Canon T1i High ISO Noise Reduction

The Canon T1i delivers similar high-ISO image quality compared to the EOS 50D. Like the 50D, the T1I's different noise-reduction settings allow you quite a bit of flexibility in choosing how you want to make the trade-off between subject detail and noise levels. It's not clear that the "off" setting truly eliminates the noise processing altogether, but it is true that it leaves a lot of fine/subtle subject detail there for you to work with. The combination of shooting with NR turned off and using a good noise-filtering program after the fact can produce very clean images with lots of fine detail in them. (And of course, the Rebel T1i's CR2 RAW files have no noise-reduction processing applied to them at all, adhering to the true philosophy of RAW shooting.)

See for yourself how the noise reduction works under daylight-balanced lighting. Click on any of the crops below to see the corresponding full-sized image.We've include low ISOcrops at default noise reduction for reference.

High ISO Noise Reduction Comparison
Simulated Daylight
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800
L
O
W

I
S
O
Off
Low
Normal
High
I
S
O

1
6
0
0
Off
Low
Normal
High
I
S
O

3
2
0
0
Off
Low
Normal
High
I
S
O

6
4
0
0
Off
Low
Normal
High
I
S
O

1
2
8
0
0

The above crops show the effects of the 4 levels of high ISO noise reduction, under our studio HMI lighting we use to simulate daylight.

 

But how does the Canon T1i compare to the more expensive EOS50D with a very similar sensor? See the crops below.

High ISO Noise Reduction T1I vs EOS50D Comparison
Simulated Daylight
High ISONoise Reduction
Off
Low
Normal
High
Canon Rebel T1i
I
S
O

1
6
0
0
Canon EOS50D
Canon Rebel T1i
Canon EOS 50D
Canon Rebel T1i
Canon EOS 50D
Canon Rebel T1i
I
S
O

3
2
0
0
Canon EOS50D
Canon Rebel T1i
Canon EOS50D
Canon Rebel T1i
Canon EOS50D
Canon Rebel T1i
I
S
O

6
4
0
0
Canon EOS50D
Canon Rebel T1i
Canon EOS50D
Canon Rebel T1i
Canon EOS50D
Canon Rebel T1i
I
S
O

1
2
8
0
0
Canon EOS50D
Canon Rebel T1i
Canon EOS50D
Canon Rebel T1i
Canon EOS 50D

The above crops compare the Rebel T1i (top row) versus the EOS 50D (bottom row) of each set. It looks as though high ISO performance is very similar, with the T1i sometimes having a slight edge over the 50D, and vice versa. That's no surprise, since they use very similar sensors and processors.

Unfortunately, dcraw does not support Canon T1i RAW files at the time of writing (early May 2009), so we can't compare RAW noise performance. (Yet.)

 

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