Quick thoughts on ACDSee's improved noise control

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 21,981
Quick thoughts on ACDSee's improved noise control
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Well, it is definitely getting better, but it is nowhere close to being a threat to Topaz Denoise AI and competitors. I'm still testing the tool, but I suspect these new sliders will find their way to other software products over time.

The two new sliders add real value to the tool though:

  1. Tonal range - Affects only luminosity. It is designed to shift emphasis of the NR tool effects by the tonality of the photo. So, if you've got noise 'mostly' under control but, say, the noise in the sky or the shadows is still too noticeable for you, you can move the slider to the right and shift the previously set noise controls to affect the lighter areas more, or to the left to affect the shadows more. Fairly subtle effects overall, but effective, in my mind.
  2. Frequency range - Affects both luminosity and color noise. ACDSee doesn't define what they mean by frequency in this particular case, and the effects are very subtle. It appears to soften noise a bit further in spots. What I think it is, is a manual threshold slider in that after NR has been applied, you can set this slider so that if noise granules exist over certain levels in certain areas set by the slider, a small amount of additional NR is applied to those areas only. It appears to be a very tiny pre-determined amount. It also tends to 'soften' (A tiny bit) any artifacts NR introduces. I wonder if it can be used to enhance images de-noised by external DN tools. I should think it would work regardless of how the DN was accomplished.

Also, the bit mapped editor in the ACDSee Ultimate product is layers capable (not a new feature), so it is possible to do specific and unique NR to specific areas within a given photo. So one can manually apply the same level of logic to noise control that the AI tools apply automatically.

As an m43s user, I would restrict the ACDSee NR tools to touch up NR duty to photos shot at modest ISO levels. In my case, around ISO 1600, or so. The new sliders make it very useful for that sort of thing.

That renders it pretty convenient to an ACDSee user in that one doesn't have to leave their Standard ACDSee workflow for most photos. The FF and MF camera users might be able to push the ISO limits a bit higher depending on their personal tastes.

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