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Old May 5, 2010, 6:30 PM   #1
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Default Topaz Denoise 4 -- preliminary playin' around (8 imgs)

Hi All,

I noticed that Topaz had just released a new version of my favorite NR plugin, so I (of course) downloaded the free upgrade from v3 to v4.

I just only used the presets, but it's improved. v2.2, which I started with created little worm-like artifacts in featureless areas, but otherwise was the best I've used for retaining fine detail. V3 improved the worms quite a bit, but not completely, and it looks like v4 has gotten them taken care of to my satisfaction.

Although I will be tweaking the presets, I just used them as-is here.

All of the first set were taken with the K20 and Sigma 180 Macro wide open. For any clean freaks, I don't dust this or remove the cat hair because I use this regularly as a test target, and they actually add some texture and fine detail All are 100% crops with no processing other than the NR, shot in jpeg

The first shot is at ISO 100 with flash, followed by ISO 6400 versions of the same subject in available light, handheld. The 6400 shots are, in order, no NR, jpeg light noise, and jpeg moderate noise presets -- there's also a high noise preset that smooths things even more, but it just blurred more than the moderate preset, and that setting was more than enough IMO. I realize that the lighting is totally different for the flash shot, but I just wanted a "control" shot of the same subject that was sharp.

Keep in mind that these were handheld and that 100% crops to 800 pixels are about 1/32 of the area of the frame.

Another example follows in the answer.

Scott
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Last edited by snostorm; May 5, 2010 at 9:15 PM.
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Old May 5, 2010, 6:42 PM   #2
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Here's a Cardinal feather. Again, the first shot is with the popup flash, then no NR, light, and moderate with Topax Denoise 4.

I stopped the lens down to f7.1 for these to eliminate any DOF issues, and think I I did pretty well holding the shot. The available light shots were with a 200 watt energy saver daylight fluorescent about a foot above the feather. I rarely get available light macro shots quite as sharp as with a flash, so I assume some camera shake blur, but not too much. I also brought up the brightness, contrast, and saturation in the 6400 shots.

Scott
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Old May 5, 2010, 11:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting this - I just downloaded it (I also own/use it). I haven't tried it with ISO 6400 or anything like that, but I did try it on an older ISO 1600 picture and thought it did a better job with one of the presets than the previous version. I like the interface better - I've been using Detail for a short time and Denoise now has the same type of interface. It still isn't exactly the fastest program in the world, but it does a very nice job - I've always liked it and it really is better than it was. Thanks for bringing this up.
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Old May 6, 2010, 2:50 AM   #4
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This looks like it has done an excellent job on the 6,400 shot. I have banned my K7 from ever automatically using 6,400 (in the camera settings) and I won't use it manually for precisely the reason your #2 shot shows. However it seems there may be some use for it now after all !

For simple sharpening I use Bibble Pro 5 but for more difficult situations Nik Sharpener Pro 3. I have looked at Topaz but didn't buy it because if I want anything else now I would prefer a standalone rather than having to open up bloatware such as CS4 every time I want to do a simple sharpening / noise reduction job (even though CS4 is a great program I hardly use it - Bibble Pro 5 is my initial processor of choice now (over LR3) - and has Noise Ninja included - and if necessary I then move the photo into Elements for further processing. However if Topaz ever release their products as standalones then I may be tempted because it has done a great job !

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Old May 6, 2010, 2:54 AM   #5
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That is impressive, like Frogfish I have hard limited my K-7 from going above ISO1600, but this could be essential for when you have no other option than going into the higher ISO's
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Old May 6, 2010, 6:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
Thanks for posting this - I just downloaded it (I also own/use it). I haven't tried it with ISO 6400 or anything like that, but I did try it on an older ISO 1600 picture and thought it did a better job with one of the presets than the previous version. I like the interface better - I've been using Detail for a short time and Denoise now has the same type of interface. It still isn't exactly the fastest program in the world, but it does a very nice job - I've always liked it and it really is better than it was. Thanks for bringing this up.
Hi Harriet,

It seems to be a little faster, but it's still quite a bit slower than virtually any other NR program out there. The problem is that it's also that much better, IMO. I'm constantly amazed that it straightens out lines that are broken up by the noise, and makes them continuous and straight. It actually gives results that then can be sharpened much like low ISO shots. Normally, I used to get a "hammered" surface look in what should be smooth backgrounds and with TD this can be avoided much of the time. Luckily, I don't have to shoot at extremely high ISO that much, but I'll not really shy away from it with TD, and being able to use 3200 and 6400 is a definite plus sometimes. The difference now is that I can get better images as a result -- but it's slow. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogfish View Post
This looks like it has done an excellent job on the 6,400 shot. I have banned my K7 from ever automatically using 6,400 (in the camera settings) and I won't use it manually for precisely the reason your #2 shot shows. However it seems there may be some use for it now after all !

For simple sharpening I use Bibble Pro 5 but for more difficult situations Nik Sharpener Pro 3. I have looked at Topaz but didn't buy it because if I want anything else now I would prefer a standalone rather than having to open up bloatware such as CS4 every time I want to do a simple sharpening / noise reduction job (even though CS4 is a great program I hardly use it - Bibble Pro 5 is my initial processor of choice now (over LR3) - and has Noise Ninja included - and if necessary I then move the photo into Elements for further processing. However if Topaz ever release their products as standalones then I may be tempted because it has done a great job !
Hi FF,

I normally have my K-7 set up so the ISO range maxes out at 400, but I have the Info menu screen set up with the Auto ISO selected, I can change the upper limit with one button push and a click or two of the back e-dial. I rarely go past 1250.

This plugin is very good, IMO. I've been using it for a few years, but have used Noise Ninja and Neat Image in the past. For me, a top priority is how well the cleaned image takes to further processing, and this one is the best for me, but I haven't used NN or NI, for quite a while, and I'm sure they've made some improvements -- and they are a lot faster. Luckily, I don't process that many pics at a time. I might have a dozen shots of the same bird that are good enough to print, but they usually aren't different enough to bother with, so I just process the best one or two and keep the rest for later consideration, so the lack of speed doesn't bother me.

If you're interested in giving it a try, they have a fully functional 30 day trial -- you have to register and get an activation key, and I believe that with the new version introduction, there's a discount code somewhere on the site -- I didn't need it because I'd bought a previous version and they offered this one as a free upgrade. It should work fine with Elements though. . .



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachikoma View Post
That is impressive, like Frogfish I have hard limited my K-7 from going above ISO1600, but this could be essential for when you have no other option than going into the higher ISO's
Hi Tachi,

I thought that with the improvements it was worth posting about since it's not very well known -- I'm a PP freak, and consider showing a pic straight from the camera like walking out the door without running a comb through one's hair. . .

TD is slow, but it analyses the whole image, then sets the parameters accordingly at different levels according to the presets, so there's a reason. It's the only NR software I've ever used that I actually understand the interface. . . of course, YMMV.

Scott
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Old May 6, 2010, 6:21 AM   #7
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Yeah definitely worth letting others know, I have a few shots that could do with some noise control, so tempted to give it a shot and see what the results are.
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