Taking noiseless pictures with digital cameras

    In this article I will try to explain what noise is and how we can get rid of it or at least how can we minimize it. Noise is the presence of color speckles where there should be uniform color. For example, if you take a picture of a bright blue sky you can see small tiny dots that have different color instead of blue. Those dots are considered noise. The size of the image sensor, the ISO setting on the camera and the lighting condition all, more or less, contribute to formation of noise.

   The physical size of the sensor plays big role in creating noise. If we have two digital cameras with same size sensor but one of the cameras is 6 MP (mega pixels) and the other one is 10 MP (mega pixels) then the second camera will have more noise if everything else is equal. This is because the photo elements in the 10 MP camera sensor are smaller, denser and compacted causing the sensor to run hotter than the sensor in the other camera. When the sensor is hot it produces artifacts that make more noise. So when you are buying digital camera you shouldn’t look only how many pixels it has but also the size of the image sensor.

   Next factor that contributes to noise is the ISO setting on the camera. The larger is the ISO setting the more noise will be produced. This is because the ISO setting, which controls the sensitivity to light of the image sensor, amplifies the signal that receives from the lens and because the signal has some noise in it the noise is getting amplified too producing noisy photo. So if you want to produce a photo that has less noise use the lowest ISO setting possible if the conditions allow.

   Lighting is the most important thing for taking noiseless pictures and pictures in general. You can have the most expensive camera in the world but you can’t take one single photo if there is no light. To reduce the amount of noise the subject has to be properly exposed. When the subject is well lit the image sensor can receive enough light so it won’t produce artifacts.

   Every time when taking pictures use tripod if possible, expose your subject right, and keep the ISO setting on the camera at minimum. That is how you can reduce the noise in your pictures without post processing.


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