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Is the D80's noise really this bad???

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mr2monster, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    Shot a wedding the other week and I've been going through trying to process a lot of my images but I'm finding that the shots that I took with the borrowed D80 are just HORRID when it comes to noise. Perhaps I'm missing something, but the D70 I used (both borrowed, see I hate the Mirage for why) blew the D80 away when it came to noise problems. I mean man handled it... threw it around like a rag doll, and such.

    I had both cameras set at ISO 1000 (i usually set my D70 at 1600, figured it would be fine for the D80), and this is what I'm getting.

    Does anyone see anything not normal about the noise in this image (it's a 100% crop of an unprocessed image). I'm really kind of hoping that the D80 I borrowed was defective, because it was going to be my next body... I might have to pass if this is normal though.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  2. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    pic fixed
  3. can we see the uncropped version and the shooting data?
  4. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    you want it full size?
  5. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    Here's the EXIF in the mean time.

    Model : NIKON D80
    Software : Ver.1.01
    ExposureTime : 1/125Sec
    FNumber : F5.6
    ExposureProgram : Manual
    ISOSpeedRatings : 1000
    DateTimeOriginal : 2007:07:21 19:30:43
    ExposureBiasValue : EV0.0
    MaxApertureValue : F3.7
    LightSource : Unknown (4)
    Flash : Not fire
    FocalLength : 22.00(mm)

    Flashes were off camera, so the EXIF didnt pick up on them.
  6. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
  7. oddstray


    Jul 29, 2007
    San Diego
    Do you know how old the borrowed D80 is? Some of the early ones (which were still being sold as recently as December of 2006) had a noise problem. We tested ours, and found it had the problem. So our vendor replaced it with a later one.

    The problem is discussed here: www.bythom.com/d80review.htm

  8. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    Not sure of the age... I know that that specific picture was shutter click 2386 though.
  9. haze2


    Mar 18, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    James, I took the original picture and ran it through the Neat Image noise reduction program. I just used the default settings and didn't try to tweek anything so it only took a few seconds. Then I blew up a section to compare the two. Finally I added slight sharpening to the filtered image. The filtered image has a much better overall appearence and the skin tones are vastly improved. It might be worth you while to look at a program like this.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Filtered with Neat Image
    View attachment 108966

    Filtered with slight sharpening
    View attachment 108967

    Again, this was just a very fast adjustment at the default setting. I'm sure you could improve on it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2007
  10. Haibane


    Aug 14, 2006
    Smyrna, Georgia
    James, you cropped it 100% so you should expect this kind of noise at 1000iso on a consumer Nikon camera. Secondly it looks like you adjusted the exposure which also effects the noise. If you want to be able to use 1000+ ISO effectively you need to A expose right in camera, and B don't do 100% crops. Try to shoot the image the way you want the final product to look. I don't know how much more I can stress that after switching from a d70 to a d2h how much that switch in cameras helped me to be better at my hobby. If this were a sports game I would better understand a 100% crop, but the fact that you were able to take this shot and move around I don't see why you chose to crop so drastically.
  11. james, you very might well have a defective copy. i got my d80 as soon as it came out and my d80s noise performance is excellent. i think it's all about nailing the exposure. this one is at my favorite speed, iso 3200:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    thats straight from the camera.
  12. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007

    Oh, the picture that I'm giving to them will be the original crop. I was just using the 100% crop so that you could really see the noise I was talking about. I framed it the way i wanted it (a little wider actually).

    I didn't process the 100% crop at all.
  13. ckdamascus


    May 14, 2005
    New Jersey
    I don't usually mind a bit of noise, but that default shot looks unusual to me. It looks like it has some light pre-noise reduction turned on. The flesh tones look smooth, but the gradients not quite as smooth.

    In essense, seems like the same as a 'blotchy skin' problem but not as noticable. (background doesn't matter, you can use NR on that and mask back the facial details).

    Sadly, I find the best way is to slightly overexpose the shot a bit. It really helps with the skin tone gradients. That said, I still run into skin tone issues here and there, in which case careful photoshop touch ups have to be done. A proper exposure though is far more important in defeating noise.

    By the way, this is the price to pay for more megapixels. If you increase the megapixels, all other things begin equal (this is key), you will always increase the noise.
  14. This is what I was thinking as well. I know that some have had similar issues with the D200 with the NR turned on. This looks to be more than noise - it looks somewhat smeared.

    I'm not too familiar with the D80 - does it even have NR? If so, do you know if it was on?
  15. Zachs


    Feb 25, 2006
    This noise is wayyy out of the norm. It looks more like small sensor point and shoot camera noise, which I see ALL the time in my lab. This is not normal out of any SLR these days...Def send in.
  16. Mart61


    Dec 23, 2006
    Camberley, UK
    My two cents worth:

    1000 ISO and heavy cropping. On a wedding shot? Why?
  17. yamo


    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Greetings. I didn't notice in your posts what lens you used for this photo. It's possible that the lens might be part of the noise problem... When I first got my D80 body, I had borrowed my wife's Tamron 28-300 (she had gotten one of the first 18-200VR lenses) until I could decide on a lens. The photos that I have of that time were as noisy as the one you posted... even noisy at ISO400 (heck, even a dash of noise at ISO100). Luckily, I was a beginner. so what did I know... When I got my Nikkor 70-200VR, uh, well, most (not all) of the noise seemed to vanish!

    If you were using your 18-70 or your 18-200VR, that's probably not the noise problem... I did notice in your image though a fair bit of chroma noise that I rarely saw with my D80 with any of the lenses I used.

    Anyway, just a thought... if you can borrow the D80 again, try it with the 70-200VR... it will give you a better idea of the noise that is being introduced by the camera rather than the lens.


  18. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    That's also probably not a very good test for noise since there's either flat black or a blown out computer screen with very little textured surfaces exposed with which to judge noise.
  19. Dave_Canada

    Dave_Canada Guest

    I have a similar problem with a d70s .The noise is so bad at high Iso my setting stays at 200 90 percent of the time.
  20. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    The 10MP sensors have an issue with noise in general vs the 6MP sensors because you're squeezing 60% more pixels into the same sensor size which makes for smaller and less sensitive and noisier pixels. The amp noise thing is a separate issue affecting noise performance in specific regions of the sensor. I bought my D80 around when it first came out in Sept. 2006 and have never seen any amp noise stuff in real photography, but then again I never really looked for it either.

    At iso1600, my D40 with the 6MP sensor clearly beats my D80 for sure from a general noise standpoint. I wouldn't say it's a full stop difference, but the D40 is definitely better. The 6MP sensor at 1600 probably looks about as good as the 10MP sensor does at maybe 1250 or so. I have nearly 10k shots on my D80 now and have never really had any complaints about noise.

    I'm no expert and have never shot a paid event or a wedding, but just critiquing your technique a bit: the SS was probably fine at 1/125s to get decent shots with slow movement (dancing) without blur, but f/5.6? Not sure what lens you were using but you probably would have gotten better results wide open at f/3.7? Probably either your 18-200VR or the 18-70 lens? That still would have frozen any movement but allowed you to run a much lower ISO (300-400) and a much cleaner image. If you had it hard locked to iso1000 in shutter priority then I guess it stopped down to f/5.6 automatically. If I shot a wedding for pay the first thing I would do is go out and get some f/2.8 glass like the 17-55 or the 28-70 "beast". My 85/1.8 would probably come in handy also. Either that, or a good flash setup, or both.
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