Skip to main content

Please Improve noise reduction to modern standards

Logged

Comments

81 comments

  • Tino Nettling

    One of the things that I noticed was that with the default settings, the noise reduction was better in Capture One than in Lightroom.

    Ian Wilson

    at lower ISO (as wich I consider 2500) the default settings of Lightroom are a bit aggressive, and some detail is might be lost

    Beside this situation I couldn't find a single case at higher ISOs where C1 was better than Lightroom or any other software. 

    And still you can change the Lightroom settings to work better for this setting.

    To me this is no excuse to leave everything as is. 

    0
  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    It wasn't that the LR result was too aggressive - it was that there was more noise visible in the image in LR than in C1. Admittedly I didn't try tweaking the default settings in either app, because I thought the out of the box result in C1 looked good.

    Ian

    0
  • David Michael Jacobs

    With Topaz Photo AI v2, the result, right out of the box, is way better than C1. I'm hoping C1 will update its noise reduction, so it won't be necessary to purchase additional apps.

    2
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    I continue to be completely blown away by this thread.  Topaz does 3 things.  Sharpen, Upscale, and DeNoise.  That's it.  And its DeNoise provides diminishing returns on most photos compared to basic NR from most editors, Capture One included.  

    Could Capture One's noise reduction be better?  Sure.  Is it fair to Capture One or even reasonable to this community to make comparisons verses a tool that specializes in literally 3 things?  I think not.  Specialist tools will always handle edge cases better.  That's their sole purpose and value proposition.  Lightroom's AI noise reduction?  Yeah, it works.  Sometimes.  Mostly I see it as a marketing ploy.  If we're honest with ourselves, it's not an improvement for most photos and, frankly, costs too much time in round-trip to even try most of the time - at least in my experience.  I own all 3 of them.  I only touch Topaz when I have really crap photos that I need to salvage.  An edge case.  Lightroom?  I've got LR because I need PS on occasion.  Even if LR had the very best NR imaginable, all the other things it leaves on the table vs Capture One (for me) means it's till a non-starter.  Instead of improving color management, tone mappings, their own horrible catalog, they do AI because woooooooooooow, AI. It's like a magician showing you where he didn't put the red ball.

    I think we're all better off to request and expect reasonable improvements in noise reduction for the 80% of photos and have Capture One focus resources on problems core to the majority of users.  Regression bugs.  Catalog optimization. Better healing tools. Etc.  It's simply not reasonable to expect any one or any thing to be better than every other alternative 100% of the time.  Again, could it be better?  Sure.  Is sticking Topaz up as our goalpost reasonable or helpful?  I think that only sets us up for disappointment.

    I posit that a better use of our time is to back out of the shadows at 300% and enjoy our photos.

    2
  • Tino Nettling

    Brian Jordan

    it might be a language thing, but  I'm not sure if I understand what you are saying:

    ...have Capture One focus resources on problems core to the majority of users.  Regression bugs.  Catalog optimization. Better healing tools. ...

    I posit that a better use of our time is to back out of the shadows at 300% and enjoy our photos.

    But if I interpret this correctly you're saying: How dare you to request better NR . Just enjoy what you have and shut up because my requests are more important?

    This is a platform made by the Capture One Company for users to request features they need. If the request is reasonable and enough users see the necessity they consider to work on it. 

    So I don't understand why there even is a discussion? It's up to Co1 to decide. 

    0
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    No.  That's not what I said and I tried to be very careful to get that point across.  C1 definitely does need to up the noise reduction available to us.  However, I see Topaz tossed about as the baseline for improvement.  I personally feel that holding that up as the goalpost is counterproductive.  Topaz is a specialist product that does that and very little else.  Furthering their NR algorithms receives the bulk of company funding (I think likely).  

    Here, a corollary, if I may:  My son plays a video game.  A bunch of players were looking at and requesting a feature from a different and only slightly similar game.  Same genre; different gameplay loop.  This game rolled out something along that vein but different.  More in line with their gameplay.  A vocal set of players tanked review sites and discussion boards because they didn't get this other thing over there that, most players at least, didn't need and believe would have come at the expense of core gameplay.  The net result was hurt feelings on all sides.

    Similarly, I think Topaz PhotoAI or DeNoiseAI dominates the discussion here and maybe detracts from what most of us really want and need. Frankly, I'd rather Capture One give me a DeNoise algorithm that works for most of my photos while also addressing other issues.  I'm no white knight here.  But having come from a developer background and understanding bandwidth, I'd have preferred my users tell me they want and need a loaf of bread rather than the whole bakery - unless the whole bakery was the absolute requirement.

    This is my personal opinion and I'm as entitled to it and my ability to voice it as is anyone else here. I put it out there specifically because this is a discussion.

    2
  • Tino Nettling

    Brian Jordan

    thanks for clarification

    I not necessary expect the same quality as Topaz PhotoAI .. I have no problem for a very few special cases to choose an external program. CO offers useable workflows to do so. 

    But it would be great if the integrated NR could be better, as you can see in my example I get more like clumps of blurry noise rather than the impression of removed or at least reduced noise , so I have to use less often external tools. We all aware of the downsides .

    In that sense I totally agree with your sentence:

    I'd rather Capture One give me a DeNoise algorithm that works for most of my photos while also addressing other issues.

     

     

    0
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    Tino Nettling. Thank you.  That was entirely my point.  As I've read this NR conversation* almost daily I see Topaz again and again.  I felt, perhaps incorrectly, that it had become the mark against which any and all NR improvements would be measured.  Meet the mark, yeah.  Anything less would be viewed as some kind of failure.

    *Also, a correction on my part.  I referred to 'this thread' and that is incorrect.  I am speaking to the broader conversation of NR improvement.

    0
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Brian Jordan

    However, I see Topaz tossed about as the baseline for improvement.  I personally feel that holding that up as the goalpost is counterproductive.  Topaz is a specialist product that does that and very little else.

    Well, there is another application which is not a specialized tool but rather can replace C1 for raw development, and has a supberb AI noise reduction, some say it is even better than Topaz. It's DXO Photolab.

    I purchased a perpetual license for those edge cases with high noise, and as a potential alternative to eventually replace C1, should they continue with their price race and perpetual license policy crappy deteriorations or even drop this license model, and to support DXO so that they stay in the market as a competitor. DXO is not a bigger company afaik, not comparable to Adobe but rather to C1.

    That having said I'm quite happy with the image quality of C1 for low and medium noise images, unless maybe I need to crop in considerably. C1 even tops Nikon NX Studio for my NEF files in that regard, in my experience.

    And I agree with Brian's priority points. I really do. However, not asking for other things I would like to see in C1, like superb NR, does not at all increase the chances of these point being implemented. Instead, I see features which I am not interested in (feature set of v23) and not would have upvoted.

    1
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    BeO You're talking about LR?  Maybe I'm the only one out here but I really don't like their noise reduction implementation.  If I use their local adjustments, any image that needs significant NR looks really bad.  When I go the AI route, that round trip is a killer for more than a few images here and there.

     

    0
  • Raymond Harrison

    This is a great discussion and is applicable across the board to other similar feature requests (an example being any request with “AI” in the title). Usually it is accompanied by comparing it to a competitor like Adobe or DxO or, in this case, Topaz. I agree that we all want improved noise handling or more masking options but expecting them to be like a competitor’s is going to lead to disappointment. I point to HDR and Pano. Even though these are useful features and add value, they do get panned, at least sometimes, for not being “like” another tool. Do they need work? Sure, but that gets buried, to me, in the other noise. I’m worried about the initial release of AI-based masking, not because it won’t work, but because it won’t be like Adobe’s, at least to start.

    My day job is software development and we do a lot of AI-based work, and it’s not a magical elixir, I can assure you. It’s just a tool (a very good one, of course) with a lot of marketing weight behind it. There’s no penalty-free photography where you can shoot in any light level you choose. We just choose what is an acceptable result and need our tools to help get us there.

    I’m all for better noise handling from C1. I prefer they do it with their “Capture One point of view”. I use the tool because I like it and their POV. Cost and license type is of no concern to me in the grand scheme of photography related expenses.

    So give me a loaf of bread that’s better than before. 😀

    2
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Brian Jordan

    No, I haven't tried LR since C1 version 8, so I cannot comment on LR noise reduction. I was talking about DXO Photolab. The image quality is very good though different to C1, noise reduction is outstanding, it's a small company with the 'correct' licence type so I support them happily, the cost in addition to C1 is high but worth it to me.

    0
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Brian Jordan

    With DXO Photolab you can do the raw demosaicing incl. NR and lens correction, and then export a "near-raw" linear DNG which can be edited in C1. I do this round-trip only once in a while for high-noise images or if I want to try an alternative to the C1 image development. But it is a full blown raw converter which is a serious competitor should the love story between me and C1 come to end.

    0
  • David Michael Jacobs

    Okay, maybe it's better for C 1 to leave noise reduction as is and continue to allow third party companies like Topaz, DxO and others to be used as plug-ins. Might be asking too much of C 1.

    0
  • Raymond Harrison

    I think people are saying that Capture One should improve their own noise handling but not try and go down the rabbit hole of trying to be like Topaz or DxO, who specialize in the capability and who handle edge cases well.

    1
  • David Michael Jacobs

    Yes, but improve to what level? With 3rd party apps that perform better, why improve at a mediocre level? Why not leave it up to 3rd party apps? When I have noise in a photo and C 1 can't correct it, I'll turn to a 3rd party for the fix. Once I purchase the 3rd party app, I'm not going to use C 1 for noise reduction again. So...

    0
  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Once I purchase the 3rd party app, I'm not going to use C 1 for noise reduction again.

    Though presumably, you might well use the 3rd party app for NR only for cases that really needed it - it would be a long-winded process to routinely take every image from Capture One to a 3rd party app even when Capture One's NR was perfectly acceptable for that image.

    Ian

    0
  • David Michael Jacobs

    Well, here's the problem with that, I might have to add an extra step. Scenario: I have a photo and I try C 1. Doesn't work. Okay, I'll try C 1 with a twist. Doesn't work. Now I go to the 3rd party app. More work. Avoid all of that and go, directly, to the 3rd party app I already purchased.

    0
  • Raymond Harrison

    That’s fair. For me, though, I’d personally like plug-ins like that to be more for edge cases so I do want C1 to improve their noise reduction. I keep a copy of DxO software around for really high noise images (I rarely shoot these), but I’d like the upper limit of what I feel C1 can handle to be more “upper”. I do feel noise handling should be a first class citizen of a raw processor.

    0
  • David Michael Jacobs

    I sometimes shoot places where I can't use a tripod like on a bridge with ongoing vehicular traffic that creates vibrations in the wooden plank walkway. Rather than fuss with C 1, I'll use the plug-in.

    0
  • Tino Nettling

    exactly , as I consider this not as a consistent workflow I'm asking for an improvement in C1 

    0
  • David Michael Jacobs

    I agree!

    0
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    BeO I’ve tried DxO a few times. Even tried their latest release. You know how your recliner feels right but the recliner at your neighbor’s house feels a little weird? That’s my DxO experience. I can get a finished print (always my ultimate goal) but the whole process just feels awkward to me. I keep trying, though. I was a longtime user of the Nik Collection and especially Silver Efx. Would love to have access to it in Capture One and it continues to be the reason I try each new DxO release. 

    0
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Brian Jordan I do use other raw developers from time to time, mainly DXO PL, Nikon NX Studio, darktable. But most of my images were developed in C1, and metadata too. So C1 is my recliner. But when I move to a new house and leave my recliner in the old, I am sure the new one will become cozy as well.

    0
  • Julen Juaristi

    I am a C1 user from many years ago, although from time to time check other software. I do have tested recently (Sep 26th) the LR noise reduction feature, and I must admit, it is way, way, better than the one in C1. It is really unbelievable, it makes files with high ISO much more usable. At list with my CR2 (Canon) Raw images. I wouldn't like to switch to LR, cause I like very much C1. However, the latest improvement in LR are not small:

    1. highlight and shadow recovery is as good as or even better than C1. (has been improved)

    2. Masking and selecting sky, objects  is better than C1

    3. Denoising is way better in LR than C1

     

    All this taking into account makes me re-think either to switch back or not....

    0
  • David Michael Jacobs

    And the cavalry rides over the hill. If you read the thread, you'll note that quite a few are satisfied with a small improvement or none at all. A large improvement is necessary to keep C1 competitive with other applications or those who are dissatisfied will look elsewhere for a superior and complete package, if one becomes available. People switch camera companies for the same reason. It makes no sense to make a small improvement and stop there.

    0
  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    To be honest (as one of those who is reasonably happy with the current feature) I would rather Capture One devoted resources to other things that seem to me to be much worse - particularly the clunkiness of the DAM features, like keywording. How much resource gets devoted to any improvement presumably depends on the level of demand for it.

    Ian

    0
  • Raymond Harrison

    To me, I’d characterize this thread as “most agree that noise reduction can and should be improved in C1”. I think the difference in opinion might be on scale and of course, everyone comes to the table with different priorities on what they want the very limited resources of Capture One (the company) to focus on. To me, start with “improving” and then go from there.

    Right now, there’s not a competing package that does what Capture One does. It’s exceptional. Additionally, I shoot a fair number of systems (I never switch, I just add 😀) and use a fair number of third-party tools outside of C1 such as Helicon, Photomatix and PT GUI (and would do this even if I used Lr). Those tools are the best at what they do. If I had an atrociously noisy image that Capture One couldn’t handle, I’d use DxO, maybe Topaz - I own both. I’d like the space between what Capture One can handle and what I need DxO for to get narrower. If it could handle 100% of my horribly noisy images 80% of the time, that’d be fantastic. It can handle maybe 50%-60% of such images today. There’s no software today that makes high ISO (high gain / noise) shooting “penalty free”. We still need to understand our cameras, what they can and can’t do and what their limits are (they all have limits). We need to operate in those limits and if we’re going to push or exceed them, then understand those characteristics too. I don’t care for Lr’s recent noise reduction for the cameras I shoot with (at least default settings). Topaz is OK, DxO is OK, but a lot of that is subjective between the two (to me).

    As a developer, I usually roll my eyes with the phrase from someone that usually begins with “it would be easy to…” but I’ll say 😎…it would be [relatively] easy to close the gap to something more acceptable for a broader range of images given modern techniques. Capture One doesn’t, to me, need to chase every edge case there is - that way lies insanity and not a lot of return on investment for them.

    If there’s a quick-ish win for a reasonable amount of gain and efficient use of developer time, then take it.

    More than anything, I’d love for them to toss zendesk or whatever they’re using on this site and get a proper feature request ecosystem in place. Now THAT would be awesome.

    4
  • David Michael Jacobs

    Nicely put Raymond. I can't argue with anything in your post nor can I add to it.

    0
  • Sebastian Reiprich

    I am very happy that AI masking is coming to C1, but in terms of noise reduction I personally am not very concerned. I don’t really mind having a little bit of noise in my image and in case of a really noisy image I just right click on it to open it in DxO PureRAW and let this application do its magic. The resulting DNG files appear in the same folder as the original RAW files and can easily be edited in C1 (although the color sometimes differs a bit).
    In Lightroom you would have to create another DNG as well if you want to use the AI noise reduction. So if you really like that feature and you pay for PS and LR anyway you could even use those applications only for the noise reduction and do the rest of the work in C1. Would it be nice to have it in C1 itself? Yes. But I highly doubt the results would be any better than what you can already achieve with other software. In my opinion DxO even does a better job than lightroom, which makes the LR feature kind of useless for me since I already bought DxO anyway.

    1

Please sign in to leave a comment.