Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
Support me by shopping at B&H!
Nikon D90 Gordon Laing, October 2008

Nikon D90 results : Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / High ISO Noise / Noise Reduction

Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 450D / XSi High ISO Noise

Support this site by shopping below

Nikon MB-D80 battery pack
 
To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 450D / XSi within a few moments of each other using each of their ISO settings.

We tested each camera with their respective kit lenses and adjusted the focal length of each to deliver the same field of view. The lenses were set to f8 in Aperture Priority mode for optimum sharpness. The D90's High ISO NR and Active D-Lighting were set to their default Normal and Auto positions respectively. Note we will update this review with comparisons against the Nikon D80 and Canon EOS 40D in the near future. These will also show high ISO results with Active D-Lighting off for comparison.

The image above was taken with the Nikon D90 at its base sensitivity of 200 ISO, using the DX 18-105mm VR kit lens at 21mm f8; the original Large Fine JPEG file measured 5.2MB. The crops are taken from the centre and presented at 100%.

The Nikon D90 and Canon 450D / XSi share essentially the same sensor resolution, and as we saw on our first results page, they're resolving roughly the same amount of real-life detail here. They do however employ different strategies when it comes to noise reduction using their default settings.

Pixel peepers will notice the D90's crops below exhibit visible noise textures at all but the lowest sensitivity - to be fair it's subtle at 200 ISO, but it's there if you're looking for it. In contrast, the 450D / XSi crops appear smooth and bereft of noise textures until much higher in its range.

What you're seeing here though is the effect of greater noise reduction on the part of the 450D / XSi. This in turn results in its own artefacts with patchy coloured marks just faintly appearing in the 400 ISO sample and more obviously at 800 ISO and above. This chroma noise becomes quite obtrusive at the 450D / XSi's maximum 1600 ISO sensitivity and gives it quite an electronic appearance.

As we've seen with other recent Nikon DSLRs, the D90 keeps these colour artefacts under check, and while there's visibly greater noise at 400 ISO upwards, it has a more acceptable 'grain' like appearance. It is of course down to personal preference, but we feel the D90's crops have a more natural look at higher sensitivities, while of course also giving you the chance to apply more noise reduction if you're finding the texture obtrusive.

Beyond 1600 ISO, the D90 delivers a result at 3200 ISO which is acceptable for emergency use, but the 6400 ISO sample is really a step too far for a 12 Megapixel cropped-frame model. If you need superior output at these kind of sensitivities, you're looking at a full-frame model like the Nikon D700.

The D90 offers a choice of four High ISO Noise Reduction settings which we'll demonstrate on the following page, but for now, the High setting will deliver similar output to the Canon at higher sensitivities if you'd prefer a smoother output. So check out our Nikon D90 High ISO Noise Reduction page or head over to our Nikon D90 Gallery where you'll find additional real-life images across its sensitivity range.




Nikon D90
with Nikkor DX 18-105mm VR
 
Canon EOS 450D / XSi
with Canon EF 18-55mm IS
L1.0 (100 ISO)
100 ISO
     
200 ISO
200 ISO
     
400 ISO
400 ISO
     
800 ISO
800 ISO
     
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
     
3200 ISO not available
3200 ISO
3200 ISO not available
     
6400 ISO not available
H1.0 (6400 ISO)
6400 ISO not available



Nikon D90 results continued...

Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / High ISO Noise
/ Noise Reduction
If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs