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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 19 Feb 2014 (Wednesday) 08:38
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In camera noise reduction vs post processing

 
BigSky
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Feb 19, 2014 08:38 |  #1

I've been studying noise reduction more recently and deliberately shooting "noisy" photos to practice my DPP skills. A thought occurred to me last night that is a little difficult to test. Do the in-camera noise reduction settings have a better affect on noise in photographs than post processing noise reduction?

My thought process is as follows. In post processing, noise reduction seems to always come with some sort of reduction in overall "detail" (for lack of a better term) or deteriation in overall quality. Consequently, based on input from many here, I have learned that in applying noise reduction one needs to be constantly aware of the overall detail loss with corresponding noise reduction and determine a point somewhere where noise reduction provides diminishing returns. I was wondering if the in-camera noise reduction, based on the settings I choose in camera, does a better job of noise reduction with less affect on the remainder of the image (contrast/sharpness/de​tail, etc.)?




  
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groundloop
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Feb 19, 2014 09:44 |  #2

Do you shoot in Raw or jpeg? If it's Raw (which will give you far more control over the final outcome) the in-camera noise reduction setting has no bearing on your final outcome. If you're asking about in-camera jpeg noise reduction, I'll defer to the experts.




  
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gonzogolf
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Feb 19, 2014 09:48 |  #3

Noise reduction is pretty much the same process whether its in camera or in post production. But in post you get to control the amount and effect on each individual image and not be limited to some preset. Also in camera reduction adds a step of processing which may slow down your camera in some circumstances.




  
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BigSky
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Feb 19, 2014 09:53 |  #4

groundloop wrote in post #16701351 (external link)
Do you shoot in Raw or jpeg? If it's Raw (which will give you far more control over the final outcome) the in-camera noise reduction setting has no bearing on your final outcome. If you're asking about in-camera jpeg noise reduction, I'll defer to the experts.

groundloop, I usually shoot both raw and jpeg so that I can tweek those I wish to tweek most.

Thanks gonzogolf. I read about that slowdown on Canon's resource page. So if I understand you correctly, the affect of in camera is in essence the same as I would do post processing. That then begs the following question. If I set a high noise reduction in camera, and in viewing my photos, I see too much deterioration in my photos, can that noise reduction be reversed/minimized in post processing?




  
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groundloop
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Feb 19, 2014 09:59 |  #5

BigSky wrote in post #16701382 (external link)
If I set a high noise reduction in camera, and in viewing my photos, I see too much deterioration in my photos, can that noise reduction be reversed/minimized in post processing?


Not for the jpeg files. As far as the Raw files nothing in the camera settings has any real effect on them other than possibly as a starting point for whatever raw conversion program you use.




  
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gonzogolf
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Feb 19, 2014 10:01 |  #6

BigSky wrote in post #16701382 (external link)
groundloop, I usually shoot both raw and jpeg so that I can tweek those I wish to tweek most.

Thanks gonzogolf. I read about that slowdown on Canon's resource page. So if I understand you correctly, the affect of in camera is in essence the same as I would do post processing. That then begs the following question. If I set a high noise reduction in camera, and in viewing my photos, I see too much deterioration in my photos, can that noise reduction be reversed/minimized in post processing?

Not if you shoot .jpg. Any processing done in the camera to a .jpg is permanent. You can still do some processing to the file, but you are locked into the .jpg as a starting point, so any detail loss due to noise reduction cant be retrieved. Think of it like this. If you have all the ingredients for bread dough you can make pizza crust or a loaf of bread, thats the raw file. Okay so you roll the dough to make pizza crust, then change your mind and decide you want to make a loaf of bread, but it wont rise. Thats editing a .jpg file, your options are limited by what you allowed the camera to do.




  
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tzalman
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Feb 19, 2014 10:07 |  #7

Any NR reduces detail. In-camera NR is no different than than the NR in DPP. But if you shoot Raw and apply NR in DPP, you see a preview of the NR and of the sharpening and how they interrelate before you commit to it. You can knock it off in 15 seconds or you can agonize over it for an hour, get it "good enough" or exactly right. Shooting jpgs and letting the camera do NR, a machine that neither knows what the subject is and what NR-vs.-sharpening is appropriate for that subject nor is aware of your aesthetic tastes and cannot show you a preview in order to ask your opinion, means that from the second the jpg hits the card you are stuck with it. It may be "good enough", but if you want to go for "exactly right", will that cut it?

Another consideration - DPP and the camera firmware are at the core pretty much the same program ported for different platforms. But the digital world is bigger than Digic/DPP. There are many other Raw data processors, each with its own NR algorithms and workflow, and as many applications dedicated only to NR and offering levels of control that more general programs lack. Until you have tried them can you be sure that the camera really is good enough?


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BigSky
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Feb 19, 2014 10:07 |  #8

Thanks guys.




  
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armis
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Feb 20, 2014 06:44 |  #9

Honestly, my camera's NR at ISO 6400 is bloody magic, especially on underexposed shots ("Don't underexpose!", shouts the crowd helpfully). I've had it a year and can't equal it in post. I get to a place I like, then open up the jpeg and realize how blotchy my result is compared to theirs. It baffles me completely.


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gonzogolf
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Feb 20, 2014 09:54 |  #10

armis wrote in post #16703640 (external link)
Honestly, my camera's NR at ISO 6400 is bloody magic, especially on underexposed shots ("Don't underexpose!", shouts the crowd helpfully). I've had it a year and can't equal it in post. I get to a place I like, then open up the jpeg and realize how blotchy my result is compared to theirs. It baffles me completely.

Which camera? Assuming its not a canon as you could get the same in post as in camera simply by using the DPP preset.




  
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armis
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Feb 20, 2014 16:07 |  #11

gonzogolf wrote in post #16703984 (external link)
Which camera? Assuming its not a canon as you could get the same in post as in camera simply by using the DPP preset.

Yeah, it's a Fuji X-E1. ;)


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nathancarter
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Feb 20, 2014 16:36 |  #12

armis wrote in post #16704783 (external link)
Yeah, it's a Fuji X-E1. ;)

Interesting.

Post up a raw like I did here, and see what people can do with it.


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Mark-B
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Feb 20, 2014 18:04 |  #13

I use in camera noise reduction for long exposures. You can't fully duplicate that process during processing, and even if you could, you would potentially spend hours cleaning up red, yellow, and green spots. I used to keep long exposure noise reduction turned on all the time, but current cameras are good enough to keep that setting on auto and let the camera decide if it needs it.


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Shooting
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Feb 23, 2014 17:37 |  #14

I shoot raw and do some noise reduction in ACR when converting to jpeg. I then go into PS and run an action to run noiseware and overlay sharpening when I have a bunch of images like a wedding or extended portrait session.




  
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armis
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Feb 28, 2014 16:21 |  #15

nathancarter wrote in post #16704854 (external link)
Interesting.

Post up a raw like I did here, and see what people can do with it.

Done! :)


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In camera noise reduction vs post processing
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