>When we add the required smoothing in post, it further blurs >fine edges and makes the images seem like focus was missed. >This is the bane of indoor sports photography. And it's why >all the big boys strobe indoors. This is simply not possible >in some instances and we battle the "is the focus >out" questions all the time. >
Hi Perrone, love your work!
I come to the noise issue from the days of exclusively using K25/Velvia50 because I hated grain -- and my D200 on up blows the doors off in this area. Skies are just BLUE... and people have been spoiled by this. Classic images loaded with grain might not pass muster today (only because of "noise", not lack of real quality).
I shoot for the passion, not as a profession, but my sales now pay for my cameras and lenses (I ONLY sell 20x30 on aluminum, rarely anything smaller). So the noise factor is still important.
A few points (just from shooting plays, concerts and dance competitions), the quality of indoor/artificial lighting is incredibly variable, and most people don't notice in real life because the brain/eyes compensate.
On the other hand, 100% viewing on monitors may be misleading some people to think an image has unacceptable noise, when it could easily stand huge enlargement. Honestly, I think for most people, even pros who's work will mainly be used in the paper, the issue isn't noise, it's quality of subject and capture... (I know a guy who consistently uses a D200 at ISO1600 for images regularly put in various large newspapers. He doesn't even use full size/quality JPEGS!)
Anyway, on my D7100, I've shot some events at ISO3200 at f/2.8, and while the results from one venue might be great, the results from another locale are not nearly as acceptable (dark backgrounds, and uneven lighting seem to really emphasize whatever noise might be present).
If High ISO tipped the balance for me, I'd have gone with a D600 and yearned for a D800. But just being a passionate hobbyist, who still wants to balance best quality and big $$, I've found I can steer my way to subjects that will be shot at ISO800 and lower, without having to earn a living at ISO1600 and up.
I'll shoot anything, and enjoy it, but I hate artificial lighting!