Nikon D200 Noise Levels

One of the main reasons for adding a Nikon D200 was to be able to do ambient light photography at ISO levels that permit reasonable shutter speeds. I tested in order to set my own noise baselines for reference. The test was done off tripod with noise reduction applied. The images were shot in RAW format, over a period of about a minute and a half using aperture priority at an aperture of f-8.0. Shutter speeds varied from 1/4 second to 1/125th. Each image was opened in Adobe Camera RAW, using the Auto setting. No further image processing was done. A 640 x 480 crop was done with a Photoshop Action, and the resulting image is seen at 100% on your monitor. With a common monitor resolution of 96 ppi, this would be the equivalent of a 40.33" x 27" (1024.5mm x 685.8mm) print. I find little practical difference between ISO100 and ISO400. One would reserve ISO3200 for available-gloom photography, but none the less cropping the image to 8x10 format produced a print that showed remarkably little noise, even when printed on premium glossy paper - roughly equivalent to that of a 35mm negative in the ISO800 range.

©2007 Larry N.Bolch