Michael Almond Portfolio

 

Fred Miranda Noise Reducer ISOx (Action)

URL: www.fredmiranda.com
Cost: $15
Platforms: Mac & PC
Version Tested: 2.0

This action set offers a choice of seven levels of noise reduction! Fred Miranda also has some noise reduction actions specially tuned for specific cameras for even better results. Details on these additional actions can be found at his site.

Just the lowest setting could be used on this image (higher settings for some reason really blurred the very tip of the large rock). But just the lowest setting did a great job on both the luminance noise and a the chroma noise.

On this one I went all the way up to the highest level (level 7) to get a nice clean image. The unsharp mask steps included in the action did introduce a few sharpening artifacts however.

Level 2 took care of the noise in the sky. As with Digital Deluxe Toolbox, some blurring is evident between the mountain edge and the sky. Would have prefered more noise reduction, but higher levels introduced too much blurring.

Pros:

  • The use of an edge mask helps keep the image sharp while still greatly reducing noise.
  • Seven levels of NR to choose from.
  • Cheap.

Cons:

  • As with most actions, expects to run on a single layer image.
  • As with DIgital Deluxe Toolbox, blurring of the mountain edge.

Media Chance DCE AutoEnhance

URL: www.mediachance.com/
Cost: Free, $35
Platforms: PC only
Version Tested: 2.0
Demo available: Yes

DCE AutoEnhance is stand-alone application that can adjust color balance, remove color cast, remove hot pixels, sharpen and remove noise. There is a free version that only provides basic enhancing and a $35 version that has a lot more features such as batch processing files and setting values based on EXIF data. For this test I turned off all the filters except the denoiser and hot pixel remover.

A stronger noise removal setting quickly got too blurry. The luminance noise was reduced to acceptable level, but the chroma noise was barely touched.

Settings:

  • Noise removal: 98
  • Filter repeat: 1
  • All other settings turned off

DCE did a great job here, especially on keeping detail in the trees.

Settings:

  • Noise removal: 162
  • Filter repeat: 1
  • All other settings turned off

Not quite enough of the noise in the sky could be removed before the mountains became blurred.

Settings:

  • Noise removal: 102
  • Filter repeat: 1
  • All other settings turned off

Pros:

  • Can read the EXIF data and adjust its settings based on the ISO speed, shutter speed and whether the flash went off.
  • Great results on luminance noise.
  • Fantastic UI, very clean and easy to use.

Cons:

  • Did not do that good a job on chroma noise.
  • Tiny, un-zoomable preview.
  • Not a Photoshop plugin, so you have to filter entire image using the same settings.

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