There I was deciding on what camera to use for an event this weekend that will involve low light, all hand held. This of course meant some fun measurebating would be involved. And I am someone that lives in both camps. I mostly have Nikon gear, but I also have a 5D and some four Canon lenses. So in this case the natural choice would be the Canon, right? Now I usually process D2X NEFs through NC. If anything, I have found I get the best color, and sometimes the best demosaic too when difficult textures are involved. This included high ISO images. So I found myself with some ISO800 images in NC, some in CS, shot with the 85 1.4 and the 135 f2 on the Canon. And dang if the Canon images didn't show much less noise. Ah well. Then something interesting happened. I accidentally opened a NEF in ACR. So what the heck, I used the same luminance smoothing and color noise settings as the 5D image. The next thing I knew, I was mistaking the Nikon images for the Canon ones. What the heck? This lead to more testing, and I came to the conclusion that the best processing I have here (I have NC, CS2, Bibble and a few others) for these D2X ISO800 images is either in-camera JPEG or ACR. And the results are really just as good and with just as much detail as anything I've seen from the 5D. I am beginning to think this whole noise thing really is more a case of processing than anything else. I didn't gather examples along the way, but here are some practice shots at ISO800, wide open or nearly so. The first two are NEFs the third an in-camera JPEG with NR set to normal. That is not moire you see on the red motorcycle armor. That is the actual texture of that material. I would consider all of these difficult light.