Nikon D5500 High ISO NR
Nikon D5500 High ISO Noise Reduction
The Nikon D5500's four noise-reduction settings ("High, "Normal", "Low" and "Off") provide good flexibility in choosing how you want to make the trade-off between subject detail and noise levels. The Nikon D5500 user manual doesn't say when High ISO NR kicks in, so we've included crops from the base ISO on up in the tables below. The manual does however say that the "Off" still applies noise reduction "as required", though at a lower strength than the "Low" setting.
See for yourself how the Nikon D5500's "Normal" and "Off" High ISO NR settings compare to RAW without noise reduction under daylight-balanced lighting. (Note that these RAW images have no sharpening applied, so they look softer than camera JPEGs at low ISOs.) Click on any of the crops below to see the corresponding full-sized image.
The Nikon D5500's "Normal" High ISO Noise Reduction setting provides a good overall tradeoff between noise and detail to our eye, though as you can see the new EXPEED 4 processor struggles to maintain definition in our difficult red-lead swatch already at low ISOs. Turning High ISO NR down helps (as you can see in the crops from the "Off" setting), however noise is more visible as expected.
Nikons usually perform very well with that challenging subject matter but like other recent Nikons, the D5500's EXPEED 4 image processor applies more effective chroma noise reduction which causes stronger blurring in the red-leaf swatch than what we're used to seeing from older Nikon image processors. Still, we're sure most target users will appreciate the overall reduction of chroma noise and other improvements in their high ISO JPEGs, and users can always shoot in RAW or RAW+JPEG mode if they'd rather have better control over noise reduction processing.
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