Originally Posted by bgvotaw
Is this like a layering thing? I know there has to be some way to make it look less grainy.
All cameras are subjected to produces more or less grain (called noise in the digital world). The better the camera, the less noisy. You need to understand why noise happens. It happens because 2 things: camera sensor, Light conditions.
You know, the photons travels trhough the space, they pass through the camera lens and they touch something called Bayer Filter and then they hit the camera sensor, specifically the sensor elements, sensels or pixels that compose the sensor. In that moment, the magic occurs by a magnetic discharge between the photons and the camera sensor, so you get statical noise and the picture at the same time. When you rise the ISO, you are amplifying the signal, thus, the noise. Noise happens with small sensels, for example, 35mm format cannot handle more than 12-15 megapixels, Nikon D3x and Canon 5DMKII put around 24 mp in those little sensors from these 2 new cameras, making the result not only noisy, also quite blotchy. However, photographers buy the one form Canon just because the mp, ridiculous.
The other way noise happens is because the light, mostly because the shadows more than the light. When you lit an apple, for example, the most lit area will have no noise, even at high ISOs, that's because digital imaging has much more depth and detail in the highlights. When you see the shadows area, you will see noise and posterization there, because digital imaging has a very poor depth, therefore, bad detail recognition in the shadows. Some cameras does it better, others worst. And make sure to shot in RAW in order to avoid many of these things.