The effect of varying DeepPRIME levels

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Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 14,325
The effect of varying DeepPRIME levels
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There has been some debate in another thread about whether DeepPRIME set at 0 is the same as having no NR set, and what is the right level of DeepPRIME to apply. Note that this post (and thread?) will only be of interest to people with access to DxO PhotoLab 4 Elite. It doesn't include comparisons with any other products.

I decided to do some analysis using one of my test images. All images shown in this post are 100% crops. The raw image was shot at varying ISOs on my A6500; this analysis compares ISO100 and IS06400. This is a moderately high ISO for this camera, which definitely needs NR.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qyxgl3wx81x35uo/ISO6400%20A6500208%20.ARW?dl=0

First, let's compare the benchmark ISO100 image with no NR with the ISO6400 image with no NR and HQ NR at Luminance=40. In effect, this shows the effect of conventional NR:

Comparing the benchmark ISO100 image with the ISO6400 image with no NR and conventional NR. The conventional NR has done a useful job, but the result is still quite noisy. There's also a loss of detail with HQ NR.

Now for a surprise: let's compare the same image with no NR, HQ NR set at 0, and DeepPRIME also set at 0. You might think they'd all look the same, but far from it: both HQ and DeepPRIME have reduced the noise significantly:

Even at 0, HQ has reduced the colour noise, but DeepPRIME at 0 has done much more. In fact, DeepPRIME at zero has reduced the noise about as much as HQ does at 40.

Now let's compare the benchmark ISO100 image with HQ and DeepPRIME at 40 on the ISO6400 image:

Clearly, DeepPRIME has done a much better job than HQ, and the result is very close to the ISO100 benchmark, both in terms of noise and detail.

Finally, let's compare three levels of DeepPRIME, 0, 40 (the default) and 60:

The default 40 level probably has the best balance of noise and detail, but there is surprisingly little difference between the three images. This suggests that there isn't much sensitivity to the Luminance setting when using DeepPRIME.

So this test confirms that DeepPRIME significantly improves noisy raw images, even when set at zero, and that there's relatively little to be gained by tweaking the Luminance setting with typical images. You can safely leave it at the default setting for most images, only raising it for really high ISO, very noisy images.

 Digital Nigel's gear list:Digital Nigel's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Canon PowerShot G7 X Nikon Coolpix P900 Panasonic ZS100 Sony RX10 III +19 more
Sony a6500
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