Luca Sbordone did everything right in providing these samples — he shot the Nikon D300 images in RAW / NEF mode, ISO 800 to ISO 6400 and made them available for download in this forum post (if the links to the RAW files don’t work for you, I’ve provided links to the individual NEF files below).
Photo credit: Luca Sbordone
All that’s left now is for us to convert the files using Nikon View NX (you might be interested in how to do the NEF conversion yourself — coming soon) and share them online.
Some things to note:
<ol> <li>I couldn't determine the firmware version of the camera used to take this photos, as the Software EXIF field in Irfanview reports itself as Nikon Transfer 1.0M, which is presumably the software Luca used to transfer the images from the memory card to his computer.</li> <li>The images were originally shot in Adobe RGB colorspace. If you open the converted JPEGs in Adobe Photoshop, you'll notice that the image profile is reported as Nikon sRGB 18.104.22.16801. What's confusing is that if I view the JPEG in ViewNX, the Color Space continues to show Adobe RGB as in the original NEF file.</li> <li>Luca currently holds the record for the only individual who shot Nikon D300 test pictures with Active D-Lighting turned OFF -- THANK YOU!</li> <li>In-camera NR (noise reduction) is also turned off. Your taste and mine could very well be different, but I kinda like the look of the overall noise pattern -- no smearing, and no banding. Once I get my own Nikon D300, I'll have to subject this to further tests to see if NR Low or Normal does a good job of reducing chroma noise without sacrificing too much detail.</li> <li>White Balance was set to Incandescent.</li> <li>The level of noise present in these images isn't high enough to obliterate the dude with the hair band -- see him up close and personal in <a href="http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=25166772">another forum post</a> (which shows the effects of having NR ON (Normal) and Active D-Lighting High).</li>
Here are the thumbnails of the images, followed by the link to the related full-size image (denoted by the file size) and RAW / NEF file:
|ISO 800 • JPG — 8.5 MB • NEF / RAW — 14.2 MB • EXIF screenshot|
|ISO 1250 • JPG — 8.3 MB • NEF / RAW — 15.0 MB • EXIF screenshot|
|ISO 1600 • JPG — 9.6 MB • NEF / RAW — 15.3 MB • EXIF screenshot|
|ISO 3200 • JPG — 11.0 MB • NEF / RAW — 16.1 MB • EXIF screenshot|
|ISO 6400, or 1 Step over ISO 3200 • JPG — 10.4 MB • NEF / RAW — 16.9 MB • EXIF screenshot|
The Nikon Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX lens was used to take these photos.