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Thread: Canon 7d noise

  1. #1
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    Default Canon 7d noise

    Hi all you 7d owners,not long ago I purchased a 7d, since then I have been struggling with NOISE which is giving me the tom tits.
    I find anything in low light over 400 ISO produces a lot of noise which is detrimental to image quality, dose any body have an
    answer to this problem, if so any solution would be much appreciated.

    ROSCO.
    comments and reposts welcome

  2. #2
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    Expose to the right is the best thing you can do, more signal to swamp the noise, applies to any camera really, some just need it more than others. You want the histogram to be just short of clipping. As standard Canon meters seem to place the brightest pixel about 3/4 across the histogram. Means you are shooting in Raw of course.
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    Hi Ross,

    The noise the 7D produces at mid ISOs (400-800) is a documented gripe with many 7D users. I own a 7D as a back up to my 1D Mk IV and I find the noise levels a bit too high for my liking at 400 and above.

    As Chris has pointed out, the best thing you can do is to expose to the right and then drop back the exposure in RAW. If you are shooting in low light and don't overexpose a little, then the noise can become quite intrusive. Even now on my 1D4 I expose to the right out of habit. If you get into the habit of doing this, it can help control noise on any camera body. Just make sure you keep an eye on the histogram as you don't want to blow the highlights - you want the highlights to be a bit overexposed, but enough to recover using the exposure slider in RAW.
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    That's exactly what I do as well( exposing to the right). I only shoot in manual mode and constantly watch the histogram. The only issue with that method is that you have to watch your shutter speed. It tends to get slow when you follow this method, so bumping the ISO becomes Inevitable at some point.

    I have never used a 7d but heard many people complaining about the noise. I just wonder how people can shoot without using ISO 800-1600? Just in sunshine? 800 has pretty much become my standard on the Mark IV

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    It can depend what you use the images for, when posting to the web ISO800 is ok but ISO400 is best. I shoot nearly all my shots on my 7D between 400-800 because I only have a 400 5.6 and always struggle for ss. I will avoid 1600 and will only use if I am desperate like I was yesterday. I shot this Rockwarbler yesterday in awful light and used 1600 to get a few shots. It holds up ok once I have applied noise reduction to the bg but due to the poor light and ISO it lacks some IQ.

    Monopod, Canon 7D and EF400 5.6L @ F5.6 1/250 ISO1600 400mm
    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you zoom to 100% crop you can see the noise in the unedited image.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have shot a few at ISO800 and they are ok.
    Canon 7D and EF400 5.6L @ F5.6 1/200 ISO800 400mm

    Yellow-tufted Honeyeater by CstCare, on Flickr

    But as a rule I shoot mainly at ISO400. So yes there is noise but you will get that in most cameras and the 7D is no 1d or 5D series camera. The 7D is used extensively by birders and there are many images on the web that are great. I guess a lot has to do with light and exposure and knowing the limitation of the camera. Hope this helps.
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    I'm relatively new to DSLRs and have a 7D. I've found that I can shoot at ISO 800 without getting too much noise if I shoot to the right and my 7D pretty much stays set on 800. I have recently moved from using 0 to +0.3 to using +0.7 to +1.0 in most situations and then adjust back in PS. I have found that by doing this, I am using much less noise reduction on backgrounds / foregrounds etc. and the darker areas of the subjects have much less noise. One consequence is the drop in shutter speed so have to find the best balance (if I can think fast enough at the time). I recently shot a grey-tailed tattler in sun at ISO 800, +1.7, f/5.6 and 1/2500. Was able to recover the highlights quite easily when loading into PS (not posted on F&P yet). I have longer experience with a nikon D90 which I use for macro; much, much less noise but I couldn't justify the cost of the nikon long primes for bird shots.

    PS. I also slide 'Sharpening, Amount' to zero when I load the RAW into PS. I then sharpen what I want to in PS.
    Last edited by Graham Collins; 28-04-2012 at 07:35 PM. Reason: added PS.

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    Thanks all for your advice,I will put it into practice and hope I cant get some shots for the forum. Rosco.
    comments and reposts welcome

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    Likewise, I rarely go passed ISO 800, but it is my most used ISO setting as I mostly shoot in lower light environments. Expose to the right is really the only way to produce acceptable images.

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    yeah, that'spretty noisy Duade, something like 3200+ on the Mark IV, but it is far from not usable. In the past I sued to think like many people nowadays and never used more than ISo 400....I cannot tell you how many images that cost me (blurred). Since I do not care that much about ISo and just go for it, my results are much better and I can take advantage of most situations. BG noise is something you can easily deal with in PS. And even in your sample there's no need to denoise the bird, just the BG and the image will be fine.

    I honestly think, noise is one of those way overhyped subjects in our modern SLR world.

    I rather shoot at ISO 800 and 1/400 than ISO 400 and 1/160. 1/400 is more or less the lowest shutter speed I feel comfortable with for bird photos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Wegener View Post

    I honestly think, noise is one of those way overhyped subjects in our modern SLR world.
    Totally agree! I was just looking at some film images yesterday and the grain was wonderful! We have certainly gone way "better" than most film already!
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