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Noise Ninja - Review update
A photoshop plugin that works wonders on your images
Keith reviewed the Beta version of the Noise Ninja plugin a while ago.
The full version is now available and Keith has written this update to cover a few features missed in the original Noise Ninja review.
The noise reduction features were covered in the original review, but automatic profile selection and the 'Noise Brush' were not.
Auto profile selection
The automated profile selection allows you to have a noise profile loaded based on various aspects of the image, including its EXIF data.
In the example above, a 1Ds image at 1250 ISO has been matched to the profile shown at the bottom of the picture.
The long file name contains information that the matching process will use to make its choice. When you create your own profiles there is assistance available to help in naming.
Note that you do not need profiles for every combination, but you may get better results if you create your own set.
The matching allows soft or exact matching or ignoring items. The documentation and online help are very clearly written and worth a good look if you are to get the best out of the software.
If I have a folder of images I can set up a Photoshop 'Action' to process them with Noise Ninja. Even if they were taken at mixed ISO settings (say 800 and 1250) the selection of settings can be automatic.
This is particularly important when I'm looking to incorporate the noise reduction in a busy workflow.
The Noise Brush
Removing noise from an image can sometimes remove fine detail from images as well. The noise brush is a marking tool that allows you to selectively mask the noise reduction.
The brush allows its mode (luminance/colour) to be altered so that you might choose to selectively reduce luminance noise reduction whilst still getting rid of colour noise.
You could always try to get this effect with masked photoshop layers, but it is easy to do in the plugin.
The examples below show a 1Ds image that has been auto matched, and then selectively masked.
Notice that I've turned off USM (unsharp masking) since I like to apply it only at certain stages of my workflow.
A mask was painted in to bring back some of the lost detail in the music books.
The mask (as shown in the plugin when selected)
I used this software regularly as a Beta version, but now the extra features are working, it's become a vital part of my workflow.
For example, I regularly take photos at events without the aid of flash, often at ISO 1250 where noise is quite noticeable on my 1Ds. I now incorporate Noise Ninja in several automated actions that I use for converting images to varying formats that clients may want.
You can get a demo (the plugin or stand alone version) at http://www.picturecode.com/download.htm
The views in this article represent those of Keith Cooper.
Keith is always happy to discuss matters raised in his articles. You can Email Us
Northlight Images prides itself on its independence when giving advice. We do not sell hardware or software and have no direct commercial links with any of the software or hardware vendors that may be mentioned here. See our Review Policy for more information.
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