Nikon Soft­ware

Part 6 Rod Law­ton ex­plains Cap­ture NX-D’s noise re­duc­tion op­tions

NPhoto - - Contents -

Get to grips with Nikon Cap­ture NX-D’s noise re­duc­tion tools, re­mov­ing speck­ling with­out sac­ri­fic­ing sharp­ness

You might find Cap­ture NX-D’s noise re­duc­tion tools use­ful if you take a lot of pho­to­graphs at high ISO set­tings. It’s of­ten worth ex­per­i­ment­ing with the de­fault noise re­duc­tion ap­plied to your NEF files.

In fact, Cap­ture NX-D of­fers not just one but three types of noise re­duc­tion. Be warned, though that you won’t always be able to make im­prove­ments. Re­duc­ing noise means strik­ing a care­ful bal­ance between smooth­ness and sharp­ness – get­ting more of one of­ten means sac­ri­fic­ing the other.

You might won­der why Cap­ture NX-D of­fers three meth­ods for re­duc­ing noise. They are ex­plained in the main an­no­ta­tion, above and there’s a three-step walk­through on sim­ple noise re­duc­tion to the right.

With the first two noise re­duc­tion meth­ods (which are also the least com­plex), Cap­ture NX-D will ap­ply a de­gree of noise re­duc­tion by de­fault, de­pend­ing on the set­tings cho­sen in cam­era. This is likely to pro­duce a rea­son­ably good com­pro­mise between re­duc­ing noise and pre­serv­ing im­age de­tail.

The third method is more com­pli­cated, and you will need to do some work with the set­tings to pro­duce good re­sults. The dan­ger with any noise re­duc­tion process, es­pe­cially one with mul­ti­ple slid­ers like this third method, is that you end up chas­ing your own tail, try­ing to coun­ter­act the bad ef­fect of one ad­just­ment (boost­ing sharp­ness, for ex­am­ple) with an­other (in­creased noise re­duc­tion).

It’s eas­ier to find an effective bal­ance with the first two meth­ods purely be­cause they’re sim­pler and the trade-offs are more ob­vi­ous.

The main thing is to be aware that noise re­duc­tion is a com­pro­mise. You will never make an ISO1600 im­age look as if it had been shot at ISO100, but you can make it look bet­ter than it did when it orig­i­nally came out of the cam­era.


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