Noise removal software
Shooting with a long telephoto lens can be tricky. If you are shooting wildlife the animals are moving. So we need to move our camera to follow the movement of the animals (so that they will be in the frame). With both the subject and the camera moving, coupled with the long lens we need to use a high shutter speed to prevent motion blur. The shutter speed needs to be fast enough to freeze the movement of the animals and fast enough to not show the movement of the camera.
As you can see, the light levels are very low. My Sony 200-600mm lens is already set to F.6.3; the largest aperture at 600mm which allows the most possible light to enter the camera (for this lens). Image stabilization helps to prevent camera shake but does nothing regarding the moving birds. A high shutter speed with low light and lens already wide open only leaves the photographer with one last option. Jack the ISO high. If you don't do this your image will be too dark.
High ISO leads to noise. Oh' I hate noise! But what can we do about it? Firstly, rather get the shot with noise than bringing down the ISO as that will bring down your shutter speed which in turn will lead to out of focus images. Noise will always be preferred above out of focus images. Lucky, there has been great progress made by image editing software using AI technology to get rid of noise. Of late I tried out the offering from DXO called "Deep Prime." The program was very impressive at dealing with noise.
In the past, I have hated the result gained by noise reduction software almost as much as the noise itself. They used to wipe out all detail (okay, almost all) and leave you with a mushy, paintery mess devoid of the detail that should be there. Deep Prime still leaves detail where detail should be. I am definitely adding this software to my toolkit. There are other options too, such as the offerings from Topaz Labs and On1. Now we can be less afraid of high ISO images and focus on getting the images we want to get. This is a good day.
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