos look much better than low-light photos.

To compare high-ISO quality "apples-to-apples," we'd need to have a standard for downsampling and exposure settings as well.

You would have to blow up a print at least three fold for it to be large enough for noise to exhibit like it might at 100% on-screen. The simple fact of the matter is, the VAST MAJORITY of viewing contexts require downsizing, usually significant downsizing or increases to resolution density, relative to a 100% crop view on a computer screen. The only time you are actually enlarging any viewing context beyond that scope is with prints larger than 52"x35" (for the 7D anyway), at which point image pixels in print are about the same size as on a screen. Most of the time, enlargements of such scale are done very carefully, with meticulous care around noise and sharpness, so noise is rarely as visible on screen as it is in such a large print.

The only time the levels of noise we have today in current-generation cameras (7D, 60D, 600D, even 5D II) exhibit as a problem is when viewed at 100% crop on a computer. Outside of those who tend to obsess over quality at 100% crop, viewing any photo in that way is impractical and unrealistic. @KeithR's sample photos, while they do appear to be downsized a bit, also demonstrate a REALISTIC viewing context, and thats where any photo's IS should be evaluated...in realistic context.

friedmud

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #177 on: December 18, 2011, 02:09:28 AM »
You would have to blow up a print at least three fold for it to be large enough for noise to exhibit like it might at 100% on-screen. The simple fact of the matter is, the VAST MAJORITY of viewing contexts require downsizing, usually significant downsizing or increases to resolution density, relative to a 100% crop view on a computer screen. The only time you are actually enlarging any viewing context beyond that scope is with prints larger than 52"x35" (for the 7D anyway), at which point image pixels in print are about the same size as on a screen. Most of the time, enlargements of such scale are done very carefully, with meticulous care around noise and sharpness, so noise is rarely as visible on screen as it is in such a large print.

The only time the levels of noise we have today in current-generation cameras (7D, 60D, 600D, even 5D II) exhibit as a problem is when viewed at 100% crop on a computer. Outside of those who tend to obsess over quality at 100% crop, viewing any photo in that way is impractical and unrealistic. @KeithR's sample photos, while they do appear to be downsized a bit, also demonstrate a REALISTIC viewing context, and thats where any photo's IS should be evaluated...in realistic context.

I know that you believe what you are saying and trying to be helpful, but I still think that you don't understand the crux of the problem.  Let me see if I can break it down for you.

1. I can see the noise from an ISO 100 shot on my 7D when looking at the entire photo on my 27" screen.  That is... NOT a 100% crop.  Quit saying that noise is only an issue at 100%.

2.  Next you will say "calibrate your monitor!".  That has nothing to do with it... as my XSi shots look fine when viewing the whole image on the screen.

2.5 (Ninja Edit) Extreme resolution monitors are on the horizon (most likely this year). There are already talks of a 2880x1800 Macbook Pro... and an iMac could come out with 5120x2800!  At those resolutions npise is going to start to be easily visible in a lot of photos!

3.  Cropping:  one of the main reasons to move up to a higher MP is so you can crop a bit closer.  If your image has a ton of noise in it that negates a lot of your ability to crop.

4.  Different people have different purposes for their photography.  If you are doing portraits, you might leave the final picture a bit soft so as to downplay facial blemishes.  However, if you are shooting landscapes you want to bring out every detail and that means "sharpening".  If there is a ton of noise hanging around it might not matter to the person doing portraits, however if you are trying to sharpen tiny details in your photo (that you bought an 18MP camera to capture) noise makes life extremely difficult.

5.  You keep claiming that all anyone does is look at tiny versions of your photos.  I will mostly agree with that (but add a caveat about cropping - and how that effectively means that even viewers of your prints are "zoomed in").  However, what if that didn't have to be the case??

Personally, I upload full resolution jpegs to Flickr.  If someone is so inclined, they can view it at full resolution and zoom in to see detail in my landscapes.  Now, I agree that most people probably don't do that... But just think about if you could capture perfectly noise free images: you could encourage people to explore the full res versions of your photos, giving a new, dynamic way to enjoy your photography.

--

I guess my problem with your philosophy on noise boils down to this: You, just like every other luddite throughout history continue to claim that "What we have is good enough!".  The problem is that you are WRONG and will be proven so as technology advances.  In 5 years we'll wonder about how we put up with these noisy machines as we look forward to advances on our 45MP mirrorless pieces of awesome that we use in ways you cannot even fathom right now and you will still be saying things like "Why do you need something better than 45MP!"...

I have been entirely too negative in this post so I will leave you all with a link to a set of photos of mine on Flickr.  These were taken with My XSi and have the full res versions of the images there... So feel free to view them that way!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedmud/sets/72157628014191618/
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 02:25:27 AM by friedmud »

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #177 on: December 18, 2011, 02:09:28 AM »

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #178 on: December 18, 2011, 03:21:35 AM »
1. I can see the noise from an ISO 100 shot on my 7D when looking at the entire photo on my 27" screen.  That is... NOT a 100% crop.  Quit saying that noise is only an issue at 100%.

I cannot see this on screen or in print, and my printer can most certainly out resolve my screen. If you are seeing noise at 27" equivalent print size, then your exposure was off, or some action in post brought it out, or the scaling algorithm is messing up.

I've got ISO 800 shots which look great on my monitor and print great at 24". Granted they've had a bit of Noise Ninja filtering, but still.

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2.  Next you will say "calibrate your monitor!".  That has nothing to do with it... as my XSi shots look fine when viewing the whole image on the screen.

Though the XSi does have measurably less noise at ISO 100, it's not significant and should not be human observable even when pixel peeping. The Imaging Resource comparometer bears this out. You have to shoot under identical conditions, and when shot under identical conditions these cameras do not differ in noise at ISO 100.

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2.5 (Ninja Edit) Extreme resolution monitors are on the horizon (most likely this year). There are already talks of a 2880x1800 Macbook Pro... and an iMac could come out with 5120x2800!  At those resolutions npise is going to start to be easily visible in a lot of photos!

There's no noise to speak of from either camera at ISO 100, even when pixel peeping, given a proper exposure.

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3.  Cropping:  one of the main reasons to move up to a higher MP is so you can crop a bit closer.  If your image has a ton of noise in it that negates a lot of your ability to crop.

I've made 16x20" surfing prints from 8-10 MP crops of 7D files, with ISOs up to 800. Noise ranges from non-obtrusive to none at all. Again this assumes proper exposure and some post work, but it shows what can be done.

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4.  Different people have different purposes for their photography.  If you are doing portraits, you might leave the final picture a bit soft so as to downplay facial blemishes.  However, if you are shooting landscapes you want to bring out every detail and that means "sharpening".  If there is a ton of noise hanging around it might not matter to the person doing portraits, however if you are trying to sharpen tiny details in your photo (that you bought an 18MP camera to capture) noise makes life extremely difficult.

You yourself produced a nice, sharp, detailed landscape with the 7D and it had no real noise to speak of.

I don't know what you're looking at that you think the 7D has any real noise at lower ISOs. I can only imagine that exposures are off, or you're mistaking surface texture for detail, or the scaling algorithm is messing up. (Apple's preview app can really screw up the scaling of anything, even a 5D2 image. Not sure why. It seems to be random, but it happens.)

jrista

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #179 on: December 18, 2011, 04:22:59 AM »
@friedmud: FYI, I wasn't actually responding to you with my last post. However, here are some responses to your points:

Quote
I guess my problem with your philosophy on noise boils down to this: You, just like every other luddite throughout history continue to claim that "What we have is good enough!".  The problem is that you are WRONG and will be proven so as technology advances.  In 5 years we'll wonder about how we put up with these noisy machines as we look forward to advances on our 45MP mirrorless pieces of awesome that we use in ways you cannot even fathom right now and you will still be saying things like "Why do you need something better than 45MP!"...

First off, there is no need for name calling. I'm not really sure how you can claim I'm a luddite...if you read anything else I've said on this forum, I probably more than anyone else believe we CAN achieve MUCH more than we have today. Not only that, I WANT to achieve more...in that respect, I'm very progressive. However I am also keenly aware that pretty much all of what we have today is DAMN GOOD!! So before you enthusiastically leap off the cliff of rudeness and spurt out inane things, make sure you know what your talking about. If you haven't read some of my other posts about megapixels and resolution and noise, which should thoroughly refute your opinion that I'm "just another luddite", please do before you decide to make more assumptions about who I am and what I want.

I don't deny that things will get better...however thats not my point. My point is that many people don't evaluate things like IQ in a realistic context, and I think many other members of this forum will agree. Compare the noise of the 7D to just about ANY 35mm film grain, and I think you'll likely be astonished at how much better the 7D appears (aesthetics aside...different discussion.) Compare the noise of the 7D to the 450D at the identical resolutions, and I still think you'll be surprised. Scale the 450D images up, and they will be quite soft, and the lack of detail, despite their apparent lower noise, will be very clear. Scale the 7D images down, and the apparently hideous noise will suddenly not look all that bad, and you'll likely still see better detail to boot.

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1. I can see the noise from an ISO 100 shot on my 7D when looking at the entire photo on my 27" screen.  That is... NOT a 100% crop.  Quit saying that noise is only an issue at 100%.

I am keenly aware that you have not always looked at your images at 100%. I remember reading all the replies where you stated as much, and remember the Lightroom screenshots you posted to demonstrate what you were talking about. However initially, the samples you uploaded were full-size images that downloaded at 100% for anyone who took the time to download them (which is probably what a lot of the comments about pixel-peeping were based on.) I did some experimentation with them myself, and zoomed out in Photoshop on my 30" Apple Cinemadisplay to the native print resolution (which, btw, is a lot larger than the 900px I commonly use for web viewing size), I can't see any noise at all. Earlier in this thread I posted a sample screenshot, similar to your screenshots of Lightroom...I don't know if you saw it, but I think it demonstrates quite well the power of noise absorption a little proper downscaling or printing can do. In Lightroom, all of my 7D an 450D images look very noisy when zoomed out...as far as I can tell, Lightroom does cheap nearest-neighbor filtering when zooming out. If you leave it for a while, or start dragging the image around, it either randomly or in a patchy manner decides to generate a better preview.

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2.5 (Ninja Edit) Extreme resolution monitors are on the horizon (most likely this year). There are already talks of a 2880x1800 Macbook Pro... and an iMac could come out with 5120x2800!  At those resolutions npise is going to start to be easily visible in a lot of photos!

Regarding high res screens...its higher density...smaller pixels more closely spaced. Much like print, the higher density will effectively "absorb" noise, not make it more visible, as the resolution approaches the limit of visual acuity. Its like viewing a photo at 100% on an iPhone 4s...the retina display is so high resolution with such an incredibly high pixel density, its literally like looking at a print...the noise is so fine you can barely see it (I would DIE to have a computer screen that pixel dense...it would be pure heaven!)

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3.  Cropping:  one of the main reasons to move up to a higher MP is so you can crop a bit closer.  If your image has a ton of noise in it that negates a lot of your ability to crop.

I tend to crop myself as well, particularly with my bird photography, so I understand what your getting at. Remember, I also own the XSi (450D) camera, so I also have the ability to make direct comparisons between the two cameras. In the 450D, noise at or above ISO800 was horrid...and it ate detail for breakfast! The 7D trounces the 450D in that respect...it LOOKS noisier, however there is almost twice the detail. I'd take the 7D noise over the 450D (XSi) noise any day...I care about detail preservation (i.e. fine feather detail), not apparent noise cleanness. I've also found that I can push Lightroom noise reduction much farther with the 7D before I start to see visible degradation of fine detail (around 75-80 or so), where as the 450D would start to lose detail around a setting of 45-50 or so, sometimes earlier than that at ISO1600. Don't forget that the 7D has 48% more resolution, so no matter how much noiser it may look, its still preserving a hell of a lot more detail than the 450D can even capture in the first place.

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4.  Different people have different purposes for their photography.  If you are doing portraits, you might leave the final picture a bit soft so as to downplay facial blemishes.  However, if you are shooting landscapes you want to bring out every detail and that means "sharpening".  If there is a ton of noise hanging around it might not matter to the person doing portraits, however if you are trying to sharpen tiny details in your photo (that you bought an 18MP camera to capture) noise makes life extremely difficult.

Regarding camera purpose, sure, there are different reasons to use a camera. But the reason you take a photo doesn't usually change the presentation mediums most of the time. Portraits are often printed at 8x10 or so, which is still a fairly significant downscaling from the 7D's native print resolution which is about 13x19" with a small border (17.5x12", to be exact.) For landscapes, you would have to print at 4'4"x3' at 300ppi for the print to match the pixel size of the monitor at 100%, or about 3'x2' for it to match lightroom when viewing at "full". Many people print no larger than 11x16, some stop at 13x19, and for those who have the ability, some print at 17x22. I know a photographer who has ALL their landscape prints framed in simple black frames with simple off-white matting at 8x10 in a gigantic collage on their wall (its actually pretty amazing)! For those who DO print at huge size, careful and meticulous attention is usually paid to the process of scaling the image up properly so as to eliminate as much noise as possible while maintaining as much sharpness and detail as possible, so its difficult to compare an actual print of multi-foot dimensions apples-to-apples with a 100% display on screen. I like my large prints to be viewable from 2-3 feet without apparent softening, however many of the people I know who print that large only care about people standing 5-6 feet back, in which case noise doesn't even enter into the equation.

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5.  You keep claiming that all anyone does is look at tiny versions of your photos.  I will mostly agree with that (but add a caveat about cropping - and how that effectively means that even viewers of your prints are "zoomed in").  However, what if that didn't have to be the case??

You state that I claim all people see is tiny versions of photos. On the contrary, I claim that people view them at realistic sizes. On a computer screen, those sizes tend to be several times smaller than native resolution (500-900 pixels wide is the most common range people scale their images down to for display on the web, and many of the better sites like 1x.com or 500px.com mandate a maximum resolution of around 900px wide). An average print is 300ppi, or pixels per inch. The average professional's computer screen is 96ppi, with the high end about 103-106ppi (i.e. Apple CinemaDisplays, LaCei, Eizo, NEC), and the low end...the dirt cheap LCD screens that can't be considered an adequate viewing medium in any serious context...at 72ppi. Photoshop has a handy button when using the zoom tool: "Print Size". It scales images on-screen to the matching physical print size. Try using that on a few of your shots (make sure you configure Photoshop with your proper screen PPI first), and see how they look. Hold up a piece of paper that matches the cameras native resolution (i.e. a 13x19" A3+ sheet), and see how the on-screen image fits perfectly inside the frame of the piece of paper. THAT is what I am talking about most of the time.

With 7D images, print is usually around 42% the native size of the image 34% the native size of the image (Edit: Sorry, the original 42% was for 240ppi, not 300ppi), which amounts to 2.94x more noise absorption power than viewing an image at 100% (or 1.0x). Lightroom's fit view usually displays images larger than that, a little larger than 50% on my screen, so it  has about 1.75-1.8x or so noise absorption power (when it actually decides to render the preview properly.) At the fine resolution of a print...and a 13x19" print is fairly big, mind you...noise is below or just at the visual acuity of the human eye (1/60th of a degree, or more precisely around 55 arcseconds, for 20/20 vision) at a normal viewing distance (keep in mind, were not talking 4" viewing distance with a loupe....were talking about a foot or so.) When I say people don't view most photos the way the photographer views them on-screen when post-processing with Lightroom or Photoshop, I'm basing my statements on some basic science and math (which I can go into, of you or anyone else is interested, since this debate can be settled with a little math and real-world facts.)

Last, while you may have been the initiator of this thread, not all of my replies have been directed at you. Many of them have been clearly and expressly directed at other participants, as should have been clearly indicated by who I quoted. My last response was a direct reply to something @Orangutan stated (I thought inaccurately) about people who downsize for electronic viewing vs. people who print large. I think its important to be explicit, especially in discussions related to image noise, as it is a highly controversial topic and making vague or blanket statements that lack specificity leads to misnomers that are often regurgitated without a proper understanding (sadly, thus is the nature of the internet.) Much of the complaints over noise (even if it IS higher today than we might likely see in the future) are based on a lack of understanding or a misunderstanding of realistic viewing contexts that cover the majority of viewers using computers or viewing prints. I've only tried to be clear about the facts, in hopes that it EDUCATES people...nothing else.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 04:35:13 AM by jrista »

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Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« Reply #179 on: December 18, 2011, 04:22:59 AM »