If I get the exposure right, then visible noise is not an issue, it is tough to spot on screen at 100%, and won't show up at all in a print.
Underexposures can be a problem, and shadow areas can be as well. It depends on how much correcting I have to do, and how much sharpening I apply to the image. I can correct a certain amount by blurring a copied layer, and setting it to colour, but that doesn't always help.
Well, maybe you're right. I'm loathe to use ISO 400 with my D60 because of the noise I see on my screen at 100% magnification. Maybe I'm being unnecessarily intimidated by the appearance of such noise on the screen and should use ISO 400 more often because it might
not show up on the print. In fact I know I should use ISO 400 more often because I have a number of ruined shots as a result of subject movement which could have been frozen had I used ISO 400. My own biases are sometimes working against me.
But the fact remains, the F828 shots in Michael's review clearly show significantly more noise at ISO 64 than the 10D at ISO 100. Under what circumstances such increased noise can become a problem is perhaps another issue.
One could argue, for example, that all owners of an A4 printer, who have no intention of upgrading to a larger printer, need have no concern about this increased noise being reflected in their A4 size prints.
This might be largely true and might sway some people who were thinking of getting a Canon 300D to opt for a Sony F828.But what about A4 prints of crops?
Who never crops their images? Cartier-Bresson perhaps?
The reality is, people do not often know at the time the photo is taken, what degree of cropping they will later apply or what size print, at some stage (maybe 10 years later), they may wish to make.
I recently over-indulged and bought myself an Epson 7600 printer. I have a few high resolution 'stitched' images and many frames that have not yet been stitched, and a couple of 2nd hand MF cameras and a Nikon 8000 MF scanner, so I figured the purchase of the 7600 is justified. (Of course, if I didn't have this expensive hobby of photography, I could be driving around in a luxury car instead, which is what all this gear has cost me. The choice is really a no-brainer, but I haven't included the possible effect that a luxury car might have on the opposite sex, so perhaps the comparison is flawed
The point I would make is that a D60 image, taken with my finest lens, the $90 Canon 50mm F1.8, can look absolutely stunning when printed at 2ftx3ft. The quality beggars belief. It was only a few years ago, whilst attending a course on "How to run a small business", I had a conversation with a struggling professional photographer during a lunch break. He hadn't moved into the digital world yet. I tried to get him interested in the latest that Epson had to offer, the Photo EX which produced A3 size prints that could rival conventional darkroom prints. He was quite adamant that A3 was too big for 35mm. I could get nowhere with him. I wonder what he's doing now.