Noise is the digital equivalent of grain in film. It’s random electrical signals captured by the photosites on the camera sensor, and usually this background noise level is so low compared to the brightness of the captured picture itself that you just don’t notice it. But if you start increasing the camera’s ISO setting, the […]
This is a popular description of the overprocessed, smoothed-over look you often see in photos from devices with small sensors, such as point and shoot digital cameras. The makers try do disguise the effects of noise (which are worse on cameras with small sensors) but go too far, producing images with little noise but badly smoothed over or smeared fine textures and details.