Most of the digital cameras today operate at lower ISO settings and produce very little noise in the photo in perfect conditions. There are circumstances that noise will be inherent in the picture, no matter what you do like higher ISO settings, low light just to mention a couple. What do you do when you have noise that you want to eliminate?
In this before and after comparison, you can see once I ran the noise removal plug-in, the picture appears sharper with less noise. This above picture was taken at ISO 100 with the Nikon Z6 300mm f/4 mid-day with cloud cover. So knowing that even under good conditions, noise will appear, what are your choices for dealing with it. Start by dealing with it in camera. If possible, use the lowest ISO setting you have. Understand light and how it will affect the noise in the photograph. Once you handle those, if you still require noise reduction here are some ways to deal with it.
If you use Adobe Lightroom as your digital asset manager, under the detail tab, you can reduce the noise with the sliders. This has a slider for three different types of noise, but the most common one used is the luminance slider. It allows you to target an area of the photograph so you can see the reduction in real time that is being applied to the entire photograph.
If you don’t utilize Lightroom, but use Adobe products, you have Camera Raw, which is essentially the same as Lightroom with a different look. Sliders are still the rule here and the one obviously marked noise reduction is your targeted slider. It does a very good job and also shows in real time t he results.
If you are not satisfied with the results of Lightroom or Camera Raws results, then perhaps a thrid party plug-in is the answer for you. Topaz Denoise is one that I have used with success and really find helpful depending on the amount of noise that I have to decrease.
In general, Lightroom and Camera Raw takes care of the majority of any noise that might be affecting my photographs. Denoise is what I reserve for those picture where I know I have to raise the ISO to get the shutter speed I want or if the lighting is not the best.
Regardless of the program you utilize, checking the photos for noise and addressing it both in camera and in post is the best way to ensure your images are clean and look the best they can.
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