The problem of noise

Noise is usually seen as a series of randomly spaced, brightly colored pixels that sometimes appear in your digital images. A large amount of noise in an image will reduce the overall sharpness and clarity of the picture. Particularly noticeable in shadow areas, there are two distinct factors that control the amount of noise present in a picture:

• High ISO - Increasing the ISO setting of your camera will increase the level of noise in the image. Images exposed with an 800 setting will contain more of these randomly spaced and brightly lit pixels than the same photograph exposed with a 100 ISO setting.

• Long exposure times - Pictures taken with exposure times longer than 1/2 second will contain more noise than those shot with a fast shutter speed. The longer the exposure the more noticeable the noise becomes.

As both these factors come into play when shooting in low light situations you will find that the images you take at night are more susceptible to noise problems than those photographed on a bright sunny day.

More and more digital cameras now include noise reduction (NR) features as part of their standard feature set. Many models activate the feature automatically, and sometimes without the photographer knowing, when high ISO settings and/or long exposure times are used. Other models provide a manual control, letting the photographer choose when and with which images the noise reduction system is used.

Noise reduction

More and more digital cameras now include noise reduction (NR) features as part of their standard feature set. Many models activate the feature automatically, and sometimes without the photographer knowing, when high ISO settings and/or long exposure times are used. Other models provide a manual control, letting the photographer choose when and with which images the noise reduction system is used.

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