May 112010

As promised, here’s more about Topaz Denoise 4, the new version of the noise reduction plugin, that Topaz claims gives you four additional stops. Again I compare to Noise Ninja, but now I not only use auto-profiling, now I use camera noise profiles as well.

Paul Butzi’s comment to yesterday’s post caused me to download and install Noise Ninja noise profiles for the D200 and the D300. Of course I have tried them before, at least for the D200, and all I could remember, was that I had not been overly impressed. Now I know why.

This is a detail that I have also shown in yesterday’s post. I have omitted RAW and instead added the profiled Noise Ninja. Yes, there is more detail, but in order to deliver detail, Noise Ninja leaves much coarse noise in the image. In fact, the result does not look much better than the RAW file without noise reduction.

The next detail is from yesterday’s train image. This is from the bright part with some kind of word or number scribbled on the side of the wagon. Topaz Denoise almost completely smudges it away, and the profiled Noise Ninja actually does a marvelous job.

Unfortunately this is over as soon as we get into the dark parts. The profiled Noise Ninja is really bad at removing color noise.

The next image is quite old and it was taken with the D200, a Nikon 50/1.8 at f4, 1/40s, -0.33EV and ISO 1600. The effective ISO is somewhere around 2000. The image is interesting, because it has a lot of architectural detail, combined with a still blue sky.

The first detail from this image is of one of the most difficult areas. The dark, low-contrast upper part of the remote building is easily smudged away into kind of a dark cloud. In fact that’s exactly what happens when you use any of Topaz Denoise’s presets.

In the second detail Noise Ninja shows mottled sky again.

And here is a final look at the sky. Again the low-frequency color noise is Noise Ninja’s major weakness.

I will conclude today’s post (that actually counts not for today, but for yesterday, Sunday) with two details from the Image of the Day. This was taken from the escalator of a shopping center, but actually I have no idea what it really is that we’re seeing here.

I have taken this image with the Nikon D300, my Sigma 20/1.8 at f8, 1/200s and ISO 6400. This is a correctly exposed, well-lit image, more or less a best case scenario.

It’s not that Noise Ninja were bad, not at all, but again Topaz Denoise 4 delivers the best results. Just look at the texture of the white fur on the right side of the first detail, and then look at the two lamps in the next detail.

The conclusion so far is clear: Topaz Denoise 4 wins over Noise Ninja, regardless of camera profiles.

The Song of the Day is still “Pink Noise Waltz” from the Diablo Swing Orchestra’s 2006 album “The Butcher’s Ballroom”. Just as yesterday, it can be heard on on YouTube 🙂

  3 Responses to “1304 – Pink Noise Waltz II”

  1. very, very interesting. Thanks!

  2. Thanks a bunch for the walkthrough! Sounds almost like a must-have plugin. Not the cheapest one, though. Mhh…

  3. This is such a fun image. I love puzzling over the elements and trying to orient, and re-orient, myself in the space.

    Oh, and I grabbed a trial of DeNoise. Thanks for your reviews! The D300 may be much better at noise reduction than earlier cameras, but it’s still pretty nasty at high ISOs.

    Do you use any in-camera noise reduction?

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