Michael Almond Portfolio

Camera Bits Quantum Mechanic Pro

URL: www.camerabits.com
Cost: $189
Platforms: Mac & PC
Version Tested: 2.1r3
Demo available: yes

Quantum mechanic Pro is a plugin that reduces noise and artifacts in the chrominance by using an adaptive median-like filter. It can also despeckle luminance and sharpen the image.

The large amount of chroma noise in this image proved just a little too much for Quantum Mechanic Pro. It did a good job of holding color where I wanted it though. After trying many settings, a very low theshold had most of the noise under control.

Settings:

  • Filter amount: 100%
  • Red radius: 8
  • Red threshold: 1
  • Blue radius: 8
  • Blue threshold: 1
  • Despeckle luminance: on

The simple despeckle luminance algorithm cannot clean up this image as well as other techniques. The minor chroma noise is effectively removed however.

Settings:

  • Filter amount: 100%
  • Red radius: 10
  • Red threshold: 1
  • Blue radius: 10
  • Blue threshold: 1
  • Despeckle luminance: on

As with the previous image, despeckle luminance just doesn't cut it.

Settings:

  • Filter amount: 100%
  • Red radius: 10
  • Red threshold: 1
  • Blue radius: 10
  • Blue threshold: 1
  • Despeckle luminance: on

Pros:

  • Fast way of doing standard noise reduction methods, without having to use inflexible actions.
  • Good at removing chroma noise without destroying desired color details.

Cons:

  • Not very good at removing luminance noise due to inflexible, simple despeckle method.
  • Expensive

The Imaging Factory Noise Reduction Pro

URL: www.theimagingfactory.com
Cost: $100
Platforms: Mac & PC
Version tested: 1.28
Demo available: yes

Noise Reduction Pro is similar to Quantum Mechanic Pro, but allows a lot more control over the luminance channel.

The large amount of chroma noise in this image was easily dispatched by Noise Reduction Pro, although it did result in a reduction in color saturation overall in the image (which can easily be boosted back). The luminance noise could not be reduced as effectively before it got too blurry.

Settings:

  • Luminance radius: 2
  • Luminance reduction: 40
  • Light tones: 100%
  • Mid tones: 30%
  • Dark tones: 100%
  • Red radius: 9
  • Red reduction: 50
  • Blue radius: 9
  • Blue reduction: 50

 

 

Noise Reduction Pro does a pretty good job with this image's limited luminance and chroma noise, a better job than Quantum Mechanic Pro.

Settings:

  • Luminance radius: 1.5
  • Luminance reduction: 40
  • Light tones: 100%
  • Mid tones: 100%
  • Dark tones: 100%
  • Red radius: 6
  • Red reduction: 50
  • Blue radius: 6
  • Blue reduction: 50

As with the first image, luminance noise is not reduced very effectively before blurring occurs. Color also suffers.

Settings:

  • Luminance radius: 1.5
  • Luminance reduction: 40
  • Light tones: 100%
  • Mid tones: 100%
  • Dark tones: 100%
  • Red radius: 6.5
  • Red reduction: 50
  • Blue radius: 4
  • Blue reduction: 50

Pros:

  • Great at removing chroma noise, slight tweaks to the settings can be made to remove most, if not all, chroma noise.
  • Very large preview.
  • Fast.

Cons:

  • Even with great flexibility in its algorithm (radius, strength, degree to apply to light, mid and dark tones) Noise Reduction Pro does not seem to be able to remove much luminance noise before the image gets too blurry.

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