What Causes on a Grainy Pictures Digital Camera?

If you’ve taken photos and they have come out grainy, you’ve probably wondered, what causes grainy pictures in a highly-acclaimed digital camera? Well, it’s frustrating for those who have been there, but fortunately, today is your lucky day. In this post, we’ll let you in on the causes and tips to take great-looking clean photos.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • In photography, grain is also known as noise and is the wayward pixels in an image.
  • ISO is the camera setting used to brighten or darken a photograph. Simply put, ISO is the camera’s sensitivity to light.
  • Regardless of the camera model or quality, you are still bound to get a few grainy pictures from time to time.

So, what is Camera Graininess?

In digital photography, grain is also known as digital noise and is the wayward pixels in an image. What makes them unique is they don’t represent the actual exposure or color of the scene.

Insider Tip

When taking pictures in low light conditions, you’ll have to compensate for the lack of light by increasing the ISO setting. While beneficial since it lets you shoot in low light conditions, it also introduces digital noise to the images.

What causes Grainy Pictures?

So, what causes distortion in digital cameras? While several circumstances could lead to a grainy photo, the root cause is ISO. ISO is the camera setting used to brighten or darken a photograph. With ISO, camera users can shoot images in darker environments and get comfortable with shutter speed and aperture settings. Simply put, ISO is the camera’s sensitivity to light.

Ideally, if you let light into the camera through the aperture and shutter speed, it’s picked up by the sensor. As a result, the higher the ISO number, the more sensitive the sensor gets to light.

When taking pictures in low light conditions, you’ll have to compensate for the lack of light by increasing the ISO setting. While beneficial since it lets you shoot in low light conditions, it also introduces digital noise to the images.

Other factors that lead to graininess include:

Luminance Noise

This problem also arises from ISO being too high or wrong for a low-light condition shot. All cameras can suffer from this effect regardless of the quality. However, it’ll be more apparent in models with less than exceptional ISO performance.

Color Noise

On the other hand, color noise is not caused by light conditions but rather by an overheated sensor. This commonly happens when taking long-exposure pictures in low light conditions. It will appear in scenes that are shadowy as blotchiness.

Sensor Size

Film grain will appear in any camera model or type When its capability of absorbing light has been stretched to the limit or if the settings were not accurately adjusted. There’s also a connection between grainy photos and small sensors with low resolution.

Low Exposure

A low exposed picture is a noisy picture, and at times the graininess is caused by improper exposure settings for the composition leading to blurry photos. Filter noise will also be apparent if you are using filters, and digital noise from any of these will worsen by poor focus or taking the photos from a distance.

How to Fix Grainy Photos

Regardless of the camera model or quality, you are still bound to get a few grainy pictures from time to time. Fortunately, it is possible to fix the problem in Lightroom.

  1. First, open the Lightroom application and go to “Develop Module,” and select the “Details” tab from the right-hand panel. Next, scroll down to the “Noise Reduction” location, and slide the “Luminance” slider to the right.
  2. While moving the Luminance slider in the Lightroom application, it is essential to zoom into the image to see its effect on the graininess of the image you are trying to fix.

A word of caution fixing grainy photos in Lightroom, avoid going too far while using the Luminance slide. The effect will look fake or smoothed out. It is okay to leave a little noise than have your image look doctored. You may also want to find out what different digital camera lens do and how this can affect the quality of your images too.

F.A.Q.

In photography, grain is also known as noise and is the wayward pixels in an image. What makes them unique is they don’t represent the actual exposure or color of the scene.

In photography, grain is also known as noise and is the wayward pixels in an image. What makes them unique is they don’t represent the actual exposure or color of the scene.


What is ISO in photography?

ISO is the camera setting used to brighten or darken a photograph. Simply put, ISO is the camera’s sensitivity to light.


How does High ISO make photos grainy?

Pictures in low light conditions, you’ll have to compensate for the lack of light by increasing the ISO setting. While beneficial since it lets you shoot in low light conditions, it also introduces image noise.


How does sensor size affect a photo?

Graininess in photos will appear in any camera model or type if its capacity for light absorption is stretched to the limit or if its settings are not correctly calibrated. There’s also a connection between grainy photos and small sensors with low resolution.


STAT: The U.S Camera Stores Industry has declined by 4.5% annually between 2016 and 2021. However, the industry is expected to increase by 7% in 2021. The Camera Store industry is ranked 62nd in the U.S Retail Trade Industry (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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