Sharpening & Noise Reduction- In Camera, or After?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Richard DeLuca, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. I use a Panasonic LX1 (my first digital) and have been having fun
    learning my way around. I've also received good advice from this
    newsgroup about several topics, including noise reduction. Because my
    camera choice has proven to be very noisy above 100 ISO, and I knew this
    going in, I sprang for Noise Ninja, which has been a big help. But I
    don't like the softening that it sometimes performs on some of my shots.

    So here's the question:

    My camera preference settings allow for slight, medium, or high noise
    reduction and also, separately, the same for sharpening. I'll do some
    experimenting on my own, but wonder what the experts here think about
    in-camera vs after-camera noise reduction and sharpening, or even using
    both at once. Thanks for any imput..........:)
    Richard DeLuca, Dec 9, 2006
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  2. Richard DeLuca

    bmoag Guest

    I believe this camera has a raw option.
    That being the case if you want to learn image processing, e.g. in a program
    like Elements, you will get the best results by processing images yourself
    rather than allowing the programmed algorithms in the camera to make
    irreversible changes to your images.
    It is not clear what you are calling "noise": unless you are shooting at the
    extremes of the ISO range and underexposing noise should not be an issue
    under most circumstances.
    You may be noticing the sharpening applied to jpeg images, particularly at
    the boundaries of dark and light edges, combined with lens and sensor issues
    yielding fringing?
    This is a snapshot/P&S, small sensor camera and tuned for that kind of use.
    Ultimately you may be asking more than the sensor and optics can provide and
    need to step up, in capability, size and weight to a dSLR.
    bmoag, Dec 9, 2006
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  3. I turn sharpening and when possible noise reduction down and do both post
    processing. The only exception is A) when you have no control over the noise
    reduction. B) Long exposure noise reduction which should not be confused
    with regular noise reduction is always on. I have not seen too many cameras
    that let you control the normal exposure noise reduction. Most only seem to
    let you control the long exposure (over 1 second) black frame subtraction
    noise reduction. This I always leave on. If you have control over the normal
    noise reduction I turn it off or down as low as she will go, the same with

    You can always with the right software do a much better job of sharpening
    and noise reduction post process.

    Little Juice Coupe, Dec 9, 2006
  4. I have no experience with this camera. FWIW, I've always turned off
    sharpening in all my cameras and processed the images afterwards.
    Especially in high noise situations I believe you are better off with no in
    camera sharpening. I use Neat Image and it has it's own sharpening option s
    which I find useful. Also I use the Ni plugin and also sharpen in PS as
    needed as well. Sharpening is best done as your very last step in editing.
    So dependent on the type of editing I use either the NI option and/or
    sharpen in PS.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 9, 2006
  5. Richard DeLuca

    Rich Guest

    Generally, the sharpening you can do out of camera is more
    But if you are really interested, shoot the same shot using each
    combination and systematically determine what approach is best. Some
    writers have suggested doing the
    sharpening last, after all other post-camera image modifications.
    Rich, Dec 9, 2006
  6. Richard DeLuca

    Frank ess Guest

    The usually reliable and circumspect bmoag lost a bit of the plot,
    this time out:

    "This camera", for those who missed the introduction, is Panasonic
    LX1. I'll register an objection to "This is a snapshot/P&S"; "small
    sensor camera", yes; "tuned for that kind of use"? Nonsense (I don't
    say that very often)! It's the photographer who determines the
    snapshotness of its use, not the camera.

    The LX1 _is_ noisy, sometimes even at 80 ISO; however, it's as
    fully-operator-controlled as most dSLRs, in every significant function
    (except full-sun viewfinding and manual focus) and at least one that
    very few others of any _genre_ offer: aspect ratio. 16:9, 3:2, 4:3.
    That is 8, 7, and 6 MP, at your externally-switched option.

    The optics are of excellent specification, Leica-named, excellent
    performers. It has an effective image stabilization scheme.

    Meanwhile, back to the OP's question:
    I turn down or off all the in-camera processing when I can, and use
    raw files for early control, PS CS2 for final. Works for me.

    Back to the LX1 deficiencies rant:
    If Mr Panasonic would listen to me, I'd tell him to figure out an
    optical viewfinder solution, and for gosh' sake, let me have my raw
    files without that (generally) useless siamesed JPEG that is a
    mandatory option.

    My most-used camera.[email protected]/373mEz

    Frank ess
    "You know my method, Watson.
    It is founded upon
    the observation of trifles."
    —Sherlock Holmes—
    Frank ess, Dec 9, 2006
  7. You know, I'm really glad you said all that. Although new to digital,
    I've been a photographer ever since seeing Edward Weston's work at a
    state fair when I was a little kid, and Gordon Park's stuff a little
    later. And I still love shooting with old classic press and 35mm
    cameras, from a 4X5 Speed Graphic to a Leica M3 and M6, and a Alpa 6C.

    What sold me on the Panasonic was that it reminds me so much of my M6 in
    look, build, size and operation. I'm not disappointed in it at all, and
    have no desire for a big clunky dSLR. As a street shooter, I like
    minimum intrusion between me and the picture. If it weren't for the
    noise, I'd leave my film cameras on the shelf most of the time.
    Richard DeLuca, Dec 10, 2006
  8. My camera preference settings allow for slight, medium, or high noise
    Once sharpened, you can't go back. Sharpening often adds artifacts and
    "enhances" the image in a way that may be more pleasing to the eye. But it
    does so in a destructive manner. You may get better results playing with
    different sharpening settings, or perhaps deliberately sharpening some parts
    of a photo and not others, after it's out of the camera.

    The best reason for sharpening in-camera is that it saves you time. Not
    everyone wants to extensively post-process their photos.

    --Mike Jacoubowsky
    Chain Reaction Bicycles
    Redwood City & Los Altos, CA USA
    Mike Jacoubowsky, Dec 10, 2006
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