Noise Doesn’t Bother Me Anymore

One of the negatives about a crop-sensor camera like my Canon R7 is that the images it produces tend to have more noise than images produced by a full-frame camera.  As you might recall noise is seen in an image as graininess – little dots throughout the picture.  I used to set my shutter speed as low as possible to reduce the ISO (which is an indicator of how much noise the image will contain).  On sunny days I would set my shutter speed to 1/800th of a second.  On an overcast day I would set my shutter speed to 1/320th to 1/180th of a second.  This reduced the noise but I lost images because the shutter speed was so slow it didn’t stop even slow actions like the legs of a bird as it walked.  Then I saw the Puffin picture.

You remember the one from the 2023 Audubon Photography Awards.  The Puffin was perched on a jet-black rock formation with some flowers nearby.  It was dark outside with some rain coming down.  Photographer Shane Kalyn set up his camera at 1/6400th of a second!  I would probably have set mine two-hundred times slower in an attempt to get a reasonable ISO/noise level but Shane’s image had an ISO of 2000!  Any images of mine at 2000 would have been very noisy so I have to assume he used a denoise program to reduce the graininess.  The picture turned out is beautifully.

My takeaway?  Don’t worry about the noise.  I now set my shutter speed to 1/2000th of a second and so far I’ve been happy with the results.  Far fewer shots have been lost due to movement blur and if a picture has too much noise I get rid of it.

What do you set your shutter to for most shots?  I’d be curious to know.


If you enjoy seeing beautiful pictures of birds from around the world and reading about them Click Here to sign up for our mailing list.  Members can post their own GreatBirdPics and learn more about bird photography techniques.

Please Login to comment
Notify of