A Look at the New Noise Reduction Capabilities in Lightroom 3-by Chip Phillips
I just upgraded to Lightroom 3 and thought I would share some comparisons between version 2 and version 3. At first the upgrade seemed pretty standard, until I clicked on the little exclamation point that asked if I wanted to “update to the current process, version 2010). Man, was I impressed! The image immediately looked better all around, especially noise-wise. I experimented with some extreme situations to see what the capabilities are, and I’ll share some of those with you. Along with the luminance and color noise sliders (as in version 2), Lightroom 3 has added detail sliders for each, and a contrast slider as well.
The first example is a crop of a pretty dark portion of the image, before the update to current process (as it would be in Lighroom 2), with about +50 fill light, and 60 for both luminance and color noise reduction.
If you look closely at the first examples, you can even see some vertical banding that is completely gone in the Lightroom 3 examples. These are pretty extreme examples, and I probably wouldn’t ordinarily pull apart files to this extent, but it shows what the new version of Lightroom (and Camera RAW) is capable of.