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Archive 2013 · Noise
  
 
RustyBug
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Noise


Topaz ... the demo wouldn't allow me to bring it back into PS to finish processing, so I don't know how it is going to play out when I lift the exposure, etc. (as I did in the downsized image above).

Screen shots again

I didn't like any of the presets that Topaz had. Topaz seem VERY powerful @ blurring, but ... it had a refined slider this was only around 10% iirc @ the overall. Most of the change was in the color slider. Also, it was nice to have a separate shadow/highlight and red/blue slider.

Overall feel of Topaz was different as it was Plugin vs. stand alone, but it seemed pretty responsive and also not incumbered by the other RAW processing aspect of the full converter that DXO is. A bit of the "KISS" approach ... knowing that it would return me to PS (if the demo had allowed it) to continue my familiar PP in PS rather than trying to learn/understand the controls/effects of a different edit program. Not having to go "hmmm" at do I want to use DXO or PS is always a blessing for us too many options challenged old dogs @ new tricks. Although, DXO did export the TIFF just fine to PS and had options for jpg export as well. Subjective pluses either way.

The earlier downsize of the full image incorporated additional tweaks beyond the NR itself ... would have been nice if I could have done this with the Topaz version as well. Not sure why, but it kept looping me back to the website to download the trial (which I had obviously already done), not allowing a return to PS.

Looks like going through PS to Topaz vs. DXO I may have used different color space @ RAW import (Adobe vs. PhotoPro) without considering that the settings for import were diff. Thus, the two original RAW's vibrancy of the color noise might appear a touch diff starting out. Not sure, but maybe.

Overall impression ... I liked working in Topaz better, and it seemed to have a better approach than DXO ... just wish I could have seen how it played with the PP to follow. NR isn't my forte by any means, so take this with a HUGE grain of salt.

BTW ... I still couldn't see the diff @ DXO HIGH vs. PRIME (limits of my system/monitor ).

At this point ... I feel like I haven't seen the complete story for DXO PRIME (looks the same as HIGH to me), nor a finished product from Topaz without continuing on in PS. But, they both suggest that there is additional hope for noise that can save the day without having that blur/smudge (although Topaz could take you there pretty quick if you got aggressive) obliteration of detail. Likely a learning curve to either product to figure out how it will play best with follow on pp.

Probably a tough call @ DXO vs. Topaz ... but for the nominal diffs between the two (at least to this NR newbie's maiden voyage with NR other than PS), Topaz seems suitable @ Plugin (workflow/cost/task specific) if you don't need/want a full blown RAW processor of DXO.

One other thing /

When using Topaz as a plugin, can it be applied to different layers so that you could either apply different levels of NR and opacity adjustments and/or use masking to selectively apply NR. When using DXO, I found myself yearning for the ability to apply NR selectively and it seemed that it would be a global application only (unless it had masking like LR that I hadn't yet found).















Downsized from screen shot + PS pp



Edited on Nov 20, 2013 at 02:39 PM · View previous versions



Nov 20, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Ho1972
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Noise


There's really no one app for NR that can handle every situation. I use Topaz often but sometimes find that it just isn't up to the task with certain images. Maybe DxO will be a more well-rounded solution, but I expect that it too will require a secondary option for the times when it can't cope.


Nov 20, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Bifurcator
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Noise


One thing is true for sure Rusty, the presets in Topaz DeNoise are useless! Of the thousands of images I've pumped through DeNoise I've never once used a preset nor tried a preset that worked correctly. I select a preset that's about right then tweak the sliders for perfection, and record it in a list of actions. When next the action is run it analyzes the current image and adjusts the dynamics according to that analysis - but from the starting point I originally recorded in the action. I assign the action entry to open the DeNoise GUI because there's almost always a slider or two that needs adjustment for the particular image I'm working with. From there the very next entry in the action list is Fade again with the GUI Dialogue box set to open so I can manually adjust the amount. Typically I get Topaz to kill all noise and then fade to 75% (thus 25% of the original image is blended normally).


Nov 20, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Bifurcator
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Noise


RustyBug wrote:
BTW ... I still couldn't see the diff @ DXO HIGH vs. PRIME (limits of my system/monitor ).



You can't see this difference?



Also I think that PRIME there is probably very close to what Topaz produces… again however, I can't be sure without having the RAW image to test with. And I admit that I don't have any images as noisy as your sample here - the GH2 at it's worst (ISO 12800) is considerably less noisy than this. The GH1 get's this noisy but at that point it's introducing streaks and patterns in the noise.






Nov 20, 2013 at 03:47 PM
 

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ben egbert
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Noise


I have four Topaz noise actions, lightest, light, medium and maximum I believe, all are Topaz built in selections, I was never able to improve on them. Each action creates a layer so I can adjust or brush it in. When I had a 1DS-mk3, I used lightest even on ISO100 to smooth sky noise. My 5d3 does not require it.

I always go for a global process first. I always feel like an image that needs local sharpening or local anything is a failed image. I understand that DR is failed in all cameras so I do blends for DR, but I should not need to for noise or sharpness. If it were not for the AA filter, we should not need to sharpen our images at all.

For low light, I will go up to ISO1600 and use NR and accept lower detail, but then I do landscapes from a tripod. For event photography, I would probably accept ISO3200, but these images often need to be cropped which just makes noise all the more noticable.

I used to do Eagles with my 1DS3, ISO800 was usually unusable after cropping.

I would not consider any of the samples in this post usable.



Nov 20, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Bifurcator
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Noise


I think they're useable for print at B5 size or smaller. At that the printer would dither in more "noise" than the denoised photo - so no sensor noise would be humanly detectable from a foot or two away.


Nov 20, 2013 at 04:09 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Noise


Okay ... I can see the diff now. Thanks Bif.

The PRIME is a bit "smoothed" for my taste, but that was of course just @ defaults and could be adjust to taste I'm sure. I prefer the slight granularity vs. the loss of detail given the choice. Downsizing to realistic usage seems to make the granularity not too objectionable for me once you get it close. I've just never liked the overly smoothed look. The Topaz seemed to have better responsiveness/control to where you were adjusting it to personal taste.

Usability is going to be "fit for purpose". I'd certainly not consider this a "wall hanger" application akin to fine landscape art. But shooting up to 8 fps, handheld with a 100/2 in near darkness does come with its price to be paid, and its corresponding level of acceptance / expectation. Of course, this is also using a 10 year old camera, so take it with a grain of salt as well @ S/N floor. My SLR/C can be even more noise challenged than this, but I think we get the picture at what can be achieved.

I thought it would make a nice challenge shot to see how the NR could handle some rough stuff ... it's easier to sift the pretenders from the contenders that way, imo. Add in the sodium vapor lighting with the mixed stage lighting and it is anything but a routine image. The drummer was sitting in an "alcove" compared to the rest of the band, so he was really "in the dark".




Nov 20, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Norman my love
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Noise


Thanks for the screen shots Rusty Bug. Thanks everyone.


Dec 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM
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