Saturday, May 12, 2007


Noise, noise, noise. Noise has been the top most headache for me at work these days. Noise is everywhere, at home, at work, and also in your digital photos. It is the No. 1 enemy to photographers who want to do stock photography.

What is noise? In the context of digital photography, it means the unsightly color patches in your picture, it is mainly caused by insufficient light. Noise is particularly prominent if you are using high ISO settings. For Canon, ISO up to 400, the noise performance is still very decent; for Nikon, their noise starts to appear visibly for anything higher than ISO 200. Canon is using CMOS sensors while Nikon is using CCD sensors. In general, CCD sensors are more prone to noise which is inherient in the CCD technology.

How do you reduce noise then? For one, use as low an ISO as possible. The trade-off is you have to have longer exposure time, which means you might need the help of a tripod. Under-exposing your pictures will cause noise to appear as well, so make your exposures right.

If both the above failed, you have not completely lost the battle to noise yet. There are some readily available noise reduction software in the market that will save you the day. The more well-known ones are Neatimage, Noise Ninja and Noiseware.

I use noiseware myself. The effect is excellent. The picture below was shot at ISO1600. The noise was visible to the naked eye before I sent it through noiseware, but Noiseware managed to get it clean and clear for me. Well, this is my best seller at ShutterStock. I am a happy user :)

No comments:

Post a Comment