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Canon 7D Noise

Discussion in 'Canon Conflab' started by Grierson, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. Grierson

    Grierson Well-Known Member

    I recently bought a used 7D from a photographer who was upgrading to the Mk2 version. I find that the noise performance of the camera is poor particularly when compared to my workhorse camera, a 5D2. I've read that the topic was much discussed when the camera was launched but I would be interested to hear the views of any forum member on the 'practical' experience with the camera. I invariably shoot in RAW and examining photos in Lightroom shot at ISO 400 I can detect a fair amount of luminance noise. (I did try and post a couple of shots but the small file sizes preclude a good comparison.) Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I don't have specific experience, but (and I'm sure you know this, so probably teaching you to suck eggs), like-for-like an aps-c sensor will have more noise than a full-frame sensor. e.g. with identical settings, and identical lighting, the aps-c image will generally be noisier.

    Obviously, a newer APS-C sensor vs a very old full-frame sensor it might not be so obvious, but similar age sensors are going to exhibit the difference.
  3. Grierson

    Grierson Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tony. No I was not really comparing the 7D to the 5D2 it was just the fact that noise has never been an issue to me in the past. I was surprised to see it at ISO 400 and am interested to know if that is typical. My comparison pictures where to have been the 7D at ISO 100 compared to ISO 400. I appreciate that any comments about the issue will be subjective but I was keen to hear views from any users in the real world rather than read lots of old reviews.
  4. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Do you have any examples on your Flickr site?
  5. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    I'd apologise for not correcting the CA and stuff but perhaps something that was shot at ISO 400 and processed in DPP without being messed with is more useful to you than a shot that has been messed with.....

    Link to full res JPEG - https://www.flickr.com/photos/89845979@N00/15508406558/sizes/o/
  6. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I would say that's typical of ISO 400 on a crop sensor. I wouldn't consider it noisy.
  7. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    Noise is rarely an issue in good light, which is fine for those type of photos. Low light scenes will tell you far more.
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I don't have a 7D - I went mad and walked out the shop with a 1Div instead - but my first impressions of the IQ vs a 5D (original) was that I didn't like it - it was different and my reaction was "worse". After a while I got to appreciate that it was a difference that I could live with and now I don't regard i as inferior. The texture in the green in the photo shown is similar - I wouldn't think of it as noise.
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    My 7D was bought to complement my 5D II for sports and wildlife. I was so impressed with IQ in general that for some time, I used it as an alternative for general photography. Sure, there's more noise, but I've never found it to ruin shots even at 1600 ISO - mind you, I don't mind a little noise in the same way as I never minded grain for sports shots. Still shooting regularly with the 7D after 4 1/2 years, which has to say something in this day and age.
  10. Grierson

    Grierson Well-Known Member

    Many thanks for the replies. I'll try to put up a picture on flickr later today.
  11. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Just checked when I got my 7D and this was taken on 22nd December 2009....

    It continues to serve me well too.
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Hmmm, might be 5 1/2 years, then. ;)
  13. Grierson

    Grierson Well-Known Member

    Here is one of a few snaps taken on Saturday driving from York to Hemsley. The noise in the sky seems to show better on flickr. Unprocessed RAW converted to jpeg in Lightroom 32mm at f22 400 ISO

    [​IMG]IMG_8894.jpg by John Johnston, on Flickr
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Not sure why you used f22 and ISO 400 there - you would get better sharpness at f11 (due to less diffraction) and you could've then used ISO 100 at the same shutter speed.

    However, yes, there's certainly some noise showing on the Flickr version, but really only if you zoom in and look for it. Nothing that would worry me at normal viewing distance, you would need to be a pixel peeper to get too worked up about it, IMHO.
  15. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Agreed on all points - also, it's something you could fix easily in Lightroom if you wished by moving the noise slider to about 5 or 10, and you'd not lose anything in the overall image in my experience.

    When you say unprocessed, did Lightroom apply the auto adjustment on import? i.e. has Lightroom increased the exposure?
  16. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I bought my 7D last Nov and I have not experienced unacceptable noise. I try to keep ISO at 100 but even on those images at ISO 400 I do not have a problem. If I really zoom in on images shot at higher ISOs there is some noise, particularly in blue sky,but this can easily be corrected in LR. I do not have a full-frame camera for comparison but I thought that lower noise was one of the benefits of FF.

    After buying the 7D I also read about noise issues on various websites, some of which offered suggested solutions. No doubt you have also read some of these but making sure you have the latest firmware and turning off all in-camera noise reduction were common recommended actions.
  17. Grierson

    Grierson Well-Known Member

    Again thanks for the comments.

    The camera settings were those that I had used earlier when I first became aware of the issue. I have never previously noticed any degradation using f22 on the Canon 24-105 lens but then again it has invariably been attached to the 5D2.

    My normal workflow is to start by copying the files from the card to the hard drive and importing them using the 'Add' function. I don't think Lightroom should be modifying them in any way but I will check. The posted photo was uploaded to flickr directly from Lightroom with no Sharpening, Noise Reduction or other processing apart from a very minor tweak to Exposure.

    I appreciate that I am perhaps being unduly concerned/disappointed about the issue given that it can be solved easily in Lightroom. I was nevertheless keen to get views on whether such noise was typical or indeed a problem with the camera. The firmware on the camera is current but I will delve in to the menus and turn off the noise reduction and see if it make any difference.
  18. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Full frame is more forgiving than APS regarding diffraction but nonetheless at f22 diffraction softening will set in and you will lose a degree of resolution. In a general scene like your example where most of the image is light on fine detail it's less noticable but were the trees etc larger in the frame it could make a difference. Since your picture is a very wide view of subjects that are effectively at infinity a wider aperure like f11 or possibly even f8 would ahve done. The Cambridge in colour website has a handy tutorial.

    Camera raw, Lightroom or PS, does apply it's own default setting when opening raw files unless you have specified your own. With my version of ACR it applies +50 brightness and +25 contrast for instance. Mostly I find thas OK but sometimes I cut it back - especially the brightness setting. At also applies default sharpening and noise reduction too - I imaging your version does as well.

    Unless you are shooting in JPEG mode, or opening raw files in DPP, in the noise reduction settings have no effect as third party software ignores these settings.

    Having looked at your image at full size I can't really see anything much in the way of noise. I do wonder if the mottling thats just visible in some of the plain blue areas is in fact JPEG compression artefacts rather than noise as they have a slightly block posterised appearance - did you save at maximum quality?

    ISO 400 is never going to be as clean as 100 and less so for APS sensors but to be honest I'd say that most modern DSLRs at less noisy at 400 than ISO 400 film was...
  19. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    When you go to the import section, on the right hand side there's a bunch of dialogs, such as file renaming etc. One of those is 'Apply During Import' - you may not have anything there, but equally, you might.

    As an aside, for all LR users, I strongly recommend setting up at least a basic preset which corrects for lenses and applying that on import (mine also corrects CA, uses the Auto quick develop setting, and applies a little clarity, vibrance and saturation).

    It looks typical of Canon APS-C sensors to me.
  20. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    It looks typical of Canon APSC sensors to me as well. That's why I didn't buy one.

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