Noise performance and software

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edform
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Noise performance and software
3 weeks ago

Took some pictures in difficult light this morning - sitting in the service reception of the Mercedes dealers waiting for my car: full height glass walls with strong sunlight streaming in across a polished tile floor. I finished up with some shots burned all the way out in the highlight areas and still dark and noisy elsewhere. The shots gave me a chance to look at relative noise reduction capabilities of various programs and the three images below show comment-worthy differences. All the images are 100% crops from processed versions of the same RAW file - it's a rear wheel of a brand new Mercedes A220 CDI painted in very glossy dark metallic grey with machined aluminium contrast machining. The first is from Adobe Camera Raw CC - the current pay-as-you-go version...

ACR noise reduction 100% crop

The next image is DxO Optics Pro V9 using the 'High' noise reduction setting with default settings

DxO Optics Pro 9 - 100% crop

Finally, the last image is also DxO Optics Pro 9, but the new 'Prime' noise reduction system. Again the settings are default.

As I see the results, the Adobe system has left noticeable fringes of noise in difficult places - check between the tyre and the alloy rim and you will see not only noise but noise with coloured areas. The DxO 'High' setting is similar but the noise is not coloured. The DxO 'Prime' setting gives remarkable results: to all intents and purposes there is no noise and yet there is no loss of detail at all.

The drawback? That's easy to quantify - the export to disk stage, which is where the processing is carried out, to 10 times as long - on my reasonably power HP workstation, about 9 minutes per picture.

These are colour images, by the way, the subject just happens to be almost monochrome - and I almost forgot to add: this is 2500ISO

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Ed Form

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