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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-07-2014

7d Markii Grainy

I just upgraded from a T1i to the 7d Markii.  I was tempted by the 6d but the focusing sold me on this one.  I am now wondering if these was a mistake or if there is something wrong with my camera.  Every single one of my pictures is grainy.  .  I took this this morning outside.  I tried to use my expodisk for exposure.  I realized after that the camera was set on a darker exposure.  grainy picture.JPG100iso at 1:1 grainy and color is awful

 

grainy 2 400iso.JPG

iso 400 1:1 used expo disc and the color is pretty true.

 

grainy 2 full shot.JPG

This is the full image of what was above.

 

I think I was just expecting to be blown away and I'm not.  Any advice?  I am wondering if maybe my monitor is part of the issue and there is less grain then I am currently seeing.  Thank you for any info you have to share.

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: 7d Markii Grainy

Digital camera can show "noise" at high ISOs (and particularly in shadow areas).

 

But as I zoom in to look at your images (and in particular, the shadow areas because that is where it should be the worst)... I'm really not seeing noise here.   

 

Lighting is poor for both images.  The top image could use a fill-flash (turn the flash on, but set the "flash exposure compensation" (FEC) to roughly -1 and try that... it should allow you to reduce the overall exposure slightly while bringing up the exposure a bit in the shadow areas... and do all of this without making it look like you used a flash.

 

The bottom image looks like it needs some white balance correction and could be improved by using a flash and "dragging the shutter".  "Dragging the shutter" means you allow the shutter to remain open longer than would normally be needed considering there's a flash involved... but since the flash is a momentary burst of light... allowing the shutter to remain open will not significantly increase the exposure on your intended subjects, but it will allow the camera to collect more of the ambient light in the room so that it doesn't seem so dark.

 

I've never been nuts about things like "Expodisk" for white balance.  There are situations where the light hitting the disk and the light hitting your subject are not necessarily the same.  White balance only works if the camera is white balanced to the light hitting the subject.  I only use gray cards to do this... held in the subject's lighting.

 

Also... depending on the mood of the photo, I don't always want accurate white balance.  If you're shooting a sunset, the golden/orange color cast of the sun is what creates the mood.. you wouldn't want to eliminate that.  The same would be true of candle lit shots.  If I'm doing holiday shots... I'm sort of thinking the along those lines... I may prefer that the shot look "warmer" and allow the white balance to have a fractionally gold cast.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 845
Registered: ‎03-06-2013

Re: 7d Markii Grainy

when you pull an exposure up from underexpose shot, there will be plenty of noise regardless of camera.

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Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎06-17-2014

Re: 7d Markii Grainy

Without knowing exactly how Lr is set, it's pointless having a discussion about "grainy" images. 

 

But - just to be clear - Lr is quite capable of adding noise to low ISO images, depending on how the Detail panel's sliders are set; and is in any event, not the best converter out there...

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 845
Registered: ‎03-06-2013

Re: 7d Markii Grainy

[ Edited ]

Lightroom doesn't add noise into low ISO Image regardless of settings. It just doesn't remove it if you turn the settings off, thus make your image look grainy. Some noise converters turn on noise reduction by default thus it make the image looks a little better. I prefer RAW image to be as untouch as possible and I'll do the reduction myself. However, the photo in post is really grainy, way more than default setting for any converter even for a little high ISO image. So I think the image was pull up from underexposure one. If you want to compare image IQ, you don't have to do any thing to introduce noise such as increase the exposure in post.

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Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-07-2014

Re: 7d Markii Grainy

It is from RAW. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: 7d Markii Grainy

RAW images are not white balanced... you have to take an image of a gray-card in the same lighting as your subject and use that as a reference image.  When you processin Lr you can use the white balance tool to touch the gray card as your reference point and it'll correct white balance to the gray card... you then "sync" the white balance adjustment from that image to all other images taken in the identical lighting conditions.

 

The rules for RAW are that the camera will not make any change or adjustment to an image which would result in the loss of original data.  It turns out lots of normal in-camear processing steps would do this... so apart from demosaicing the RAW data into "pixels", no further processing is done by the camera... that means no white balance, no de-noising, no edge-detection & sharpening, etc.  The camera provides the comptuer with "the data" and it's up to Lightroom to do all the processing.  This provides you with the greatest amount of adjustment latitude and control... but it also means the image wont look as good "straight out of the camera" without at least *some* work.

 

When you attempt to process using any computer software, you can either increase or decrease noise.  Sharpening tends to increase noise.  If you bring up shadow areas via exposure, levels, or curves adjustments, then you are amplifying the signal... which means you are also amplifying the noise.  

 

I've never been especially thrilled with most built-in noise reduction tools such as those in Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, etc.  I found a plug-in called Noiseware Pro (by Imagenomic) which gives me quite a bit of control over HOW the image is de-noised (it's not just an on/off and how much).  I can tune it based on chroma or luma noise and tell it how aggressive I'd like to be in each area.  For example highlights tend to have very low noise and since de-noising has the undesirable side-effect of "softening" the image, I can tell Noiseware to avoid de-noising the highlight areas... I can tell it to do moderate noise reduction in the middle range... and more aggressive noise-reduction in the dark range.

 

Given that I have a 5D II and a 5D III... noise isn't much of a problem anymore (and when I deal with it, I'm mostly just being picky.)  But with my older cameras, it was a big deal and I was especially happy to have Noiseware.

 

But again.. I don't see the noise to which you are referring.  It's possible that the method you used to copy and paste to the website caused some processing to smooth out the noise that you can see... but I can't see.

 

The 7D II has an amazing auto-focus system (one of the most advanced on the market), has an astonishingly fast burst speed, and a very large in-camera memory buffer.  The camera is really tweaked out for action.  It is considerably lower noise than it's older siblings and as an APS-C size sensor camera, it's EXTREMELY good.  But it's no 1D X or 5D III (it doesn't doesn't cost nearly as much).  When it comes to especially low noise, those cameras will still win.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: 7d Markii Grainy

[ Edited ]

This thread has digressed quite a bit into a discussion of PP programs and techniques...

 

I don't care to discuss pixel peeping of Lightroom raw conversions to alternate options, but I think it's safe to say that Lightroom is a widely used processing options, probably one of the most used (second only to Photoshop/ACR itself).  Therefore, by default, if you can't process a correctly exposed, low ISO photo in LR and produce an acceptable result (using good processing technique), then there's an issue - either there's an error with the camera profile, or the camera has noise issues.

 

Not saying that all the above criteria were met, but blaming the noise on Lightroom is rediculous.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,040
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: 7d Markii Grainy


@TCampbell wrote:

RAW images are not white balanced... you have to take an image of a gray-card in the same lighting as your subject and use that as a reference image.  When you processin Lr you can use the white balance tool to touch the gray card as your reference point and it'll correct white balance to the gray card... you then "sync" the white balance adjustment from that image to all other images taken in the identical lighting conditions.

 

The rules for RAW are that the camera will not make any change or adjustment to an image which would result in the loss of original data.  It turns out lots of normal in-camear processing steps would do this... so apart from demosaicing the RAW data into "pixels", no further processing is done by the camera... that means no white balance, no de-noising, no edge-detection & sharpening, etc.  The camera provides the comptuer with "the data" and it's up to Lightroom to do all the processing.  This provides you with the greatest amount of adjustment latitude and control... but it also means the image wont look as good "straight out of the camera" without at least *some* work.

 

I'm loath to risk contradicting Tim, who is indisputably one of the most knowledgeable contributors to the forum. But I'm not sure that's exactly how it works. What the camera tries to capture is a properly exposed image for the white balance it's set to use. If that setting turns out to be off, the only way to correct it is to lop off the offending colors until the image is in balance. This costs you light, which must be made up by goosing up the brightness, with the attendant risk of bringing in noticeable noise. Which says that all RAW images are not alike, and the camera's white balance setting does matter (unless the available light is so dim that the image can't be corrected in the camera, but that's not the interesting case).

 

When you attempt to process using any computer software, you can either increase or decrease noise.  Sharpening tends to increase noise.  If you bring up shadow areas via exposure, levels, or curves adjustments, then you are amplifying the signal... which means you are also amplifying the noise.

 

But the necessity for amplifying the signal can be minimized by getting the white balance right or nearly right in the first place. Yes? 

 

I've never been especially thrilled with most built-in noise reduction tools such as those in Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, etc.  I found a plug-in called Noiseware Pro (by Imagenomic) which gives me quite a bit of control over HOW the image is de-noised (it's not just an on/off and how much).  I can tune it based on chroma or luma noise and tell it how aggressive I'd like to be in each area.  For example highlights tend to have very low noise and since de-noising has the undesirable side-effect of "softening" the image, I can tell Noiseware to avoid de-noising the highlight areas... I can tell it to do moderate noise reduction in the middle range... and more aggressive noise-reduction in the dark range.

 

Given that I have a 5D II and a 5D III... noise isn't much of a problem anymore (and when I deal with it, I'm mostly just being picky.)  But with my older cameras, it was a big deal and I was especially happy to have Noiseware.

 

But again.. I don't see the noise to which you are referring.  It's possible that the method you used to copy and paste to the website caused some processing to smooth out the noise that you can see... but I can't see.

 

The 7D II has an amazing auto-focus system (one of the most advanced on the market), has an astonishingly fast burst speed, and a very large in-camera memory buffer.  The camera is really tweaked out for action.  It is considerably lower noise than it's older siblings and as an APS-C size sensor camera, it's EXTREMELY good.  But it's no 1D X or 5D III (it doesn't doesn't cost nearly as much).  When it comes to especially low noise, those cameras will still win.

 


The apparent success of the 7D2 makes you wonder what we're going to see in the 5D4, doesn't it? I bought a 5D3 this year to begin my conversion to FF. But I guess I won't buy another one just yet.  Smiley Wink

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: 7d Markii Grainy

I wouldn't blame in on "Lightroom" per se.

 

Anytime you have low signal (dark pixels) and you attempt to bring up the brightness in those dark areas (by any means) you're asking the computer to "amplify" the signal.  But these tools don't tend to accurately discriminate between "signal" and "noise"... the tools tend to amplify everything.

 

It's not so much the tool chosen... just a generalization that "amplifying" signal also tends to amplify the noise along with it. 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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