D90 Raw Images A Disappointment (horribly Pixelated)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by darrellishere, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. darrellishere macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    #1
    Hi everyone, hopefully their some one can spread some light on my slightly strange and confusing issue!

    I had a D70 and D40 both produce beautiful raw images especially noticeable when viewed at 100% crop in aperture.

    I actually switched back to Nikon after a flurry with a 450D. I missed the beautiful film like grain (Noise) that made every picture so appealing and naturally beautiful.

    Canons out put seemed to me a bit to cold flat and clinical and lacked atmosphere to the images.

    So I was expecting the same image quality and characteristics from my new supper duppa 3d tracking D90, but find my self disappointed with the output.
    I notice terrible artifacts and pixillation.

    Am I doing something wrong? Is Auto iso messing with my images, or noise reduction? New CMOS Sensor vs CCD having an issue?

    Please help because Im thinking the D80 may be what I should have bought as the images are markedly different.
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    By definition you can't have artifacts or pixillation in a raw image file. No doubt't you see something but you are using the wrong words to describe it. Artifacts and pixillation are a result of processing

    One question. When you shoot JPG do you see these same problems? If not then look at how you are processing your raw images.

    Also 100% is the wrong resolution to judge image quality. At 100% you have one screen pixel equal to one camera pixels and therefor magnification is proportional to the pixel pitch on the sensor. So,.. the higher resolution image will look worse all else being equal. a 6MP sensor image will look better at 100% then a 12MP image. The only fair way to compare is to enlarge each iomage to the same edge to edge width. What you are doing is in effect making your D90 images about 1.4 times wider. Of course they will look worse.

    More simply said: No matter how good your camera is, if you make a large enough print the image quality will go to crap. What you are doing is comparing big prints from a D90 with smaller prints from the other cameras.
     
  3. darrellishere thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I think my problem was that I was shooting at iso 800 and its obviously digital noise that I was seeing. But boy it looked bad, very very bad and artificial noise.

    Looking at the shots I took at iso 200-500, they don't seem to suffer from the noise at all, and look stella at 100% (zoom) in aperture.

    To me the D90 images loose a massive amount of quality at iso 600 and above where the noise just turns into digital mess.
    Maybe like allot of cameras!

    "What you are doing is comparing big prints from a D90 with smaller prints from the other cameras."

    You may be right! I'll just have to remember not to print them larger than the 6mp image size, in order to retain detail and not over blow the flaws.

    And start judging the images not on full screen zoom in apeture analizing every detail as, but as the whole image.

    The problem is I like big Prints RRR ;)
     
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #4
    i'm not quite sure you know what you're talking about.

    this is luminance noise. all photos with noise can have the chroma removed, and leaving the "grainy" luminance behind.

    in RAW?

    CMOS sensors, as applied to SLRs, have less noise than CCD. noise reduction applies only to Jpegs. auto ISO is only a problem if it keeps selecting something way too sensitive (or not sensitive enough).

    i don't think you get what he said. and you aren't printing anything, as far as i can tell. what he's saying is blowing them up to 100% is different when the image is larger (more MP).

    let's say a 6MP sensor is like viewing an 8x12, and a 12MP sensor is like viewing an 16x24. when you blow up duplicate images, one version at 6MP and the other at 12MP, to look at on your monitor, it's like comparing a 8x12 from 6 inches away and the 16x24 from 6 inches away. larger print + closer distance = more apparent imperfections...but no one looks at a 16x24 from 6 inches away (well, except for landscape photographers). in summary, don't complain because you can see more imperfections in a larger image - that's what happens when you view a large image up close.

    what's "artificial noise"? and read the above.

    an image doesn't need to be 100% noise free to be good quality. you need to lower your standards.

    or better yet, print or resize your image to the actual size you're presenting them at online, and see how much that noise doesn't matter.
     
  5. 103734 Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #5
    What were you using to process your raw images? I noticed Photoshop really does a bad job processing the raw files from my D90, I use Aperture now for my raw processing and its much better.

    Might just be my copy of photoshop, it also has problems with some color profiles.
     
  6. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #6
    Well what do you expect from APS-C cameras? I mean it is good enough for most people but if you want more detail out of it, the best way is go FF or better still Medium Format which is totally unpractical for most use unless you mostly do studio work.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #7
    I do too. But a Nikon DX format camera is ill-suited to making large prints.

    I shot medium format for years and still have many, many negatives and transparencies. These scan easy to 100MP files. Today you can buy a medium format film camera and lens for the cost of a D90 body. The difference in quality between MF film and Nikon DX is like a cheep $100 point and shoot and the Nikon. My scans for 6x7cm film are dramatically better.

    That said. If I go back to film it will be with 4x5 sheet film. OK, I'd have to pay for film. But back when I was a high school student making minimum wage I could afford film and I spent LESS total money on photography using 35mm film bodies and the school's 4x5. All totaled up digital is more expensive than film.

    If large prints and ultra high quality is what you want then you are in luck because the price has dropped a lot on good used large and medium format equipment.
     
  8. darrellishere thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 13, 2007
    #8
    Wow, thanks for the advice guy's. Maybe a Canon 5D full frame should have been my upgrade. Or 24mp Mark II. I know alot of people that print massive prints are happy with that!

    But as always on a budget and impatient! Maybe I need to sell some of my macs and D90 and get serious!

    Large format 4x5 sounds interesting too, its scans would suit my needs for producing my large art prints. (I will look into it) Thanks

    P.S I use aperture for everything.

    I found this on ISO noise.

    "Once you go beyond 200% of the base ISO on almost every camera you begin degrading the pixel data. Some cameras degrade more slowly and less obviously than others, but contrast builds, dynamic range declines, color saturation lowers, tonal ramps get noise in them, and much more. Sure, you can often take the most objectionable problems out using noise reduction software, but you're also taking out detail, perhaps reducing your 12mp camera to something that performs more like an 8mp camera, for example. In general, that's the way I think about it: if I have to use noise reduction software, my camera is going to produce prints more like the cameras one or two rows above mine in the table I just presented."
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #9
    My D2x makes wonderful large prints, and I'd expect a D300 to make even better ones.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #10
    The files should uprez nicely- the issue is that you're not evaluating a print, until you actually print one large, you're not going to know how it looks printed, which is usually way better than on a screen. It also depends on what you consider large, and how they're printed. I'd expect the D90 to be capable of decent prints at 20x30 and larger at the correct viewing distance. Shoot something at base ISO and get a large print made, *then* pixel peep when you have the physical print with you and you'll see a major difference.
     
  11. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #11
    You're kidding right?

    While you're argument is valid the DX format camera is not ill-suited to make a large print. I have a 16x20 on my wall and under a 10x loupe it is still what most would consider acceptable quality. That was taken with a D70 alongside a well-known POS lens at dusk. So yeah, the DX format camera is not suitable for 10'x10' prints and you cannot compare the quality to a medium format camera, you can't just say the DX format cannot make acceptable quality large images.
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #12
    No, I think the problem is that you don't remember what it is like to shoot with ISO800 film. Sensors these days are a lot better behaved at high ISO than film. And the D90 is coping very well with noise compared to other cameras in its class. Cameras with full frame sensors don't behave that differently unless you go above way above ISO800.

    It is sort of pointless to suggest that only `larger format cameras are suited to making large prints.' They're not. I'll let you guess the ISO setting used for this photo here:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It was not taken with a medium format camera (wouldn't have been practical at the time ;)). I've had it blown up (rather printed) for my parents to 90 cm x 50 cm or so.

    The point is that you change the viewing distance with photos and almost nobody will put their nose to the print and say `oh, that looks pixelated/noisy' (unless it's a bad photo).

    From the way you post, I would advise against `saving up money and getting a 5D/D700/whatever.' You will be disappointed. You should rather learn how to use your equipment and invest in lenses. Better lenses are often faster and you can use lower ISO settings. Or use a tripod if you want.
     
  13. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #13
    Actually, I've seen billboards shot with DX-format cameras that looked very good. With the right RIP, I'd have no issues with going to 10' with most of my good images.
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #14
    Practically, you get the same resolution with 35 mm film than with modern dslrs (about 16~25 megapixels with commonly available scanners, not everyone has a drum scanner laying around at home). Noise is `worse,' although people who are old enough to remember film know that grain can be used artistically as well ;) :)

    I have even 30x45 cm^2 prints of 3 and 4 MP cameras at home (from the dark times of digital photography). Great photos. Resolution (above a certain threshold) doesn't really matter if the photo is good.
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #15
    Indeed

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/resolution.shtml

    and

     
  16. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #16
    Well from what I realize, undexpose shot will lend more noise, so if you are planning to use high ISO, I think overexposing it a lil will make the result look clean and very usable.
     
  17. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #17
    On the subject of large prints: I've used 10 MP images (from a D80 or D200) to print posters that were 60" wide by about 90" tall. That put my friend, in the poster, at larger than he was in real life, and you could still see his knuckle hair clearly. Even if you came up pretty close, it didn't look pixelated. I assure you, if you can get that kind of print out of 10 MP, you don't NEED more. I suggest you work on your shooting or printing ability before you scramble for more megapixels.

    There's a good reason Nikon hasn't really cranked up their MP count in their latest generation of cameras. I think that 12 MP is enough on a full frame camera, if you know what you're doing. Heck, even billboards don't require more because nobody's getting close enough to resolve any artifacts of low resolution.
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #18
    Overexposing will lose detail in the highlights and there's not a chance of recovery. Exposing properly is the way to go!

    Hmmm, my new shiny new FF Nikon has waaay more than 12MP, so I think you're mischaracterizing Nikon and making a generalization that doesn't fit everyone's shooting.
     
  19. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #19
    That's correct. While Canon has gone sky high on MP already, Nikon is going the same way. Camera manufacturers already know that MP sells.
     
  20. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #20
    At the high end, it's not just a marketing feature like it is lower down, there are reasons for wanting high-resolution bodies. I'd have loved to have gone with a lower-resolution body if I hadn't needed the crop-ability.
     
  21. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #21
    Keep justifying that purchase buddy. :D
     
  22. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #22
    I don't have to justify it- I already convinced the only person that matters that it was a requirement! :p
     
  23. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #23
    Hmm, if I recall correctly, ain't overexposing (not too much) will allow us to recover details while underexposing it means we will not be able to recover the details? and you are right bout proper exposure is the best, but sometime, when we use the equipment to its limit, then we have to compensate.
     
  24. JonBean macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #24
    How much is too much

    Darrell, you've really screwed with my mind. I just bought a D300 because I didn't like my D200. The images were not as good as the images I took with my D70. And to make things worse, I just printed one of my early digital photos to a large format canvas and it looks sharp even at close range. The photo was taken with a Nikon point and shoot 5700 late in the evening with low light. Here's a pic of the canvas hanging in my living room. (Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction, AZ)

    Jon
     

    Attached Files:

  25. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #25
    Other way*around. White is all ones, once the sensor's recorded it as that, there's no way to recover anything. Digital is like slide film, you have to shoot for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they may.
     

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