How noisy is that?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by alaios, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Real Name:
    Dear all,
    the image below, according to dpreview is a noisy image coming from a compact camera

    Can someone explain me at which size do you think this can be printed without noise appearing? Would that be a A4 print a A3 print or something way smaller?
    I want these days to buy a very small camera for my daily train trips and I try to understand how much noise I can tolerate for small print sizes.

  2. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

    Dec 16, 2012
    Southern Germany
    Real Name:
    The noise will not go away by chosing a smaller print out...
    You always must try to avoid noise when making the shot -> low to medium ISO setting (not more than 400-800 with a cheap compact).
    It depends on your personal tolerance how much noise you can live with.
    Every tried a free noise remover like Neat Image Demo or Noiseware Community Edition?
  3. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Just buy a Fuji X10 now that prices are coming down and don't worry about noise at 1600.
  4. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    It's pretty bad for a 12MP photo at ISO 1600. However, up to about A3 it should look fine (remember - less light, more noise, so it will look grainy), A4 is no problem at all.

    The bigger problem is that the JPEG engine here seems to smooth out too many details, so better look for something that can shoot RAW (Fuji X10, Sony RX100, ...).
  5. olli

    olli TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 16, 2011
    Washington DC
    Real Name:
    That is not a noisy image for printing. The problem with this is that the noise reduction has led to a very soft image and images need to be sharpened for printing. The problem with this would be when sharpening it would introduce all kinds of nasty artifacts that would compromise a larger print but without sufficient sharpening you will have a slightly soft print.

    Generally if you are interested in printing forget about DP and go to Imaging Resource instead. Camera tests on this site always include a review of the 'printability' of images from the camera. Test images are printed at multiple sizes through the ISO range and recommendations offered for maximum print size at each sensitivity.

    Also, try it for yourself. Get a few of your favourite shots printed at a larger size (say 40 x 30 cm to start). You will see very quickly that some of the obsessions about online IQ are much less important when it comes to the print and other issues are much more important.

    Here is part of the Imaging Resource conclusion on prints from the Canon SX230HS:

    "ISO 400 images are good, but a little softer at 16x20 with more pronounced luminance noise in the shadows. Softness is reduced by printing at 13x19, but really doesn't go away until 11x14 inches.

    ISO 800 files are usable at 11x14 inches, but are a little soft in the detail department. This goes away when printed at 8x10.

    ISO 1,600 shots are usable at 8x10, only slightly soft.

    ISO 3,200 shots are pretty good at 5x7."
  6. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Real Name:
    That was a very useful post. If I understand it then right with the selected camera I can print up to A4 with iso 1600, and half of it for iso 3200....which is already quite much more of what I would need from a pocketable camera