youtube-thumb

Topaz DeNoise 6 – How to Be a Noise Reduction Ninja

Cameras get better and better at producing clean images at high ISO settings. But if you think that noise reduction software isn’t necessary anymore, you’re missing the point. Photographers will always push the ISO to its limits to get higher shutter speeds in lower light. Therefore, the whole ISO game is simply shifting.

In this tutorial, I will show you a very effective workflow for reducing the noise in your images using Topaz DeNoise 6. Topaz Labs have released the latest version of their noise reduction software recently. And while they did not update the core noise reduction functionality over the previous version, it is still one of the best if not the best noise reduction software out there.

However, you need to know what you’re doing to get the most out of the application. And in this video, I’m going to show you how to do just that.

The Visual Comparison

Here are some 100% crops from the test image. Please click on the respective image to show a larger version. In each case, you see the original ISO 6400 image without any noise reduction applied on the left. In the middle, you find the result of our DeNoise runs, and on the right you see the ISO 100 version of the image as a reference.

The Downloads

If you want to inspect the result closer, if you want to try your hand at creating a better result in Topaz DeNoise 6, or if you think you can improve the result using some other software, here are the downloads you need in order to get started.

  • The original noisy image, shot at ISO 6400
    • File type: Nikon Raw file (NEF)
    • Download (22.4 MB)
  • The same image, shot at ISO 100 for reference
    • File type: Nikon Raw file (NEF)
    • Download (18.2 MB)
  • The result of my workflow shown in the video
  • The final Photoshop project
    • File type: PSD file
    • Download (294.2 MB)
    • Remarks: original ISO 6400 image, ISO 100 image and both Topaz DeNoise runs included as layers

The Challenge – Now it’s Your Turn!

If you think you can improve on what I did in the video, I’d be very interested to see your result and learn about your method. I think Topaz DeNoise is hard to beat. But here’s what you should do to prove me wrong:

  1. Download the original file above.
  2. Apply your own noise reduction magic.
  3. Upload the result (full resolution please) to some place that is publicly accessible (e.g. flickr).
  4. Post a link to your version in the comments below and explain what you did to the image.

I am looking forward to some revelations in terms of noise reduction.

10 HDR Top Tips for FREE!
Join our newsletter to get this eBook and step up your HDR skills today!
You will receive: The free eBook + our regular email newsletter with updates, news, tips and tutorials… all for free!
100% Spam-Free - Easy Unsubscribe

Leave a reply

21 Comments on "Topaz DeNoise 6 – How to Be a Noise Reduction Ninja"


Guest
10 months 10 days ago

https://www.flickr.com/photos/7440764@N05/25399679300/in/dateposted-public/

Edit in free Raw Therapee 😉

Very simple noise reduction :-)

Preset High ISO
Noise reduction: lab/ quality High
Luminance 70
Luminance detail 50
Sharpenes Deconvolution standard set

Guest
Dimitris
10 months 10 days ago

?dl=0

Some slight tweaking in adobe camera raw. sharpening amount…60, masking…80, noise reduction…15, color…50
I opened the file in Photoshop and applied Topaz denoise. Overall noise reduction strength about 30, shadows adjustment…0,90, blue color adjustment…-0,42. Some detail recovery (0,34) and blur reduction(0,31).

Guest
Dimitris
10 months 8 days ago

I think you’re right, I’ve gone a bit too far with sharpening. It’s really easy to oversharpen when you try to achieve a balance between sharp image and a noiseless one.

Guest
Greg Steffen
10 months 10 days ago

Very good explanation of the use of Not only deNoise but layer masking as well.
Another homerun Klaus

Guest
10 months 10 days ago

Hello Klaus,

Here’s a link to my version: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mustangjoe/25683390336/in/dateposted-public/

I processed it with Imagenomic’s Noiseware 5 then added +28 contrast in Lightroom. Sharpening was done in Noiseware.

Guest
Katharina
10 months 10 days ago

impressive

Guest
Joe deSousa
10 months 9 days ago

Hi Klaus. Yes, I tried to preserve the details at the cost of some noise. I figured that unless you’re looking at 100%, the noise tends to be minimized when you downsize the image for display.

Guest
Katharina
10 months 10 days ago

Welcome pixelpeepers 😉 here is my version:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bestofkahi/25589270452/in/dateposted-public/
Admittedly a bit more noise than your version, but also a lot more detail and sharpness (see the blue dm logo, the A/M switch of the lens, the 1862 on the glass bottle…). I am not saying my version is better, but it has different priorities. Your version definitely wins on the part of the TV screen in the background.
Edit with DxO PRIME Noise reduction with almost the standard settings (only Luminance increased to 80, standard is 40). Invested time: 3 minutes.
Anyway, thank you for the interesting tutorial and the fun challenge. The method is definitely worth considering for special images, where I am willing to invest quite some time.

Guest
Joe deSousa
10 months 9 days ago

Your version is excellent Katharina. There’s so much detail preserved, specifically the side of the tissue box closest to the lens.