Topaz DeNoise AI RAW vs. On1 PR NoNoise AI

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Adam2 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,285
Topaz DeNoise AI RAW vs. On1 PR NoNoise AI
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Recently, Topaz upgraded their highly regarded Denoise AI with RAW capabilities. It capitalizes on On1's attempt at noise reduction using RAW photos' bayer information and other attributes, promising better noise reduction than that achievable with .tiff or .jpg. Since I own On1's NoNoise AI I decided to see how they performed side by side on a similar image.

First, Topaz requires that one exit the DAM and open the file directly into Denoise AI. The standalone NoNoise AI is similar though now that it is integrated directly into ON1's DAM if one were operating in On1's PR, the process doesn't require extra steps or subsequent file saves. After opening the image in DeNoise AI RAW, the program was allowed to operate at the default settings and then saved as a .DNG to take advantage of the full RAW features for further PP.

Next I opened the two images in a photo viewer at 100% and compared the default settings side by side. The image itself was not particularly noisy, shot at ISO 400. Both programs reduced the noise well at default settings though NoNoise AI applied more sharpening. There was some artifacting in the small brighter areas in the Topaz image (see the bits of corn debris on the bird's beak) which are clearly visible at 100%. These appear as though they were some sort of compression artifact? I've run into some issues with DeNoise AI causing some issues in their DNG generation. Perhaps they haven't ironed out all of the challenges yet? Details were better preserved in these areas in the On1 NoNoise rendering.

I'll have to experiment a bit more on higher ISO images to see if any other patterns emerge.

Added: ISO 12,800 underexposed image by 1 stop:

Overall color/brightness differences are due to Topaz .DNG rendering which they admit are a deficiency. Both images were adjusted by 1 stop after NR was applied. On default settings, Topaz did a better job with the color noise and used less luminance noise reduction resulting in better detail preservation. NoNoise had much worse color noise and was maxed out at 100% settings. Both images demonstrated some haloing around the beak (NoNoise>DeNoise) and the DeNoise image had several areas of artifact. I suspect that greater or perhaps comparable detail could have been pulled out of the NoNoise image by reducing luminance NR or increasing the detail slider however, there was no room to improve color noise reduction.

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