Grainyness of digital photos

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by Sinister Angel, May 28, 2005.

  1. Sinister Angel

    Sinister Angel I'd Hit It!

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    I'm kinda new to photography, but I know that the "faster" (although more senesitive is probably a better term) a film is (ISO 400 over 100), the more grainy it is going to be. However, I have my digital camera (Sony Mavica CD-400) set to ISO 100, however, the pictures still seem grainy, even when I use a TIFF over a jpeg. Any ideas? See the attatchment for a demonstration.
     
  2. Mild Bill

    Mild Bill Millennium Member

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    Low light causes graininess...

    As a rule, with ISO 100 you need LOTSA light...
    100 is for a sunny day outside...

    400 is for inside +/-...

    ;c
     

  3. Mild Bill

    Mild Bill Millennium Member

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    Your photo actually wasn't that bad...

    Graininess wasn't the problem... Your photo simply came out "flat"...
    I popped it in Photoshop and adjusted the contrast and brightness and it came to life...

    Adjusting the ISO off of 100 when you're inside might prevent this in the future...

    I'm still learning digital myself tho, and this info really comes outta my 35mm experience...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Before saving or posting, always take a photo in to a photo adjusting program
    and fix it a little, even if it's just to size it or add a border...

    ;c
     
  4. Sinister Angel

    Sinister Angel I'd Hit It!

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    Thanks for the reply!

    See, I guess my problem (since I'm new to this) is that I was automatically assuming graininess just to go with the film speed (er... I can't think of a better way to refer to it), and I would compensate for the lower light with a longer exposure time. Maybe I'm just being too much of a critic, but it seems really grainy, especially looking at the areas that are white.

    You are right though, it is kind of flat. What are some ways of solving that w/o busting out photoshop? I'm not too familiar with filters, so maybe that is one way? It just seems I never really can get it to look right when I use photoshop, for example, in your edit the wood is slightly.. whats the term, warmer? than what it really is. Not bashing you since you have exponential amounts of experience more than me, but that just kinda stuck out.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Mild Bill

    Mild Bill Millennium Member

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    First I'd switch the camera's ISO to 400 and try again...

    I'd never "choose" 100 for inside the house...

    I'd be curious to see what happens...

    There's really no reason I can think of that a flashed photo should be that dark...

    ;c
     
  6. Sinister Angel

    Sinister Angel I'd Hit It!

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    Didn't flash it. This room has a skylite and a good sized window. Sunlight wasn't directly hitting where I was taking the picture though.

    I'll try changing the ISO value like you recommend and see what happens. Like I said, I had the misconception that I could just up the exposure time some to compensate for a lower ISO value to get a less grainy picture. My bad!
     
  7. Mild Bill

    Mild Bill Millennium Member

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    Right... not enough light for inside the house with ISO 100 and no flash...

    One thing to keep in mind is that digital is MUCH more forgiving regarding light than 35mm...

    It seems to pull in ambient light easier from the whole room...

    I'll give you an example...

    I'm into aquariums...
    If you take a 35mm photo (set on auto) of a fish tank, the tank will look as if the light is off on the aquarium...
    The shutter will open and close too fast for the aquarium's light to get soaked up on the film...

    Other times, the fish will illuminate but the rest of the tank will look dark...

    With 35mm, you have to slow the shutter down to 1/30 +/- and then pop the flash...
    That way the tank's light would come out on the film...

    Same with weddings...
    Did you ever see an amateur wedding photo where the table is lit up and the rest of the room is dark?
    You don't remember everybody walking around in the dark!

    If you slow the shutter to 1/30 and pop the flash, the room's light and the people
    in the background will get on the film...

    But with digital, even on auto, what you see with your eyes is often what you get!!!

    Mega bonus!

    So don't anticipate problems or worry about applying 35mm principles to digital
    unless you need to after learning more, or thru trial and error...

    ^c

    Here are a few photoze I just took...
    Zoomed in from across the room with a 100-300mm lens... Canon Digi camera...
    On auto... Everything in the tank was illuminated...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ;c
     
  8. Clyde in CO

    Clyde in CO LOL WUT?

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    Lotsa light is right.


    hehe... last year I was hanging out in denver somewhere with some friends.

    these two females were trying to take a pic of themselves together with a phonecam and kept complaining that it was too dark.

    I took the phone, had them pose and took the pic with one hand while shining my surefire in thier faces with the other.

    they both complained how bright it was (they were drunk) but the photo looked great and I got a smooch from each~
     
  9. Sinister Angel

    Sinister Angel I'd Hit It!

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    What do you mean when you say Auto?
     
  10. Mild Bill

    Mild Bill Millennium Member

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    Some cameras give you the power to control shutter speed and aperture if you want to...
    Or you can keep it on auto and let the camera choose...
    (I imagine some cameras only have auto...)

    With 35mm sometimes the camera would illuminate the subject, but leave the room dark...
    That's when you would slow the shutter...

    But my point was that digital often seems to get it right, even on auto...

    ;c
     
  11. Mild Bill

    Mild Bill Millennium Member

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    After using my new camera, I have to correct something I said in my post...

    I said before that "with digital what you see is usually what you get"...
    Not always so...

    I STILL have to slow the shutter to get an aquarium to illuminate, if taken 'at a distance'...
    like if I include some of the room...

    On auto, the area will be well lit but the tank will look dark...

    If I slow the shutter to 1/30, still using the flash, everything looks good...

    If I shoot the aquarium itself, full frame, it's illuminated...
    even on auto...

    ;c
     
  12. Ducman

    Ducman

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    The grain didn't look bad. I would up the ISO. I also use Neat Image to clean the picture up.

    I use high ISO, 1600, for when I don't want to use a flash, then use neat image to clean it up. Here is one that fits with the aquarium theme

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Mild Bill

    Mild Bill Millennium Member

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    That's GREAT Ducman...
    I saw those same awesome Jellyfish at the New England Aquarium in Boston,
    with that same blue background, and I wished I had a good camera with me...

    Really clear and colorful!

    ;c
     
  14. Ducman

    Ducman

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    That's were the picture was taken:)
     
  15. JennYe

    JennYe

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    Sixty bucks is a lot of green to get rid of the noise using Neat Image.

    Ouch. And that is only for one computer. ;g
     
  16. Ducman

    Ducman

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    I downloaded it for free at www.downloads.com
    I didn't pay a thing. I'm not sure if the free program expires, but I set my firewall so the program couldn't talk to the internet, so maybe thats why I still can use it
     
  17. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    In that case, let me introduce a few from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. :)
     
  18. Ducman

    Ducman

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    That is a great picture, You get the feeling of falling.

    You have some very good pictures in your portfolio. Hopefully mine will look that nice someday
     
  19. Glock9mmFan

    Glock9mmFan VoteLibertarian

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    Another thing you can do is rest the camera and use a lower ISO with a longer exposure (if your camera supports such manual control). This will give you an indoors shot with less noise but at the cost of not being able to hold the camera in your hand.

    You can also Photochop the noise away with something like Noise Ninja but all noise removal methods are lossy to the entire photograph... the good ones aren't very perceptible. The bad ones cause obvious smoothing.
     
  20. ponykilr

    ponykilr Off The Porch

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    if you use a tripod, i like to set the camera for slow sync for indoor shots. they always seem more natural to me.