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Lightroom 4 - rendering noise differently to Adobe RAW?

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    Overread
    Overread  63746 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    7 Mar 2012 - 8:32 AM

    So I've been playing around with Lightroom 4 and whilst I like what its giving me I can't help but feel that its doing something odd to my RAWs. Specifically with respect to the noise control it seems to be rendering a much more harsh and grainy texture as opposed to a smoother image that I've grown used to seeing when editing in Elements 6. I know its supposed to be the same RAW processing software powering both, but something, either a setting or an option or a native difference, is giving me differing results depending on which I use.

    Interestingly as well, when messing around between the programs, when I pulled a RAW shot out of lightroom (without noise reduction) and into Elements and then ran it through Neat Image I had to tweak several settings to get a good clean noise reduction from it - otherwise it created strange artifacts and swirls around random points of noise - again something I've never had a problem with with plain Elements RAW processing.

    I've also spotted that this grainyness increases whenever I take a RAW processed originally in Elements and then converted (the ! you have new processing options click convert) for the new lightroom software.


    So is there a way to reduce this increase in harsh noise grain in Lightroom 4 (ideally without having to apply its own noise reduction capabilities). I've tries nosing around the develop tab, but can't see anything that is directly standing out as the controlling tool over this.

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    JJGEE
    JJGEE  96284 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    7 Mar 2012 - 9:16 AM


    Quote: (ideally without having to apply its own noise reduction capabilities).

    So, how do you expect to reduce noise without using the feature / controls to do it ?

    Lightroom's noise feature is excellent used in tandem with sharpening & the grain effect.

    In fact, the issue I have is getting a realistic looking balance between noise reduction & smoothness ... too smooth looks false !

    Overread
    Overread  63746 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    7 Mar 2012 - 9:53 AM


    Quote:
    So, how do you expect to reduce noise without using the feature / controls to do it ?


    I'm not 100% sure, but Elements own RAW processor seems to manage it without me adding to the noise reduction - so Lightroom should be capable of the same I would hope.

    brian1208
    brian1208 e2 Member 1110227 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
    7 Mar 2012 - 10:30 AM

    maybe something to do with the fact that LR4 controls are set to zero to begin with?

    I agree with Jeff regarding the quality of the noise reduction and sharpening functions in LR4, as with all such progs you do need to learn to use them effectively as they are all different (I have LR, CS5, DPP and PSP12 on my machine and each needs a different processing mind-set to get the best results - I tend to stick to LR these days)

    User_Removed
    7 Mar 2012 - 10:33 AM


    Quote: So I've been playing around with Lightroom 4 and whilst I like what its giving me I can't help but feel that its doing something odd to my RAWs. .

    Lightroom 4 (or any version) won't "do something odd to your Raws". It won't do anything to your Raws. It leaves them completely unchanged. That is the beauty of LR - you can do all the editing you want, including different treatments to multiple virtual copies, and your Raw file remains in its virgin state.

    Most of the time, each version of Lightroom has reflected the basic controls and algorithms of ACR but, currently, it is one step ahead. You will probably find that the next version of ACR will catch up with LR4 in respect of things like the noise reduction algorithms.


    Quote: so Lightroom should be capable of the same I would hope.

    Lightroom will import image files with whatever preset you select - including those you define yourself as user-presets. If there is a certain level of noise reduction that you want automatically applied to every image, then create a user-preset to reflect your preference and use that as a default.

    .

    Last Modified By User_Removed at 7 Mar 2012 - 10:36 AM
    Overread
    Overread  63746 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    8 Mar 2012 - 10:50 PM

    Thanks for the input guys - it seems to be that it is a case that lightroom is two stages ahead of the RAW processing in Elements 6 (v5.something as opposed to lightrooms v7). This is where the difference is appearing in that apparently V6 changed the way noise was dealt with - focusing on a sharper image rendering for RAWs (with values set to 0) and then expanding the noise control to allow users to control that aspect for themselves (as opposed to the v5 I'm used to where it was a softer rendering of the RAW).

    So it seems I will need to apply some noise reduction in the RAW processing stage if I want to retain the similar appearance that I'm used to with the 5V in elements.

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