Pureraw vs Topaz denoise: tribulations before purchase

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zurubi Contributing Member • Posts: 564
Pureraw vs Topaz denoise: tribulations before purchase
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Sorry if something like this has been posted before, but I didn’t find a direct comparison in this forum.

With the release of DxO’s Pureraw I decided to give it a try and compare it with Topaz DeNoise AI.

I don’t own neither (but I do use a different denoising plugin in PS, so I am familiar with the topic).

Here are a couple of trials with both packages and would like to ask for some feedback from existing users. I’ll probably buy one of these two (they each have pros and cons). For Topaz, I only applied the "standard" color NR in LR, and none of the other NR options.

First, a couple of shots of an owl in my backyard, high ISO, so a good test case.

400mm, ISO 12800, Sony a7r3

Left: Pureraw deepprime; right Topaz denoise. In the topaz program, I started with the suggested settings and tweaked them a bit.

Pureraw is quite impressive, for example, the eyes. However, as I gathered from other posts elsewhere and youtube, it can be a bit aggressive. I tried to be a bit more subtle with Topaz but could tweak it enough to match Pureraw.

Another shot of the same owl (please ignore the color shift, camera chose a totally wrong white balance).Same conclusion as before. The ability to dial down the settings in Topaz helps for example with detail in the feathers.

The example below is pretty extreme. I do quite a bit of astro shots and one is always struggling with noisy foregrounds at high ISO. BTW, I reached the conclusion that i wouldn’t use neither package for the sky: Pureraw DeepPRIME is way too aggressive so it “eats” stars; Topaz about the same. There is nothing like stacking shots or tracking with a tracker.

This shot was taken with a 13s exposure, so those skinny bushes were blurred in the original shot (lower left)

lower left area of the photo above. Left: Topaz, Right DxO

So even though Pureraw is impressive, I am now inclined to go with Topaz for the following reasons:

-inability to match ACR/LR image since both use different lens profiles.

-NR is too aggressive; no way to dial down in neither algorithm (Prime, deepprime, etc)

-won't work with Fuji RAWs; I shot with both Sony and Fuji. The examples above are with the Sony though

Am I missing anything?

Thanks

Igal

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