I am slowly becoming less afraid of noise. Doug's Green Heron post made me think about it and I went back to this shot taken a few weeks ago. It is basically full frame and ISO 5000. In my experience black feathers and dark areas can be the worst offenders for noise so I thought this example might be worth a try. The original out of the camera is not bad but at 1:1 shows a good deal of noise. After basic light room adjustments I moved it to PS and isolated the bird and perch from the background. I applied the smart sharpening filter 70% with 50% noise reduction to the subject (normally might use 80% / 5% ). Then inverted and applied the noise reduction filter @100% to the background. Not bad for a black bird at ISO 5000? A couple of thoughts about noise. It is better to have a slightly noisy sharp image than a less noisy soft image. Higher shutter speeds often mean higher ISO but higher shutter speeds often result in sharper images. Cropping and or raising exposure in post makes noise worse. To take usable images at higher ISO's get close, fill the view finder and get the exposure right in the camera. The D500 handles higher ISO remarkably well for a crop sensor. Gitzo 4552L monopd, 1/1000, f6.3, auto ISO - 5000, +0.7ev, 500 f4E + 1.4III extender, D500. cc
I can't get these to load in the order I want them to: 1 is basic LR edits no nr - 2 is original with no edits - 3 is PS edited version, 4 is 3 plus added a bit of space to the lhs. The differences are subtle here and more obvious at full resolution.