Nikon D80 in RAW = really grainy??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bananabar, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. bananabar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #1
    I took this RAW photo at ISO 400 and I am shocked at how grainy it is - especially in the blacks. Does shooting RAW make it more grainy? Or is this just normal (and quite crap)?

    Or - another thought - is it the way iPhoto renders RAW images?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #2
    I don't see anything to complain about whatsoever. :confused:

    I think it's fine.
     
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #3
    That looks just fine, I don't see too much grain. It's hard to judge how rough the surface of the cloth really is, but all in all, I don't see anything out of the ordinary.
     
  4. yrsonicdeath macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    #4
    I'll third that it looks fine to me and second OreoCookie's note that it may have something to do with the fabrics texture.
     
  5. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #5
    could it have been better with a bigger aperture and smaller ISO?
     
  6. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #6
    Welcome to the limitations of the CCD image sensor. If it make you feel any better I can't notice, I just know that the CCDs are grainier.
     
  7. bananabar thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #7
    It was wide open (hence the shallow DoF).

    The fabric was not grainy. I'm amazed that everyone thinks this is normal. I'm really shocked at how bad it is!!
     
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #8
    The choice of aperture does not change the noise characteristics of your sensor. A smaller ISO would reduce it, but the difference between ISO 400 and ISO 100 is, practically speaking, very small. From the D80's review on dpreview
     
  9. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #9
    doesn't your quote say the three SLRs don't differ that much comparing pictures taken with the same iso settings? that phrase doesn't really imply, if i'm not mistaking, that a picture taken at 100 is the same as one taken at 400..
    I was suggesting a larger aperture as a different iso would imply a darker or lighter picture, less or more light,no?
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d80/d80-performance.htm
    KR says the pictures are of similar quality, I say the one taken at 100 looks better:)
     
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #10
     
  11. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #11
    I did follow the link, I am trying to learn..so bare with me for a moment..let me try and explain what I said earlier cause we probably agree there..
    dpreview's pictures show similar noise..I still find kenrockwell's test showing a better noise performance at 100 noise, and in order to have a slightly better picture,with the same light,and exposure,with a faster lens or just larger aperture, lower iso, wouldn't it be possible for the picture to have less noise?
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #12
    Well, dpreview also concludes that there is less noise at ISO 100, but the nosie of modern dslrs at or below ISO 400 is usually considered non-critical. So the argument isn't that the noise is about the same, but that ISO 400 is `good enough.' If you don't know whether it's the fabric or noise, I'd say, it's good enough ;) To quote kenrockwell from the link:
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    Lots of people here are saying "looks OK to me." but yes there is some digital "noise" in there. You can expect that small amount to show up on less exposed parts of the image. The dark areas have less "signal" and to the signal to noise ratio is always less in the shadows. That is why the suggestion is always to expose as much as you can but without clipping highlights.

    Some of this is in the conversion too. iPhoto is does not get you much control over the process. It you have Adobe Camera Raw or Aperture you could tweak this to look better. As for if ALL images shot in raw format look like this. No of course not because ALL images are shot in raw format. RAW is all the camera can do. The different is where the conversion to other format happens. Is is ti inside the camera or in software and then what setting were used.

    When I look at the photo (first off, I think it's well done.) but the worst technical problem I see is the over sharpening. I really dislike those dark edges the sharpeners draw around every object. The noise is minor compared to that.

    Many converters allow to to configure the anti-noise parameters for the entire image and in Photoshop you can make masks and process different parts of the image using different settings. For example I might apply a very aggressive anti-noise technique to an dark area that has little detail. anti-noise kills details so used lighter touch elsewhere. This kind of mask making takes a lot of work, hours. So I'd reserve it for when it is really needed. In your case with this image you might try a different raw converter before resorting to photoshop. Camera Raw or Aperture would do a better job.

    But really the D80 has a rather small sensor. Traditionally this kind of work, that you used as an example would have been shot with medium format. I think today the ONLY reason to use a DX format camera for fashion photography is because that is all the photographer can afford. but that is changing fast and I seriously doubt fashion photographers will be able to compete and make money with DX format D80 camers much longer. Mamiya just announced a really nice 645 format camera with 7.5 micron pixels. It's what a Nikon shooter might call "double full frame". (The sensore is twice the size of a 35mm film frame) I think this will be the new pro format. Price is not unreasonable at $15K if you are earning money with the camera. Plumbers spend 2X more on their equipment then the price of a Mamiya system.

    With the larger sensore noise is completely gone and you done have those anoying edge effects that sharpening adds because you don't have to sharpen a 28MP 645 format image. It is dead sharp right out of the camera.

    Ken Rockwell's advice applies to amateur snapshooters. He is right a DX size sensor and the Nikon 18-200mm lens are good enough for 99% of your needs. But then Ken's is not talking to photographers who's clients are professional art directors with very educated eyes and the ability to call choose between any of 100 other photographers. To compete with those other 99 guys you are going to have to be better. Good enough will not cut it. In the "old days" if you wanted to blow away a professional art director you have to put a 6x7 color transparency on a light table. Even if everyone knew the end product was going to reproduced 4 inches tall on a 150 line per inch half tone process the medium format Velvia looked better even if a 35mm negative would have been "good enough". You have to look at Ken's business. He it gettng page hits from "Joe Consumer" and geting them to buy equipment from his links.
     
  14. leandroc76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    #14
    It's not bad... for an underexposed photograph.

    Believe it or not, the photo is about a stop underexposed.

    A proper exposure would not generate visible noise even at ISO 800.

    Do another shoot sometime, but Spot meter on the subjects face, lock the exposure, and shoot at ISO 100, 400, 800 and you will see there will be very little difference in Noise. however you will see over exposure at the higher iso's.

    I would lock the exposure every time I change the ISO. This is why I shoot Manual 98% of the time.
     
  15. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #15
    Nobody asked whether the fabric was `grainy', but whether it was rough or not.
    Just a question: have you got experience shooting film?
    Digital sensors, in many ways, behave better than film. I've shot this on Ilford FP4 Plus BW film (which is known for having fine grain, ISO125) and scanned by a professional photo lab at 16 MP (click in the image for the full version):
    [​IMG]
     
  16. bananabar thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
  17. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #17
    To OP:

    Yes, that is how Nikon CCD sensors capture ISO400 images in RAW.

    Yes, it's also how iPhoto/Mac OS X processes RAW/NEF images, and,

    No, it actually isn't terrible. It's typical, but not terrible. The D80 renders JPEG images far better than any Nikon SLR (even the D2xs) until the D300/D3/D700/D90 became available.

    RAWs/NEFs as you know are unprocessed images, so NOTHING will be done to them until you bring them in your computer, and even then, there is no noise reduction, no color changes, no sharpening, nothing.

    Many photogs in the industry just shoot JPEG because of it, unless they need that post processing power of a 14 bit RAW file.
     
  18. benoitgphoto macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #18
    3 points ...

    1. It's not that bad since you usually don't look at 100% crop. Normal view and prints should come out fine.

    2. Did you increase exposure and / or brightness in PP ? By doing that, you usually increase noise in the shadows.

    3. To convert RAW for Nikon camera, Capture NX is the best solution for NEF files, there is no doubt that it's the software that gives the best output (color, noise, resolution, etc)
     

Share This Page