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Old Jul 15, 2005, 10:25 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I just bought my FZ20 and find it extremely easy to use. I'm concerned, however, in the amount of noise in my photos.

I've been shooting at ISO 80 and 100, with NR off. Even with NR set to high, I don't notice much difference. In this shot (overlooking that fact that it's a crummy shot taken at the wrong time of day) there seems to be an inordinate amount of noise.

Reading some of the posts here, it seems that post-processing with PS in pretty much mandatory. Frankly, I'm disappointed since none of the reviews I read about this camera mentioned that; just that the noise levels are acceptable at ISO100 and below.

I already have a Canon Power Shot Digital Elph S200. This 2 megapixel camera takes great shots with little noise. Am I wrong to expect noise levels of the FZ20 to be at least as good as my little Canon?

Thanks for any input.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 10:38 AM   #2
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I made similar comments in my recent post:

http://stevesforums.com/forums/view_...mp;forum_id=23

Post-processing seems to be mandatory. Try Noise Ninja, it is most excellent.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 11:15 AM   #3
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The FZ20 seemshave too muchnoisefor some people but not for me.

Although you forgot the link let me say that IMHO ..underexposure promotes noise and forcing the camera to use ISO 80 when ISO200 is called for also promotes noise.

Here is a link to some high ISO shots that can be viewed at any size you wish and they are straight from the camera with NR set on low.

The noise is OK by me , but maybe not for You.

I really do not see any point in viewing photos at original size, but again that is just my opinion.



http://imageevent.com/grc6/toshareonnet/noise
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 1:33 PM   #4
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also bear in mind that noise is a function of pixel density. lower pixel density means less noise, and given similar sensor sizes, a 2MP camera will almost always exhibit less noise than a 5MP one. and if the pics are underexposed, that will increase noise in digital cameras, just as it makes film images appear grainier, because the camera has to increase the sensor gain to produce a usable image in low light. higher gain in the sensor means more noise.

i have had my FZ20 for about 8 months, and find that sometimes noise is a problem, but if i have good light, and set the camera up correctly, it is either not noticeable, or is present but not objectionable. yes, i do find that at times i need to use NR software to clean up an image a bit before i print it, especially if the image contains large areas of uniform color and was taken in low light. but i'm okay with that, because spending 1 or 2 minutes with PP just isn't that big a problem, when i consider the pleasure i will derive from looking at that image on my wall or wherever for months or years to come.

no camera is noise free. some are better than others. from all i've read, the FZ's are about average for a 5MP superzoom -maybe alittle bit noisier (especially at higher ISO settings) than some, but less so than others. frankly, it isn't that big a problem, and although it would be nice if it weren't there at all, it's something you have to live with if you want the other capabilities the FZ offers. like most things in life, it's a trade-off. if you want the FZ's capabilities (i.e. 12x zoom, OIS, 5 or more MP and manual functions), but you aren't willing to put up with a little noise, be prepared to shell out a whole lot more $$ for a DSLR, because that's about the only way you'll get what you want.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 2:03 PM   #5
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I agree 100% and while I do use NR when needed and while wonderwhy did a good job with that Photo.

I do not know why anyone needs to view a photo at that enlarged size.



squirl033 wrote:
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also bear in mind that noise is a function of pixel density. lower pixel density means less noise, and given similar sensor sizes, a 2MP camera will almost always exhibit less noise than a 5MP one. and if the pics are underexposed, that will increase noise in digital cameras, just as it makes film images appear grainier, because the camera has to increase the sensor gain to produce a usable image in low light. higher gain in the sensor means more noise.

i have had my FZ20 for about 8 months, and find that sometimes noise is a problem, but if i have good light, and set the camera up correctly, it is either not noticeable, or is present but not objectionable. yes, i do find that at times i need to use NR software to clean up an image a bit before i print it, especially if the image contains large areas of uniform color and was taken in low light. but i'm okay with that, because spending 1 or 2 minutes with PP just isn't that big a problem, when i consider the pleasure i will derive from looking at that image on my wall or wherever for months or years to come.

no camera is noise free. some are better than others. from all i've read, the FZ's are about average for a 5MP superzoom -maybe alittle bit noisier (especially at higher ISO settings) than some, but less so than others. frankly, it isn't that big a problem, and although it would be nice if it weren't there at all, it's something you have to live with if you want the other capabilities the FZ offers. like most things in life, it's a trade-off. if you want the FZ's capabilities (i.e. 12x zoom, OIS, 5 or more MP and manual functions), but you aren't willing to put up with a little noise, be prepared to shell out a whole lot more $$ for a DSLR, because that's about the only way you'll get what you want.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 2:32 PM   #6
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Lots of reasons genece: Printing larger sizes (8x10+), cropping, etc. Besides, oftentimes the noise is quite visibile in the scaled-down versions too.

Like I said over at dcresource - Just because you don't look at photos at 100% res 100% of the time doesn't mean you can just "ignore" a real noise problem.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 2:52 PM   #7
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Thats what makes the world go around.

Only my opinion but I have not seen noise inMy 8 X 10's and if you can't see it , is it there?


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Old Jul 16, 2005, 9:49 AM   #8
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Thanks to all who wrote. squril033... I was unaware that lower pixels = less noise, so that's good to know. And yes, I'm noticing more noise in the underexposed pics even though I have a couple of shots with good exposure where there is noticeable noise as well. Of course, I just bought the camera and am also traveling so I'm only looking at them on the computer screen, not printed.

The other cameras I was considering were the Canon S2 IS and Pro1. Seems like the reviews of these two indicated they were noisier than the FZ20, or maybe I read so many reviews I was confused! :? I know a dSLR would probably have the quality I'm looking for but Ialready have a film SLR and was looking for a replacement since I'm tired of lugging such heavy equipment around.


Anyway, the shots I took yesterday seem to be much better in terms of noise; having better exposure definitely seems to help... but it's still there.

I was hoping to do get away with little post-processing, is Noise Ninja easy to use? And is it better to leave the NR setting in the camera to off and use external software to correct?

squirl033 wrote:

Quote:
also bear in mind that noise is a function of pixel density. lower pixel density means less noise, and given similar sensor sizes, a 2MP camera will almost always exhibit less noise than a 5MP one. and if the pics are underexposed, that will increase noise in digital cameras, just as it makes film images appear grainier, because the camera has to increase the sensor gain to produce a usable image in low light. higher gain in the sensor means more noise.


no camera is noise free. some are better than others. from all i've read, the FZ's are about average for a 5MP superzoom -maybe alittle bit noisier (especially at higher ISO settings) than some, but less so than others. frankly, it isn't that big a problem, and although it would be nice if it weren't there at all, it's something you have to live with if you want the other capabilities the FZ offers.
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Old Jul 16, 2005, 3:27 PM   #9
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DSLR's definitely have less noise, because they use larger sensors. they also cost a whole lot more. the body alone for a decent entry-level DSLR will set you back twice what i paid for my FZ20, and to get lenses that will duplicate the FZ's performance will run you another couple of grand, at least. if you can even find a single, top-quality DSLRlens that will cover the 35-430mm zoom range, it will likely cost you $2500-3000 or more. that's a pretty big selling point.

i came from the film SLR days, so i know what packing a whole bagful of lenses, filters, caps, and other assorted stuff is like. that's one of the things that sold me on the FZ20 in the first place - it will do everything my film SLR did and more, with only the lens on the camera. and the pics i get fromthe 5MP FZ20 are far superior to the ones i got with my film camera in terms of color, clarity, and sharpness.

i leave the NR function in my FZ20 at 'normal', and if need be, i clean it up afterward. the NR function in the camera usually reduces noise at the expense of overall image quality, and i'd rather have the flexibility to clean up only as much as i need to to get a good image.

as far as NR software, i've had very good results with PictureCooler, which is a free download. you have to download it, then email a number to the guy who runs the site, and he'll send you back a keyso you can activate the program, but there's no charge, and it seems to work quite well. yeah, it's one more step, but in the scheme of things, it takes only a couple of minutes, and like i said earlier, if the result looks better on your wall, it's worth a couple of minutes of extra time for the months or years of compliments you'll get on the image.

the other point is that, as has already been mentioned, you will see a lot more noise on your screen, especially if you're viewing the image file at full size, than you will notice in a print. if you look at an image at 5MP size on screen, you may see some noise, but if you temporarily resize it to 800x600 (approximately the size of an 8x10 print), much of that noise goes away. that will give you a rough idea of how the pic will look when printed, and you can then resize it back to original and run your NR program to clean up as much noise as you need to for a nice, clean print.
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