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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Thoughts on low light, noise, and RAW/jpg?
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01/04/2022 09:14:00 AM · #1
So I have it in my brain that I should be shooting RAW all the time. And it does give me a lot more flexibility.

But I'm the photographer at an aquarium with very low light. I'm finding myself shooting at very high ISO, usually around 12,000.

I love topaz sharpen (the sharpen does a better job at denoising that the denoise, imo), but there are many photos that it just can't deal with.

I shoot raw +small jpg, and the small jpgs are really marvelously denoised. But I don't have as much flexibility in processing, but I'm finding that the noise is much more of an issue than flexibility.

Have you found anything similar? I don't really want to shoot RAW + full sized jpgs, and I don't want to give up on RAW, but I'm thinking I need to be shooting large jpgs when the light is really low.

Maybe when switching to low light, I switch to full jpg?

What have you found?
01/04/2022 09:25:00 AM · #2
My guess is that your small JPEGs are not "denoised" but rather that there aren't as many noisy pixels because there aren't as many pixels.

Try taking a minimally-processed RAW image and save it as a TIFF file, after resampling down to the same size as the small JPEG from the same shot, and compare those.
01/04/2022 09:38:30 AM · #3
Originally posted by GeneralE:

My guess is that your small JPEGs are not "denoised" but rather that there aren't as many noisy pixels because there aren't as many pixels.

Try taking a minimally-processed RAW image and save it as a TIFF file, after resampling down to the same size as the small JPEG from the same shot, and compare those.


I'm guessing that it is, because my small jpgs are still 4000px on the long side, and I know that I had the same issue with my Canon. I often wished that I could "turn on" the denoising and sharpening process it did to my jpgs, but still have the data from the raw files. (I will give it a shot, but I'm not going in to work for a week or two)

Message edited by author 2022-01-04 09:38:52.
01/04/2022 11:56:09 AM · #4
There are often two types of noise, luminosity and color noise (terminology may vary). Is it possible you are adjusting for one kind of noise but may actually have the other?
01/04/2022 01:25:36 PM · #5
Originally posted by GeneralE:

My guess is that your small JPEGs are not "denoised" but rather that there aren't as many noisy pixels because there aren't as many pixels.

Try taking a minimally-processed RAW image and save it as a TIFF file, after resampling down to the same size as the small JPEG from the same shot, and compare those.


^^ This.
Downsampling averages out the noise, so you are starting with less before you do any NR in post-processing. In addition, there is likely NR applied to the JPEG in-camera that is not applied to the RAW (although Sony is well known for applying "optimizations" to RAW files).
Bottom line, any result that the camera gets for a JPEG, you should be able to improve upon starting with the RAW file.

Message edited by author 2022-01-04 13:26:06.
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