I recently bought the D7000 because of its reportedly low noise even at high ISOs. Unfortunately, after much experimenting, I must say that the amount of noise I'm getting even at medium ISOs is unacceptable. Exposure according to the histograms is good. I've been using a Tamron 28-300mm VR lens and my 50mm 1.8 Nikkor. Unfortunately I traded in my D80, which performed better on noise than the D7000. Here's an image which has just been rejected by one of my microstock sites for too much noise:
Could I ask that you link to a smaller version of your image, please?
We specify a limit of 1200 pixels on the longer side and 300K file size. Since linked pictures display in-line here, the limit also applies to those. This is to maximise the viewing experience for our members.
What ISO did you shoot that image at? It looks good to me, but then I believe noise as DOF is dependent on viewing distance and magnification. The fact that you down sized that image would possible remove a certain amount of noise in and of itself despite the small size and viewing distance. A 100% crop would allow us to see actual pixels and get an indication of exactly how much noise was in the image.
I also moved up from a D80 and my experience is that the D7000 is far superior in ISO noise then the D80. I just took a portrait of my dog in the park at ISO 1600 for my wife’s desk that looks great printed out that I would never have even attempted with the D80. Granted I understand that a stock agency might reject that image for noise issues, but it certainly is more than acceptable for my purpose and way better than what my D80 could accomplish.
>I must say that the amount of noise I'm getting even at medium ISOs is unacceptable. I have done a fair bit of testing of the D7000 - and find the noise better than the D300s. dpreview rate the high ISO noise as the best available in a crop sensor camera. Either your camera is defective (it should be better than the D80) or you are maybe expecting noise to be several ISO speeds faster than the D80. Digressing and trying to put the issue into some sort of perspective my D3s (the best low noise camera in production) does not achieve 3 stops better noise than my D300, though it does achieve obviously better dynamic range and colour faster than about 3200.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
There are two types of noise - noise in low light areas and noise that appears as pixelation in adequately lighted areas. The anti-aliasing filter on the camera and the camera processor tend to create a bit of noise. Sharpening can increase the noise - even if it is the standard in-camera sharpening. I find the D7000 deals well with low light noise but most Nikon cameras occasionally have some degree of pixelation.
The best way to deal with noise is generally to reduce sharpening and add some blur. Ideally, you would do that selectively so you sharpen the red stocking in your photo but have no sharpening or even a bit of Gaussian Blur in the rest of the image. If you are shooting with Picture Control settings, you can eliminate some noise by reducing the sharpening slightly. Reducing contrast can also help - especially with the D7000.
Nikon finally got back to me. They told me to reset the camera to its defaults and I would find the noise problem resolved. Well, I did this and they were right. However, the default format is Jpeg and I prefer to shoot RAW. Mode was P and I usually shoot in Aperture priority or manual. Lots of settings were on Auto, of course, which was very restricting. Anyway, after a day of shooting with the defaults I went back to my custom settings. I find that, to avoid under-exposure (the instigator of noise), I often have to shoot with +1-+2 exposure comp. This surprises me. I'm using matrix metering and 39-point autofocus. I realize that, having spent months learning my Panasonic G1 (micro 4/3rds), I now have another steep learning curve ahead of me. Heaven help the beginner who buys this amazing D7000!
I'm also surprised that you need positive exposure compensation. The tendency of the D7000 is to slightly overexpose, and my experience is I need to dial in -.3 to -.7 in exposure compensation.
High Active D-Lighting would cause the camera to underexpose slightly. Some subjects with bright backgrounds or bright lights - like the stocking shot - will be underexposed without exposure compensation as the camera is trying to keep from blowing out the bright spots.
View NX2 is free and does a good job of reading the actual camera settings. While you are "working the bugs out", it may be useful.
Yes, I was surprised too. I have not enabled active D-lighting or any of the other custom settings in the retouching menu. I have been using CS5 Camera Raw 6.3 to examine my images. I will try iew NX2 , which is still in the box. Thanks for the suggestion, Eric.
Yes, my previous Nikon was a D80, but I just traded it in at Adorama. My 'other' camera is a Panasonic G1 - great little machine with horrible manual!
>>Yes, I was surprised too. I have not enabled active >>D-lighting or any of the other custom settings in the >>retouching menu. I have been using CS5 Camera Raw 6.3 to >>examine my images. > >If you don't use Nikon's software to examine your raw images, >than none of your in-camera setting affects the image that you >see on the computer. > >Cheers, >Zevi > > This is what I thought. Thanks for the confirmation!
Sorry - read the post too fast (trying to deal with dozens of e-mails this a.m.). I'm not using Active D-Lighting in the shooting menu either, though I might give it a try. Experimentation is the name of the game with a new camera!