Lightroom: Improve noise reduction

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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Noise reduction in lightroom have poor results. I am using Phase One IQ280 raw files with long exposure and comparing the results with C1 Capture One. 

Capture one produce totally clean files after noise reduction and Lightroom CC 2015.6 produce unsatisfactory results, 

this is 2 minutes exposure + 2 minutes black calibration 

below is a picture of Capture one 8.3.3 VS Lightroom CC 2015.6 you can see the setting selected on each of the software, lightroom full noise reduction + color 100%  VS C1 the default noise reduction 

C1 has a noise reduction slider for single pixel which seems to to the trick, I'm not sure if its using the dark frame for it or not. maybe a single pixel noise reduction can be added to lightroom.

what do you think adobe are you up for the challenge?
Click on the image to see the noise in Lightroom compared to C1
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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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My experience with long-exposure NR that uses a separate dark frame in Canon DSLRs (not a PhaseOne digital back) is the camera does the subtraction of the dark frame from the light frame and writes the result to the raw file, so the artifacts are interpolated around before the raw data is written.  And, otherwise, LR already does single-pixel suppression.

The "noise" in the LR processed version of the image appears to be larger than "single-pixel" so I can guess one of two things is different between the native C1 processing and the third-party Adobe processing:

1)  The "single-pixel" NR is actually multiple-pixel suppression just a small neighborhood but larger than 1 pixel, or

2)  The camera doesn't do DFS before writing the raw data, but there is a separate dark-frame recorded in the raw file and native C1 processing knows how to subtract this in post-processing, but LR just uses the raw data w/o knowing about the dark-frame, so while the single-pixels are still removed, the small-but-larger-than-single-pixels artifacts remain just like any other camera with a long exposure but no in-camera DFS occurring.

I would consider the first option to be something to challenge Adobe with, removing hot-pixels that are slightly larger than 1 pixel.

The second option would likely be camera-manufacturer-specific processing only for a few cameras and Adobe generally only does processing related to all cameras, not manufacturer-specific processing, especially something where they add a UI element (single-pixel slider or checkbox) for a specific subset of camera models.

In other words, I wouldn't expect Adobe to add a single-pixel slider if it is only for a few cameras, but if what C1 is doing is just another pass at processing noise that could be applied to any raw file, then Adobe has some chance of attempting it and allowing it to be used across all cameras.

One way to determine which of these might be occurring would be to reshoot a similar scene but don't do the dark-frame acquisition/long-exposure-NR, and then see if C1 and LR are more similar, or if C1 still does something better.