Film Grain vs Digital Noise

If you spend anytime on a photography forum that leans towards the technical you cannot escape discussions comparing the image quality of different cameras at higher ISO settings.  Typically at this time the threshold seems to be about 3200 ISO which is perfect because here are samples taken with an Olympus Stylus Epic and Kodak T-MAX3200 film.  The current state of the art in digital imaging is so far ahead of film now in this particular area that I’m not sure why anyone is complaining and not just out shooting, after all there’s plenty of light just crank up the ISO.

Olympus_Epic_007Olympus_Epic_007-2And now a digital file, while it was only ISO 800 I had made settings to  increase the graininess in an attempt to mimic film.  Clearly I would need to be even more aggressive with in camera processing if I hoped to approach film  grain.


One Response to “Film Grain vs Digital Noise”

  • Nikhil Ramkarran Says:

    I tend to find the whole discussion of noise a very tedious one. There are many more important things when it comes to good photography.

    I concede that you don’t want an image with ugly blotchy spots of colour, but a good image is a good image whether it is noisy or not.

    And I think it is highly unlikely that a bad noisy image will suddenly become a good image if you remove the noise.

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