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Great slaty woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus

16 May 2016 12:30 #3745 by bootly66

I have noise issues with every camera I have had - I am, personally, very intolerant to noise, its one of the main reasons I don't get many keepers, I zoom in to 100% and end up deleting most of them as I like my photos to look the same quality at 4000 px as they do at 800 px. The pic above is excellent at 4000 px wide which gives me the opportunity to use/print it in virtually anyway I might like.

I have gone through a lot of experimenting and internet research but never could come up with a concrete view as everyone has a different noise tolerance and opinion. I think, as forest photographers, we have to decide whats our main photography type and then go with that and damn all else. For me it was hide work in low light - full frame's really the only answer if we don't have much light. The d800 threw me off a little as its noise performance after 800 for 100% viewing of the file is pretty bad IMHO even for a full frame camera - it took me a long time to work this out. With the D5 (and D4s which is essentially the same) I have quickly become very comfortable with 1600 and found 3200 to be very workable. At 6800 its not really working for me and my quality/size desires. So you can see I am very very picky about noise.

You may want to look at some pics from the d500 which has the best noise performance for an APC cam to date. Alternatively there should be some second hand full frame Df and D750s coming available in fotofile as people turn to the d500. You loose reach of course but thats not such a great issue if your first priority is from a blind in the forest understory on a rainy season day at 7:00 a.m. and you don't want to use flash ;+)

Of course the rub is that APC with its reach and smaller pixel pitch has the advantage for all wildlife shooting in nearly all other situations when theres sufficient light about.

With the 7100 I never used it in a blind so cannot really be of much use to you - I used it for macro and always with flash, never going over 400 ISO, I didn't like 800 even.


Thanks for the reply.. I also have a real dislike of noise and I agree full frame is the only way in low light, but my budget doesn't really go any further than the D7200 unfortunately.. do you have any experience or knowledge of the D610 or D700 ???

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16 May 2016 12:39 #3746 by Paul T
I don't but I think Ton has a 700 so maybe he can add something.
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16 May 2016 19:15 #3747 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Great slaty woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus
D700 is a good camera in low-light in my opinion, but maybe I am more noise-tolerant than Paul ;-)
Of course it depends what you use your images for. If only for internet publication, there is little to worry about, unless you need to crop heavily.

The D700 is better in low light than my new D810. Not strange of course, because the D700 has 12 million pixels, while the D810 has 36 milion, and of course the smaller the pixel, the more noise you get, simply because larger pixels are more accurate. I often use auto-ISO which i set to a maximum of 3200 on my D700.
On the D810, I would rather not go further than 1600, but still occasionally I do go up to 3200.

I personally prefer a noisy picture over a blurry shot or no shot at all.
And to be honest in my opinion up to 3200 the noise on both these bodies is in most cases not very ugly.

I normally don't use the in-camera noise-reduction, because often I think it is more ugly than the noise itself, but that is just my personal opinion.
There are however nice methods to reduce it in post. Noise is usually most annoying on smooth out of focus backgrounds, but at the same time reducing noise in those backgrounds is quite easy.

If shooting in low-light is very important, surely a full frame is the best option. But maybe you prefer the extra reach you get with a DX frame. You're a bird photographer, so the extra reach of a DX might be more important, unless you have a long lens.
One of the reasons I bought the D810, is because it has enough resolution to crop significantly. And with a simple press on the button and turning the wheel (menu setting) you can switch to DX mode and still have 15 mp left, get a higher frame rate, and small file size.
Saved me from having to buy/ carry around two bodies (1 DX and 1 FX).

In the end those D7*** camera are all great cameras, and can all make great images that could win a Wildlife Photographer of the Year award.
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16 May 2016 20:08 #3748 by bootly66
Thanks to both of you for your knowledgeable words. I'm still not sure which way to go FX or DX .. Price really is a big issue for me. I've just had the offer of a factory modded D600. so i my go with that.... anyway cheers for all your help

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