Lightroom 5.2/5.3 introduces Noise to Canon 70D Raw File

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I had been having issue with my RAW file processed by Lightroom. After importing to my Catalog, I see my photos to be noisy. I thought my Canon 70D had issue, because I enabled High tone priority, Noise reduction in camera. But I tried again after resetting my camera and found it to be same. I spoke to Canon representative yesterday and he asked me to try opening the same file with Canon Digital Photo Professional, to my surprise I didn't see noise in with my Canon DPP.

I have attached some of my test shots (screen shot from both application) attached.

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Anand

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Posted 5 years ago

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Allan Olesen

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I see just the opposite in your photos.

In DPP, the photos have a very disturbing color noise in the dark areas. Also, some luminance noise reduction has been applied, but that only smears the color noise and makes it worse.

In Lightroom, the color noise have been removed, leaving some film-like grain which is much more pleasing to the eye. No luminance color reduction have been added, but you can add some yourself by pulling the slider for luminance color reduction. (I wouldn't.)
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Anand

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But I am positive thats happening, I could see the grains particularly near the nose in light room version. Between I don't have any presets applied in light room to control the luminance noise...
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Allan Olesen

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Yes, you can see grains.

Look again at the Lightrooom version and see how the horse is uniformly brown. Yes, there is some grain too, but you only see that when zooming in.

Look again at the DPP version and see all those miscolored areas on the horse. That is color noise which have not been removed but have just smeared out by luminance noise reduction. This is a much worse type of noise because you not only see it when you are zoomed in - you often also see it when you are zoomed out and look at the full picture.

Your photo is a very bad example to start with, because it is out of focus. Try to take a sharp photo. You will probably discover that the DPP version looks softer because it has applied more luminance noise reduction, while the Lightroom version has more detail left.
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Anand

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I have attached the comparison of JPEG created by DPP and Lightroom without any settings applied.

Left created by DPP and Right by lightroom
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Rob Cole

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That's because DPP applies a fair amount of luminance noise reduction by default, and Lightroom doesn't apply any. Also, Lightroom's default sharpening detail setting tends to aggravate noise. So either turn sharpening detail down, or apply a little luminance noise reduction (with Lum.NR detail up some to help preserve detail), or some of each.., and maybe add a little sharpen masking...
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Watch in HD to see the small details:

Noise Reduction: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-light...

Sharpening: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-light...
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Anand

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Allan,

Sorry about the quality of the photo, this lens has some AF issue, and Yes DPP is applying Auto Light Optimizer, Luminance and Chrominance noise reductions by default and Lightroom does apply sharpening by default. I had taken another photo of my 2 yr old son and this time I have set Sharpening, Noise reductions in both app to zero as well turned Auto light optimizer off in DPP. But I still see some difference could you please tell me, what could be the reason of it.

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Rob Cole

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In general, the differences are due to how one software renders vs. the other. Lr tends to be highly detailed, and DPP more smooth. In my opinion, a better question is: "how can I get the results I want in Lightroom".

I know in NX2, you *can't* turn off color noise reduction, and what it calls color noise reduction (in the UI) is more like luminance noise reduction (in Lr, and other noise-reduction softwares). Dunno details of how DPP renders vs. Lightroom or NX2..., but clearly, in the example posted above, DPP is still applying color noise reduction, whereas Lightroom is not - that's a big part of the difference you see.

Conjecture: I think one of the reasons manufacturer software doesn't like to allow users to turn off color noise reduction is that it reveals limitations of the camera hardware quality. I could be wrong, it could be that they just can't separate it out from the raw conversion / rendering - dunno. Or maybe they just don't see a positive point to it, since it "always" looks better with color noise eliminated.

PS - I like that Lr allows us to turn off *all* noise reduction so we can compare true image quality.

Try setting color noise reduction in Lr to 25-50, *then* compare to DPP with "all" (i.e. not all) noise reduction turned off. - eh?
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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You're asking for a reason why DPP and LR are different. It is because DPP is software produced by Canon and is trying to duplicate the raw-conversion and controls in the camera that produce camera-jpgs, while Adobe is a distinct company that has no inside knowledge of how Canon converts its camera's raw images to jpgs so by necessity does things differently, but is consistent across the all the various camera models it supports.

This is the nature of third-party (non-camera manufacturer) raw converters, or the conversion of one camera manufacturer compared to another (e.g. Nikon vs Canon). They don't have access to the proprietary knowledge of the other company so have to do their own thing.

Basically, the conversion in LR is different than any camera manufacturer and is based on Adobe's own algorithms and controls. The color-noise-suppression is usually superior and you will have much more control over the smoothness of the noise-reduction in Adobe products, but it will never be exactly the same as the camera manufacturer's software.

I would recommend turning off all the auto adjustment things in your camera, especially things that affect the brightness like ALO and HTP and stop looking at the JPGs from your camera or what DPP does, and concentrate on getting LR to work the way you want, and then make presets or set your LR defaults to have the amount of noise-reduction and sharpening that you prefer.

If your question is really why is DPP and LR doing things differently by default, without your adjusting anything in LR, well they can't do things the same, and you have control over what your LR defaults are, so you can control how things look, there, without touching anything, for new images once you have reset your defaults preferences.