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Thread: Noise Removal - What's your method?

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    Noise Removal - What's your method?

    What is your favorite program, action or method for removing noise from your photos? I know with many cameras today, noise is not as much of an issue at high ISO. My 6d isn't bad but I still don't like what I see out of my 7d II. There have been a lot of dark, dreary days lately so I have been pushing higher than usual. Other than ACR, I have a couple actions that I use, one by GTG isn't too bad but just wondering if others have some highly recommended methods.

    Denise

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    I tend to do sharpening and noise reduction at two stages. First is in ACR. Sharpening is to better define edges only so using Alt key while adjusting sliders I tend to mask rather heavily to avoid sharpening small details which includes noise and also apply noise reduction if there seems to be any.
    Topaz denoise is pretty quick and easy to apply from PS and other software. Seems to work well most of the time.
    Alternative method to mask for sharpening in PS. Duplicate background, high pass filter to get edges, denoise to eliminate ALL noise, smart sharpen, adjust layer type and opacity to taste.
    If noise is not going away sometimes throwing a light texture over it will make it far less noticeable. I know, not removal but still it is rather effective for providing some camouflage.

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    I use ACR in the same way as jrw above. Sharpen and mask using the alt button and slider so just the edges get sharpened. Then apply noise reduction if necessary. Sometimes when I'm in Photoshop and I have a noisy sky or other large contiguous color area, I'll duplicate the layer and throw on a light surface blur, then mask and paint out the areas I want sharp (or alt-mask and paint in the blurred area if it's easier that way).
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    For RAW conversion I use Canon's DPP, version 4 I think is the latest, it has chrominance and luminance noise reduction sliders that you adjust per photo as needed.

    I usually just do minimal noise reduction in DPP 4 to start so as not to lose too much detail.

    In Phohoshop, if needed, I will use Nik DFine or Topaz DeNoise but usually on the background only.

    On my bird images, if they need sharpening in post, I will only sharpen the bird or part of the bird and nothing else.

    I have also heard from reliable sources that Neat Image Pro is an excellent noise reduction product.

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    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    I use DxO Optics Pro for RAW conversion, their Prime NR does an excellent job, I use it at ISO 800 and up on my EOS M2, 3200 and up on my 1D X.

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    I reduce noise less these days. There was a football photographer doing one of the B&H talks a year or two ago... he mentioned that he never applied noise reduction, and nobody has ever complained. Us photographers are the only ones who are so picky about noise.

    I still do NR, but I no longer try to remove all clearly visible noise, which makes things much simpler for us crop-body shooters. I pretty much just increase the luma noise slider it Lightroom to something appropriate for the ISO. A ISO 6400 shot starts needing a bit of a boost to the default chroma value too (on 7D2... 7D needed chroma slider earlier).

    When I'm going for more NR, which is pretty rare, then after doing noise reduction in LR or ACR, I'll shrink in Photoshop, and do a noise reduction filter after that. Shrinking already minimizes the noise, which helps the NR filter. Running the NR filter on full sizes images tends to do a whole lot of nothing. The NR filter appears to also add a sharpening effect to the image. If the details (like eyes) aren't perfectly sharp after that, then I'll do an unsharp mask.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEccleston View Post
    I reduce noise less these days. There was a football photographer doing one of the B&H talks a year or two ago... he mentioned that he never applied noise reduction, and nobody has ever complained. Us photographers are the only ones who are so picky about noise.

    I still do NR, but I no longer try to remove all clearly visible noise, which makes things much simpler for us crop-body shooters. I pretty much just increase the luma noise slider it Lightroom to something appropriate for the ISO. A ISO 6400 shot starts needing a bit of a boost to the default chroma value too (on 7D2... 7D needed chroma slider earlier).

    When I'm going for more NR, which is pretty rare, then after doing noise reduction in LR or ACR, I'll shrink in Photoshop, and do a noise reduction filter after that. Shrinking already minimizes the noise, which helps the NR filter. Running the NR filter on full sizes images tends to do a whole lot of nothing. The NR filter appears to also add a sharpening effect to the image. If the details (like eyes) aren't perfectly sharp after that, then I'll do an unsharp mask.
    Pretty same, i'm spending really a lot less time reducing the noise!

    Pixel-peeping is the evil !

    Maybe some of that is useful when you print a big picture... but before that, just let it flows
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    There are a number of tips here that I am going to try. I used to use DPP faithfully but got a way from it and used ACR instead. Now when I go into the new version of DPP, I'm clueless ...maybe I'll have to study up! I'm also a few versions behind in DxO and I would love to get DeNoise but it is a tad pricey! MY GTG (Greater Than Gatsby) photoshop action works pretty good when noise isn't too bad to begin with and you only need it at around 40% but I have a few bird pics I recently took and the noise is pretty high. When I use the action it just makes everything look bad when I push it to 100%.

    So sad to throw otherwise good shots away because the noise is awful!

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    After using the latest version of LR, DPP just seems weak when PP Raw. The last few versions of Light Room have gotten better and better. I particularly like the way you can use the Alt key when sharpening and cleaning up noise, the view it gives helps.

    I have noticed that if you shoot jpgs with the 7D II and 5Ds R they have the settings built in and do a good job of cleaning up noise compared to previous bodies. Occasionally I will shoot in RAW and JPG for a comparison to see how much I improve the picture.

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    I like DPP4 because of the way it renders color....to my eye it looks more true and requires less adjustment.

    Also the luminance and chrominance noise reduction feature uses algorithms specially designed for Canon cameras. Using just a small amount of these at the initial step is often all that is needed. If I find more noise reduction is required in post it is usually minimal and is much easier to deal with having used a small amount of noise reduction in the initial conversion.

    I always shoot RAW just due to the fact that the image will respond better to the wide array of processing techniques available and it can be saved to be reprocessed later if new/better software becomes available.

    To my own detriment, I have yet to really delve into LightRoom. I know I should but just have not made the effort yet.

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