Nikon Z6/Z7 banding

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I have watched and read a number of recent reviews on the Z6. Most have been very positive on the Z6 (and Z7) discussing the low noise, along with picture and video quality. However, in the review by Tony Northrop he mentioned a very definitive banding issue with the Z6 at higher ISO (at least 6400 and above). However, none of the other reviews have mentioned this issue. What have others heard, seen or experienced. I would be interested however, the banding issue Tony demonstrated (seen in video) is a concern. Feedback is welcome.

Thanks
 
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This is pretty common with electronic shutters with faster shutter speeds and some kinds of artificial light (and higher gain makes it more visible).

It's caused by the fact that an electronic shutter exposes its pixels over time from top to bottom. Due to the flickering nature of some artificial light, some sensor rows are exposed when the light is off (or partially on) and other rows are exposed when light is fully on, hence the bands.

This will always be evident to some degree until we get a truly global electronic shutter.
 
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I have watched and read a number of recent reviews on the Z6. Most have been very positive on the Z6 (and Z7) discussing the low noise, along with picture and video quality. However, in the review by Tony Northrop he mentioned a very definitive banding issue with the Z6 at higher ISO (at least 6400 and above). However, none of the other reviews have mentioned this issue. What have others heard, seen or experienced. I would be interested however, the banding issue Tony demonstrated (seen in video) is a concern. Feedback is welcome.

Thanks

Thom Hogan has discussed it in his blog on the Z6/Z7, specifically relating to the Z7:

The most likely cause of this very low-level artifact is almost certainly due to data offload from the sensor.

But you want to know if it's a problem or not with images.

My answer would be not.

You can read his complete discussion here.
 
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It's caused by the fact that an electronic shutter exposes its pixels over time from top to bottom. Due to the flickering nature of some artificial light, some sensor rows are exposed when the light is off (or partially on) and other rows are exposed when light is fully on, hence the bands.
Here's a discussion that appears to refute that explanation. Note the author's reply to a comment at the bottom (which I don't fully understand).

Bottom line: you have to go to rather extreme lengths to reproduce it, so it's certainly nothing to be concerned about.
 
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Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji, and any camera with an electronic shutter mode. Until we get sensors that can record every pixel simultaneously (global shutter) it will continue to be this way.

It is more pronounced with LED lighting, but depending on the sensor's readout time (some sensors scan faster than others), shutter speed, and ISO, it can still exist with any kind of AC powered artificial light.
 
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There are two kinds of 'banding' being discussed here. One is in regards to how artificial light varies in intensity (60 hertz for US incandescent bulbs, and I believe 120 for some (SOME) LED bulbs). This kind of banding occurs because the intensity of the light varies during a slow shutter speed. This is particularly problematic when using an electronic shutter which scans the sensor (on the Z7) at about 1/15 second. I don't know what the scan time is for the Z6 . . .

Another type of banding seems to occur when shooting at relatively low ISO's but then pushing shadows 5 or 6 stops in post and then examining the shadow areas at 100+%. In this case, apparently the phase detection pixels on the sensor become visible as faint lines across the frame in the shadow areas.
 
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There are two kinds of 'banding' being discussed here. One is in regards to how artificial light varies in intensity (60 hertz for US incandescent bulbs, and I believe 120 for some (SOME) LED bulbs). This kind of banding occurs because the intensity of the light varies during a slow shutter speed. This is particularly problematic when using an electronic shutter which scans the sensor (on the Z7) at about 1/15 second. I don't know what the scan time is for the Z6 . . .

Another type of banding seems to occur when shooting at relatively low ISO's but then pushing shadows 5 or 6 stops in post and then examining the shadow areas at 100+%. In this case, apparently the phase detection pixels on the sensor become visible as faint lines across the frame in the shadow areas.
It's the latter type that is discussed by Thom Hogan and Jim McKasson in the links I posted above. And I think that is the type of banding that was pointed out by DPReview and riled up a few pixel-peekers on the web.

This banding also shows up as fixed pattern noise in Bill Claff's measurements (also called sensor heat maps). This has nothing to do with the type of lighting.
 
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It's the latter type that is discussed by Thom Hogan and Jim McKasson in the links I posted above. And I think that is the type of banding that was pointed out by DPReview and riled up a few pixel-peekers on the web.

This banding also shows up as fixed pattern noise in Bill Claff's measurements (also called sensor heat maps). This has nothing to do with the type of lighting.
Yup.
 
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I have seen the phase detection pixel banding on occasion, but it takes a lot of exposure and shadow lifting to make it appear. It can show up at any ISO, but I think higher ISOs helps hide it in the typical high-ISO noise. A bit of noise reduction helps remove it, or at least make it less noticeable. There is at least one RAW converter that does have a OSPDAF stripe removal function.

I find the lighting frequency banding with the electronic shutter to be a much bigger problem (since you cannot remove it in post!).
 
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I have a Z6 and used it to shoot a gymnastics display in low light/artifical light and fast shutter speed - BANDING HUGE when using ISO as low as 6400. It is definitely a PROBLEM. My other cameras (D4 and D810) had no problem whatsoever, but then their practical/useable image quality is limited to shooting at ISO12800 max. I bought the Z6 for the low light capability really, but it is not good for sports in low/artificial light purpose.
I also tested it in theatre too (weird lighting effects) and it was fantastic with no banding at shutter speeds of less that 1/200. It has always been the combination of low light and fast shutter speeds that is the problem with artificial lights, even for the DSLRs, the only difference is that the DSLRs just record different (and unpredictable) colour of ambient lighting from one shot to the next (depending on the frequency of the lighting), whereas the Z6 has banding which is very difficult to hide and completely unuseable.
 
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I have a Z6 and used it to shoot a gymnastics display in low light/artifical light and fast shutter speed - BANDING HUGE when using ISO as low as 6400. It is definitely a PROBLEM. My other cameras (D4 and D810) had no problem whatsoever, but then their practical/useable image quality is limited to shooting at ISO12800 max. I bought the Z6 for the low light capability really, but it is not good for sports in low/artificial light purpose.
I also tested it in theatre too (weird lighting effects) and it was fantastic with no banding at shutter speeds of less that 1/200. It has always been the combination of low light and fast shutter speeds that is the problem with artificial lights, even for the DSLRs, the only difference is that the DSLRs just record different (and unpredictable) colour of ambient lighting from one shot to the next (depending on the frequency of the lighting), whereas the Z6 has banding which is very difficult to hide and completely unuseable.
I just ordered a Z6. I have four school aged children. Your findings make me wonder if I'll not be able to use the Z6 if one of them joins an indoor sport. Can you please post examples? Thank you!
 
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