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