Noise in the shadows

Now, let me preface this with: I don’t think that I’m pixel peeping. That being said….

When I was converting this picture to black and white, I was looking at the picture at 100% while adjusting the black levels.

IMG_20080410_03908.jpg

You can see the noise in the shadows of the arms. I’m not sure if the noise is due my camera or something else.

noise_in_the_shadows_1.jpg

So, I tried to remove the noise with Noise Ninja. This was a mistake. The noise was actually helping to prevent banding. The banding is more prevalent on the arm on the camera right.

So, I’m stuck. I have seen this in other pictures as well, and can reproduce pretty much at will. I’m not sure how well the affects show up for this post, but it’s plain as day on my monitor at 100%. So, experience tells me that were I to print this, I would see this, and I would never be happy.

Not sure where to go from here. (Insert tongue in cheek) Buy a new camera?

(Here’s the noise reduced version)
noise_in_the_shadows_2.jpg

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