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Old Jul 16, 2003, 7:21 PM   #11
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I've worked with numerous image cleaning/ touch-up software packages and "Neat Image" appears to be a nice product. I, especially, like the plug-in version for PhotoShop. The price looks reasonable and I think I'll try it.

I've cleaned up many photos and have never really found a nirvana for cleaning up noise. This looks better than the tools I have used before. I have actually cleaned up photos manually, pixel-by-pixel, because the image was from an event and was the right shot without the right photo qualities in the original image.

I don't expect that anything will ever really correct very poor images as well as one would like, but this looks like it will cleanup marginal photos very well.

I would think that masking and proper use of layers in PhotoShop, in combination with the NEAT IMAGE plug-in, would produce fantastic results.

I LOVE THIS FORUM!

I can't count how many pointers I've received from here that I may have never discovered through my own trial and error.

THANKS ALL!
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Old Jul 17, 2003, 2:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
I don't expect that anything will ever really correct very poor images as well as one would like, but this looks like it will cleanup marginal photos very well.
The problem with noise removal, by definition, is that if you remove noise in a background area to your satisfaction, it may smooth detail and texture elsewhere that is required or detrimental to the image to remove.

Until you can selectively remove noise in localised areas, each de-noised image is likely to be a compromise. You could manage it by separating your image with masks and layers as someone else suggested, but that requires an investment of time that will only be worth it on some images.

NeatImage has served me well to date, but as with all things worthwhile, you have to invest a little time to get the best out of it, but it's certainly pays dividends.
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Old Jul 17, 2003, 12:46 PM   #13
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I shall only be using it on selected pics that need it.
Same here!

Now I've read the instructions properly I'm getting better results - that hurt - but reading the instructions is important in this case.
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Old Jul 20, 2003, 10:56 AM   #14
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I read a recommendation (somewhere) that suggested taking a picture of a white sheet of paper. One picture at each ISO. Then build a noise profile off that picture.

When using neat image, have it read the ISO from the picture. With that info, you know which profile to pick. You can fine-tune the settings from there, but I haven't found that necessary.

That is much faster and easier than building a profile each time.

I also missed the "preview" button when I first used. And then I thought it was a toggle button instead of a "hold it down for one mode, release for another" type of button. Not obvious at all, but it works once you know it.

Eric
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Old Jul 20, 2003, 11:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by eric s
I read a recommendation (somewhere) that suggested taking a picture of a white sheet of paper. One picture at each ISO. Then build a noise profile off that picture.
A good idea in theory, but the problem with the practice part is the characteristics of the CCD depend on how warm it is, especially on longer exposures. The better thing to do is to take a black picture (with your lens cap on) after taking a long exposure and subtracting the two.

Some cameras with noise reduction do this automatically in-camera by taking a second black picture after you've taken a picture.
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Old Jul 20, 2003, 11:39 AM   #16
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eric s-

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I read a recommendation (somewhere) that suggested taking a picture of a white sheet of paper. One picture at each ISO. Then build a noise profile off that picture.
Does the type of illumination (color temp) make any difference when using this method for building a profile?
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Old Jul 20, 2003, 1:33 PM   #17
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The NeatImage web site has a file you can download of a greyscale type of chart image that you display on your monitor and photograph with different settings to use to make your own profiles. It has squares of different greys, black and white to do that very thing.
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Old Jul 20, 2003, 5:15 PM   #18
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I read a recommendation (somewhere) that suggested taking a picture of a white sheet of paper. One picture at each ISO. Then build a noise profile off that picture.
Bad Idea, you risk clipping the white - that definitely won't give you a good noise profile! Better to use the greyscale chart and check after shooting it that white is at 255 or a fraction below and not clipped. In fact you should really do a rough check with PS that the values shot are about right, before creating the profile.
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Old Jul 20, 2003, 10:31 PM   #19
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voxmagna

I will do that. I don't mind checking in PS... I don't believe that is hard (I'm still in the PS novice category.) Do you know of the gray scale chart that Boo refers to, or are you suggesting one which/should can be purchased?

Mike_PEAT

I've also heard of cameras that do this automatically. One of the more cool features I'd heard of. If I needed long exposures, this feature would be on my list.

I see and agree with the logic of your statement. A warm sensor will have different characteristics than a cold one. The problem is that I can guaranty that there is no place with no detail in the vast majority of pictures I take with high ISO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_PEAT
The better thing to do is to take a black picture (with your lens cap on) after taking a long exposure and subtracting the two.
I'm an engineer here, so I want to be exact. Although this quote refers to "long exposures" I assume you are suggesting that I do this whenever I use high ISO images. Then I build the profile off of that black image and use it just for that set of pictures?

Boo

I'll have to look into this. Very handy.

jawz

I don't know. But if Mike_PEAT is right, I shouldn't be doing it this way any ways. I see his logic... but I can also way that doing it this way as produced results that I've been quite happy with.

Eric
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Old Jul 24, 2003, 1:06 PM   #20
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Well, I've been playing and practicing with Neat image and I've come to a conclusion. I'm not overly impressed really. This maybe something to do with my sometimes ultra noisy 730 - the sooner I'm rid of it the better.

Anyway, I think PSP7 does a better, much quicker and easier job.

Try this if you have PSP7

Effects, Noise, Edge preserving smooth - using a setting of 3 to 7 ish.

It eliminates the noise without losing much detail which can then be rescued with unsharp mask.

Give it a try and let us all know what you think.
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