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How important is third-party noise reduction software to you?

Started Feb 9, 2011 | Discussions thread
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How important is third-party noise reduction software to you?
Feb 9, 2011

I started with photography way back in the eighties, but did not gain much experience as I could not afford the developing cost. I then bought the G3 in 2003 and my first digital DSLR in 2007. From the film days I developed a habit of keeping ISO low, and it has taken me time to willing to increase ISO. I hate noise and love sharpness. Still, I realize higher ISO is often needed to get the necessary shutter speeds.

I find the noise reduction in Lightroom3 surprisingly efficient. Of course, there is 'always' a trade-off between shapness and noise.

I recently downloaded a trial version of Topaz DeNoise. At first glance I cannot say it represented a significant improvement over the results I get with Lightroom, but I wonder if this is just down to my inexperience. I have not used the Topaz much - just tested it briefly. There are a lot of third-party noise reduction software out there, and I am sure they all do a good job. Surely there must be a reason why they all exist? (not only to earn money?)

Yesterday I saw some impressive, almost noise free pictures taken with a 7D in this forum. Those images also appeared to be sharp. I will like to ask if a third-party software is necessary to create that quality, or is it mostly down to the person that do the PP? (certainly the latter). Is it anyone out there that think the Lightroom 3 noise reduction feature is good enough to get great results, or would you recommend that I buy the Topaz and try to work with it more?

TIA, Finn

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