I’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on a noise reduction plug-in until ON1 released theirs. Aside from the fact that Adobe should be at this level with this basic function, I’m pleased so far. Here’s a hummingbird shot from a few days ago taken at ISO 4000, but exposed pretty well so it’s just ISO noise and not made worse by underexposure.
All photos processed in Lr with the same values (basically auto with tweaks then applied to all photos). Noise reduction & sharpening done the best I could do with each app. Obviously it isn’t the same in terms of how much or little was applied and each software handles it differently, but I was looking for what I consider an acceptable result from each given the limitations.
Without any NR or sharpening -
Lightroom NR & sharpening -
ON1 NoNoise noise reduction = high, sharpening applied
Photoshop Smart Sharpen on layer 2, Camera Raw NR on layer 1 -
Topaz DeNoise AI High/Clear settings (sorry about the watermark) -
Topaz Sharpen AI on Very Noisy
I chose High on the Topaz panel because it was the closest to the High setting on ON1. They both look decent, but if I wasn’t doing a comparison I would have dialed Topaz back to Medium. The edges just look too weird with it on High for this image. In terms of detail, I think things are smoother in Topaz (if you can see behind the watermark), but I might be able to tweak that in ON1 since there is some control there. Obviously the background in the Topaz shot is much smoother also. I probably wouldn’t go this extreme, but thought I’d show it v. the ON1 high nr level. It’s a matter of personal taste of course.
Camera Raw did the worst overall, leaving lots of artifacts behind. Strange that the same underpinnings in Lightroom did not.