A reader asks:
I’m curious if you know the answer. I don’t print very often so I’m not experienced with it. I keep reading about noise in digital of course. I also have read many remarks about noise not being visible in print under some conditions. So I’m curious if there is a threshold. For example, on the 5D2, what is the print size where noise becomes visible at a given ISO? The 7D? I realize that where it becomes objectionable may be subjective, but I thought it may be interesting to know when it is visible or invisible in print.
Let’s assume other technical details are handled well… good exposure, good focus, sharp lens, and no camera shake.
Thanks for writing. This is a great question and a subject that lots of people worry about. I’m not sure I know the answer, but I have an answer based on my own experience. The situation turns out to be a bit fuzzy in the end – in other words, if there is a threshold a number of factors could change your notions of where it might be. (I welcome comments from others who have experience to share.)
From reading photography discussions one could get the idea that image noise in digital photography is a terrible and limiting problem. Discussions often focus on questions like “which camera produces less noise?” and “how do I fix this noise problem.” We see 100% magnification crops of images in which noise is, indeed, quite visible. There are most certainly noise issues that we have to concern ourselves with, but all too often people get worked up over noise issues that are insignificant or even imperceptible – and which are often easy to resolve. Continue reading A Question About Noise and Prints