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Download a trial of DxO Optics Pro and run their new PRIME noise reduction against that RAW file. You may be in for another 'WOW' moment! :)

Brooks Jensen

Alan, Thanks for the DxO suggestion. Downloaded their free trial version, but no go. The Panasonic GM1 is not yet supported and all my local files — all of them — are DNG format which DxO does not support. (Huh?) I store all my original RAW files offsite in deep storage as third level backups, so I'll have to go grab them at some point to test. Wait — a good excuse to go out shooting this weekend! Thanks!

Phil Harbord

I had a bit of an epiphany recently when looking at camera sensor comparisons on the DX0mark website. I was specifically comparing the Nikon D7000, D800 and D600.

I’ve never really understood why the D800 has supposedly much better noise than the D7000, the sensors are exactly the same resolution the D800 just has more area so I would have expected the pixel per pixel noise to have been the same. Turns out it is! The DX0 mark ratings are shown by default relative to a standardised print size, so effectively the D800 is down sampled far more than the D7000. If you click on the little switch that swaps the performance graphs from ‘print’ to ‘screen’ you suddenly see the D800 has exactly the same noise at a per pixel level as the D7000. The D600 is of course slightly better as the photosites are 50% bigger. So this completely supports what you’re saying Brooks.

What alarms me slightly is that DX0mark apply the same effect to dynamic range and tonality! There’s no way I can see that down sampling will ever increase dynamic range as it is fundamentally a pixel level attribute. I need to ask DX0 this question and understand how they get to these figures because in the case of dynamic range I don’t believe they’re true.

None the less down sampling really does reduce noise. However if there were less pixels there to start with the noise would have been lower anyway. So maybe the bottom line is higher resolution sensors give you the choice to have lots on pixels and resolution at low ISO sensitivities and also allow you to down sample and achieve lower noise at higher ISO levels. A win, win scenario as our business colleagues like to say.

Victor Filepp

Your recent experience with the GM-1 prompts me to ask how you chose this as your "walking around" camera. Is it familiarity with the brand or was there a painful search?

I'm looking to add a smaller camera that will produce high quality images so I don't always need to be encumbered, and a target, with the big stuff.

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