Saturday, March 5, 2011

Nikon D700 Noise ISO Noise Test

Digital Photo Pro just published an article, The Truth About Digital ISO, which caused me some concern, especially after I saw the Canon EOS 7D ISO Noise Test video by Tony Lorentzen which shows an erratic noise/ISO progression for that camera.  My main concern is that I'd like to shoot at wider f/stops with my studio strobes by setting my Nikon D700 at ISO 100, but not at the expense of adding noise to the degree exhibited by the Canon 7D.

To make the tests images, I made lens-cap-on shots in manual mode, f/5.6 @ 1/250s, for each possible ISO setting.  Then I processed each image in Photoshop CS5, first amplifying the noise to the max by applying auto levels, then cropping to a 3x magnification of the pixels.  If there is any noise, this technique will uncover it.  Here is my own video of he results:

I'm happy to say that shooting at ISO 100 on the D700 does not add noise at all.  In fact, the camera is noise free from ISO 100 to ISO 800.  However, shooting at any ISO other than a camera's nominal speed results in some loss of dynamic range.  

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