Noise reduction SW for GH1 - anyone tried Topaz Denoise?

ajm80031

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One of my few complaints about my GH1 is the relatively poor high ISO performance compared to a number of the dSLRs now on the market. This is exacerbated by the fact that thus far I only have the kit 14-140mm lens, which at its widest only opens to f4.0 and so I end up using a higher ISO setting than I would prefer in dim light. As a result I've been looking at noise reduction software. (Yes, I plan to purchase the 20mm prime but that's a little ways off.)

The "big names" in noise reduction seem to be Noise Ninja and NeatImage, but yesterday I became aware of a competing product called Topaz Denoise. Several separate online reviews indicate that this product is much better at retaining fine detail for a given level of noise reduction. I've downloaded the free trial and will be experimenting with it.

Being new to noise reduction software, I'm not sure I'll be able to do a good comparison in the short term. So I'm curious if anyone here is using Topaz Denoise with a Panasonic mu-43 camera. If so, what have your experiences been like and do you prefer this product or one of its competitors?
 

Streetshooter

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I tried it. It does a fine job.
I find that Nik Dfine has more control.
So I'm staying with that.
They both have free trials.

I've used Noise Ninja for years but with m4/3 it smears to much.
 

Glenn S

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Feb 1, 2010
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I'm using Topaz Denoise 4.1 and love it. I used Neat Image before that but Topaz really works well.

Here's a de-noised image, GF1 ISO 800:

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Bokeh Diem

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Really outstanding results.

These software guys are going to put all but the Chinese plastic lens manufacturers out of business.

Those same lenses will still sell for $1039 each lol.

Bokeh Diem
 

Glenn S

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Feb 1, 2010
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Cool....I hear good things about it. I don't care for the interface but the results are supposed to be outstanding....
Judge for yourself:

Noise:

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Denoise

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OzRay

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According to the review at LL, LR3 is supposed to provide results almost as good as Denoise: Topaz Labs DeNoise 4.1 Review.

(a) Lightroom Beta 3 noise reduction and detail retention for digital images is impressive compared with what was possible in Lightroom 2.7, and at more normal magnifications would produce very acceptable results; (b) Topaz DeNoise is marginally better, producing a somewhat smoother result with slightly better detail;
Cheers

Ray
 

igi

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Feb 24, 2010
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Question: Is it better to leave noise reduction to softwares and just turn off the noise reduction in the camera?

I know that in-camera NR are also like softwares but use different algorithms (less complicated algos)so since they are both softwares, why turn on the NR in-camera when you can let dedicated softwares like DeNoise to clear noise?
 

OzRay

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Question: Is it better to leave noise reduction to softwares and just turn off the noise reduction in the camera?

I know that in-camera NR are also like softwares but use different algorithms (less complicated algos)so since they are both softwares, why turn on the NR in-camera when you can let dedicated softwares like DeNoise to clear noise?
You would really be better off not using in-camera noise reduction, unless you're happy to let the camera do everything for you. Once that noise reduction is applied in-camera, there's nothing that you can do to undo it. By post-processing, you can more often than not, produce much better results, at the cost of more work. Just decide what level of quality and effort makes you happy.

Cheers

Ray
 

Grant

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Question: Is it better to leave noise reduction to softwares and just turn off the noise reduction in the camera?
I can't speak for every camera but … for the cameras I have the noise reduction only comes into effect when you use slow shutter speed. In fact on the GF1 it is called Long Shutter Noise Reduction. That being the case it is not designed to remove noise due to high ISO. So you are best to rely on software for most cases.
 

Grant

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May 16, 2010
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Is NR being applied in RAW in camera?
The manual makes no reference to this so I ran two test shots at 3 seconds. Both in RAW one with NR on the other with it off. At 200% magnification I couldn't see any difference therefor I don't think they are applying it to RAW files but one can never tell.

Best to run your own tests.
 

dcisive

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I've always tended to prefer to set in camera noise reduction to "Low" as in many tests found it didn't destroy any discernible detail, at least not the Nikon or Olympus bodies I've used. I went ahead and purchased the bundle that Topaz Labs offered which included their superb "Detail" program along with DeNoise. If anything you have to typically scale it back a tad as it can be pretty aggressive. But indeed it is perhaps the least destructive of ALL the noise reduction programs out there if you get to know how to massage it properly. Even a speck better than Noiseware, which IMHO was the previous BEST program for such. I haven't used Nik DFine but may check it out as well.a The advantage with Nik of course is you can define exactly what and where you want your NR to be applied, which in highly detailed subjects can be a real huge issue. I for one tend to like to remove sky noise and find NO need to remove it elsewhere, however the typical programs don't allow for that. It may be worth the $100 just for that I suppose :tongue:
 

Kkrome

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Jun 21, 2010
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I am not really good with noise reduction, so there may be better solutions, but in the past few weeks, I have found Topaz 4 to be easy to use, and quite effective. It is a real advance over version 3 which I tried, but did not use as I thought it softened too much. Try version 4, they have a 30 day free trial so you have nothing to lose
 

Streetshooter

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I'll say one thing...I tested Topaz for the trial period. It works better than Nik Dfine. I don't like that it does but that's the truth. There is less destruction and smoothing from Topaz.....
I'm going to order it shortly.....
 

ianc

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Jun 30, 2010
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Essex UK
I've been using Topaz DeNoise myself recently.

I prefer it to inbuilt solutions within photoshop and also found several of my astrophotography noise reduction actions just don't cut it on daylight images.


Below is an image I took a while ago with my little canon.

Its a 200% crop from an image I took using Raw and processed in ACR

The difference I found was quite staggering.

View attachment 147032
 
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