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Pixelation with D7000

kbloo01

Louisville, US
21 posts

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kbloo01 Gold Member Nikonian since 06th Mar 2012
Sun 03-Feb-13 09:03 PM | edited Sun 03-Feb-13 09:29 PM by kbloo01

I have taken over 5,500 pictures with my D7000. Over the last two weeks, all the pictures with ISO over 400 are pixelated. This was never an issue before. Any suggestions?

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elec164

US
2600 posts

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#1. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 0

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Sun 03-Feb-13 08:44 PM

Sounds as if you might have inadvertently changed the image size. Check to make sure it's set for large/fine (unless there is a reason you need lower quality).

Pete

Pete

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mudman2

Jamison, US
188 posts

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#2. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 0

mudman2 Silver Member Nikonian since 14th May 2009
Sun 03-Feb-13 08:45 PM

can you post an original for inspection ?

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kbloo01

Louisville, US
21 posts

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#3. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 1

kbloo01 Gold Member Nikonian since 06th Mar 2012
Sun 03-Feb-13 10:49 PM

I shoot in RAW.

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kbloo01

Louisville, US
21 posts

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#4. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 2

kbloo01 Gold Member Nikonian since 06th Mar 2012
Sun 03-Feb-13 10:50 PM | edited Sun 03-Feb-13 10:52 PM by kbloo01

I posted 3 pictures. The last picture was shot at ISO 800 before I had problems with pixelation.

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aolander

Nevis, US
3983 posts

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#5. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 0

aolander Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006
Mon 04-Feb-13 12:17 AM | edited Mon 04-Feb-13 12:18 AM by aolander

That's not pixelization, it's noise. The ISO you used wasn't very high (which will cause noise), but did you crop these photos a lot? They aren't that sharp like you cropped the bird out of the center of an image. Enlarging the image (by cropping) will make noise more visible.

Alan

kbloo01

Louisville, US
21 posts

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#6. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 5

kbloo01 Gold Member Nikonian since 06th Mar 2012
Mon 04-Feb-13 12:27 AM

So what ISO should I use so that there is less noise? Also, what can I do if my subject is small and I need to crop in order to frame it?

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blw

Richmond, US
28713 posts

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#7. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 6

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Mon 04-Feb-13 12:34 AM

You need a longer lens, or to get closer, or both. Judging by the results, you were a long distance from the birds, which are small, and you were only shooting with 200mm.

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aolander

Nevis, US
3983 posts

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#8. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 6

aolander Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006
Mon 04-Feb-13 12:56 AM

The base ISO of 100 would give you the least noise, but enlarging the image a lot will make some noise visible even then. Brian's advice, longer lens and/or get closer is the best solution.

Alan

RSchussel

Vallejo, US
424 posts

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#9. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 8

RSchussel Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Nov 2008
Tue 05-Feb-13 04:08 AM

To me your pictures do not look like they are in focus. I dont see noise as the main problem.

Lighter colors may show up noise more but I think in this case you it just may be grain for 100% and being slightly out of focus. Trying shooting some bigger obbjects where you know the focus is correct.

Bob

luckyphoto

Port Charlotte, US
1058 posts

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#10. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 8

luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010
Tue 05-Feb-13 11:24 AM

I'd like to clarify what Alan said. He probably forgot to qualify his statement a bit. It's true that ISO 100 will generate the least noise if ISO 100 is correct for a proper exposure.

In general, anytime you underexpose an image, you will incur more noise than when it's properly exposed. A proper exposure at ISO 100 will generate the least noise with the D7000.

If you want to reduce noise you can also look at using 3rd party noise reduction software in post production.

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

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gfinlayson

Maidenhead, UK
244 posts

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#11. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 0

gfinlayson Registered since 24th Jan 2011
Tue 05-Feb-13 01:14 PM

>I have taken over 5,500 pictures with my D7000. Over the last
>two weeks, all the pictures with ISO over 400 are pixelated.
>This was never an issue before. Any suggestions?

Small birds are a serious challenge to photograph. They move very rapidly - even with shutter speeds faster than 1/1000 images can be blurred by motion. I've had plenty!

You were shooting in fairly poor, low contrast light at elevated ISOs and cropping severely. Any applied sharpening will cause pixelation because you're actually seeing individual pixels. The last image, although larger has the plane of focus on the tree in front of the nuthatch. This is another challenge when photographing small birds from a distance - being sure that you're focusing on the intended subject.

The only real options to get good, crisp shots of small birds are to buy a big lens and get close, or use a smaller lens and get REALLY close.

There are a few of my shots of garden birds here: http://www.finlaysonphoto.com/p954540727

All of these were shot with a 500mm on a D7000 at 8m or closer and most of the smaller birds still involved some cropping. The starling was shot at a little over 4m. The MFD for my 500mm is 4m.

One approach to getting close would be to set your camera up on a tripod close to the feeder and trigger it with a long cable release or radio-controlled release. The birds will get used to it quickly and soon ignore it. There are also very clever low-cost tethering options. I can tether my camera to my PC, and control the camera over my home wireless network with my phone to take photos of birds in the garden as well. You could also use a hide to get you and your camera closer to the feeder.

Using an off-camera flash fired though a small umbrella would give extra light and allow you to get your ISO down to 100 as well.

I'm still a novice, but have quickly learned that photographing wildlife is very challenging, and requires patience, persistence and guile to get close to your subject. It's one of the most frustrating areas of photography, but also one of the most rewarding.



kbloo01

Louisville, US
21 posts

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#12. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 11

kbloo01 Gold Member Nikonian since 06th Mar 2012
Tue 05-Feb-13 01:57 PM

I am shooting at 3m with a 200mm lens. Would a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II which increases the focal length by about 40% do the trick?

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gfinlayson

Maidenhead, UK
244 posts

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#13. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 12

gfinlayson Registered since 24th Jan 2011
Tue 05-Feb-13 02:44 PM

What's the minimum focus distance on your 200mm? I'd try to find ways of getting closer first, and then maybe try the TC if you still can't get close enough. A TC isn't a panacea, and will cause some degradation in image quality and take your maximum aperture up to f/4. The lens/TC combo probably won't reach best performance until you stop down to about f/5.6.

I use a 1.4 TC on my 80-200 AF-S from time to time - the results are pretty good, but not really on a par with the bare lens.

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10641 posts

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#15. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 12

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Wed 06-Feb-13 12:52 PM

Small birds just need a long focal length. The 70-200 is a good lens, but nothing will make it a lens of choice for small birds. I'd consider the lens with a teleconverter better for large mammals or large wading birds - not small birds.

The other challenge you run into with cropping is the backgrounds are not smooth enough. A longer lens provides better subject isolation and smoother backgrounds.

Take a look at lenses like the Sigma 50-500 or 150-500 as good compromises. I have a Tamron 200-500 which is quite good at close range.

As mentioned above, you need good light. 1/1000 sec and ISO 200 would be the starting point. As you move to higher ISO levels, you increase noise but you also lose contrast and detail.

Also take a look at your post processing. Sharpening, contrast, and saturation can all add pixelation - especially on a cropped image. In some situations you can crop and then resize to a larger image size at the start of editing to reduce pixelation. You can also apply noise reduction selectively to the background.

Eric Bowles
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kbloo01

Louisville, US
21 posts

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#16. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 15

kbloo01 Gold Member Nikonian since 06th Mar 2012
Wed 06-Feb-13 08:19 PM

Thanks so much!

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kbloo01

Louisville, US
21 posts

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#17. "RE: Pixelation with D7000" | In response to Reply # 11

kbloo01 Gold Member Nikonian since 06th Mar 2012
Wed 06-Feb-13 08:20 PM

Thanks for the advice!

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G