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Canon SL1 Video Mode: Newer Lenses and Digital Noise in Low Light

This is an indoor low-light test focusing on digital noise produced by the Canon SL1 (100D, Kiss 7) while shooting video. Subject was back-lit, exposed properly according to the camera’s readings, and mostly static. My conclusion is that older Canon lenses—100m and macro 60mm—produce finer digital noise than newer Canon lenses. I noticed the 28mm F2.8 is much more contrasty, and the newer kit model STM lens produced the most noticeable “mosquito noise” of the four lenses tested.

Back-lit subjects are difficult tests for any sensor. Shadows are produced side by side other subjects that are receiving harder light. I chose an indoor back-lit scene to test both the sensor’s and the lenses capabilities. Having said that, it’s relevant to note that all digital camera’s produce digital noise whilst shooting video, but you can tailor the quality of that noise by choosing a better lens.

In my opinion, the best lenses are those that produce the most contrast and the finest digital noise, so I would say that the 28mm F2.8 IS wins this test. It is a very light, high quality product indeed.

Edit: it has been pointed by videographers that the variances in noise stem mainly from the sensor of the camera and that one possible cause of the noise in my videos are the differences en Field of View, failure to use a histogram, etc. Another apparent factor is the number of elements a given lens has which in turn produce higher digital noise.

Watch in HD for best results.

ISO 800/ 24FPS/1/50/1920x1080
AWB/ Sharpness 0, Contrast 0


CANON 100mm F2.0 at 5.6
CANON MACRO 60mm F2.8 at 5.6
CANON 28mm F2.8 IS at F5.6 (IS OFF)
CANON 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM at 55mm and F5.6 (IS OFF)