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Canon 50D Noise Levels At ISO100  
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 13
Posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6330 times:
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Hi, all.

I've had a Canon 50D for 5 months now, and, overall, it's been fantastic, especially when compared to my old Olympus gear.

When doing photography of people, scenes, etc, I'm plenty happy with the noise performance. However, my primary focus is aviation, where there is a lot of sky, and I feel like my 50D is showing an almost unacceptable level of noise. I realize I am pixel-peeping, and that at smaller sizes meant for the internet, the noise will not show up as much, but I do intend to make rather large prints of some of my work, and have sold shots to magazines and advertisers (I've also had shots REJECTED from magazines for excessive noise levels). I feel like my 50D may be noisier than my old Olympus in the greens and reds (though it is noticeable cleaner in the blue channel).

Here are three samples, all taken with the 50D and the 100-400L IS USM. They were taken in RAW mode, with no in-camera correction turned on (no sharpening, no contrast, no noise reduction, nothing). These are simply screen shots of Lightroom's user interface, so no jpg compression and no post-processing of any kind, other than LR's RAW conversion.

http://www.tisdigital.com/Pic1.jpg

http://www.tisdigital.com/Pic2.jpg

http://www.tisdigital.com/Pic3.jpg

Does my 50D look like it may be a lesser copy than it should be, or this is about normal for ISO 100 on a 15MP APS-C sensor? You'll notice the colors closest to Blue, Green, and Red have the most noise, though dark blues tend to be much cleaner than the lighter blue of the sky.

Any tips for improving this, other than in post-processing? (Reducing noise, even the best methods, eliminates some detail, as we all know).

I look forward to feedback (or maybe not, if it seems my camera is underperforming).

Thanks, everyone.

TIS


www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinevirgin777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6282 times:

Hi , i see where you are coming from ...

What Cam settings etc were you using ?
plus at what focal length were these taken at ?
plus how far were you from the subjects ?


cheers


User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6280 times:
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Here is the EXIF data:

Image 1:
Focal Length: 180mm
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/1250
Aperture: 5.6

Image 2:
Focal Length: 100mm
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/500
Aperture: 8.0

Image 3:
Focal Length: 135mm
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/1250
Aperture: 5.6

Otherwise, there are no camera settings at all. No noise reduction, no saturation or contrast boost, no sharpening applied, NOTHING.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6252 times:
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So maybe my copy is inferior?

Is this a known issue with the 50D at all?

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1742 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6244 times:
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Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 2):
Otherwise, there are no camera settings at all. No noise reduction, no saturation or contrast boost, no sharpening applied, NOTHING.

Don't turn off NR in LIghtroom. Set it to a very minimal level (say, 10 or 15) for luminance and the default (25) for color and try again. Lightroom's NR is adaptive for ISO levels and does different kinds of things depending on what ISO you had chosen.

There will be noise in ISO 100 images. It's very subtle, and often visible the most in blue skies. You can't just leave NR turned off when processing images from these high MP count cameras.

Also, are you using Lightroom 2 or 3? Upgrade to 3 if you can.



From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6210 times:
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Thanks.

I'm using LR3 (LR2 didn't support the 50D so I was forced to upgrade).

I do use the NR in LR when editing and exporting, but these were out-of-camera to illustrate what they look like with no NR applied, since they're quite dirty, even compared to my Olympus.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1742 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6196 times:
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Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 6):
I do use the NR in LR when editing and exporting, but these were out-of-camera to illustrate what they look like with no NR applied, since they're quite dirty, even compared to my Olympus.

The 50D was not known for its baseline image quality, unfortunately.

IMO, "out of camera" means very little with RAW files, as they need to be cooked to a degree. One thing that Canon does to improve their high ISO performance is use very light color filters in their bayer array. This lets more photons through at a bit of a cost of low ISO color fidelity/accuracy.

I would say to pick a default noise reduction level and enjoy.  



From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlinetrackcharlie From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6101 times:

Interesting, I have a similar issue. I havn't tested it against my other L lenses yet but my 100-400 shots seem to have a lot of grain at ISO 100. Seen a post before on this:

Canon 100-400mm Grain Problems (by SAA738 Jul 4 2010 in Aviation Photography)

This was with a 400D, mine is a 40D and yours is a 50D. 3 different cameras, same lens, same issue.   


User currently offlineDehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1057 posts, RR: 33
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6011 times:

I find it hilarious that after like 10 years of stellar images from 100-400's from all over the world with camera's from 1 series to 10D's all of a sudden it creates grain in images..   


2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5975 times:

Quoting Dvincent (Reply 6):
The 50D was not known for its baseline image quality, unfortunately

Subjective.....

I had a 'bad' 50D prior to my current one and I know someone who went through three before getting a decent copy. The supposed bad image quality is sort of an illusion, created by the sheer volume of pixels crammed onto the sensor. Having said that, my images straight from camera look easily as good as those from the 30D - although with cheaper lenses results do tend to look very soft before processing. The 50D requires good glass in order to truly shine.

With regard to noise performance, I regularly use ISO400 and get shots accepted here with no noise reduction whatsoever. People say that it's bound to be noisier with the MP count, but that's just rubbish. I've not noticed excessive noise levels with my copy.

Hate to say it but it could be your 50D.

Finally, your images not only look soft but are marred by heat haze. You can't properly evaluate quality with this sort of handicap.

Karl


User currently offlinespencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5937 times:

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 8):
I find it hilarious that after like 10 years of stellar images from 100-400's from all over the world with camera's from 1 series to 10D's all of a sudden it creates grain in images..

Can only agree on that statement.
Spence.



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5899 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 9):
Hate to say it but it could be your 50D.

"Could be", or "likely is"?

Should I get this looked at? Or is it not quite time to freak out yet? Should I go into a store with my 100-400L and take two identical shots and compare the two, first?

Also, would I still be able to get it replaced since I'm out of the 30-day grace period, but still well within my 1-year warranty?

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5896 times:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 11):
"Could be", or "likely is"?

Seems like it is your particular camera.You should be able to get it replaced - or at least looked at because it doesn't seem normal. And lenses themselves don't cause grainy images. Test any new cameras with your lens if you must.

Alternatively - maybe we can tempt you to come over to the dark (Nikon) side.  duck 

[Edited 2010-09-23 17:35:23]

User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5892 times:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Thread starter):
I've had a Canon 50D for 5 months now, and, overall, it's been fantastic, especially when compared to my old Olympus gear.

What Olympus camera were you using prior to the 50d?



Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
User currently offlinePiedmontINT From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5889 times:

I have the exact same problem with my Canon XSi. I was photographing the new harvest moon last night as the sun was fading there was some deep blue skies and I got really nasty ISO noise even at 100. Its so frustrating to have good photos ruined by noise. Even with NR in photoshop it seems to take the edge of my photos and make them soft and not nearly as good looking as they should be. But I also suck at photoshop so maybe I'm just doing it wrong. But it is really obnoxious to have the noisy blue skies and I feel like its a defect and hopefully not rampant across the Canon line. I'm considering the D7000 from Nikon anyway since it seems to be what the warmed over "Super Rebel" 60D should have been.

User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5868 times:
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Quoting cpd (Reply 12):
Seems like it is your particular camera.

I'll get it checked out.

Quoting cpd (Reply 12):
Alternatively - maybe we can tempt you to come over to the dark (Nikon) side.

After shooting for years with Mr. Vollaro (NikV69), I've heard enough of the "Nikon is better!" stuff to last me a lifetime, hahaha.

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 13):
What Olympus camera were you using prior to the 50d?

Olympus E-510 with Zuiko lenses.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlinezbot69 From Hong Kong, joined May 2009, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5849 times:

Same problem with my 40D. Tried everything. Waste of time. But after the shutter failure, the CMOS failure, and then the never-ending Error 99s... I called it quits on Canon.

I'm completely agnostic. Could care less what brand name is on my camera. I just want something that takes pictures. The simple fact of the matter is, with the outsourcing of manufacturing to Southeast Asia, and the growing demand for high-end digital gear, neither manufacturer has been able to maintain their once stellar QC standards. But with higher demand they must figure they can get away with allowing the occasional lemon through. When you go to Canon with these sort of issues they'll bench test it for you, but invariably the results come back "within acceptable margin."

So... learn to live with it, figure out a work flow solution that gives the best results given the problem... or dump your gear on market and refit.


Good luck with your problem.


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5836 times:

Quoting zbot69 (Reply 16):
, neither manufacturer has been able to maintain their once stellar QC standards.

I don't know - my Nikon stuff (even the older non-pro grade equipment) has been actually very good. Nothing to complain about.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 5803 times:

Quoting cpd (Reply 17):
my Nikon stuff (even the older non-pro grade equipment) has been actually very good. Nothing to complain about

Same goes for my Canon stuff, although I wasn't satisfied with the 18-55 IS (kit lens) I bought recently. Went cheapo because I rarely shoot below 28mm, but the lens was incredibly soft, especially when compared to my friend's copy (which is super-sharp). Sent it back to Canon and after three weeks it came back with that all-too-familiar note, "Meets Canon's acceptable quality standards". May meet theirs, but surely it's MY standards that it needs to conform to?

Anyway, back to the 50D.....

My first 50D was out of the 30-day period but I took it back to the store and told them that it was unacceptable to expect me to allow a semi-pro camera to go in for repair at less than three months old. They agreed and gave me a replacement, so I would certainly ask them to replace yours. It's definitely nothing to do with the lens, as lenses have no impact on noise levels (that's a sensor issue).

Karl


User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5771 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 18):
May meet theirs, but surely it's MY standards that it needs to conform to?

I did a LOT of research for wide zooms, since the bulk of my budget went to the 100-400L. You should look at the Canon 18-135 IS. I've been really happy with it, and it provides a great range of zoom for a walk-around lens. It's a bit slow at the long end (f/5.6) but it's fine for everything I've used it for that hasn't involved low light. I have several shots in the database taken with it, and they didn't need any more post processing than the ones with the 100-400 did.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 18):
My first 50D was out of the 30-day period but I took it back to the store and told them that it was unacceptable to expect me to allow a semi-pro camera to go in for repair at less than three months old. They agreed and gave me a replacement, so I would certainly ask them to replace yours. It's definitely nothing to do with the lens, as lenses have no impact on noise levels (that's a sensor issue).

Here's my other dilemma. I bought my camera online from a supplier that DOES have a big superstore. Said store, however, is about 90 minutes away from my house. So it's a hassle. Are returns done through Canon, or through the individual store? Could I walk across the street to Calumet and talk to them and have them replace it?

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineMcG1967 From UK - Scotland, joined Apr 2006, 506 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5768 times:

TIS,

you would probably need to return to the store you purchased from. Why not give them a call and explain what the problem is and see if they can help.


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