I wrote a post recently about my newest acquisition – the 3.3MP Canon G1 camera that was released in 2000 and how much the quality of the images it’s capable of producing surprised me. I’ve had more time to shoot with it, and I’ve found the one area where it really can’t keep up with modern cameras – high ISO performance. And by high ISO, I mean really anything over ISO 100. In fact the highest ISO you can set on it is 400 and I was pretty horrified by the results at 400 ISO. Granted, the photo below is also under-exposed which makes any digital noise even more apparent, but even perfectly exposed photos taken at 400 ISO look pretty bad. To the camera’s defense, despite the terrible noise, everything in the photograph is still well-defined, which you certainly can’t say about modern day cellphone photos taken under less than stellar lighting conditions.
I shot this photo in RAW, but despite that, I was able to do very little to minimize the noise in Camera RAW. It’s not just noise either, it’s like there are straight lines going across the image. I decided to convert it to black and white, because all the noise was just too colorful and looked even worse in color. I also added a little bit of digital “grain” to make the noise look just a little bit more “even.” Despite everything, I happen to love this shot of my baby boy, who had fallen asleep sitting up on the couch while watching the 101 Dalmatians movie after spending a very active day outside swimming in the pool and running around.