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ISO Test with a D70s looking to compare with a D200


Hi all,

I've had my D70s for about 8 months now and although it's a great camera on the whole I'm quite dissapointed with the noise it produces with anything above ISO 400! it's becoming quite hard to use in anything but ideal conditions, so basically I would like to see if someone could possibly take some still images of the same subject throughout the iso range with their D200 as I wish to compare as I want to upgrade soon and see if the D200's is comparable to canon's range(which is very good with reduced noise at high iso's), I feel this could also be a useful post for others?

Here's mine throughout the range using a tripod and shooting in "jpeg fine" with an apeture of 5.6 in manual mode(exif is all there) pictures have just been resized from the camera to 800 x 640

You'll see from this that on the whole they look 'ok' but it's when you have to start cropping to 100% that the pictures become unsuitable to use imo.

Ok @ ISO 200

@ ISO 400

@ ISO 500

@ ISO 640

@ ISO 800

@ ISO 1000

@ ISO 1250

@ ISO 1600




Just to add this pic from a few weeks ago at night using a flash gun and @ 1/160 I really couldn't do much more I feel to freeze the frame without going much higher and even grainier than 800, although the exif data doesnt reveal the ISO, I think this was at 400 and if it isnt than it was @ 800.

Pretty bad eh?



Well-Known Member
Good idea, but to really show off the noise, I think that you have to have some solid blacks ... as in some night shots, or dark shade shots.

Here is a single shot ... available night light at ISO 1600.

My D200 has alot of noise at anything above 800. I don't think it is probably any better than your D70.



Well-Known Member
The noise doesn't look too bad to me and it compares very well against fast films such as the Fuji 800 and 1600 ones I have just tried.


I had the Nikon CP 5700, the D70 and have owned the D200 for 2 years (or so). I have found the noise levels increasingly oppressive with each succeeding camera. The 5700 was so-so. The D70 not so great. The D200 unacceptable. I have not done testing in the manner you have requested. These are my impressions. I'm not a techie and can only assume the increasing levels of noise are due to the increasing amount of pixels in the same sized sensor (?). However, and here's the problem. While i could manage noise levels produced by the 5700 and the D70 in PS (with the help of noise management plug-ins) the D200 has me scratching my head. Yes, i use Noise Ninja. I also sometimes smooth out the artifacts in the luminance channel of PS's Lab Mode. Both work to a degree but you must balance the advantages with the disadvantages. Smooth the noise, lose the sharpness. The noise in the D200 i find to be particularly sharp and ugly. I do not use the camera's noise reduction because i would rather determine the degree to which i want to eliminate it depending on the subject matter. I shoot a LOT of ballet both in ballet studio and also the theater. Needless to say i am shooting often at ISO's of 800 to 1600. At 1600, well, what can one say? It's a battle and a half. At 800, there are knife-edged pixels all over my tiny ballerinas faces, underarms, necks, legs, etc. But it's correctable. At 1000 it's more difficult and at 1600 it's a beast. I personally prefer the more organic look of film grain to the look of squarish knife-edged electronic artifacts that look like a migraine aura but the work of scanning bazillion negatives is particularly daunting. So i stick with the D200. Does it get better? I would like to know. Would plunking down the cash for the D2X be the answer? The D200 is already a huge chunk of camera to lug around, especially with a long zoom attached to it. I can scarcely imagine how much heavier and clunky the D2X would be! For now I am shooting more Medium format film in low light conditions for my personal use and the D200 stays on the shelf until I need it to shoot ballet and then i curse and swear all during the post-processing.