How noisy is your 7D?
/forum/topic/1143454/1

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n0b0
Registered: Sep 22, 2008
Total Posts: 5654
Country: Australia

Teamspeed, what NR setting did you use for your ISO4000 OOC JPG?



TeamSpeed
Registered: Dec 17, 2005
Total Posts: 1758
Country: United States

90% of the time I use standard, in rare cases I will go to low (depends on my goals for processing) or high if I just want JPGs and not completely care about total IQ. I have to assume standard on that shot.



LCPete
Registered: Jun 09, 2009
Total Posts: 2343
Country: United Kingdom

really noisy

ISO400






ISO 800














fraga
Registered: Sep 10, 2005
Total Posts: 2187
Country: Portugal

I've owned two 7d's.
The first one (I was an early adopter) was just great.
In the first reviews the 7d got good results, but then I saw all kinds of complaints on the web about it being noisy. I couldn't understand why, as the results I was getting from mine were quite good and matched one or two of the initial reports (reviews) from the camera, right after it was announced.
So at the time I guessed people were really demanding and were just expecting full-frame like results.

I sold it and then, some time later, bought a second one.
It was noisier.
Dare I say, much noisier...

Then I understood why people were complaining.



mikeengles
Registered: Mar 05, 2006
Total Posts: 247
Country: United Kingdom

Hello

I'm saying nothing!

Mike Engles



Liquidstone
Registered: Jan 14, 2005
Total Posts: 1405
Country: Philippines

n0b0 wrote:


100% crop







IME, this level of noise at the pixel level won't be noticeable in prints. For web display at reduced size, it's quite simple to filter out the noise, as you have shown in the first photo.

Have you tried ACR/LR in conversion? "Cross-hatched" and "white-dot" types of noise are minimized with ACR/LR when compared to DPP.


Liquidstone
Registered: Jan 14, 2005
Total Posts: 1405
Country: Philippines

waldr_p wrote:
Here's an ISO3200 image from my 7D that I processed for the web:







And here's an unprocessed 100% crop of the same image. Its a bit soft because of the lack of sharpening and because it was shot with a 2x TC:







Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 HSM OS, 1/250s f/7.1 at 526.0mm iso3200.

Paul


Not bad IQ for a zoom + 2x TC, Paul.... nice PP work on the web version!


Liquidstone
Registered: Jan 14, 2005
Total Posts: 1405
Country: Philippines

Your excellent samples and insights didn't disappoint, TS..... that ISO 12.8K shot is insane!

I see that your workflow is DPP-based. I personally favor ACR conversions because my experience shows ACR can extract more detail than DPP at similar noise levels. Alternatively, ACR is less noisy at the same level of details.

This just shows that regardless of one's preferred workflow, 7D files can be useable at high ISOs if captured and "cooked" right.



TeamSpeed wrote:
Sure Romy, I will bite!

Here are my thoughts on the answer to the question posed, and this is based on 3 years of threads of "the 7D is noisy", and my own workflow developed during this time.

The reason for variances isn't so much camera variance (I have had 3 through the years with very slight differences, if any) but rather because of a combination of the following 3 things.

- Underexposure of the image by 2/3 stop or more
- The software tools utilized to process the raw and jpg files
- The skills of or the techniques utilized by the person using these tools

These 3 factors play the largest part of all the variances found. For those that have changed what they do or use in regards to these 3 things have found that their keeper rates increase by at least one more stop.

My recipe in a nutshell is this:
1) Shoot in raw (no other way to get the most detail out of your image)
2) Shoot with subdued picture styles (neutral, sharpness turned almost all the way down), and high ISO NR set to standard and lighting optimizer/highlight priority turned off
3) Shoot to the right, what you see in the histogram edges on the camera is not the extremes, you still have a stop or two at either end once you work with the raw
3) Process raw with DPP, bring the color NR slider down a few notches, sharpness on the 2nd tab turned up a bit
4) Take the resulting JPG and run an action that uses Noiseware on each color channel along with some other techniques to pull out noise, and sharpen the image at the same time.

Here is an ISO 2500 shot where I show a crop of of the OOC JPG vs the resulting JPG after taking the raw and doing what I outline. It is a great shot, nor is it super detailed as I was using my Sigma 50-500 as a macro lens.



Here is an OOC JPG at ISO 4000 from my 7D (which, as of last night, I no longer own, as I have traded it to my brother for a lens). Then after that is a link where I processed the raw and JPG.

ISO 4000 7D OOC
ISO 4000 7D Processed

As to ISO 6400, I shot this entire game with a 7D at ISO 6400 to proove a point to someone, some shots are at 12800 as well. Some are good, others not so much, but that would be because of my lack of skills as a photog, and not the 7D.

http://teamspeed.smugmug.com/Sports/Mad-Ants-Mar-3-2012

Here is one 12800 shot, if you are curious.





Liquidstone
Registered: Jan 14, 2005
Total Posts: 1405
Country: Philippines

fraga wrote:
I've owned two 7d's.
The first one (I was an early adopter) was just great.
In the first reviews the 7d got good results, but then I saw all kinds of complaints on the web about it being noisy. I couldn't understand why, as the results I was getting from mine were quite good and matched one or two of the initial reports (reviews) from the camera, right after it was announced.
So at the time I guessed people were really demanding and were just expecting full-frame like results.

I sold it and then, some time later, bought a second one.
It was noisier.
Dare I say, much noisier...

Then I understood why people were complaining.


I too had first hand experience with copy-to-copy variations. My first 7D was unusually noisy so I exchanged it. My current one is good, as nice as the pre-prod unit I tested way back and the 3 other 7D's I've used since.



Liquidstone
Registered: Jan 14, 2005
Total Posts: 1405
Country: Philippines

These are popping right out of my LCD.... superb samples!

LCPete wrote:
really noisy

ISO400






ISO 800















Pixel Perfect
Registered: Aug 16, 2004
Total Posts: 19551
Country: Australia

Liquidstone wrote:
I usually shoot birds with my 7D at up to ISO 3200 (or even higher if necessary), and feather detail is still ok to my taste (YMMV) to make at least 12"x18" prints.

I often come across forum posts mentioning the unacceptable noise of the camera even at mid-ISOs. This leaves me wondering if such is a result of:

1. The noise characteristics of 7D files has a large variance from copy to copy;

2. Some 7D users haven't optimized their capture and post-capture workflows to make the most of the 7D hardware and the info it gathers;

3. Noise tolerance varies widely from shooter to shooter; or

4. A combination of the above.

To those happy or unhappy with the 7D's noise, please share some samples preferably at the highest ISO acceptable to you. Ideally, you can post web-sized processed images plus some unprocessed crops (or link to a full res unprocessed file). I hope this can give us some indication of the 7D's noise charateristics across various copies and workflows.

Will share my sample in my next post.


Romy


I find the results can vary enormously, but getting good focus (noise seems worse even in slightly oof shots), and exposing to the right can give me either clean files or files that clean up with minor NR.

At times I have thought wow this is crap, but at others I have thought what's all the fuss about. I have modified my workflow too which has helped.

ISO 6400 shot, which I wouldn't have considered at one stage.






Liquidstone
Registered: Jan 14, 2005
Total Posts: 1405
Country: Philippines

Amazing that ISO 6400 cleans up so well, Whayne!

Pixel Perfect wrote:

I find the results can vary enormously, but getting good focus (noise seems worse even in slightly oof shots), and exposing to the right can give me either clean files or files that clean up with minor NR.

At times I have thought wow this is crap, but at others I have thought what's all the fuss about. I have modified my workflow too which has helped.

ISO 6400 shot, which I wouldn't have considered at one stage.





Yes, ETTR is a standard capture technique for me too, as it helps tremendously in minimizing noise.

I shoot 100% M mode, so sometimes I couldn't adjust the exposure fast enough on some skittish birds, resulting into underexposed shots. Still, the 7D files process well enough even when pushed.

BTW, this was among my first birdshots using FW 2.0. Absolutely no issues so far - all my MFA values were intact and as accurate as the previous FW.

Red-keeled Flowerpecker (Dicaeum australe, a Philippine endemic, 4 inches total length)
Shooting info - Canon 7D + 400 2.8 IS + Canon 2x TC II, 800 mm, f/5.6, ISO 3200, 1/320 sec, 475B/516 support, manual exposure in available light, spot AI servo AF, uncropped full frame, pushed 0.70 stop in RAW conversion.







pKai
Registered: Oct 16, 2006
Total Posts: 707
Country: United States

Here's a quick sample of the dreaded backlit subject. ISO 1250 with the following LR4 work:

1. 50% crop
2. Highlights -55
3. Shadows +19
4. Whites -67
5. Clarity +31
6. Saturation +12
7. Sharpening +25
8. Luminance NR +25
9. Detail NR +50
10. Color NR +25



pKai
Registered: Oct 16, 2006
Total Posts: 707
Country: United States

Here's an ISO 2000 shot of a difficult partially sunlit, partially shadowed subject. LR4 work:

0. About 40% crop (60% remains)
1. Contrast +21
2. Highlights -62
3. Shadows +26
4. Whites +29
5. Clarity +40
6 Saturation +10
7.Sharpening +25
8. Luminance LR 40
9. Color NR 35

100% crop below to show worst noise area in OOF shadow.



bipock
Registered: Jul 27, 2009
Total Posts: 1184
Country: United States

Interesting to see the LR workflow. I tested the 7d's 12800 this afternoon and found that being aggressive on the OOF noise reduction and then adding a little NR for the overall followed by sharpening really worked well.

Coveat: Still learning PP - my weakest link.



Liquidstone
Registered: Jan 14, 2005
Total Posts: 1405
Country: Philippines

Thanks for sharing your very effective workflow, EJ!

BTW, I had a quick browse of your galleries..... your underwater shots are phenomenal.

pKai wrote:
Here's an ISO 2000 shot of a difficult partially sunlit, partially shadowed subject. LR4 work:

0. About 40% crop (60% remains)
1. Contrast +21
2. Highlights -62
3. Shadows +26
4. Whites +29
5. Clarity +40
6 Saturation +10
7.Sharpening +25
8. Luminance LR 40
9. Color NR 35

100% crop below to show worst noise area in OOF shadow.




snapsy
Registered: Feb 24, 2008
Total Posts: 3970
Country: United States

The nominal ISO is only a rough proxy of the exposure, and it's the actual exposure (for which the ISO doesn't apply) which determines how much noise is in an image. For example, you can have an ISO 3200 photo with a higher exposure and less noise than an ISO 800 photo.



Liquidstone
Registered: Jan 14, 2005
Total Posts: 1405
Country: Philippines

At mid-ISOs, say ISO 800, I find that noise is even easier to control.


7D + 100 2.8 USM macro, f/7.1, 1/200 sec, ISO 800, hand held, manual exposure in available light, spot AI servo, uncropped full frame, processed and resized to 1500x1000









7D + 100 2.8 macro, f/8, ISO 800, 1/200 sec, hand held, built-in flash with DIY diffuser @ -1 FEC, spot AI servo focus







Pixel Perfect
Registered: Aug 16, 2004
Total Posts: 19551
Country: Australia

Liquidstone wrote:
Thanks for sharing your very effective workflow, EJ!

BTW, I had a quick browse of your galleries..... your underwater shots are phenomenal.

pKai wrote:
Here's an ISO 2000 shot of a difficult partially sunlit, partially shadowed subject. LR4 work:

0. About 40% crop (60% remains)
1. Contrast +21
2. Highlights -62
3. Shadows +26
4. Whites +29
5. Clarity +40
6 Saturation +10
7.Sharpening +25
8. Luminance LR 40
9. Color NR 35

100% crop below to show worst noise area in OOF shadow.




Wow Luminance 40, I used 30 and set mask to 75 and detail to 5 in my ISO 6400 shot in LR to avoid losing too much detail in the bird and exaggeration noise, and then used noiseware 5 to do the final cleanup in PS. New noiseware engine did a great job of preserving details.

Some more photos in this post with exif inlcuded
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/edit/message/10908799



Andrew J
Registered: Mar 20, 2006
Total Posts: 3297
Country: United States

Great shots and info in this thread.



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