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Old Apr 23, 2009, 9:44 PM   #11
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2 dxo
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Old Apr 23, 2009, 9:44 PM   #12
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3 dxo...
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Old Apr 23, 2009, 9:45 PM   #13
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4 picassa
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Old Apr 23, 2009, 9:46 PM   #14
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5 picassa
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Old Apr 23, 2009, 9:46 PM   #15
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 8:46 AM   #16
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Angel L. wrote:
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Lets evaluate if its worth the cost of DXO for high iso......
Angel - the honest answer is it's too difficult to evaluate anything with the posted photos. There are several issues involved:

1. I don't use either package but assuming the noise reduction is at least somewhat sophisticated (like the dedicated products noiseware, neatimage, noise ninja) there are a lot of levers to adjust. Learning to adjust them properly takes experience. That's what makes the products great - they give you control. So, if you're not familiar with manipulating the variables it's tough to determine how the software itself is performing.

2. Tough to tell from small re-sampled images. If you were going to use the photos in question I would suggest posting 100% crops of players' faces / torsos. That's the detail that counts.


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Old Apr 24, 2009, 8:50 AM   #17
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You'll have to decide if it's worth it or not. It's hard to see any difference in your samples at that viewing size, and viewing/print sizes needed will play a role in what product works best for you.

Picasa is using Dave Coffin's dcraw.c libraries for raw conversion (as do many other raw converters), and Dave's code is continuing to improve over time. Picasa really doesn't give you a lot of flexbiility for how a file is converted though (as compared to more full featured raw converters that are based on his code).

Dave's code has a lot of options now for the types of demosaic algorithms you can select from, various options for Noise reduction, how highlight recovery is handled, etc., and Picasa doesn't really give you access to many of dcraw.c's features.

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Old Apr 24, 2009, 9:46 AM   #18
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P.S.

As JohnG mentioned, make sure you experiment with the options available in any raw converter you try. Unfortunately, Picasa really doesn't give you options you see in other raw converters.

Most raw converters have sliders for things like the amount of Chroma and Luminous Noise Reduction being applied. That allows you do better tune how a given image is being handled during raw conversion (for example, you may find that stronger Chroma noise reduction can help with color noise, while still keeping adequate detail if you don't use as much Luminous Noise Reduction).

How a given raw converter works with a given camera's images is also important. For example, I've seen relatively poor results from some versions of Adobe Camera Raw from raw files generated by a Sony A700, resulting in a somewhat "blotchy" grain pattern (which is harder to clean up using NR tools), as compared to converters like Bibble Pro (which gives a finer grain pattern by default).

So, try some of the popular tools available, making sure you experiment with various options available in them for best results, and find one that you think handles your images better.

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Old Apr 24, 2009, 9:58 AM   #19
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Also,

May I ask - have you tried any of the noise reduction packages on the market - noiseware, neatimage, noise ninja? Almost all of them have a free version you can use to at least see if you like it. I use Noiseware and have been extremely happy with the results I get from it. Here are some very old shots from my former camera (Canon 20D) at ISO 3200 run through noiseware. The 20d's noise performance should be similar to your D80:








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Old Apr 24, 2009, 10:55 AM   #20
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In addition to the dedicated third party products for noise reduction that JohnG mentioned, I'd also try using Nikon's Capture NX (you can download a trial version of it).

It does a much better than expected job with noise reduction when I've tried it with high ISO raw files from Nikon models. Nikon has pretty good noise reduction algorithms as camera manufacturers go. Again, you'll need to adjust the Noise Reduction sliders for best results (as you'll need to do with any similar product).

There are many tools you can use to reduce the appearance of noise in your images, and some do a better job compared to others on a given camera's raw files (and how you "tweak" the available options can make a huge difference in your results).

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