The art of noise: How to shoot in poor lighting with your Canon camera

Taken at night with ISO 25,600 this scene was fully dark, yet the camera can capture more information than the human eye (Image credit: Brian Worley)

I am going to start with my view that, in most cases, a noisy image with a sharp subject is better than a blurry one with less noise. I will happily raise the ISO on my camera to ensure I get a sharp result, but I meet so many photographers who seem to worry whenever they need to use ISO800 or more. 

Digital noise is more prevalent in darker parts of the image, as it’s these parts that have minimal light levels in the pixels, so to increase the sensitivity the noise gets amplified. Brighter parts of the same shot at the same ISO show less noise, as the signal-to-noise ratio is better. 

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Brian Worley

Brian is a freelance photographer and photo tutor, based in Oxfordshire. He has unrivaled EOS DSLR knowledge, after working for Canon for over 15 years, and is on hand to answer all the EOS and photographic queries in Canon-centric magazine PhotoPlus.