Noise in digital photography is the bane of every photographer, as such there are a variety of ways in which to address it post editing, but a lot can be done prior to shutter activation related to settings.
Camera makers now boast of models capable of ISOs in the ten of thousands. that may be a selling point but to me with the current technology that’s available there remains a cutoff point – a sort of red line I won’t cross as the fact remains the higher the ISO the more you create an environment for noise.
I look at photos I’ve taken years ago many with the identical settings I would currently use on a newer camera with little or no concern and am amazed at the noise levels.
In what seems like a counter intuitive approach you can actually add noise in some editing editing programs – why anyone would or why such an option even exists remains a mystery to me.
Think about it for a moment – camera sensors and lenses are routinely marketed based on the IQ they are capable of, so if it’s all about sensors and IQ why would anyone deliberately add noise unless for a retro film look?
I believe the time will come when digital images as captured will be noiseless – until such a time arrives I’m aware of the limitations native to the gear I use, where the red lines are, and not interested in those incredibly high ISOs regardless of claims that at even at the highest levels photos are “usable”.
Modern digital cameras and related have undergone a quantum leap forward, so much so many are content to restrict themselves to auto modes that are capable of producing quality photos, but in doing so they are effectively restricting not only their ability but that of the gear they use.
Kind of like placing a restrictor on an engine, it may sound nice when idling but isn’t capable of peak performance.
I’ve previously discussed what I perceive to be the merits of aperture priority and manual modes, but another that shouldn’t be overlooked is the shutter mode on cameras that like the above lends itself to taking control and would encourage people to experiment and familiarize themselves with those options.
There’s nothing to lose in doing so and a great deal to gain – and to paraphrase there’s really nothing to fear but fear itself.
If you’re concerned about degrading detail when addressing noise post editing the best solution is to employ localized adjustments where you can “paint” in and “feather” such adjustments and you can give yourself and your images a jump start by shooting RAW.