LR noise reduction vs. standalone NR software

PoisonJam

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I was using the noise reduction feature in LR I wasn't too satisfied with how far I could clean up noise without significantly softening the image, even after some sharpening.

How does LR's noise reduction rate against standalone tools? Considering some dedicated NR software costs the same price as LR I'd expect/hope they'd do a better job!
 
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Unfortunately, noise reduction and softening are rather inter-related. That's why the Sharpening and Noise Reduction tools are grouped in the same panel, you should be using them together.

As to which is the best tool, I've read many threads on the topic, without reaching a conclusion. The view I would take is that with version 5 of Lightroom we have a very good noise reduction and sharpening set of tools. There are fans out there of Nik Dfine, Topaz DeNoise,or whatever. I suspect that it depends both on the image and what you are attempting to achieve. I occasionally find that Nik's Control Point technology gives a particular degree of control, for example.

I say occasionally. With today's sensors, and setting up one's camera carefully, noise is rarely a problem. Of course, there are times when high ISO isn't avoidable.

Dave
 

PoisonJam

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Unfortunately, noise reduction and softening are rather inter-related. That's why the Sharpening and Noise Reduction tools are grouped in the same panel, you should be using them together.

As to which is the best tool, I've read many threads on the topic, without reaching a conclusion. The view I would take is that with version 5 of Lightroom we have a very good noise reduction and sharpening set of tools. There are fans out there of Nik Dfine, Topaz DeNoise,or whatever. I suspect that it depends both on the image and what you are attempting to achieve. I occasionally find that Nik's Control Point technology gives a particular degree of control, for example.

I say occasionally. With today's sensors, and setting up one's camera carefully, noise is rarely a problem. Of course, there are times when high ISO isn't avoidable.

Dave

Thanks Dave. I understand the relationship between noise reduction and softening and why I used sharpening :) I was just disappointed by the amount of noise I could decrease before the image got what I considered too soft and that sharpening couldn't fully address.

With my D7100 noise isn't usually a problem and I'll shoot ISO800 and up to ISO1600 if the situation requires it, but the shots I'm looking to clean up (a family member's wedding reception) were taken on my D70s at ISO800 and the noise is pretty unacceptable for my tastes. Low-light performance is one of the main reasons I made the body upgrade.

I've since learned Topaz DeNoise has a fully-featured free 30-day trial so it's worth a go!
 
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Apologies if I insulted your expertise. One never knows just what "Beginner" means :D

These products do develop all the time. When you've done your trial, it would be good to hear what you think. (You can get Nik on trial, but only for 15 days).

Dave
 
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You could also look at DxO Prime for noise reduction, though you'd have to be prepared to wait for up to 10 minutes per image as it does its thing.
 

Jimmsp

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.....

I've since learned Topaz DeNoise has a fully-featured free 30-day trial so it's worth a go!
I have compared Topaz DeNoise, Noiseware, Capture One 7, and Lightroom on my photos. Each seems to have its place.
If I had to pick only one I could use, I'd go with Noiseware. I generally use Noiseware for the very high ISO shots. It only works as a plugin to PS or PSE.
In the cases for Topaz and Noiseware, I work on a Tiff from LR where I turn off the LR luminescence NR and minimize sharpening.

I use the Topaz DeNoise for my mid range ISO shots that I find LR occasionally struggle with. I follow that up with Topaz Detail for final sharpening.

In general, I stick with LR, as I show most of my shots on the web. It is sufficient as long as I don't do a lot of heavy cropping.
I use the 3rd party packages for prints and the occasional shot I enter into a photo contest.

BTW - I have based my conclusions on prints by printing out the same shot treated in different ways, and also having an unbiased 3d party judge the print.
 
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...the shots I'm looking to clean up (a family member's wedding reception) were taken on my D70s at ISO800 and the noise is pretty unacceptable for my tastes.

It is certainly worth a look at other programs, and other techniques, but I suspect that you can only do so much at higher ISO's from a sensor of this generation. I would be curious to hear your results.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

Michael D.

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You could also look at DxO Prime for noise reduction, though you'd have to be prepared to wait for up to 10 minutes per image as it does its thing.

I have compared LR, Topaz Denoise and DxO and found DxO to be the best for my ISO 3200 shots (which I take very frequently). The DxO Prime processing takes about 2.5 minutes for my 16GB raw files. I have created a preset in DxO that only does the Prime NR - nothing else is changed by DxO. I then take the resulting TIFF file into Photoshop for any further processing.
 

Randy Riley

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Hi everyone,

I have a related question.... I shoot with an older camera (Canon 20D), so noise can sometimes be an issue. I generally use Topaz DeNoise, followed by Detail as Jim mentioned. I find this to be significantly better, under normal conditions, than LR's built in de-noise/sharpening. My question is, though, is there a way to make LR apply these actions across a range of photographs all at one time, similar to copying/pasting the standard LR settings?

I'm not sure if I'm being clear or not, and I'm new to LR, so that doesn't help either, but what I'd like to be able to do is once I have settings that I'm happy with on one photograph (including the "standard" LR adjustments, but without LR's de-noise/sharpening applied, and, in their place Topaz Denoise/Detail (which are applied through a LR plug-in) all be applied to a range of photos at the same time. I know if I select copy/paste in LR it gives a range of check boxes to apply the current settings to other photographs, and they include options for including sharpening/de-noise, but I assume that those check boxes link to the built-in LR setting and not to anything I've done with the plug-ins. Any ideas? Or, am I missing something obvious (entirely possible).

Thanks,
Randy
 

DaveS

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Hi Randy,

You've got it right there, it applies to changes that Lightroom makes to a photo, so in this case it would be Lightroom's sharpening and de-noise that would syncronize from one photo to another.

If you have a batch of photos you wanted to apply Topaz Denoise to, and had (for example) Photoshop, you could run an action that would apply the same denoise action to each photo in a batch.
 

Randy Riley

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Thanks Dave,

Yeah, I was afraid that was going to be the case. I do have Photoshop though, so I guess I'll just use LR for very basic stuff then leave de-noise and sharpening, along with other, more challenging editing to Photoshop. Too bad LR can't globally apply plug-in edits to a series of photos.
 
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