Improved noise reduction is coming to Lightroom 3 (and, to ACR and Photoshop CS5). Brian Reyman claims he can get excellent results on 95% of his photos in Public Beta 2 of Lightroom 3 without resorting to third-part plug-ins.
Sounds like an improvement. But if 5% still need a thrid-party tool, that's a lot of photos for most of us. Doesn't sound like the noise reduction plug-in market will evaporate all that soon. ;)
September Special! Save 20% on the Electronic Distribution of Sharpening Your Photographs!
Want to learn how to sharpen photos like a pro? You can buy a shelf full of books on Adobe® Photoshop® and still walk away confused. Most of the discussion about sharpening is too technical.
What digital photographers need is sound, practical advice on sharpening. That’s just what "Sharpening Your Photographs" offers.
This is the latest in the new generation of product reviews from The Light's Right Studio. Rather than impressions and brief descriptions, this is a 40-page .PDF that takes a very close look at Neat Image.
Neat Image is a software tool to remove noise from digital photos. It comes in standalone and Photoshop plug-in versions, and it's compatible with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and other photo editors that support Photoshop plug-in filters. The standalone version can be used as an external editor with Adobe Lightroom.
Noise reduction software is very sophisticated. But it has its limitations. Here are a few tips to get the best results.
Most digital photographers apply noise reduction to the entire photograph using automatic settings. Tools like Nik Dfine, Neat Image, Noise Ninja, and Noiseware can do a better job than the built-in functionality for noise reduction in Photoshop. Applying noise reduction globally to the photograph invites a softer photo.
Bruce Fraser wrote about the perils of using 100% zoom for capture sharpening photographs. I've written about it, too, in my eBook on sharpening. I've also written about the perils of using 100% zoom for judging noise reduction.
Thinking about the proper zoom for sharpening has evolved over the years. A few years ago, the recommendation was to use 100% zoom. I even had a tip way back when making that recommendation.