Aperture and Noise Ninja

At first glance, I think NoiseNinja will remain in my toolbox. The results from Aperture’s noise reduction tools are like butter knives compared to the razor-sharp blades that PictureCode’s software uses to carve up noise. Photoshop CS and CaptureOne all produce better results at noise reduction than Aperture.

There are two controls in Aperture, radius and edge detail, as shown below in the following screenshot.

Aperture Noise Reduction Controls

The default settings are 0.10 for radius and 1.50 for edge detail. At 100%, frankly I don’t see much change in my images unless I start increasing the radius. There’s do not seem to be separate controls for managing luminance noise and color noise, as there are in the other RAW convertors and noise reduction applications. I do so much high ISO photography that reducing color noise is my number one task for NoiseNinja.

Aperture Noise Reduction Results

Compare this image above with what NoiseNinja produced from a CaptureOne RAW conversion.

NoiseNinja Reduction Results

And for a final comparison, Photoshop CS’s noise reduction abilities. I have never found Photoshop’s handling of high ISO noise and shadow noise to be all that good. Has anything changed in CS2 that might change this?

NoiseNinja Reduction Results

Disregard the white balance differences for a moment. You can see that NoiseNinja’s noise reduction abilities are superior to Aperture’s. I really hope that Apple adds a plug-in interface so third-parties can enhance Aperture’s capabilities. It’s beneficial for everyone in the long-run!

Here’s an example of NoiseNinja running on an Aperture processed image (made some color and contrasts adjustments as well) . Not bad! What is unforunate is that you can’t modify the resulting file using Aperture’s non-destructive editing tools. Final Cut Pro has good plug-in support… let’s hope Aperture will too in the next version!

Aperture and NoiseNinja Reduction Results

12 thoughts on “Aperture and Noise Ninja

  1. Adam, I have to ask – did you choose a ninja-esque photo purpose (as if to refer to Noise Ninja)? Well, it made me smile. :)

  2. No, not on purpose. I’m working on my photos from the Beijing Wushu Team’s performance. Just happend by chance to be appropriate!

  3. Larry Gottschalk

    Interesting…having just completed reading (and now re-reading) “Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2” I have to say that I’m not in the very least unhappy to be using the Adobe Bridge-Camera RAW-Photoshop workflow. I still use iView MediaPro to do initial previews and culling of the good from bad, but have almost entirely switched (this, within a week of learning how to use the Adobe tools) to Bridge-ACR-PS for my edits. It’s been quite a revelation to make about 90% of my edits in ACR and the last 10% in Photoshop vs. my previous way of 10/90%. I don’t even see quite the same need for NN after learning more about the Detail tab in ACR.

    I highly suggest reading the Bruce Fraser’s short and rather easy to digest book:


    Edited by Adam with a TinyURL for Larry’s Amazon link.

  4. Tom

    Tom’s 2 cents

    I recently joined photo sharing service to save my travel photos through the following site:

    www . emeraldmoments . com

    I am starting to think that this will be the way of the future.
    I’ve found that it does everything and I have the opportunity to make a
    passive income.

    The free account is also 5 gig in size which is larger than the service I was using.

    I would recomend this to anyone who wants to share photos.

  5. Not sure if the above post was a marketing / spam post (excessive use of exclamation marks in a webpage just sets off red flags for me) … but if it isn’t:

    Um, Tom, Adam has over 300GB of pictures …

  6. syndromes

    Yes Tom, i’ll have you know Mr. Tow has over 37243 million-billion-plaid pictures!!!

    That’s a lot of pictures.

  7. Larry, does Bruce go into detail about how to use Camera RAW in high ISO, high noise situations? How would he approach handling this image using the Shadows, Brightness, Contrast, Sharpening, Luminance, and Noise tools? Those are the ones that I typically adjust in Camera RAW.

  8. Tom

    I am not a Spammer!

    I just wanted to share the site with the group


    The main reason I joined is to build a passive network of photo sharers.

    We all like sharing photos but this is the only site “that I have found” that lets you make some cash for doing nothing more than what we are all ready doing.

  9. Brad

    Just wondering if you’ve tried Imagenomic’s Noiseware: http://www.imagenomic.com/

    I like it because it’s easy to use, has adjustable noice reduction (since it can really wipe out detail if you set it too high), and it’s quick.

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