DxO PhotoLab 4 Noise Reduction sample

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PhotoLab 4 advertises new noise reduction algorithms using AI, called "DeepPrime". Here is a simple comparison on a Z50 image at iso6400.

1. Original; no NR
_Z504067_Orig.jpg
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2. PL3 - Prime NR
_Z504067_PL3.jpg
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3. PL4 - DeepPrime
_Z504067_PL4.jpg
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I’m on my phone so I couldn’t tell
What do you think ?
I can't see much difference in this example. Maybe the difference is actually minimal, or maybe it takes a more extreme example than this to see it.

Bottom line: I don't think the new NR alone is worth the upgrade. But it has some other features which really make it worth it for me. The most important one is speed. On my computer, PL3 takes 2 - 3 minutes to start but PL4 does it in less than 30 seconds.
 
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From a noise perspective Prime and Deep Prime look the same. Where I can see a difference is in the applied sharpening similar to Topaz. If you look at the eye area and the fur on the shoulder it definitely looks a tad sharper.
 
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I can see so little difference that I have to talk myself into thinking there is an ever so slight difference. The difference might be apparent if the image was viewed at 100% or as a large print.
This is a crop from the 100% view.

From a noise perspective Prime and Deep Prime look the same. Where I can see a difference is in the applied sharpening similar to Topaz. If you look at the eye area and the fur on the shoulder it definitely looks a tad sharper.
I added no sharpening in processing these. The only thing I did was apply noise reduction. Could the apparent increased sharpness just be from reduced noise?
 
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Actually...I do see a bit of difference especially in the darker area above it's shoulder and ears. I suppose, perhaps, being colour blind might have something to do with how I see it? Reason I'm saying this, is that being red/green colour blind was a survival trait for our ancient hunter ancestors. Those who were colour blind could discern predators in the forest easier than those who weren't as they were able to see structural elements better.
"As to whether 15% of the (human) male population is "color-blind", as far as I know, that is the most commonly accepted estimate. It is an ancient recessive trait on the X chromosome which has survived, because "color-blind" men have 15 - 30% more rod cells in the retina than men with normal color vision. That gives them a survival advantage in two respects. One is significantly better night vision. The other is that camoflage works by blurring the "edges" of a creature or object. The extra rod cells increase the ability of a color-blind man to see the "edges" of everything, regardless of camoflage. So which man is most likely to see a deer standing in a patch of brush? Which man is most likely to see a bear sitting on its haunches in the deep shadow of a tree cast by moonlight?"
 
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The difference is not immediately noticeable to me, at least on my monitor.
One issue I see is the only people that care are other photographers. The common "layperson" for the lack of another term, does not have the training to even look. They are not usually interested in the process or the pixels. They either like the image, or they don't.
I had a very high contrast black and white flower image I was printing about 2 years ago. It was a very difficult print, and I was having problems maintaining the detail along the edges in print. I actually printed it on 7 different types of paper, from matte to metallic. I had them all spread out on a viewing table. We had a dinner party and 10 people happened to look at all the images. No one, and I mean no one, could tell them apart. When asked, they did notice some paper was shinier than others- but otherwise they had no idea why I would print the same image so many times. I was floored. They do not know what to look at- so they just look. I realize I do the same thing when I look at watercolor and oils. I do not know what stroke work to look for, so I just look.

The only people that care about the subtle differences we are discussing here are other photographers. I like you guys, but you are not my audience.
I did the upgrade to dxo4. I like the speed and the layout flexibility. But, unfortunately, it will not make my work any better.
Gary
 
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I bought the upgrade and still learning the few new changes in the interface. Suppose it is time to experiment with some of its highly touted selection and color tweaker, have not mastered those at all yet (they probably require reading the docs).
 
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I do so little in post I'm going to try Dx0 all the way thru especially since I can access the Nik tools. I need a good and easy clone brush and content aware delete, I assume Dx0 has both ?
 
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I just watched the DxO Webinar on the new features of PL4 by PhotoJoseph (not my favorite presenter). He has some DeepPrime examples which really display how much better it is than the original Prime NR. These were images made with an Olympus EM5 (µ4/3) camera at iso 25,600. They were very noisy, but the DeepPrime NR made them quite usable.
 
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I just watched the DxO Webinar on the new features of PL4 by PhotoJoseph (not my favorite presenter). He has some DeepPrime examples which really display how much better it is than the original Prime NR.
Considering that the webinar was produced or sponsored by DxO, I'm skeptical enough to wonder if the samples that were created using Prime NR were intentionally made to look a bit inferior so people would be impressed with DeepPrime and purchase the upgrade.
 

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