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Old Apr 29, 2007, 11:57 AM   #1
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i have been looking at some of my photos from the k10d, shots at iso 400 and above and there is a tad more noise in the background especially in photos that are darker in color than i personally care for, compared to my istdl. i have tried a couple trial noise reduction programs and like the results from noiseware slightly better noise ninja, but i was wondering what everyone else uses. also do you run noise reduction before or after you apply any sharpening?

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Old Apr 29, 2007, 1:29 PM   #2
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I started using noise ninja a few years back with my fz5 and have been real happy with.

I sometimes use it with the k10 to ...
  • improve images above iso800 when needed
  • selective remove the noise out of dark backgrounds, selecting only the background before applying it, and this at the end of post processing.[/*]
lately I rather reduce the size of the image than use noise ninja.

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Old Apr 29, 2007, 1:42 PM   #3
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Against all standard rules of image editing I sharpen before I apply noise reduction. Like rhermans I apply it selectively and don't know how much I need until the image is sharpened.

You can do it with a stand-alone noise reduction program, but it is a nuisance to work with separate programs and have to layer in the shotgunned version to select out the edges and parts that don't need sharpening. Any plug-in is a better choice than a shotgun approach IMO. I don't see enough difference between Noise Ninja, Noiseware and Neat Image that it makes a big difference for selective noise removal. I still use the Grain Surgery plug-in in Photoshop because it fell off a truck.

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Old Apr 29, 2007, 2:39 PM   #4
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I used to use Noise Ninja with my Panasonic FZ30 and that worked great. I liked how quickly you could select an area to create a noise profile tailored to that image.

I did stop using it for the most part eventually. I found that the best results I got where by shooting RAW and removing the noise through ACR in Photoshop. The software included with the Pentax K100D I got can also remove noise, but I'm not sure it does as good a job.

I never use any kind of luminance smoothing though. Chroma noise is horrible, but easy to remove, but luminance noise tends to look more like film grain, and removing it tends to leave things unnatural looking, at least to my eyes. Sometimes it just seems to take a lot of tiny grain particles and turn them into large, blobby ones.

I don't know why Slipe does sharpening before noise removal. Maybe it's the settings he uses, but in general it's not a good idea. Noise removal programs look for the subtle patterns of a noise signal, and sharpening can turn those patterns into what would be interpreted as important details.

If you're shooting JPG and don't intend to shoot RAW, I'd suggest you even turn off all in-camera sharpening, as well as any noise removal it might be doing. This should make the job a lot easier for your software. In either case, you should experiment with a variety of options and see what works best for you.
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Old Apr 29, 2007, 3:38 PM   #5
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i use NJ either with the programs profile for the pentax or just let it auto profile. i've found it does a very fine job in auto. many time you get a sharper image after removal.

hey, i'm up to a hundred posts again.

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Old Apr 29, 2007, 10:38 PM   #6
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I tried Neat Image when I had the FZ30, liked it and paid for the full version, so I'll use it for noise issues. I generally use noise reduction first, since it takes out some detail, then sharpen (more than I would normally) to try to re-capture some of the detail I've lost. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes not. Sometimes sharpening will re-introduce some of the noise - its all a very fine balance. I couldn't figure out how to get what I wanted with the noise reduction in ACR, and it just seemed easier to stick with Neat Image.
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