Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
SaltLakeGuy
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Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
6 months ago

I downloaded it last night in hot anticipation as it was billed as THE best (or at least one of the finest) ways to convert RAW images from the new X-T1. I downloaded the latest pre release version which added highlight recovery for the X series sensors and such. Well, I'm NOT impressed. Not only do the Jpeg images blow the RAW's away but I can NOT for the life of me remove the noise as it should or could be. It just doesn't take much out. It is as if I'm not seeing the results of what the program is doing. But I can see it's processing from the icon that moves above showing in progress processing. There is a ton more noise than in the Jpeg and it doesn't provide the kind of resolution and quality image I would expect from a competent converter. The RAW's coming out of Lightroom from my former EM1 was far superior, and I KNOW this can't be right. Anyone out there using this program tell me something is wrong and how to make it right?

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Al Valentino
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Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 6 months ago

I only briefly tested it a while back and have not purchased - partly because it was so processor intensive that my 2010 dual core MBP keep having the fans come on.

Anyway, as i recall the noise reduction was the best of the four or so raw converters i tried. There was a trick and it involved a single slider which seemed like magic. Do not remember what that was but i am sure someone else will address it. It also had the best DR and Iridient seemed the have the poorest DR recovery. The interface of both these was a bit of a drag and i use Capture One, purchased when on sale. All three seems better than adobe, but C1 got me the best results with the least effort. However, unless the shot is important or tricky i simply shoot jpeg

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jm10
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Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 6 months ago

Somehow does not sound right. I am getting very good results and noise is not an issue. Photo Ninja does include the latest version of the Noise Ninja which is supposed to be one of the best noise management tools.

Do you use it in a stand-alone mode or as a LR plug-in? I do get good results even with default values but there are many settings that can be customized to your taste. Did you tweak some of them? Perhaps a JPEG vs PN comparison shots would help.

jacob

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Dorkington
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Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 6 months ago

As far as noise reduction, I actually think Adobe's tools are fantastic. You could always export a TIFF from Photo Ninja, then reduce noise using Adobe programs.

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Dick Barbour
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Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 6 months ago

SaltLakeGuy wrote:

I downloaded it last night in hot anticipation as it was billed as THE best (or at least one of the finest) ways to convert RAW images from the new X-T1. I downloaded the latest pre release version which added highlight recovery for the X series sensors and such. Well, I'm NOT impressed. Not only do the Jpeg images blow the RAW's away but I can NOT for the life of me remove the noise as it should or could be. It just doesn't take much out. It is as if I'm not seeing the results of what the program is doing. But I can see it's processing from the icon that moves above showing in progress processing. There is a ton more noise than in the Jpeg and it doesn't provide the kind of resolution and quality image I would expect from a competent converter. The RAW's coming out of Lightroom from my former EM1 was far superior, and I KNOW this can't be right. Anyone out there using this program tell me something is wrong and how to make it right?

I'm not sure why you're having problems; I don't see much noise that needs any treatment at all with my X-E2 or X-M1, except at very high ISOs. I use PN regularly for both the X-E2 and X-M1 raw images, and was delighted with the recent 1.2.3 pre-release that made substantial progress on highlight recovery. I don't have the X-T1, but I wouldn't think the raw processing would be any different than the X-E2 since supposedly they share the same sensor. I have tried Silkypix (the full version as well as the supplied one) and the latest ACR. I don't like converters that force me to use their database, so that lets out Capture 1. Also, I work on a PC so can't try Iridient. I like PN better than Silkypix or ACR for color, and it's just as good for detail, IMO.

At any rate, I have stuck with PN as the best current alternative for X-Trans and have generally been very happy with it.  One thing I do is use just the demosaicing, color correction, and exposure sliders, and un-check everything else. So I'm not doing any noise reduction or sharpening in PN and I normally set the Preset to "Neutral" for all types of photos. I use the neat method they offer to open a photo directly in Photoshop without having to save an intermediate file.

In Photoshop I do pre-sharpening in either Focus Magic or Nik Raw Pre-Sharpener, depending on which looks better, and usually don't have to do any more sharpening except a little when outputting to printer. I find I don't need to do any noise reduction on most files unless they are at very high ISO, which for X-Trans is 1600 or above for me. Funny, not many years ago I was hesitant to use ISO 400 with my Canon 5D! If I do need NR I use Nik Dfine which does a good job automatically for me, but of course can be refined manually.

Try this method and see what you think.

Dick

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fluxism
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Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 6 months ago

is the noise ninja adjustment panel checked?

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lighttripper
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Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to fluxism, 6 months ago

I've been experimenting with RAW Fuji X-Pro1 and X20 files, using both Iridient and Photoninja.  Photoninja seems to do a remarkable job of removing apparent noise the few times I've tried out the noise-reduction feature.  But with X-Pro1 files, it seems to produce a pervasive magenta/green color noise throughout bright areas where small image elements provide contrast--evident in every image.  Perhaps I'm leaving out some essential feature, but the color artifacts are in everything.  It is reminiscent of old, under-exposed Sigma files.  These color artifacts are entirely absent in Iridient.

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Joel Stern
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How to use as a plug in Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to jm10, 6 months ago

jm10 wrote:

Somehow does not sound right. I am getting very good results and noise is not an issue. Photo Ninja does include the latest version of the Noise Ninja which is supposed to be one of the best noise management tools.

Do you use it in a stand-alone mode or as a LR plug-in? I do get good results even with default values but there are many settings that can be customized to your taste. Did you tweak some of them? Perhaps a JPEG vs PN comparison shots would help.

jacob

How would you use this or Cap1 as a plug in?  I am using Cap1 alone but would love to go directly to NIK even if through LR.  I have heard Aperture messes up Cap1 images. I did not buy PN but tried it, I have tried Iridient. PN was not hard to use, cap1 does well with XTrans and Ricoh RAW.  It has become my go to but I hat the lack of cataloging, maybe I have missed something.

thanks

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John Motts
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Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 6 months ago

I looked for the best RAW processor for my X pro1. Lightroom was okay but I found the detail and general image quality to be significantly better from Photo Ninja. Noise reduction is excellent on both.

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Al Valentino
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Re: How to use as a plug in Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to Joel Stern, 6 months ago

Joel Stern wrote:

jm10 wrote:

Somehow does not sound right. I am getting very good results and noise is not an issue. Photo Ninja does include the latest version of the Noise Ninja which is supposed to be one of the best noise management tools.

Do you use it in a stand-alone mode or as a LR plug-in? I do get good results even with default values but there are many settings that can be customized to your taste. Did you tweak some of them? Perhaps a JPEG vs PN comparison shots would help.

jacob

How would you use this or Cap1 as a plug in? I am using Cap1 alone but would love to go directly to NIK even if through LR. I have heard Aperture messes up Cap1 images. I did not buy PN but tried it, I have tried Iridient. PN was not hard to use, cap1 does well with XTrans and Ricoh RAW. It has become my go to but I hat the lack of cataloging, maybe I have missed something.

There is no plugin support for C1 at the moment. PN has a plugin to export a file directly into Photoshop or LR, and I believe you do not need to create a tiff or jpeg first, it just opens. Raw adjustments from one converter to the next are not possible since they read their own adjustments. So to go from C1 to LR you need to create a non-raw file and export.

What do you mean by the lack of cataloguing in C1?

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SaltLakeGuy
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Perhaps should have mentioned
In reply to John Motts, 6 months ago

These were shots taken in poor light across a room with the 18-55 f2.8-4 lens at ISO6400. Once the image on the screen (a calibrated 27" Samsung flat panel) was at 67% you could see quite a bit of noise and the detail wasn't great. I don't think this is "normal" as my EM1 I just sold did better than this, and I KNOW this camera has less noise at higher ISO's. Just seems like it's not processing great. I DO have the Noise Ninja box checked but I can crank it up all the way and it still doesn't make much difference. With Topaz DeNoise I don't need to go half way and it wipes out all noise (AND detail of course). There just doesn't seem to be much adjustment possible as their should be.

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jm10
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Re: How to use as a plug in Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to Joel Stern, 6 months ago

Joel Stern wrote:

jm10 wrote:

Somehow does not sound right. I am getting very good results and noise is not an issue. Photo Ninja does include the latest version of the Noise Ninja which is supposed to be one of the best noise management tools.

Do you use it in a stand-alone mode or as a LR plug-in? I do get good results even with default values but there are many settings that can be customized to your taste. Did you tweak some of them? Perhaps a JPEG vs PN comparison shots would help.

jacob

How would you use this or Cap1 as a plug in? I am using Cap1 alone but would love to go directly to NIK even if through LR. I have heard Aperture messes up Cap1 images. I did not buy PN but tried it, I have tried Iridient. PN was not hard to use, cap1 does well with XTrans and Ricoh RAW. It has become my go to but I hat the lack of cataloging, maybe I have missed something.

thanks

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If i am typing on my iPad, please excuse any typos.

Joel, I don't have C1, but Al has already answered your question

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mcshan
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In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 6 months ago

PN is not great but for me it is still the best system I have used. I wish all of the RAW programs were faster.

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Chanthis
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In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 6 months ago

Now you see what's REALLY in the x-trans raw file. It's just like any other Sony 16 MP sensor. Un-click the Noise Ninja box and get a look at the color noise that is present too. Now click the noise ninja box again, and the color noise disappears. You are left with the luminance noise. You're not used to seeing that luminance noise in your jpegs, are you? That's because Fuji blurs that out too (Noise Ninja in a Can!) in-camera. Don't worry, PhotoNinja will do that too. Go back to the Noise Ninja line, make sure that the little box is checked. Now, I want you to click --next-- to the box, on the left side, but not the box itself. That'll bring up the Noise Ninja panel. See the Luminance Noise reduction section? CLick enable. Voila! You now have a nice smooth file, just like your OOC jpeg!

Iridient is no different. It'll let you see what's behind the curtain, just like PN will.

You've now lost your x-trans innocence.

SaltLakeGuy wrote:

I downloaded it last night in hot anticipation as it was billed as THE best (or at least one of the finest) ways to convert RAW images from the new X-T1. I downloaded the latest pre release version which added highlight recovery for the X series sensors and such. Well, I'm NOT impressed. Not only do the Jpeg images blow the RAW's away but I can NOT for the life of me remove the noise as it should or could be. It just doesn't take much out. It is as if I'm not seeing the results of what the program is doing. But I can see it's processing from the icon that moves above showing in progress processing. There is a ton more noise than in the Jpeg and it doesn't provide the kind of resolution and quality image I would expect from a competent converter. The RAW's coming out of Lightroom from my former EM1 was far superior, and I KNOW this can't be right. Anyone out there using this program tell me something is wrong and how to make it right?

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Joel Stern
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Al Re: How to use as a plug in Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to Al Valentino, 6 months ago

Al Valentino wrote:

Joel Stern wrote:

jm10 wrote:

Somehow does not sound right. I am getting very good results and noise is not an issue. Photo Ninja does include the latest version of the Noise Ninja which is supposed to be one of the best noise management tools.

Do you use it in a stand-alone mode or as a LR plug-in? I do get good results even with default values but there are many settings that can be customized to your taste. Did you tweak some of them? Perhaps a JPEG vs PN comparison shots would help.

jacob

How would you use this or Cap1 as a plug in? I am using Cap1 alone but would love to go directly to NIK even if through LR. I have heard Aperture messes up Cap1 images. I did not buy PN but tried it, I have tried Iridient. PN was not hard to use, cap1 does well with XTrans and Ricoh RAW. It has become my go to but I hat the lack of cataloging, maybe I have missed something.

There is no plugin support for C1 at the moment. PN has a plugin to export a file directly into Photoshop or LR, and I believe you do not need to create a tiff or jpeg first, it just opens. Raw adjustments from one converter to the next are not possible since they read their own adjustments. So to go from C1 to LR you need to create a non-raw file and export.

What do you mean by the lack of cataloguing in C1?

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I was able to name my imports awhile back but all of that has vanished and now I just get my imports by the date, so even though I store all on my external I  have not been able to create any specific folders for lack of a better term, lets say the date and camera I am using, etc. There must be something I am doing wrong in import, I do import from my External and I name all of my folders that I have in there but those names to not follow, just the date of import.

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Joel Stern
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Re: How to use as a plug in Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to jm10, 6 months ago

jm10 wrote:

Joel Stern wrote:

jm10 wrote:

Somehow does not sound right. I am getting very good results and noise is not an issue. Photo Ninja does include the latest version of the Noise Ninja which is supposed to be one of the best noise management tools.

Do you use it in a stand-alone mode or as a LR plug-in? I do get good results even with default values but there are many settings that can be customized to your taste. Did you tweak some of them? Perhaps a JPEG vs PN comparison shots would help.

jacob

How would you use this or Cap1 as a plug in? I am using Cap1 alone but would love to go directly to NIK even if through LR. I have heard Aperture messes up Cap1 images. I did not buy PN but tried it, I have tried Iridient. PN was not hard to use, cap1 does well with XTrans and Ricoh RAW. It has become my go to but I hat the lack of cataloging, maybe I have missed something.

thanks

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If i am typing on my iPad, please excuse any typos.

Joel, I don't have C1, but Al has already answered your question

I saw that, thanks

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SaltLakeGuy
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Re: The emperor has no clothes! ...or...it's you.
In reply to Chanthis, 6 months ago

LOL you're quite the comedian aren't you. Anyway it's interesting you'd mention this process. When I got a Canon 6D I was all hyped thinking now I have the king of quiet DSLR's and can do photography in absurdly dark situations with NO noise. Well I got a real wake up call when I was taking shots, then when reviewing on the screen noted it would literally write the file before my eyes when reviewing, and while doing so I noted tons of speckles and noise as I swept the image from one side to another as it reprocessed. I thought to myself what is really going on here. So when I shot in RAW and tried processing noted that ironically not only was there tons of noise I needed to get rid of, but my measly mft EM1 from RAW was easier to process a noise free image WITHOUT utterly destroying the detail in the image. The Canon went back needless to say. However I have to say in comparison to very familiar shooting tests I've replicated around the house with several different cameras, in Jpeg at least, the T1 so far renders a superior image to all I've tested. Now I just have to figure out the magic of RAW processing this bad boy. Thanks for the tip. when I get home I'll be sure and look at those controls again. Thought I checked the box but was surprised there weren't even MORE control sliders to work with.

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Joel Stern
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In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 6 months ago

I never ever use NR in Fuji or Ricoh RAW files..... never seems to bother me.

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jm10
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Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 6 months ago

SaltLakeGuy wrote:

I downloaded it last night in hot anticipation as it was billed as THE best (or at least one of the finest) ways to convert RAW images from the new X-T1. I downloaded the latest pre release version which added highlight recovery for the X series sensors and such. Well, I'm NOT impressed. Not only do the Jpeg images blow the RAW's away but I can NOT for the life of me remove the noise as it should or could be. It just doesn't take much out. It is as if I'm not seeing the results of what the program is doing. But I can see it's processing from the icon that moves above showing in progress processing. There is a ton more noise than in the Jpeg and it doesn't provide the kind of resolution and quality image I would expect from a competent converter. The RAW's coming out of Lightroom from my former EM1 was far superior, and I KNOW this can't be right. Anyone out there using this program tell me something is wrong and how to make it right?

I have attached the settings in the Noise panel. By default the Luminance NR is disabled. I get better results when it is enabled. You can try my settings and see if it makes a difference - they are good for daytime. For ISOs 3200 and above I am getting better results with the following settings:

25, 50, 50, 100

jacob

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SaltLakeGuy
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In reply to jm10, 6 months ago

I can crank the "smoothing' up all the way and see nearly effect WITH the box checked. I'll have to play some more with it.

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