7D noise reduction help sort

Started Oct 6, 2013 | Discussions
cjf2 Contributing Member • Posts: 846
7D noise reduction help sort

For a few years I've been using a 50D which has now given up the ghost. I was very happy with 400iso and even 800 iso and tolerated 1600 iso using Topaz Denoise to treat all RAW files. I'm surprised and disappointed to find the noise on the 7D to be much more pronounced and harder to remove using Topaz without smearing the detail.

I take birds and aircraft/motorsport all of which benefit from 400 or 800 so would like to know if I've bought a dodgy secondhand example of the 7D or if there is something I can do with in camera NR or other software. I was really happy with Topaz and the 50D.

Below are a couple of examples with and without high pass sharpening.

7d iso 1600 no sharpening or noise reduction

7D iso 1600 no noise reduction but high pass sharpened

OP cjf2 Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Re: oops sorry I meant - 7D noise reduction help sought!

No text.

mailman88
mailman88 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,138
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort
1

7D...at 2500ISO

7D...1600ISO

7D...1250ISO

7D...3200ISO

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 19,750
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort

Not a lot to go on here. Nice to see the original so we can see the crop size and a little more info on exposure.

You did not try to remove noise in the second image so we can see what difficulties you are having.

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OP cjf2 Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort

Those are great. Could you explain your camera settings and any post processing?

mailman88
mailman88 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,138
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort
1

I use 3 noise reduction programs at once.....

First I use LR 4.4 ...view at 200% and adjust the sliders until I see detail loss, then back-off. Then transfer to PS Elements 8.

In PS Elements 8... I use topaz denoise 5. View at 200% and use the lowest preset, adjust the sliders if needed.

Third, I noiseware pro 5. View 150% and use the lowest preset or use the presets I created.

Finish processing in PSE 8 with Topaz Adjust 5.

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OP cjf2 Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort
1

The original picture was just out of focus and blurred to let the noise show. Here are a couple that have exif to show exposure. Zoom in and see the sharpened grain. The middle one of the juvenile gull standing is as it came out of the camera but made smaller to post here.

800 iso sharpened

1600 iso as out of camera as a jpeg

1600 iso. topaz and sharpened

OP cjf2 Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort

Oh wow that's quite a long process but your results justify it. I've not got Lightroom but I do have CS5 and Topaz. Can you post the original image of a couple of your shots so I can see the noise on the original. Ive posted a 1600 iso one now with no processing(from a jpeg) and with Topaz only. A big difference but not as good as your last shot. My concern if my example is odd in some way or if I'm setting the camera incorrectly I might be taking images that are beyond redemption.

I've got to go close now as it is late here. Thanks for your help so far.

I have long exposure NR off

High ISO noise reduction set standard now (originally off - not noticed a difference)

Picture style standard (originally faithful again not noticed much difference and presumably this affects JPEG only)

Jerry-astro
Jerry-astro Forum Pro • Posts: 14,773
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort

So, it's not really clear whether you are first doing NR, then sharpening, or going straight to sharpening.  Obviously, trying to sharpen a noisy image only makes things worse.  You MUST first do your NR, then sharpening as a final step.  I'm sure you already know that, but your examples imply that you're directly going to sharpening (I may well have misread what you said).

I also shoot with a 7D, and in general at ISO 400 or 800, I am able to control noise fairly easily without sacrificing much detail.  In some cases, you may want to mask areas where you have more detail and use a different level of NR in those areas (easily done with Photoshop or Lightroom).  I've used that technique with hummingbirds in cases where I've had to shoot at higher ISOs (usually max 1600) in order to preserve fine feather detail but do more aggressive NR on the bokeh where the detail doesn't matter.  Usually in areas where there is a lot of detail, the noise isn't as apparent and not so noticeable.

Can you clarify your workflow a bit?

cjf2 wrote:

The original picture was just out of focus and blurred to let the noise show. Here are a couple that have exif to show exposure. Zoom in and see the sharpened grain. The middle one of the juvenile gull standing is as it came out of the camera but made smaller to post here.

800 iso sharpened

1600 iso as out of camera as a jpeg

1600 iso. topaz and sharpened

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OP cjf2 Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort

Thanks. I Denoise as the first step then do other work and sharpen at end. Sounds like you do a lot of work to control noise which seems to suggest the noisy images I get out of the camera are normal. If you see the juvenile gull in the middle picture of the three I submitted, is that the sought of noise you get on 1600 iso before you wok on it?

baker123 Contributing Member • Posts: 742
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort

I always start with a RAW file, and open in ACR (CS6). I always use the color noise filter, typically with the slider at 15 to 25 - just enough to remove what is noticeable. I never use the luminance filter in ACR, because it removes way too much detail. No sharpening. I then open in PS, crop if needed, and save as TIFF. I then open the TIFF in Neat Image Pro and use the luminance filter only, and save as TIFF again. I reopen the new TIFF in PS, and will typically sharpen a little before resizing. If needed, I'll sharpen a little more before saving the final product.

Here's one shot at ISO 3200 with a 7D and Tamron 90mm w/1.4x TC, then two 100% crops showing before and after using Neat Image, with no sharpening:

Finished and sharpened

Before Neat Image luminance reduction

After Neat Image luminance reduction

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Alastair Norcross Veteran Member • Posts: 7,097
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort

I use Lightroom 5. I find the NR and sharpening in that program to work really well. I always sharpen with a mask, usually set at 70, to make sure not to sharpen the noise. I use both color and luminance NR, but not much luminance. For ISO 1600, about 15, going up to 20 for ISO 3200 and 25 for 6400. For most purposes, that's fine. If I want a really smooth background for huge viewing purposes, I'll use a program like Topaz, but I almost never need to do that. Since I started to use Lightroom, I rarely need to open a shot in Photoshop. Lightroom does pretty much everything I need. I can export web-sized JPEGs, print directly from RAW, without having to export a giant TIFF, or export a large JPEG or TIFF for those rare occasions when I want to do more work in PS. I always shoot RAW, except for sports.

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mailman88
mailman88 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,138
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort
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I use picture style, neutral and shoot raw. In Lightroom or PS Elements 8, you can use picture style: neutral. To me, neutral works the best for me...

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 19,750
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort

Alastair Norcross wrote:

I use Lightroom 5. I find the NR and sharpening in that program to work really well. I always sharpen with a mask, usually set at 70, to make sure not to sharpen the noise. I use both color and luminance NR, but not much luminance. For ISO 1600, about 15, going up to 20 for ISO 3200 and 25 for 6400. For most purposes, that's fine. If I want a really smooth background for huge viewing purposes, I'll use a program like Topaz, but I almost never need to do that. Since I started to use Lightroom, I rarely need to open a shot in Photoshop. Lightroom does pretty much everything I need. I can export web-sized JPEGs, print directly from RAW, without having to export a giant TIFF, or export a large JPEG or TIFF for those rare occasions when I want to do more work in PS. I always shoot RAW, except for sports.

Always, always use the mask when sharpening the RAW image especially when shooting high ISO. I'm usually at 80. One of the best tools Adobe came up with. I use it on my 5D3 as well.

ACR/LR. Same thing. Image is ISO 12,800 on a 7D

No NR. I even took the colour noise default of 25 down to 0

First work the colour noise. Once you get it decent looking don't increase any more as you will change the colours.

Next work on Luminance. Careful with this one because the more you increase the more you lose sharpness.

Final product.

I like to use this for final sharpening. It is also an edge sharpening method and you can control how much edge you want to sharpen. Basically you can eliminate all back ground and surface area sharpening. Good for hobby shots but not great for mass edits. Time consuming to do each image. I created an action and it takes about 25 seconds to run for an image.

http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/photoshop-really-smart-sharpening.html?search=edge+mask&bool=and

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 19,750
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort

mailman88 wrote:

I use picture style, neutral and shoot raw. In Lightroom or PS Elements 8, you can use picture style: neutral. To me, neutral works the best for me...

I'm a faithful user myself. I like a little punch but not too much.

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mailman88
mailman88 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,138
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort
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Zee...take a look at neutral and how it moves the histogram. Default standard and my histogram may have clipping to the left or the right, maybe both. Faithful will also show some clipping.

Change to neutral and the histogram move to the center and produces no clipping on both ends. This works EVERY time if my exposure is off a bit. Play with it and see...it does work.

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 19,750
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort

mailman88 wrote:

Zee...take a look at neutral and how it moves the histogram. Default standard and my histogram may have clipping to the left or the right, maybe both. Faithful will also show some clipping.

Change to neutral and the histogram move to the center and produces no clipping on both ends. This works EVERY time if my exposure is off a bit. Play with it and see...it does work.

Thanks. I'll check it out. Sorry for the late reply.

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Richard Veteran Member • Posts: 4,858
Quite impressive..

I will have to try a 3 step process like yours. At what point do you sharpen at any point in your work flow process?

mailman88 wrote:

I use 3 noise reduction programs at once.....

First I use LR 4.4 ...view at 200% and adjust the sliders until I see detail loss, then back-off. Then transfer to PS Elements 8.

In PS Elements 8... I use topaz denoise 5. View at 200% and use the lowest preset, adjust the sliders if needed.

Third, I noiseware pro 5. View 150% and use the lowest preset or use the presets I created.

Finish processing in PSE 8 with Topaz Adjust 5.

garyknrd
garyknrd Contributing Member • Posts: 800
Re: Quite impressive..

I used to use the 7D. For about 1.5 years. if you are shooting birds or sports I imagine. I found shooting to the right as far as possible helped me allot. Then I would take it straight to PS looking at the subject I would take it as far as I could before detail loss was to bad. Then back off some.

After that I would isolate the subject. And take all the noise out of the back ground. Sharpen it up and that was it.

I have see guys use many different noise programs. And they do a great job. I am lazy. So!!

Just shoot RAW and in Manual mode if you can. When I got the 7D I switched to Manual all together. It was the only way I personally could get the results I wanted.

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OP cjf2 Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Re: 7D noise reduction help sort
1

Thanks for your replies everyone. In summary it seems yes the 7D is noisy and you have to do a lot of work to get rid of it. I'm surprised it got such uncritical reviews after the heavy criticism of the 50D. Oh well I hope it keeps me going until the 7Dmk2 we're all waiting for.

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