No announcement yet.

Digital Camera Noise

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Digital Camera Noise

    Hi all,

    I am a newbie to the site so please forgive my incompetence. Moving right along, is there a trick to removing digital camera noise in images, without totally blurring them ? For example, see the attached image. This is a detail from a digital photo of a sunset that I took recently. You can see the graininess of the noise in the image, and, well, it has that "nails-on-chalkboard" feeling to me. I can get rid of some of the noise if I resize the image to about 1/3 the size, of course, but I would like to know if there are better ways. Thanks.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Welcome Metabug, there are some commercial/shareware/freeware options to be found in this link to further links:

    Some are Photoshop plugs for Mac or PC, some are PC apps and some are Photoshop 6 or higher actions, as well as tips and techniques on the subject.

    Hope this helps,

    Stephen Marsh.


    • #3
      Hey Metabug:

      Let me add my welcome, too.

      Check out the free actions offered at this site. Among them is a good noise reducer...

      Another alternative is the actions offered (for sale, not too expensive) at I've not used these, but many people rave about their effectiveness.

      Hope this helps...



      • #4
        Welcome Metabug!

        I've had really good luck with Neat Image. They have both a free and shareware version. Well worth the registration fee I think!



        • #5
          Neatimage is the best that I've seen.



          • #6
            I can get rid of some of the noise if I resize the image to about 1/3 the size, of course
            This isn't much help for images you've already taken, but you might want to check the resolution settings on your camera - they look a little low and your image appears to have been made too large for the res settings you're using.

            Here's the quick, easy way to figure out what your settings need to be for a good photograph.

            First Way

            1. Figure out what the largest size you will want to make your image into (IE: 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, etc.)

            2. Multiply each component of that size by 300 (optimal for prints is 300 ppi)

            Say your choice is 5x7 - you'll multiply 5x300 (1500) and then multiply 7x300 (2100)

            The res setting on your camera for a 5x7 print should be at least 1500x2100 ppi

            Second Way

            1. Set your camera to the highest res setting (or the res setting you want to use)

            2. Divide each component of that setting by 300

            This will give you the largest optimal size print you can make from your camera at that res setting

            IE: The res setting on your camera is 1500x2100 ppi

            1500/300 = 5
            2100/300 = 7

            Your largest optimal print size for that camera at that res setting is 5x7


            • #7
              Thanks !

              Wow, thanks guys, all these tools are good. NeatImage is the best by far, though, IMO.


              • #8
                Re: Resolution

                Jak: Sadly, this is the max resolution that my camera allows. This is a Kodak DC4800, 3.1 megapixel digital camera. Normally 3.1 mp is pretty good, but the camera has massive noise problems in low-light conditions. Do you have any DC4800-specific tips on how to reduce the noise in the original picture ?


                • #9
                  I've just been looking over the specs on that camera HERE and have a couple of questions:

                  1. Are you using the compressed or uncompressed mode (TIFF or JPEG)?

                  2. Are you zooming?

                  3. What ISO setting are you using?

                  4. Have you changed the dimensions of your image from the original taken by the camera? The resolutions options for that camera (2160x1440) indicate that the largest optimal image is 5x7.

                  All/any of these things could affect your image quality.


                  • #10
                    I also just found this HERE:

                    (I did a Google search for "Kodak DC4800 noise")

                    The DC4800 offers a good range of exposure control, with aperture priority and full manual modes available, as well as the ability to set the ISO from 100 to 400 and select from spot, center weighted or multi-pattern metering. The camera does a truly exceptional job in low light shooting situations, as we were able to obtain useable images as low as 1/16 foot candles, or about 0.67 lux, with great detail (even at the 100 ISO setting!). Since we were using shutter speeds as slow as 16 seconds at these low light levels, there is some noise in the images, particularly at the 200 and 400 ISO settings. (We direct readers to Mike Chaney's excellent Qimage Pro program, for a tool with an amazing ability to remove image noise without significantly affecting detail.) Overall though, the DC4800's low-light shots showed some of the lowest noise and best color of any consumer-level digicam we've tested to date (July, 2000). To fully understand the DC4800's low light capabilities, note that an average city night scene under modern street lighting corresponds to a light level of about 1 foot candle. Thus, the DC4800's ability to produce clear images at 1/16 foot candles is an exceptional performance.


                    • #11
                      I too have a Kodak DC4800. In low light conditions, the noise is pretty bad-almost unusable. In good lighting however the images can be quite spectacular.

                      I've tried even going to TIFF mode which produces about a 9 meg file but in low light, the noise is still there.


                      • #12
                        Re: Digital Camera Noise

                        Originally posted by metabug
                        Hi all,

                        ... is there a trick to removing digital camera noise in images, without totally blurring them ?
                        Hi metabug,

                        I've had some success by first going into Channels, removing/adjusting noise where it's most apparent. In the case of digital photos I get from one particular client it is usually the blue channel that needs adjustment.

                        There's also a tutorial by Jak for replacing a channel:

                        Hope this helps.


                        • #13
                          Re: Camera Settings

                          Jak, In answer to your questions:

                          I am using JPEG at the highest quality setting. TIFF would be nice, but let's face it, not everyone has an IBM MicroDrive...

                          I am zooming in only with my lens (which allows 3x optical zoom); that should not affect things, I think.

                          I usually set ISO on auto; in this case, the ISO was 200 I think (I did not save the image info, sorry).

                          Also, I am not really a professional, so print image sizes don't matter to me that much. I keep all my images in digital format. I resize them sometimes if I want to magnify some area or make the image smaller for email/ftp. In this case, however, I did not resize anything. The image is at the original resolution of 2160x1440.

                          Also, I was really surprised to read the URL you posted about the DC4800. My experience mirrors gland's: low light means high noise.


                          • #14
                            Here are some more sites:





                            • #15
                              If you like blurring the blue channel of RGB, then please do yourself a favour and try this experiment:

                              * Find a noisy blue channel file (use three dupes, but I prefer history snapshots in Photoshop).

                              * Directly blur the B channel in RGB how you normally would.

                              * In a dupe or as a new history state/snapshot - dupe the layer and set to COLOR blend mode and then do the blur. Flatten. You can also just go blur/fade to color blend mode if not using layers.

                              * Inspect the results of 'Indirect Colour Component Filtering' vs direct filtering.

                              * Then experiment with using larger blurs, or combinations of smaller filtering including despeckle, median, smart blur, gaussian blur etc.

                              This simulates LAB, HSB, HSI, HSL, YCC type colour modes - where colour (hue/saturation) is separated from tone.

                              More on this subject can be found here:



                              Stephen Marsh.