Lightroom/Camera Raw: Poor noise reduction

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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I'm really frustrated about this, see the example image below, the same raw file in Capture one has no noise and in Lightroom 2015.6.1 lots of it even with 100% noise reduction.

you can see the settings in both software.

The raw file is phase one IQ280
Is it because my camera is not main stream so the raw support is limited?
This has been like that for years now and no response from adobe, not even we will look into it. 

I have to process all my night shots in Capture One then export to dng and then process in lightroom to keep with my workflow. This is not how it should be.
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Assaf Frank

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Posted 2 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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The speckles are the most obvious difference.

Without having the camera to see how daylight shots are, just looking at this one photo, I think there is an increase of the maximum NR parameters for high-ISO shots, but this is a long exposure at a low-ISO so the maximum you can set the NR probably isn't very strong.  If you did the equivalent exposure by increasing the ISO and reducing the exposure, say ISO 320, shutter 3.2 secs, does the NR look better?

If I was doing this sort of thing on my Canon, I'd have long-exposure NR set on which takes another dark-frame in camera and subtracts the two before writing the raw data.  That would remove the speckles for the most part, at least ones that were based on sensor flaws so are consistent from one shot to the next.

From my experience, LR does a good job removing single-pixel issues, but won't touch larger-than-single-pixel spots. 
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Assaf Frank

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Thank you for responding, in phase one there is a dark frame built in the raw file for long exposures so I suspect LR is not processing it. When I expose for 32sec there are another 32 seconds that the digital back is processing the dark frame before the file is written to the card.  The daytime images has no noise, see image below. I will also do a test as you suggested high ISO and shorter exposure and upload it. 
Daytime Image - no noise


the same night time image - you can see the lighter areas has very good noise reduction in lightroom.


if it helps I'll be happy to send the raw files.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I suppose the camera isn't doing the subtraction and leaving that up to the camera-manufacturer-supplied software as an option one way or the other.  Unfortunately LR can't do anything with it.

I would do a range of exposures and ISOs of exactly the same night scene and the same EV to see what the maximum long-exposure is that doesn't show too many speckles. 
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Assaf Frank

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I will do a test and share it here.

why LR cant process the dark frame like capture one do?
what happens in Canon/Nikon? is the dark frame being subtracted before the final raw file is written to the card and there is no dark frame data in the raw file?
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Capture One software and the IQ280 are both from Phase One so you'd expect the software to know about every aspect of processing the camera's raws such as the special embedded dark frame. 

Canon and Nikon software both do special things with raws from their own cameras respectively, but Adobe is a third-party to all camera manufacturers so almost always only supports things that are applicable to all cameras, not the camera-specific processing differences, such as an embedded dark frame.
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E. Dinur

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That is certainly what Canon does and I imagine that Nikon also does it in camera. LR knows nothing about the dark frame.
Don't forget that Phase One is both the maker of the IQ series of cameras and the author of Capture One software, so it is hardly surprising that C1 is optimized for processing the IQ Raws, including proprietary processing steps that no other software can do.
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Assaf Frank

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Hi Steve, I have spoken to phase one about this issue, see their their replies below:

I hope this can be escalated with adobe development team.

----Phase one support answering my question where the problem lies and if phase one digital backs are the only one that do the processign on the dark slide/frame in the software level and if they will consider changing the firmware in the digital back to process the dark frame in the hardware before it is being written to the raw file 
---

Hi

I am afraid that the answer will be what you originally thought.

Yes this is an Adobe issue and yes you have to turn to Adobe to have this resolved.

It is not difficult for them to do.

You an not entirely correct about the dark slide.

The few camera types you have to compare with do the conversions of the files after it is shot. (In computer, not camera)

There is no plans at least for now to change this [process the dark frame in the digital back].

Kind Regards

Phase One support

----Phase one support - in their the next reply after I asked them for more information so I can supply it to adobe----

Hi

I do understand and appreciate your passion in try to improve the ACR converter.

But in this case there is literally nothing more you / we can provide that the core development group at Adobe do not already know.

They have access to sample files and all necessary documentation to implement this.

How they choose to implement it is of course their choice.

Kind Regards

Phase One support.

---- end

it seems adobe already processing dark frames for some cameras in lightroom, so I get the feeling Phase one digital back users are left behind for some reason.

I hope some one pay attention to this thread

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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As far as I know, Adobe so far chooses not to do camera-model-specific processing including software dark-frame subtraction.

Where do you see that Adobe does dark-frame subtraction for other camera models?  They may but I am not aware of any.