Exercise: Tolerance for noise (DPP)

For this exercise I have to take a series of identical photographs indoors in daylight of a scene that included some sharp detail and a textureless area like a white wall with some of the textureless area in shadow.

I had to set the camera on a tripod, use aperture priority setting to keep the depth of field consistent and take a series of images covering the whole range of ISO settings on my camera.

My Nikon D5500 ISO range is as follows:

100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 10000, 12800, 16000, 20000 and 25600.

I’ve chosen to upload several pictures throughout the sequence, rather than the whole sequence.

100:

ISO 100

At the lowest ISO there is no noise whatsoever.

500:

ISO 500

At 500 the noise levels are still hardly present at all.

2000:

ISO 2000

At 2000 the noise is starting to become evident.

8000:

ISO 8000

At 8000 the noise is now extremely noticeable, especially in the shadowed area to the left of the vase.

16000:

ISO 16000

At 16000 the image is covered with noise, making it appear to be of a much lower quality.

25600:

ISO 25600

Finally at 25600 it’s totally speckled with noise, really reducing the overall quality. I would not want to submit a picture with this much noise.

Conclusion:

I’ve always been aware of the results of using a high ISO but this exercise really did enforce the importance of using the lowest possible, and the unwanted effects of using a high ISO. For this exercise I think anything over ISO 800 starts to show an unattractive amount of noise.

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