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Nikon D2Hs DSLR High ISO Noise Test
Comparison vs Nikon D2H


March 22nd, 2005.
After a short hands on with a production version of Nikon's latest professional digital SLR, the Nikon D2Hs, we have added a few sample images comparing how well the Nikon D2Hs performs in relation to its predecessor the Nikon D2H in terms of high ISO image noise.

One of the new features on the Nikon D2Hs is a Menu option for selecting High ISO Noise Reduction (same as the Nikon D2X). The settings include Off / Normal / High.


Nikon D2Hs Shooting Menu offers selection for High ISO Noise Reduction (NR).


Nikon D2Hs High ISO NR sub-menu. Select from Norm, High, Off (similar to Nikon D2X)


The 'Color Chart' images below taken at 1600 and 800 ISO, compare the Nikon D2H with the Nikon D2Hs with High ISO NR set to either Normal or High. The 1000 ISO sample images compare the Nikon D2Hs with High ISO NR set to Off / Normal / High respectively.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nikon D2Hs Image Samples with High ISO NR

 
Nikon D2Hs at 1600 ISO. High ISO NR set to High
Click here to download larger file
 
Nikon D2Hs at 1600 ISO. High ISO NR set to Normal
Click here to download larger file

 

Resized Crop Comparison Below



Nikon D2Hs, 1600 ISO, High ISO NR set to High (Crop)
Nikon D2Hs, 1600 ISO, High ISO NR set to Normal (Crop)

Click here to download a larger version of the above comparison


Looking at the side by side crop above, it is clear that the NR High setting on the Nikon D2Hs is more effective at reducing the overall appearance of image noise. As is common with most in camera NR reduction systems, there is a slight trade-off; as the amount of noise reduction is increased, there seems to be some loss of detail due to the "smoothening effects" of the NR processing itself.

All in all though, the Nikon D2Hs seems to produce a very usable 1600 ISO image, depending on the specific image requirements.



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Nikon D2Hs compared to Nikon D2H at 1600 ISO (Color Chart)

Nikon D2H at 1600 ISO
Nikon D2Hs at 1600 ISO
High ISO NR set to Normal
Nikon D2Hs at 1600 ISO
High ISO NR set to High

Click on images above to download full size JPEG

 

Color Channel Comparison D2H vs D2Hs at 1600 ISO

Nikon D2H versus Nikon D2Hs at 1600 ISO (Larger Size)
Blue Channel Crop Comparison with High ISO
Noise Reduction set to Normal and High on D2Hs

 

Nikon D2H versus Nikon D2Hs at 1600 ISO (Large Size)
Blue Channel Crop Comparison with High ISO
Noise Reduction set to Normal and High on D2Hs

 

Nikon D2H versus Nikon D2Hs at 1600 ISO (Large Size)
Grey Channel Crop Comparison with High ISO
Noise Reduction set to Normal and High on D2Hs



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Nikon D2Hs compared to Nikon D2H at 800 ISO (Color Chart)

Nikon D2H at 800 ISO
Nikon D2Hs at 800 ISO
High ISO NR set to Normal
Nikon D2Hs at 800 ISO
High ISO NR set to High

Click on images above to download full size JPEG


Color Channel Comparison D2H vs D2Hs at 800 ISO

Nikon D2H versus Nikon D2Hs at 800 ISO (Large Size)
Blue Channel Crop Comparison with High ISO
Noise Reduction set to Normal and High on D2Hs

 

Nikon D2H versus Nikon D2Hs at 800 ISO (Large Size)
Green Channel Crop Comparison with High ISO
Noise Reduction set to Normal and High on D2Hs

 

Nikon D2H versus Nikon D2Hs at 800 ISO (Large Size)
Grey Channel Crop Comparison with High ISO
Noise Reduction set to Normal and High on D2Hs





Nikon D2Hs High ISO NR Comparison at 1000 ISO (Color Chart)

Nikon D2Hs at 1000 ISO
High ISO NR set to Off
Nikon D2Hs at 1000 ISO
High ISO NR set to Normal
Nikon D2Hs at 1000 ISO
High ISO NR set to High

Click on images above to download full size JPEG


Color Channel Comparison D2Hs at 1000 ISO

Nikon D2Hs at 1000 ISO (Larger Size)
Blue Channel Crop Comparison with D2Hs High ISO
Noise Reduction set to Off, Normal and High

 

Nikon D2Hs at 1000 ISO (Larger Size)
Green Channel Crop Comparison with D2Hs High ISO
Noise Reduction set to Off, Normal and High

 

Nikon D2Hs at 1000 ISO (Larger Size)
Grey Channel Comparison with D2Hs High ISO
Noise Reduction set to Off, Normal and High

 

Conclusion:
As can be seen from the above image comparisons, the Nikon D2Hs DSLR definately improves upon its predecessor the Nikon D2H at higher ISO settings. According to Nikon, these i
mprovements are a result of refinements to the D2Hs processing ASIC and revised image processing algorithms.

Based on the color patch comparison below, there is far less observable noise when shooting with the Nikon D2Hs at the higher 1600 ISO (with High ISO noise reduction set to Normal ), compared to shooting with the Nikon D2H at 800 ISO.

In our opinion, there is at least a 1 stop sensitivity advantage for the Nikon D2Hs vs the Nikon D2H when shooting at high ISO. How the noise reduction processing affects the final image quality varies to some degree with the degree of NR processing selected (Normal / High). Once we can get our hands on a Nikon D2Hs D-SLR for a longer period, we will update this preview with additional "real world" image samples at a range of ISO settings, and make a final conclusion regarding image quality.

 


Nikon D2H at 800 ISO crop compared to Nikon D2Hs at 1600 ISO crop (Larger Size)

 


To buy the Nikon D2Hs or the Nikon D2X visit B&H Photo and Video
Trusted photographic merchants since 1973

 

See our Nikon D2Hs DSLR preview below

Nikon D2Hs vs Nikon D2H and D2X Specs, D2Hs Major Features,
D2Hs AF System and Image Processing

Controls and new WiFi Support , Specifications and Press Release



 
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