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01-28-2011, 10:29 PM   #1
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in-camera noise reduction: yes, or no?

I've actually got my NR switched off, I shoot RAW anyway, so it seemed redundant. However, on an early morning shoot with the K-r and my 15mm lens, I was trying a whole lot of different ISOs and I found that anything over 400 was just hideous.

Am I wrong in thinking that NR is useless when you shoot RAW or should I bite the bullet, switch it on, and shoot JPG instead.

Under what circumstances would people have NR on?

01-28-2011, 11:56 PM   #2
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NR does nothing to RAW files. It affects JPG output. However, it does affect the embedded JPG thumbnail in the RAW file. This is what the camera shows you on the rear screen, and what you see when reviewing the RAW files on your computer. So noise reduction might make the RAW files seem less noisy, until you process them in whatever RAW software you use, at which point the noise would be clearly visible and would have to be removed in post processing anyways.

QuoteOriginally posted by kyteflyer Quote
Under what circumstances would people have NR on?
Depends. In some cases (bright daylit shots), high ISO noise isn't all that visible. But then you don't need to use high ISO anyways. The longer the exposure would be at low ISO, the more noise you'll get when you take the same shot at high ISO. Every situation is different. But in the end, the only time you'd care about in-camera noise reduction is when you intend to use the JPG file generated by the camera.
01-29-2011, 12:02 AM   #3
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I have a K-7 and shoot mainly in JPEG. My lens line-up is in signature. I use some form of NR mostly when I shoot outdoor in low-light conditions. (I shoot also indoor but far less often.)

I use three different techniques for noise reduction:

(1) with some in-camera PP, it is possible to get very nice shots either with in-camera PP (K-7 High ISO Success!). I tend to setup Adam's settings in my K-7 User mode. I use High NR starting from ISO 400 and set maximum ISO1600.

(2) with some dedicated noise reduction software (Noiseware in my case). In that case, I set no NR in-camera and I shoot up to ISO 3200. Afterwards, I post-process (but for NR) with PDCU and I finish the NR with Noiseware.

(3) The third method is the use of a fast prime lens (eg f1.4) and low ISO, typically below ISO 800 and I have no in-camera NR.

After about 16 months of use and over 15,000 shots overall, my preferences are:

- (2) PP NR with Noiseware - about 60% of situations when I would require NR

- (3) a fast prime to shoot at lower ISO - 30% of situations when I would use NR otherwise

- (1) in-camera NR - 10%

The main reason that I do not use often in-camera NR is the in-camera processing time, requiring to wait 1-2 s before each shot.

I often shoot outdoor in dynamic situations and use regularly Hi continuous shooting. The option (1) is the least favourable for quick shots in succession, and instead I prefer options (2) and (3).

However, in terms of IQ (image quality), I found relatively little difference between the three methods, although the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4 gives some superb images and is a wonderful lens.

Food for thoughts...

Last edited by hcc; 01-29-2011 at 12:11 AM.
01-29-2011, 12:21 AM   #4
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I turned it off on my K-r and do NR exclusively in PP now. I use Bibble 5 Pro for PP, and either the Noise Ninja or Wavelet Noise Reduction plugins to do NR.

02-01-2011, 07:32 AM   #5
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I shot mostly jpeg so I set it on low for 1600 and a higher setting for 3200+ which I rarely use. 1600 iso jpegs with low NR look fantastic though
02-05-2011, 09:26 PM   #6
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Just a couple of days ago, I decided to use the extended DR and have set mine to 100 ISO. Its perfect. Still use 200 sometimes, and doubt that I'll ever go over 400.
02-05-2011, 10:08 PM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
Am I wrong in thinking that NR is useless when you shoot RAW or should I bite the bullet, switch it on, and shoot JPG instead.
I would never turn in-camera NR on. But I'm impatient and could never wait for the camera processing.

If nothing else, the low powered CPU in the camera could never do as good of noise reduction as a full blown computer with good software. Before you ever let the camera take control, shoot RAW and use your computer to handle the big jobs. You will have much more control and ability to get acceptable results than the camera could ever give you with its wimpy processors.
If this is more than a one night occurrence, get some decent NR software, LightRoom3, Nik software, NoiseNija, etc... You'll be so much happier.
02-05-2011, 11:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
I would never turn in-camera NR on. But I'm impatient and could never wait for the camera processing.

If nothing else, the low powered CPU in the camera could never do as good of noise reduction as a full blown computer with good software. Before you ever let the camera take control, shoot RAW and use your computer to handle the big jobs. You will have much more control and ability to get acceptable results than the camera could ever give you with its wimpy processors.
If this is more than a one night occurrence, get some decent NR software, LightRoom3, Nik software, NoiseNija, etc... You'll be so much happier.
I did mention in my first post that I shoot RAW, and that NR is off... it was about the ISO, high ISO at night is as useless as it is in anything else. Doesn't matter how fabulous high ISO shots taken under tungsten or whatever light are, when you are in seriously low light, go low ISO and open up the aperture, use a slow shutter and a tripod.

It was probably better than anything my K200 could have done but it was still pretty horrible.

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