Testing Very High ISO with the D90

So I decided to try the HI1.0 ISO setting on my Nikon D90. That is actually ISO 6400. This image was shot without a flash with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 at 1/20th of a second. I shot in RAW and adjusted the white balance a bit, and the brightness in Lightroom very slightly. Otherwise, this is the image.

Noise is quite obvious. It actually doesn’t look quite as bad in this little image, so I exported larger ones too, that if you click on the image you will see a larger version. There the noise is even more noticeable. I don’t think I would really want to use this setting. The only reason I even wanted to try it was a friend had taken some at this setting on his Nikon D5000 (about the same sensor) and thought they were fine. Me, not so much.

Now, it was taken while the camera had high ISO noise reduction on. I am wishing now I had taken another with that off for reference. Also, one in JPEG mode with and without it turned on. Sounds like another post.

Ok, I wanted to see if I could make the image usable, so first I ran it through the Nik Define filter within Photoshop. It may be that I don’t know how to use the filter yet (used default settings), or it could be that there was just too much noise, but I wasn’t that impressed. Then I turned it over to Nik Silver Fx Pro. I have used this filter a bit more, and I thought the BW turned out pretty well.

I think it hides the color noise, and looks more like grain than noise now. Maybe usable. At least it allows you to get a shot that you never would be able to get otherwise. Now, to be fair, it was really dark. Only my child’s night light was on. I had a hard time focusing. But the great take away from this is that it would be awesome to take pictures at this ISO, and you can with cameras like the D700 and the D3 versions. I am really starting to like the idea of a full frame camera. Someday…