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11-01-2011, 12:30 PM   #1
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noise reduction

There seem to be lots of very experienced photographers here and I'd like to ask you for some help in understanding the in camera noise reduction feature. I'm not a technical guru in any way so simple explanations would help most!

So....I can set in-camera noise reduction at Auto, Medium etc. How do I know what setting to use? What does each setting do to my photos appearance?
Should I be using this feature at all?
Is this system superior to noise reduction in PSE?
Maybe I'm supposed to use both?

Help - please!

11-01-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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11-01-2011, 01:27 PM   #3
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Many Pentaxians prefer to switch off all in-camera post-processing (PP) incl. noise reductio (NR), and instead post-process the photographs on computer.

Personally I do the same of a couple of reasons:

- in-computer NR gives me more choice and flexibility; you can test different softwares and try different setting;

- in-camera PP (incl. NR) delays the file write-up on the card (and the preview); the delay may exceed 2-3 s and would prevent you to shoot rapidly severl shots;

- if you do continuous shooting, you must switch off all in-camera PP to achieve high burst rate for long sequences.

With reference to NR specifically, I did a few tries with in-camera NR, and NR with PDCU 4.33 and Noiseware (on computer). I prefer the flexibility of PDCU and Noiseware, although I would favor the finishing 'touch' of Noiseware.

Hope that the comment may help.
11-01-2011, 01:33 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Hi canajuneh,

In camera high ISO NR, first of all only applies to jpg shooting, so if you shoot RAW, it's irrelevant, and you need to address this in Post Processing.

I'm a jpg shooter for the most part, and I've found that I'd rather use a more sophisticated NR program to handle noise, so I choose to minimize noise artifacts in the jpgs I shoot by shooting in "Natural" mode with Sharpening turned down to -4. I've also tweaked colors a bit to suit myself, but that's really personal preference. I have also turned High ISO NR off completely for all ISO levels. This gives me jpgs that closely resemble basic RAW output for a given ISO with slightly more contrast and colors that have a bit more punch. The noise artifacts are similar, and when using Topaz Denoise (A Photoshop plugin), I can reduce noise to my taste, with much finer control over overall and shadow luminance (graininess) noise and chroma(color) noise than the in-camera processor can accomplish. I try to use minimum settings to retain detail.

I then follow up with Topaz InFocus (another plugin) to bring sharpness up to where it should be. This plugin can be set to only use deconvolution sharpening instead of the now almost universal standard of Unsharp Mask, which is a technique that increases contrast locally at contrast borders in the image. I also increase the Micro Contrast in this program, and this restores most of the texture detail that might be somewhat smoothed over by the NR.

This is reasonably advanced PP stuff, and it requires that you know what you're looking for, but I find that it works very well. I shoot jpgs up to about ISO 10,000 with this workflow, and get pretty good results. Only relatively ligh applications of either plugin are needed when shooting with premium lenses if I do my part.

It really depends on the output that you want personally. I found that for snapshots, usually just for small prints and computer viewing, in-camera NR set to Low for all ISOs works well enough for casual shooting, especially if you resize the image down to about 2500x1670 which is more than enough resolution for a 6x4 print or even high res computer monitors.

This is an area where you have to set your own standards. I'd play around with different options and see what pleases you.

Here are a few examples at higher ISO shot in jpg using the above mentioned techniques for PP.

At ISO 2500



At ISO 3200



At ISO 10,000



Scott

11-01-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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Crikey snostorm, your post alone makes me consider getting this k5
11-01-2011, 03:06 PM   #6
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That owl shot is impressive.
11-01-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Very impressive. I have both of those plugins. I'm going to give this a shot!
11-02-2011, 05:55 PM   #8
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Original Poster
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience. There is much there for me to think about and practise.

I have no knowledge whatsoever about post processing for noise (I have PSE) what programmes do you recommend?

11-02-2011, 06:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by canajuneh Quote
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience. There is much there for me to think about and practise.

I have no knowledge whatsoever about post processing for noise (I have PSE) what programmes do you recommend?
I use topaz, and Nik Softwares dfine. I prefer Dfine.

Last edited by Tony3d; 11-03-2011 at 08:27 AM.
11-02-2011, 07:31 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by canajuneh Quote
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience. There is much there for me to think about and practise.

I have no knowledge whatsoever about post processing for noise (I have PSE) what programmes do you recommend?
Hi

I prefer Topaz DeNoise which seems to fulfill my needs. I also at occasions use Nik Dfine software, it lets you work on specific areas without effecting the rest of the image.

I have lots of different software for PP work because I find that very often certain things I want to do are done better with a particular program.

Greetings
11-03-2011, 04:16 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by canajuneh Quote
I have no knowledge whatsoever about post processing for noise (I have PSE) what programmes do you recommend?
Do not be afraid to explore image post-processing. It can be fun and PSE is a good place to start. Plug-ins help you save time, so you can deal with the big issues (composition, light quality, developing subject interest, etc.). Topaz and NIK Software offer excellent online tutorials, plus live webinars, that demonstrate product applications. It does not take long to learn how to fine tune a K-5 RAW image from camera to Flickr in less than 5 minutes. Highly recommended!

My work-flow is built around Lightroom 3.5 and NIK Software's plug-ins (Topaz is my 'fall-back'). It's rare that I worry much about high noise in an image since it only takes a moment to clean-up.

Cheers...
11-03-2011, 06:43 AM   #12
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I tested most of noise reduction software and the best, for me, is TopazLabs NoiseWare 5.
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