Here is another set of Nikon D800 samples taken from ISO 100 all the way up to ISO 25600 (hi-2). Full resolution versions are available so you can check out the high ISO image quality of Nikon D800 at any magnification you want to. The image quality of high ISO shots are quite good and they certainly impressed some people. However it appears that all images with ISO higher than 3200 were processed quite differently, making true high ISO noise performance evaluation difficult.
As you can see from the following file size vs. ISO chart. The steep drop of file size at ISO 3200 is telling. It appears that images from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 are straight out of camera images while the photos from ISO 3200 to ISO 25600 were processed by “Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0 Macintosh” as indicated by the EXIF information on the files. This may simply be a change of JPEG compression levels but it may also be the result of noise reduction filtering.
It is totally acceptable to have noise reduction processing on images as long as it is a good balance between loss of details and reduction of noise. For people who are interested in evaluating true sensor high ISO noise performance, these files are not quite useful.
Keywords: D800, D800E, ISO, Nikon, Noise