Beginner High ISO noise

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#1
Small sensor (Canon G5X).
Evening/night time photos lit with candle lights and fairy lights.
Wide open, the lens is soft so stop down to f/4.
Shutter around 1/60 since I'm crap at anything below.
Auto-ISO, typically 6400. Huge amounts of noise.

I took the camera for personal use since it was a social gathering, so I didn't bother with tripod or flash (including onboard). What can I do to help reduce the noise? I tried a bit of NR in LR6 but I felt too much meant it looked like I'd smeared vaseline over the lens. I've attached some JPGs.

IMG_4552DNG.jpg

IMG_4550DNG.jpg
 
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#2
You can:
a) add light
b) open the aperture
c) increase the shutter speed
d) get a better camera

Based on the pictures the only realistic option available to you was to open the aperture. What's worse to you, a "soft" image or a grainy image?

Note that many much higher quality sensors would struggle in low light at f4, although the noise would be significantly better at 6400 ISO.
 
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Ben
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#3
They don’t look too bad but their low resolution so hard to tell. You would probably be better opening the lens and adding sharpening than trying to reduce noise.
Noise is also less apparent if you print photos. You might find that you don’t mind it if you print them.
There’s not much you can do about it now if you don’t like the way it looks with noise reduction. However in my opinion black and white looks far better with high amounts of noise than colour does.
 
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omens
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#4
What's worse to you, a "soft" image or a grainy image?
I'll see if I can upload some of the more softer photos esp w/ settings but I found wide open gave me haloes aroud the fairy lights which intruded on the image.
They don’t look too bad but their low resolution so hard to tell.
They were reduced down to 1200 pixels long side and uploaded for sharing. I'll see if I can upload full sized JPGs.
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#5
I would accept the limitations of the kit you used (well, you have to now anyway!!!) and console myself with the knowledge that back in film days, I wouldn't have any shots to remember the evening by. IMO, the use of flash might have lit the main subjects better but would have spoiled the atmosphere of the evening for all.
 
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omens
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#7
I would accept the limitations of the kit you used...the use of flash might have lit the main subjects better but would have spoiled the atmosphere of the evening for all.
Thanks. I just wanted to see if there was anything I could do. I might try and pop a RAW up and see if anyone can make a decent attempt at noise reduction.

Borrow a small video light, to try these can make a huge difference.
As above, it was meant to be a casual thing. If I'd been serious, I would either have brought my 270EXII flash which works well with my compact camera, or my SLR and larger flash.
 
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David
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#9
Canon G5X ... just googled it .... sounds similar to the G7X, I have one of those, good camera. And I think I'd shoot in Av mode at f/1.8 (not soft, or not noticeably, to the human eye) with iso 320-640 (not 6400). I can't guess what the shutter speed would be, but fast enough for me. The camera's got good stabilisation.

I'm wondering if there's some other setting causing the problem .... like integrated ND filter activated!
 
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Mark
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#10
A trick I learned when trying to reduce noise in high ISO photos, in Lightroom apply some sharpening, then slide the "masking" slider over to a high value, like 90+, then apply noise reduction. This can give you a sharper less noisy image, although you may have to play with these 3 sliders to get what you want, and you can't add detail the camera didn't capture, but the trick is the masking slider, it helps ensure noise reduction is applied where you'd typically want it, rather than to the sharper edges, which is what gives the smearing effect.
 
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#11
Black and white conversions turn noise into film grain. Shooting multiple exposures costs nothing on digital and might catch a frame of zero subject movement. Force shoot at ISO 3200 or lower and raise the shadows in PP. Shoot wide open and accept the slightly softer image in exchange for less noise. Get a little closer as most zooms are faster glass at the wider ends. A handy trick when the situation allows.... a friend with an iPhone torch aimed at the subject.
 
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#12
Canon G5X ... just googled it .... sounds similar to the G7X
It's the same camera with an EVF and hotshoe, which is why I bought it.

I think I'd shoot in Av mode at f/1.8 (not soft, or not noticeably, to the human eye) with iso 320-640 (not 6400). I can't guess what the shutter speed would be, but fast enough for me. The camera's got good stabilisation.
I was in Av-mode most of the time. I think if I opened up more, I could have dropped the ISO further. I'm not sure how comfortably I could lower the shutter speed.

I'm wondering if there's some other setting causing the problem .... like integrated ND filter activated!
Shouldn't be. Daytime photos were fine. I'll double check the settings since I didn't activate or deactivate ND filter.

A trick I learned when trying to reduce noise in high ISO photos, in Lightroom apply some sharpening, then slide the "masking" slider over to a high value, like 90+, then apply noise reduction. This can give you a sharper less noisy image, although you may have to play with these 3 sliders to get what you want, and you can't add detail the camera didn't capture, but the trick is the masking slider, it helps ensure noise reduction is applied where you'd typically want it, rather than to the sharper edges, which is what gives the smearing effect.
I'll have a fiddle with the settings.

Black and white conversions turn noise into film grain. Shooting multiple exposures costs nothing on digital and might catch a frame of zero subject movement. Force shoot at ISO 3200 or lower and raise the shadows in PP. Shoot wide open and accept the slightly softer image in exchange for less noise. Get a little closer as most zooms are faster glass at the wider ends. A handy trick when the situation allows.... a friend with an iPhone torch aimed at the subject.
I could have used the onboard pop-up flash if I really needed it but I wanted to capture the ambience. The next time I get an opportunity for low light, I'll try a lower ISO and see what I can recover in LR.
 
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#14
Too many replies to read but could not be easier

Just download this I use it a lot when shooting late at 25000+

As a photographer with Classic Cars Magazine I often shot at 2am and late evening this is good software

https://noiseware-community-edition.en.softonic.com/ Image1.jpg
 
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#15
Image1.jpg
 
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