Photo noise is the grainy look that some pictures have. Typically, you can notice it in dark areas of a photo. While in some rare instances noise can work as a creative effect, more often it destroys details and the quality of a picture, limiting to how much you can engage an image or its parts.
The most common reason for having noise in the digital photos is taking the photos at high sensitivity settings. At such settings, digital cameras often amplify the original signal, including the background noise. For example, an image with and ISO of 200 may be relatively free of noise and the same image taken with ISO of 1600 can have much more noise.
Many inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras don’t even have a higher setting for ISO than 1600. With a quality dSLR that has a large sensor, however, you can use even higher ISO settings and take great pictures with dim lighting and relatively low noise.
This being said, noise doesn’t always come only from high ISO settings. If you are shooting with a long exposure, you can also get noise in your pictures. While you can use certain techniques to decrease the level of noise in your pictures, having a quality camera can improve the results much more than the techniques.