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Nikon D700 color and high ISO noise reduction necessary?

Dave Lee , Dec 02, 2008; 09:30 p.m.

I am learning the ins and outs of my new D700. This camera out-resolves my LCD monitor - it begs for a professional LCD panel to resolve all the light to dark gradients. Images look fine on my Sony Artisan CRT at work, but at home my little 17" Samsung Costco Special just doesn't cut it.

I am wondering if Color Noise Reduction and High ISO noise reduction is necessary with this camera. Up to ISO 6400 it's very clean. Have any D700 users found that turning off High ISO noise reduction and Color noise reduction will improve the image? My latest batch of testing had all this set to default, but am wondering if anyone here has shot with both of these types of noise reductions off. Here is an image at ISO 6400:

Closeup of Boeing B-52 instrument panel


Crop at 100%

Responses

Bob Tilden , Dec 02, 2008; 09:53 p.m.

If the noise doesn't bother you then don't worry about it. Some people dislike any noise in their images. Some like a lot of noise.

Ronald Moravec , Dec 02, 2008; 10:01 p.m.

For the ISO I use, noise is now a non issue. Noise and everything else is turned off on the camera except I tweeked the auto focus of my 50 1.8 a little, and brought up the contrast and color saturation to the mid point. Everything else is default except for special occasions like turning on grid lines.

If i need to reduce noise, I make a mask first using find edges and some other steps so I don`t blur the image.

I took a portrait today at 800 handheld with the new 100 2.8 VR @4 . I find noise unacceptable at 800 on my D200 and did not even notice it on the 700. Every whisker the man had was dead sharp. The camera is a gem

WJ Lee , Dec 02, 2008; 10:14 p.m.

People are far too bothered about noise. I'd rather have noisy images with detailed than noise reduced images without detail looking like plastic.

Bruce Stenman , Dec 03, 2008; 12:18 a.m.

In general in camera NR is superior to post processing NR. I guess as to when to use NR knowing I will sacrifice some image detail but preferring that to underexposing and having a worse problem. With the D3/D700 this is only a concern at ISO settings above 4000.

Visible noise is a function of the light sources and their relative channel output levels (which affects how much boost each channel requires for a given ISO setting) and of course the color of your subject. Overall I believe the Nikon/Canon engineers are in the best position to know the characteristics of their cameras sensors and image processors and how to best tweak them for optimal image quality. All the post processing engineers whether at NIK or Adobe have to re-verse engineer the output files and are at a distinct disadvantage.

Hansen Tsang , Dec 03, 2008; 12:57 a.m.

Depends if you capture the image in jpeg or RAW or both. If you download the image to your computer in RAW just use the computer software to reduce the noise. Noise is not evil. It is a necessity. So if it doesn't bother you I wouldn't worry about it.

Dave Lee , Dec 03, 2008; 01:23 a.m.

And I believe if I set the camera to no color or high ISO noise reduction, I can turn it back on with the NEF in NX2.

Jose Angel , Dec 03, 2008; 02:57 a.m.

I usually don`t use noise reduction systems... it is true that I almost never shoot over 800-1600 ISO. What I bother is on exposure, even I expose thinking on post-processing. I believe this also reduce noise perception. I have selected noise reductions and D-lighting on a specific shooting bank for .jpg but I scarcely shoot .jpg.

Roberto Lubich , Dec 03, 2008; 03:47 a.m.

If you shot in RAW and use NX2 I think it's better to perform noise reduction adding a new step in the adjust menu rather than doing it in the camera setting menu. This way you can use different noise reduction values for the luminance channel and the chrominance channel (as I don't like chrominance noise and can stand luminance noise I usually keep the chrominance channel value higher).

Dave Lee , Dec 03, 2008; 05:49 p.m.

Roberto, this is what I'll be trying next time. It will be interesting to take the D700 through its paces and see what all it can do.

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