The Difference Between Grain and Noise

After my test of the new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Beta “Grain Tool” yesterday I thought I’d do a comparison with the digital noise that is the modern equivalent of film grain.

I used my Nikon Coolpix P6000 and shot a similar scene. Again I used a tripod, aperture priority and varied the film speed through the camera’s range from ISO 64 all the way to ISO 6400.

Note that when the camera is in one of its auto modes it will set the ISO at values between these steps. You can also set a “fixed range” of ISO speeds. I normally confine it to choosing speeds between 64 and 200. That’s a nice feature given the noise that the small sensor generates.

Note also that the maximum size picture you can take at ISO 3200 and 6400 is 2048 x 1536 (2M). I guess Nikon is ashamed to make bigger pictures with so much noise. Thus the last two pictures in the gallery below are not comparable with the rest.


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