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Old Feb 28, 2006, 6:01 PM   #1
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I have recently purchased a Panasonic DMC-FZ30 camera after looking for weeks at the noise issues with its close competitors. I am very happy with the camera but the ISO 200 and ISO 400 images are quite noisy but retain lots of detail. I have decided to go for the Noise Ninja software but was wondering if anyone holds or have created specific noise profiles for this camera?

On theNoise Ninja websiteI seethat they have the FZ20 profiles but none for the FZ30.

Also does anyone have personal views for the picture settings (sharpness, saturation, etc)?


Can anyone help?
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 6:54 PM   #2
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Have you tried NeatImage and Noiseware?

They are good, and they have free versions available, as opposed to NN from what I can remember...
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 7:16 PM   #3
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I do not believe sharpness and saturation setting do anything for noise...I set NR to low in the camera I als set contrast on low or normal,and find little problem with noise although ISO 400 in low light will produce noise and its worse in an underexposed photo...so if your using a minus exposure compensation quit and work on how you meter.

I do very little noise reduction but I purchased Neat Image as a plugin for PS and the latest version is very good.

I am sure other NR programs are good but I only use NI....
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 7:39 PM   #4
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Mmm... actually I think sharpness does influence the noise in your pic.

Let me see if I can post some example.

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I do not believe sharpness and saturation setting do anything for noise...
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 8:13 PM   #5
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I use Noise Ninja, but I don't use preset profiles. The program does a very good job of generating profiles automatically, and if you profile one image, it retains that profile until you change it.

Oftentimes I like to make custom profiles. It's very easy to do. Hit the button that looks like a graph with green bars to the bottom right of the preview screen. It'll warn you that you will lose your profile data, then you hit OK. Now just draw boxes around areas that should be smooth, like pieces of sky or portions of a person's face. This basically tells NN that there shouldn't be noise in these places and it will automatically generate a profile based on that. Just make sure you don't select rough textures or patterns (like carpets, bricks, grass or repeating wallpaper) or it will try to smooth them out. Always be sure to select a very dark area too because that's where the worst noise is.

As far as camera settings, you definately want sharpness and saturation on low because it's easier to increase these later than it is to decrease them. Contrast is best to keep on low if you plan on editing the image or if the scene is already high contrast since this will retain the highest dynamic range and reduce blown highlights. I always keep noise reduction low because it just smudges the image. Basically, I keep everything low because I like to edit the images myself rather than let the camera do it.

The key to this camera is that you want to get as close to a perfect exposure as possible at as low an ISO setting as you can. Unlike in SLR cameras, there is a pretty tough limit on how much you can recover from an underexposed image. Turning up your ISO should be the option of last resort. Before that, you should consider using the flash. If you set the flash low enough, it will brighten up your scene without really looking like a flash. Before that even, try taking a longer exposure with a reduced zoom. I've taken one second exposures handheld that came out quite sharp using mode 2 stabilization. That might be a bit extreme, but even 1/2 second is quite doable and might do the trick (if it's not an action shot). Check out this old post of mine: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=23

One thing I've found is that if you take a photo with ISO 400 and it comes out well exposed, and then you turn it down to ISO 100 and take the photo with all other settings the same, the photo is definitely underexposed, but when you brighten it up in Photoshop you get pretty much the same quality as the ISO 400 image. I'm not saying don't use ISO 400, I'm just giving you an idea about it's usefulness.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 6:50 AM   #6
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I agree with all of your thoughts, Corpsy.

1) We all know that FZs have somne problems with scenes as bright skies and dark terrains, but never forget that you can often bring alot out of the UE areas (if they re not too much darkened).
Trace a selection with 20-40 "feather" and bring up the levels until it starts to be too grainy/noisy (alternat. "auto contrast" and soften the entity of the effect).

2) About Noise Ninja I personally don't use profiles and don't recommend to use them. Moreover I don'r recommend batch PP for NR.
Each image is different and has noise in areas with different hues, which only selective and individual profiling can detect.
And even with that, I often have to UNDO part of the Noise removal in areas which have lost texturing.

It's sad, and it's the other face of the coin, the bunch of PP one has to do in order to obtain the best image possible from FZ.
And as I often say, NR is neither the hardest part of that.

Lumix UZ have certainlyheavy limitsvs dSLR, but if you can live with them and weigh their PROs too, you can tear out very good things of them with an average/good PP skill.

If you are posting images with only resize-sharpen PP or you run batch filters you are certainly not bringing out the best of your shot, independently from how good it is as out of the camera.

Francesco

http://digilander.libero.it/peribsen/indice.htm


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Old Mar 1, 2006, 10:41 AM   #7
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Corpsy..............

As a person who has hand raised many abandoned baby squirrels over the years, I find your avatar particularly offensive. :sad:

I hope there are others in this group who feel the same way I do.

Please consider changing it to something less offensive.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 12:22 PM   #8
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Paladin24 wrote:
Quote:
Corpsy..............

As a person who has hand raised many abandoned baby squirrels over the years, I find your avatar particularly offensive. :sad:

I hope there are others in this group who feel the same way I do.

Please consider changing it to something less offensive.
Paladin24.......

As a person who has hand raised many abandoned baby snakes over the years, I find your presumption of malicious intent on the part of this reptile particularly offensive.:sad:

I hope there are others in this group who feel the same way I do.

Please consider changing your complaint to something less silly.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 1:11 PM   #9
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So much for trying to rationalize with a smartass!
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 1:31 PM   #10
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Thanks Corspy for your post. I currently do not have Photoshop but I am considering getting it in the near future. As to Noise Ninja, the reason I thought I would go for this particular noise reduction software was after looking at some other forums. I will try the methods you have given and let you know how I get on. As I said before I have only just got the camera and am still getting the hang of it. I may also try the free software described in the other posts, so thanks to everyone for the speedy replies!

:-)
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