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Noise Ninja beats Neat Image

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Joe Marques, May 23, 2005.

  1. Just downloaded Neat Image 5 and ran a quick test against Noise Ninja. While results were close - Noise Ninja wins on quality and still retains the speed crown (although Neat Image has made a huge jump in speed). I used auto profile for both to be fair.

    Here's a 100% crop of the upper left corner of the image - out of the camera with no noise reduction.

    20D - 50 1.4 @ 1.8 - ISO 1600:

    100% crop of Neat Image - notice the strange pattern effect:
    Full shot with Neat Image (reduced for web):

    100% of Noise Ninja - much cleaner result - smooth yet retains the same detail as Neat Image:
    Full shot with Noise Ninja (reduced for web):

    While they are equally effective for web sized shots - for large prints Noise Ninja wins since that strange squiggly look introduced by Neat Image WILL show up in prints above 8x10.

    Hope this is useful.
  2. Not sure Joe but to me it seems the biggest area of improvement is around the eye area and the bridge between them. I can notice a smoother transition using NN over NI.

    Thanks for doing this! I was contemplating checking out NI but seeing this makes me think I'll wait a bit.

  3. Agreed. NI makes a bit of a mess with the eyebrow due to the "squiggly" thing that it does (no other way to describe it). :) 
  4. Have you tried the new Neat Image release?

    Guess I better order up a copy of Noise Ninja! Shame about the silly name.
  5. Joe,

    With NeatImage, I nearly always use one of the configurations under the advanced menu: "remove half the noise and keep more (sometimes less) detail", and the pattern you showed here is much less pronounced. I think that the "default" noise removal parameters are a bit too aggressive.

    I haven't yet spent much time with version 5, so take that with a grain of salt. The other thing I found is that if you apply NI as a PS plug-in, you can always go to the Edit, Fade ... menu immediately after the filtering to reduce the bad side effects of the noise reduction, while preserving most of the benefits (adjust the slider down from 100%).
  6. I think it's what tools your most comfortable and knowledgeable with. I'm a NI user and I spent time with both a couple of months ago and couldn't get the NN images to look as good as the NI ones. This was with D2h files. Either way, they are both excellent tools.
  7. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    I use NI to reduce noise on some ISO 1600 pictures taken low light. The pattern I can see in the background also appears on my pictures, and is much more pronounced.

    Philippe, can you explore in more detail how you go about?

  8. Philippe,

    Thanks for the insights and suggestion - I'll give it a try.
  9. Yes, my comparison is with Verson 5 - just out this week. Noise Ninja is pretty silly - marketing is not their strength. :) 
  10. Heiko,

    Once you have selected (or made on the fly) a camera profile suitable for the image at hand, go to the "Noise Filter Settings" tab/page, and select a filter preset in the "advanced" category (drop down arrow) and from there pick one of the "remove only half of ... " choices. As the name implies, less noise will be removed, but much more detail will be kept, a compromise of sort. With the plug-in version in PS, one can go even further and immediately after the filtering, go to the Edit menu, pick Fade... and move the slider down from 100%.

    Joe, I find that version 5 of NI is much, much faster than all previous versions ever were, and the filtration is also better, as advertised. :p  One other thing that may help, is to convert the image to Lab and only reduce noise in the a/b channels, leaving the Luminance alone.
  11. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Thanks Philippe, will do.

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