DXO PL 4 Deep Prime Noise Reduction Compared to Olympus Work Space. Not a Black Cat in a Coal Mine,

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drj3 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,734
DXO PL 4 Deep Prime Noise Reduction Compared to Olympus Work Space. Not a Black Cat in a Coal Mine,

Not a Black Cat in a Coal Mine, but a Black Bear at Twilight.

I generally try to keep ISO at 800 or lower for my E-M1s. However, sometimes that is impossible and I need to reduce noise in the image. Based on DPR threads, I decided to try DXO Deep Prime and compare it to Olympus WS.

I limited this comparison to Olympus WS and DXO for comparison of noise removal and detail retention. I chose an image of a Black bear taken very late in the evening (300mm f4, 1/6 second, ISO 6400 handheld). An underexposed black target photographed just before dark presents a significant challenge for reducing noise while maintaining image detail.

I wanted to use identical PP other than noise reduction for all the files, so I exported the RAW file twice from WS as 16 bit Tiff files to be PP in LR (6.14). One of the WS files was exported with all Olympus camera defaults (noise filter = standard noise setting), the second with the Olympus camera defaults except the Noise filter set to LOW (more noise & more detail). I then opened the original RAW file in DXO PL4, applied Deep Prime noise reduction and exported the DNG file with Denoise & Optical corrections only to LR.

I color balanced all the files in LR using the White Balance selector on the bear’s white chest patch and applied the identical LR processing to all three files with the following exception. The two WS files exposure was raised by .37 and the DXO file by .53 to give similar brightness for the images. I did not make any noise/sharpness LR changes to any of the three files.

The three images are attached as well as a fourth image with 100% crops of specific parts of the images.

Differences in the three images become more obvious in the enlarged crops. DXO is better at reducing noise and increasing apparent detail. In the first crop of the head, the eye/nose is better in DXO. However, while there is more apparent detail on the forehead of the bear processed with DXO, the fur looks somewhat artificial.

The second crop shows the bear’s leg on the right side of the photographs. In this crop, DXO gives much better realistic detail.

Again in the third crop of the foot on the left side of the image, DXO gives much better detail with minimal artifacts.

I also tried DXO with a few files of more typical targets with ISO’s below 6400 and did not see any of the artificial looking detail seen on the fur of the bear’s head.

Olympus WS with Standard Noise Filter

Olympus WS with Low Noise Filter

DXO - PL4 Deep Prime Noise Filter

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