Fixing Grainy Shots

Thread: Fixing Grainy Shots

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  1. #1
    Member Drez's Avatar
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    Fixing Grainy Shots

    So I'm aspiring to be a better photographer and I figure the best way to do that on an amature level is to isolate some of the things that go wrong and learn to fix them. I'm still pretty hesitant with most of the manual setting on my Canon SD 700 but I'd like to improve on that. So here it goes, sometime I find certain shots grainy, I don't like that so I'll try again but "the" shot Im trying keeps coming out that way, here's a tame, albeit typical example.

    I assume its related to the lighting, what should I do here? Change the ISO speed?

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  2. #2
    Haf
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    Re: Fixing Grainy Shots

    The higher the ISO the more noise (grain) and loss of detail you gain.

    The only way to get good results is to shoot at base ISO in good light, other than that a more drastic measure would be to buy a new camera, a D-SLR for example with a larger sensor that offers better noise performance.

    You might also try to remove some of the noise by using some kind of photo editing tool, but that is done at the expense of detail.

    Here's a good article for an in depth coverage of the concept http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...mage-noise.htm

  3. #3
    Member Drez's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing Grainy Shots

    Quote Originally Posted by Haf View Post
    The higher the ISO the more noise (grain) and loss of detail you gain.

    The only way to get good results is to shoot at base ISO in good light, other than that a more drastic measure would be to buy a new camera, a D-SLR for example with a larger sensor that offers better noise performance.

    You might also try to remove some of the noise by using some kind of photo editing tool, but that is done at the expense of detail.

    Here's a good article for an in depth coverage of the concept http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...mage-noise.htm

    Thanks, I'll try using low ISO setting next time I run into this and see what like I have. I understand I might get more movement blur with low ISO setting though, correct? Shouldn't be too much of a prob for these still shots so long as I lay off the coffee.

    As for the DSLR, it's def on my wish list :)
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    *Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Twin Time (WV2115)
    *Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (2503.33.00)
    *Vintage 1956 Junghans Chronometer Cal. 82/1 (682.73)

    *Sunnto Core Lava Red Positive Dial (SS016788000
    )
    *Casio Super Illuminator (MDV102-7a)
    *Vintage 1983 Seiko SQ (6923-7009)

    *Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Cal 528-8 Mantle Clock


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  5. #4
    Member SquishyPanda's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing Grainy Shots

    If you're getting blurry shots at lower ISO, the simplest fix is either more light or a tripod. Or at least a monopod. You can go to your local hardware store and buy the longest bolt that will fit in the tripod hole in the bottom of your camera. Looks ghetto, but it's as solid a monopod as you're ever going to get, and works great for tabletop shots.

    Also, if at all possible, put the camera closer to your face and tuck your elbows into your body. Much more stable than holding the camera out at arms length.


  6. #5
    Member Drez's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing Grainy Shots

    I'll be playing with the ISO setting to see if that helps, I typically just leave it on auto so I dont know what it does. The blurring doesn't happen too often but enough that i've noticed and that leaves room to improve. I think I'll invest in a cheap o tripod either way, I've seen then pretty cheap on that famous bidding site. I like your monopod idea though, Im a big fan of DIY from the salt water aquarium hobby.

    Thanks
    Collection:

    *Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Twin Time (WV2115)
    *Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (2503.33.00)
    *Vintage 1956 Junghans Chronometer Cal. 82/1 (682.73)

    *Sunnto Core Lava Red Positive Dial (SS016788000
    )
    *Casio Super Illuminator (MDV102-7a)
    *Vintage 1983 Seiko SQ (6923-7009)

    *Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Cal 528-8 Mantle Clock


  7. #6
    Member Golf Nut's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing Grainy Shots

    As you suspect, a high ISO setting is the culprit and cause of your noise. Anything over the base ISO in a point-n-shoot camera is likely to introduce unwanted noise.

    If you are taking the pictures with typical amounts of indoor light, and hand-holding the camera to take the picture, I don't think there is anything you can do to improve the shot. If you can reduce the ISO down to the camera's base ISO, it will probably slow the shutter speed too much and the shot will be blurry from handshake.

    For this picture, I think it might look good as a black-and-white photo. Can the software that came with your Canon camera convert the image to a black-and-white image? Many times black and white images look really nice with some grain in them.



    There are 2 settings which control how much light hits the camera's sensor:
    • Aperture - represented as f/something, i.e. f/2.8, the aperture is an adjustable hole in the lens through which light passes to get to the camera's sensor. The lower the number, the larger the hole (an aperture setting of f/2.8 is twice as large as f/4) and the more light that is allowed through to the camera's sensor. The aperture also controls the depth of focus - the smaller the f/ number, the more narrow the depth of focus will be.
    • Shutter Speed - represented usually as a fraction of a second, i.e. 1/60, the shutter speed is the length of time that the shutter is open and allowing the light coming through the lens' aperture to hit the camera's sensor. The longer the shutter is open, the longer the sensor collects the light. 1/60 of a second is twice as long as 1/120 of a second.
    There is a 3rd factor that plays into the exposure of a picture, but it doesn't factor into how much light actually hits the camera's sensor. It is the ISO setting. ISO can be thought of as a digital gain or amplification setting on the camera's sensor. When you increase the ISO setting, you are increasing the amplification of the data captured by the camera's sensor, and this amplification is what casues the noise.



    So how to avoid noise in product photography?
    • Manually choose the lowest ISO setting. This is not an option with most point-n-shoot cameras when in full "auto" mode, but maybe on your camera you can put it in aperture-priority mode and manually select the ISO speed as well as the aperture. If you can do this, then the camera will automatically choose the correct shutter speed for a properly-exposed picture.
    • Use a tripod and either a) the camera's countdown timer or b) a shutter release cord. Many times when in aperture-priority mode the shutter speed needed for a given aperture and ISO setting will be too slow for you to hold the camera steady enough to make a sharp picture. With a lightweight point-n-shoot camera, a cheapo tripod is sufficient. No need to spend more than $30 here.
    • Increase the amount of light shining on your subject. The best way to do this on the cheap is to make your own light box and buy a pair of cheap shop lights. Total spent here should not be more than $40.
    Does any, most, or all of this make any sense? I'm typing this fast so I can keep watching the Fiesta Bowl, so it may not be making much sense...

    Regards.

    Jason
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  8. #7
    Member Drez's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing Grainy Shots

    All makes perfect sense
    thanks
    Collection:

    *Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Twin Time (WV2115)
    *Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (2503.33.00)
    *Vintage 1956 Junghans Chronometer Cal. 82/1 (682.73)

    *Sunnto Core Lava Red Positive Dial (SS016788000
    )
    *Casio Super Illuminator (MDV102-7a)
    *Vintage 1983 Seiko SQ (6923-7009)

    *Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Cal 528-8 Mantle Clock


  9. #8
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    Re: Fixing Grainy Shots

    There's various programs that can help reduce it in post processing. I think one of the more popular ones is called Noise Ninja. I've not used it myself, but I know a lot of people on another photography forum that do.

  10. #9
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing Grainy Shots

    Niose Ninja is very good. I use Nik Software's Dfine 2.0.
    The cheaper way to go is definitely a tripod. Go support your local camera store instead of buying from the 'bay.
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