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The Ever Hated Grainy Photo

samkusterbeck
Contributor

20220415-IMG_0729.jpgTo begin I have a CANON REBEL T7 with a 24-70 mm CANON lens. 
I have taken quite a bit of time scouring the internet for the do's and don't of photography. All my images are RAW files and I shoot in Manual mode and use the auto focus mode (which I feel like is what the issue is) 
ISO is 100 f/28 1/320 I think I was set at AL SERVO 
I point the red dot on the face and then I open the files and some/most of the pictures come out "annoyling" grainy. I don't know what to do!
Is the AF Point Selection just no good? I heard the center one is the best to use, but the face or subject I want in focus isn't always smack dab in the center.

Is it the distance I am shooting from? If so could someone explain to me in simple terms what and how the best  shooting distance is determined?

Is my camera no bueno and its just not capable sometimes of getting crisp shots?

Do I need to use manual focus and if so HOW> it seems like it would make photo taking take forever trying to make sure you get the right focus? 

38 REPLIES 38

Tronhard
Authority

Modern cameras do not require  you to use manual exposure settings - in fact they should do a lot to help you get the right exposure. 

Noise is usually caused by under-exposure (something I think is true of this image), and by using very high ISO values.

If in doubt, set the ISO control in your camera to AUTO.  It will use the lowest ISO value it can to give you the other settings you select.  

For the majority of the images I have shot over 40+ years, I have used aperture priority.  You choose what's in focus and the camera will set up the shutter speed and ISO to give you an acceptable exposure.  Using single point autofocus and single point exposure is OK as long as your can lock the settings while you recompose the shot to place the subject in an advantageous location in the frame. 


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Can a lower ISO number still produce grain? I expect it when I bump that up past 400, but not at 100. 

When using the AF point selection dots, using  the center one, but the composition of the shot requires  the focus point to be somewhere else?  I guess I dont understand how I am only limited to whatever I put that dot on. 

 

Tronhard
Authority

At 100 ISO is at the very bottom, but that may also be your problem.  So, did you manually define ALL of your settings? ISO, Av and Tv?  If so, you can so constrain the camera that it cannot provide correct exposure.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

I put the settings at ISO 100 F2.8 1/320, I put the unedited photo in the message. 

 

Tronhard
Authority

I take it from that you have manually set all three parameters.  Doing so puts all of the responsibility on you to get the exposure completely right.  Essentially, you are ham-stringing the features of the camera and using it like a camera from the early part of the last century.  In doing so you are inevitably going to have more exposure errors creep in, especially when the exposure you see through a DSLR viewfinder is not an accurate representation of the actual exposure.  The optical viewfinder shows you the image with the aperture fully open, and it sets the aperture you select as it takes the photo.  To see the actual exposure during composition you need to press the image preview button to the bottom right of the lens (as you use the camera, viewed from the back).

Noise occurs when there is not enough light to overcome the background noise of the sensor.   You can have a reasonably high ISO and no noise if you provide the correct exposure using the other controls.  That is where the camera's automated features come in to give  you the correct settings.

First, I suggest setting the ISO to automatic.  Modern cameras can work perfectly well and produce good images up to ISO 3200 and in some cases considerably higher.  Then set the camera to Av mode and try taking some photos and see how they come out.  Let us know how it works out.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Perfect! Will do I plan on getting some photos tomorrow and will certainly try your tips- I sincerely appreciate your time and advice!

 

Tronhard
Authority

No problem.  If you are shooting in Av or Tv mode, and find the exposure is not right, use the EV dial (top of body on the right) to add or reduce exposure.  Note the changes of the values in the viewfinder when you do that.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Waddizzle
Legend

I think One Shot AF tends to be slightly more accurate than Ai Servo AF.  However, the AF system has little to do with noise being captured in the image.  Pixel peeping can reveal a LOT of noise, which goes unnoticed when images are viewed at their original full size.  Underexposed shots can become noisy when the exposure is raised in post.  

Using ISO Auto in M mode on a Rebel T5/6/7 can become tricky because you can only set exposure in full stop increments.  You would need to use Exposure Compensation to control exposure settings in smaller increments.  Except, EC is not available in M mode.  

Use Av mode, and manually dial in an ISO value.  Exposure Compensation is available in Av and Tv modes is you wish to use them.  The camera can also set exposure in smaller increments than a full stop when it is in Av mode.

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jrhoffman75
Legend

A few suggestions.

1. AI Servo is not what I would recommend for that image. One Shot AF would be better. AI Servo is for moving subjects where the distance between subject and camera can be changing. Camera "does the math" to compute where subject will be when the shutter fires. Focus is not necessarily locked. I'm not sure if your camera has an AI Focus setting, but if it does never use it. AI focus tries to decide between One Shot AF and AI Servo based on motion - frequently the motion it detects is the photographer moving the camera.

2. I see you used Partial Metering. I am guessing you wanted to meter on the little boy (cute subject). Canon's Evaluative Metering is quite good. I wouldn't switch away from that unless Eval wasn't treating the subject properly.

3. Subject is underexposed. I used Canon DPP and checked the RGB values of the white bunny ears. Boosted the exposure while still keeping the whites in the 230 range.

#2.jpg

I don't see noise. Here is the image enlarged 400%

#1.jpg

As previously recommended, for a subject like this I would use Av mode w/Auto ISO. Camera will use the aperture you selected, choose a shutter speed about twice the selected focal length (to avoid blur from camera shake) and the select the required ISO for a correct exposure.

"When using the AF point selection dots, using  the center one, but the composition of the shot requires  the focus point to be somewhere else?  I guess I dont understand how I am only limited to whatever I put that dot on. "

You can select which focus point you want. If none of the camera's points fall on the subject you can use "focus and recompose". Put the closest point on your subject, half press shutter to lock focus, and the reframe your shot. As long as you move camera laterally you won't lose your focus.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic
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