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Author Topic: Best software for noise reduction?  (Read 14081 times)
gmitchel
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2008, 09:08:12 AM »
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Mitch,

I think the main advantage of these tools over doing noise reduction in ACR is the considerable fine-tuning features they offer for selecting what is noise and how much to reduce it. Neat Image, Noise Ninja and Noiseware all provide many similar such features. The key item of interest for me is how well they compare in terms of their (and the user's) ability to separate noise from detail and preserve the latter while mitigating the former. It is in this respect that I find Noiseware particularly strong.

As for the use of capture sharpening in ACR, of course it depends on whether or not noise reduction is needed. If one needs to reduce noise, and if one decides that using a PS plug-in is the preferred approach, then right - one wouldn't want to sharpen the noise in ACR and then try reducing it. As you say, it kind of defeats the purpose of sharpening, but it also makes noise reduction more difficult. On the other hand, where no noise reduction is needed (increasingly the case with today's high-end DSLRs up to pretty high ISOs) capture sharpening works well either in ACR or in PS.
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If you save your RAW conversion as a Smart Image, using ACR4 or LR2 when it's released, it will work out better than well.

It is true that I do generalize from my own experience, which is with a 1DsMkII and a 20D currently, so they are more prone to noise than the latest generation of DIGIC.

I don't apply noise reduction to every photo and when I don't, I have considered ACR for capture sharpening. My hesitation has been the added control I get by selecting and refining the edge mask, making Blend If setting decisions, etc. It's the fine art photographer tendency to obsess over the small details.  I could certainly par down the file size by capture sharpening in ACR, though.

I definitely hear ya, and I think we're in 100% agreement.

Cheers,

Mitch
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digitaldog
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« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2008, 09:09:39 AM »
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LOL. You know me better than that, Andrew.  I don't solicit or review copies. I know they'll give me a copy.

So why not update your review of what is arguably the best product on the market? You can either use the demo or ask for an NFR which is perfectly appropriate? I'm not sure what your points are but the review is incomplete at best!

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I also don't review demos. I find that to be really risky, especially since demos night not be as current as production copies.

hogwash.

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Aside from paying for the Web hosting, the money from donations to my site is used to pay for software to review. It all does back to the DP community.

I sure don't *NEED* four different noise reduction packages (five, when I buy Noiseware)! LOL.

OK so your point is, you ask for donations to run a site to have reviews up that help the imaging community but what again is the reason you can't ask for an NFR or provide a review of Noiseware?
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Andrew Rodney
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gmitchel
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« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2008, 09:14:06 AM »
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What I like about Noise Ninja is the facility to selectively remove the noise reduction effect after it has been applied, using a variable size brush. This is useful for areas where retaining full resolution is more important than the slight but inevitable softening that always results from noise reduction. For example, a slight softening of resolution of pores on skin might be desirable, but not on eyebrows and eyelashes.
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Then you would love the Selective feature in Nik! Dfine, which is an automation add-in. You can use any Photoshop brush to selective apply/erase the effect. It is extremely well done in the latest generation of Nik! tools.

If you apply noise reduction on a layer (you always should!), you can also use a brush to selectively adjust the effect.

If you use a surface mask, you can still use a layer mask to brush the effect in/out selectively (without clobbering your surface mask). Just place your noise reduction layer inside a layer group/set. That can have it's own layer mask. That way, you can use a surface mask to restrict the effect from the edges *AND* and you can then adjust the effect on those surfaces.

Cheers,

Mitch
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2008, 09:18:29 AM »
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LOL. You know me better than that, Andrew.  I don't solicit or review copies. I know they'll give me a copy.

I also don't review demos. I find that to be really risky, especially since demos night not be as current as production copies.

Aside from paying for the Web hosting, the money from donations to my site is used to pay for software to review. It all does back to the DP community.

I sure don't *NEED* four different noise reduction packages (five, when I buy Noiseware)! LOL.

Cheers,

Mitch
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There's unlikely to be a risk the demo would anti-date the shipping version. No sensible company wanting to promote their wares would do that.

Of course no-one is begging you to review it, so if you don't need it and that determines whether you review it, all understandable. But readers of your material and your recommendations should be aware that a serious contender is excluded from your scope not for reasons related to the relative merit of the product, and I think you've explained that.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2008, 09:25:04 AM by MarkDS » Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2008, 09:24:18 AM »
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What I like about Noise Ninja is the facility to selectively remove the noise reduction effect after it has been applied, using a variable size brush. This is useful for areas where retaining full resolution is more important than the slight but inevitable softening that always results from noise reduction. For example, a slight softening of resolution of pores on skin might be desirable, but not on eyebrows and eyelashes.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198311\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ray, true - the brush is a Noise Ninja feature not found in Noiseware. Because I always do noise reduction on a duplicate image layer, I have many more, and more refined controls for targeting noise reduction than afforded by Noise Ninja's brush, so I don't miss it using Noiseware.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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gmitchel
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« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2008, 09:27:50 AM »
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So why not update your review of what is arguably the best product on the market? You can either use the demo or ask for an NFR which is perfectly appropriate? I'm not sure what your points are but the review is incomplete at best!
hogwash.
OK so your point is, you ask for donations to run a site to have reviews up that help the imaging community but what again is the reason you can't ask for an NFR or provide a review of Noiseware?
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C'mon, Andrew. We were being quite reasonable with each other. Let's try to keep it that way. None of my comments, expect the very respectful comment about adjusting WB and tone in ACR, were directed at you in any way. I think everyone is better served if you and I keep the conversation civil.

My point was quite simple. I buy the software I review. I have not yet bought Noiseware. (I do not have an unlimited budget.)

I did not claim the review was comprehensive. Quite to the contrary, I'll very flatly and dispassionately agree that the review is incomplete. It would be better with Noiseware included.

OTOH, I do believe some readers will find a comparison of NeatImage, Noise Ninja, nik! Dfine, and Power Retouche to be helpful, even if Noiseware is not yet included. I'll let them decide.
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gmitchel
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« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2008, 09:33:43 AM »
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There's unlikely to be a risk the demo would anti-date the shipping version. No sensible company wanting to promote their wares would do that.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198320\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Oh, that happens. Especially with small software companies. We're not talking major versions. We're talking minor revisions, bug fixes, patches, etc. The demo might very well not have the most recent changes/fixes.

In part, it depends I guess on whether the company uses an unlock code or a genuine demo. I think an unlock code is more likely to be current.

But I can tell you that I have downloaded many demos, unlocked them, and had them immediatley go to the Web and offer to download an upgrade!

You're right, the absence of Noiseware in the review does not reflect in way a judgment about its merits (technical or other). It merely reflect constraints in both budget and time.

Cheers,

Mitch
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dmerger
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« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2008, 10:21:35 AM »
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I'm not sure if the best noise reduction software depends on whether you are removing grain from film scans or cleaning up noise from a digital camera.  

I use Neat Image to remove grain from film scans.  I created noise profiles for my scanner and film types using IT-8 targets.  I think the noise profiles are the key to getting optimum performance from Neat Image.  

With my noise profiles I can remove virtually all film grain while retaining virtually all details.  

I can't speak for other programs or for Neat Image as far as removing digital camera noise, but I can say that Neat Image, with good noise profiles, does a fantastic job of removing film grain while retaining detail.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2008, 12:06:09 PM »
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I'm not sure if the best noise reduction software depends on whether you are removing grain from film scans or cleaning up noise from a digital camera. 

I use Neat Image to remove grain from film scans.  I created noise profiles for my scanner and film types using IT-8 targets.  I think the noise profiles are the key to getting optimum performance from Neat Image. 

With my noise profiles I can remove virtually all film grain while retaining virtually all details. 

I can't speak for other programs or for Neat Image as far as removing digital camera noise, but I can say that Neat Image, with good noise profiles, does a fantastic job of removing film grain while retaining detail.
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Yes, I agree with you: for mitigating film grain Neat Image does an excellent job. I wrote this up in my article on this website: [a href=\"http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/ndq.shtml]NDQ Article[/url] In my case it is for colour negatives.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Andy M
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« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2008, 01:36:07 PM »
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I bought Noise Ninja and Noiseware, and now find myself using only Noiseware.

Excellent software!
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