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.

Here is the original image with the spot marked that I cropped from:

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.

Next is the same crop, but after pressing the update button (now updated to current process 2010), and adding a bit of detail, contrast, etc. with the new noise reduction tabs.

Here is another set of examples:
Original file, a very under-exposed shot from the Tetons:

Here is a 100% crop of part of the foreground, with quite a bit of fill-light, and as much noise reduction as it would take in Lightroom 2:

Here is the same crop, after updating to the current (2010) process in Lightroom 3 and using the new 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.

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~ by photocascadia on June 26, 2010.

4 Responses to “A Look at the New Noise Reduction Capabilities in Lightroom 3-by Chip Phillips”

  1. I already knew that. I’ve been using the beta version. 🙂

  2. Pretty impressive show off, Chip! I am super impressed by the improved ACR too but have yet to test the settings in some real life situations. For testing purposes I just cranked up the ISO and compared to the older ACR versions, 5.7 allowed an ISO doubling without larger noticeable flaws in noise and color reproduction.

  3. Yea, I was going to say these same capabilities are in Photoshop CS5 and the new version of ACR. Amazing what we can do now……

  4. It just works Great! I have upgraded also and sure do like the results with lightroom 3. Adobe and staff has done a great job. Keep up the GREAT work. Wildeye Photography-Conrad Rowe

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