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How imporrtant is high ISO noise?

 
 
David J. Littleboy
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      04-13-2006

"J. Clarke" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> The big problem with snow is that the exposure meter tries to make it
> gray.


No. The big problem with snow is that many "photographers" are incompetent.
(I object to the "exposure meter tries to make it gray" phrasing: meters
don't try to do anything, they do whatever you tell them to.)

> Use the spot meter if the camera has one and meter on the suject, not the
> background, and snow images generally work out better, but some adjustment
> of the EV or the use of manual settings and experimentation may still be
> needed.


If you understand zone exposure (and how it works on your camera), then you
can use the spot meter to meter the snow. Of course, zone exposure assumes
you know how to "place" tones on zones...

But I see that you have the right idea<g>.

> Anybody who has to deal with snow would do well IMO to read a good book on
> the zone system--Ansel Adams' original books appear to be out of print


Nope. They're still in print, or at least Amazon claims they are. (His
autobiography is a fun read, by the way.)

> but
> there are others available--haven't read any but Adams so can't comment on
> how good any of them are.


> Even if you don't use the full zone system knowing how it works can help
> deal with such situations.


There's an extemely easy beginners introduction to zone exposure in this
guy's books.

http://www.spotmetering.com/

> The only "technological" solution to snow would be to extend the latitude
> range far beyond what it is now or create a _really_ smart meter that
> understands that it is looking at a snow scene.


Well, you have to tell the meter what it's looking at. And that's what zone
exposure is about.

> Some "point and shoots" have a "snow mode" preset available that can be
> helfpul if one doesn't want to take the time to really understand the
> problem.


Now that's _cute_.

David J. Littleboy
Tokyo, Japan


 
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Mike Henley
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-13-2006

Justus Lipsius wrote:

> Jem Raid bedacht in news:(E-Mail Removed):
>
> > "Freedom55" <"joinertake this out"@ns.sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> > news:vd4%f.58718$(E-Mail Removed)...
> >>I am looking at a couple of amateur DSLRs (Rebel XT, D70, D50) and
> >>particularly like the Olympus E-500, especially the 2 lens kit. Every
> >>reviewer I read comments that noise is evident (or somewhat more than
> >>other amateur DSLRs) at 1600 ISO with the E-500.
> >>
> >> Should that be a factor in my decision to buy? I know that the answer
> >> is it depends. For example I am not interested in action photography.
> >>
> >> Ron
> >> --
> >> And it really doesn't matter if
> >> I'm wrong I'm right
> >> Where I belong I'm right
> >> Where I belong.
> >>
> >> Lennon & McCartney

> >
> > Gritty prints are fine;
> >
> > I've just written an article for AlternativePhotography.com
> > The proof version is here;
> > http://www.jrbham.btinternet.co.uk/malin/index.html
> >
> > Jem
> >
> >
> >
> > -------------------------------------
> > Birmingham Independent Photographers
> > http://bip.wikispaces.com/
> >
> >

>
> But high ISO noise isn't about gritty prints. It's about losing detail in
> critical areas. And that's very annoying.
>
> JL


What critical areas?

This reminds me of those photo galleries online where I could almost
feel the photographer yelling at me with the insistence he'd put in his
caption to "view large please" under a photo he's proud of. If the
photo won't engage me at 300x400 why should it look any good at
1800x2400 or whatever?!

Let me put it in another way.

Low-noise high-iso self-portraits from an expensive digicam still won't
make me look any prettier!

Hope is lost on that. On the other hand, a hot babe is still a hot babe
even in a webcam.

I used to think image quality mattered. Now I don't. I'd suggest to the
OP he'd just get a camera with which he's comfortable on both price and
handling. If the price is okay and it handles well, be happy. The rest
is needless.

 
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J. Clarke
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      04-14-2006
David J. Littleboy wrote:

>
> "J. Clarke" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>> The big problem with snow is that the exposure meter tries to make it
>> gray.

>
> No. The big problem with snow is that many "photographers" are
> incompetent. (I object to the "exposure meter tries to make it gray"
> phrasing: meters don't try to do anything, they do whatever you tell them
> to.)


I don't like my phrasing on that either--perhaps "the autoexposure system
left to its own devices tries to make it gray" would have been better.

>> Use the spot meter if the camera has one and meter on the suject, not the
>> background, and snow images generally work out better, but some
>> adjustment of the EV or the use of manual settings and experimentation
>> may still be needed.

>
> If you understand zone exposure (and how it works on your camera), then
> you can use the spot meter to meter the snow. Of course, zone exposure
> assumes you know how to "place" tones on zones...
>
> But I see that you have the right idea<g>.
>
>> Anybody who has to deal with snow would do well IMO to read a good book
>> on the zone system--Ansel Adams' original books appear to be out of print

>
> Nope. They're still in print, or at least Amazon claims they are. (His
> autobiography is a fun read, by the way.)


Some are. The set I have doesn't appear to be.

>> but
>> there are others available--haven't read any but Adams so can't comment
>> on how good any of them are.

>
>> Even if you don't use the full zone system knowing how it works can help
>> deal with such situations.

>
> There's an extemely easy beginners introduction to zone exposure in this
> guy's books.
>
> http://www.spotmetering.com/
>
>> The only "technological" solution to snow would be to extend the latitude
>> range far beyond what it is now or create a _really_ smart meter that
>> understands that it is looking at a snow scene.

>
> Well, you have to tell the meter what it's looking at. And that's what
> zone exposure is about.


But that's not a technological solution, that's a behavioral one.

>> Some "point and shoots" have a "snow mode" preset available that can be
>> helfpul if one doesn't want to take the time to really understand the
>> problem.

>
> Now that's _cute_.
>
> David J. Littleboy
> Tokyo, Japan


--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
 
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J. Clarke
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-14-2006
Mike Henley wrote:

>
> Justus Lipsius wrote:
>
>> Jem Raid bedacht in news:(E-Mail Removed):
>>
>> > "Freedom55" <"joinertake this out"@ns.sympatico.ca> wrote in message
>> > news:vd4%f.58718$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> >>I am looking at a couple of amateur DSLRs (Rebel XT, D70, D50) and
>> >>particularly like the Olympus E-500, especially the 2 lens kit. Every
>> >>reviewer I read comments that noise is evident (or somewhat more than
>> >>other amateur DSLRs) at 1600 ISO with the E-500.
>> >>
>> >> Should that be a factor in my decision to buy? I know that the answer
>> >> is it depends. For example I am not interested in action photography.
>> >>
>> >> Ron
>> >> --
>> >> And it really doesn't matter if
>> >> I'm wrong I'm right
>> >> Where I belong I'm right
>> >> Where I belong.
>> >>
>> >> Lennon & McCartney
>> >
>> > Gritty prints are fine;
>> >
>> > I've just written an article for AlternativePhotography.com
>> > The proof version is here;
>> > http://www.jrbham.btinternet.co.uk/malin/index.html
>> >
>> > Jem
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > -------------------------------------
>> > Birmingham Independent Photographers
>> > http://bip.wikispaces.com/
>> >
>> >

>>
>> But high ISO noise isn't about gritty prints. It's about losing detail in
>> critical areas. And that's very annoying.
>>
>> JL

>
> What critical areas?
>
> This reminds me of those photo galleries online where I could almost
> feel the photographer yelling at me with the insistence he'd put in his
> caption to "view large please" under a photo he's proud of. If the
> photo won't engage me at 300x400 why should it look any good at
> 1800x2400 or whatever?!
>
> Let me put it in another way.
>
> Low-noise high-iso self-portraits from an expensive digicam still won't
> make me look any prettier!
>
> Hope is lost on that. On the other hand, a hot babe is still a hot babe
> even in a webcam.
>
> I used to think image quality mattered. Now I don't. I'd suggest to the
> OP he'd just get a camera with which he's comfortable on both price and
> handling. If the price is okay and it handles well, be happy. The rest
> is needless.


How much it matters depends on the use to which you're putting your prints.
If he has enough experience to be targetting markets though then he likely
already would know the answer to his own question.

Get a camera. Use it. A lot. When you hit its limitations _then_ you'll
have an idea of what you need.

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
 
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ASAAR
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      04-14-2006
On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 00:14:25 +0900, David J. Littleboy wrote:

>> Some "point and shoots" have a "snow mode" preset available that can be
>> helfpul if one doesn't want to take the time to really understand the
>> problem.

>
> Now that's _cute_.


Very. Slightly higher compression on that sentence yields: Some
"point and shoots" have a "snow mode" for those that are snowed. I
wonder which brand will be the first with a "Better Bokeh" preset.

 
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maxsilverstar@yahoo.com
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-14-2006
On Wed, 12 Apr 2006 10:00:59 GMT, Freedom55 <"joinertake this
out"@ns.sympatico.ca> wrote:

>I am looking at a couple of amateur DSLRs (Rebel XT, D70, D50) and
>particularly like the Olympus E-500, especially the 2 lens kit. Every
>reviewer I read comments that noise is evident (or somewhat more than
>other amateur DSLRs) at 1600 ISO with the E-500.
>

In truth, E-500 noise is higher at *all* ISO settings than on the Canon, not
just at 1600. Its image is also softer, thanks to what I consider to be its
excessive "noise reduction".

>Should that be a factor in my decision to buy?
>

Only you can answer this. Certainly, the price for the E-500 kit with two lenses
is very attractive, and if you are not put off by its image qualities (or,
perhaps, lack thereof) at whatever ISO ratings you expect to use, by all means
go for it. The E-500 is unacceptable to me, regrettably, but that is *my* view.
My view is entirely valid (for me), but that doesn't mean that yours, while
contradictory, is any less valid. Your decision should be based on your view,
not mine or anyone else's. Prediction: you're going to get the E-500. I expect,
and sincerely hope, that you will be entirely satisfied with it. That someone
else isn't happy with the E-500 while you are doesn't mean that either of you is
right or wrong. Sly said it well, "different strokes for different folks."

>Ron


 
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SMS
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-14-2006
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> Only you can answer this. Certainly, the price for the E-500 kit with two lenses
> is very attractive, and if you are not put off by its image qualities (or,
> perhaps, lack thereof) at whatever ISO ratings you expect to use, by all means
> go for it. The E-500 is unacceptable to me, regrettably, but that is *my* view.


I personally would not buy the E-500, though not just for the noise
issue. I often use an extreme wide-angle zoom, and have done so for many
years, first on a film SLR, and now on a digital SLR. The only extreme
wide angle zoom for the E-500 costs over $1500, while the one for my 20D
cost me about $625.

As with many products, the way to decide on what to buy is to first make
a list of absolute requirements, and eliminate the products that don't
meet every item on the list. Then narrow it down based on "nice to have"
items, and then once you're down to a choice of just a few products,
make the final decision based on more subjective criteria.
 
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Rich
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-15-2006
On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 01:08:46 -0500, (E-Mail Removed) wrote:

>On Wed, 12 Apr 2006 10:00:59 GMT, Freedom55 <"joinertake this
>out"@ns.sympatico.ca> wrote:
>
>>I am looking at a couple of amateur DSLRs (Rebel XT, D70, D50) and
>>particularly like the Olympus E-500, especially the 2 lens kit. Every
>>reviewer I read comments that noise is evident (or somewhat more than
>>other amateur DSLRs) at 1600 ISO with the E-500.
>>

>In truth, E-500 noise is higher at *all* ISO settings than on the Canon, not
>just at 1600. Its image is also softer, thanks to what I consider to be its
>excessive "noise reduction".


What noise reduction are they using in RAW mode?
-Rich

 
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