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Just a quick question on the 7D - with regard to Custom Function Image 2 - High ISO speed noise reduction. There are 4 settings - standard, low, strong and disable and I'm just wondering if these apply noise reduction to the JPEG output only or to the RAW and the JPEG output and if its the latter how effective it is against regular out of camera noise reduction methods (eg Lightroom; elements; Neat Image)
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I can't speak for the 7d, but the opinion seems to be out of camera noise reduction is better than the camera's own and you have control over the balance between sharpening and noise reduction. I'm very happy with the results I can get in Lightroom 3 upto 12,800 with the mkIV. So I keep noise reduction turned off in the camera - also because it slows the fps down as well.
Yes, I second the above. Standalone software is miles better.
If you shoot RAW then in camera noise reduction cannot be applied. I cannot vouch for other software but the noise reduction possibilities in Lightroom are astonishing
I used to use Neat Image which was highly impressive too.
It depends on the camera, some apply noise reduction automatically even when in RAW. The best way is to do some test images to find out. Just beware that some RAW converters use the embedded camera settings for the initial image. For example my camera looks to do long exposure noise reduction on RAW.
I can tell you the answer for the 5D2, 50D, 500D but I suspect that the answer is the same for the 7D. If you set the noise reduction to standard, for example, this is applied in camera for JPEG. The amount of noise reduction will depend on the ISO setting so little or none will be applied for 100 ISO but a lot for 3200 ISO. This setting along with the EXIF and other information is inlcuded with the Raw file though the Raw file will not have had any process applied. If you use Canon's DPP software, it will read all this information and the default settings in its Raw converter will be set accordingly. In practice this means much the same effect as for the JPEG but it is your choice as you do not have to use the default settings in DPP. My experiments with the 50D showed that the Canon noise reduction is very effective and they choose a good compromise between noise reduction and sharpness. However, there is no reason why you could not use Adobe Raw to process your Raw files and apply the Adobe noise reduction which is much improved in the current versions. If I had some very high ISO images, I might be tempted to exceptionally process those with DPP.
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