PictureCode Releases Noise Ninja Profiles for EOS 50D

PictureCode (Austin, TX) has released Noise Ninja camera profiles for the Canon EOS 50D. Installation is simple. Just follow these three easy steps.

  • Download the EOS 50D profiles zip file and unzip the file to a temporary directory.
  • Start Noise Ninja and select “Install Profiles” from the Profiles menu if you are using the Photoshop plug-in or from the File menu if you are using the stand alone program.
  • If you are using the Photoshop plug-in you’ll need to setup Noise Ninja to auto load the profiles you installed. From the Noise Ninja menu and select Preferences. Set the Profile policy to “Auto-load profile based on EXIF” and set the Fallback policy to “Invoke automatic profiler”.

Canon 50D – Raw Noise Reduction

I’ve been asked all sorts of questions about the “potential” noise levels exhibited by the Canon 50D since I updated my Comparing the Canon 40D and Canon 50D post several weeks ago. Many of the questions had to do with the “usability” of RAW images taken at high ISO levels (since the camera’s High ISO Noise Reduction settings only affect JPEG images) and the “effectiveness” of noise reduction software to correct this problem.

Last weekend I shot several hundred images with the new 50D at ISO levels from 100 to 800 (my usual range for nature photography) and in my opinion all of the images at ISO 400 and below look just as good in terms of noise as similar shots taken with my 40D. In fact, running the images through PictureCode’s Noise Ninja shows noise levels unchanged from the 40D.

However, images taken with the 50D above ISO 400 do seem to exhibit more noise than similar shots taken with the 40D. I think this is a fact that those of us shooting RAW with the Canon 50D will just have to live with. Having said that, I’ve also found that this can be overcome by using noise reduction software such as PictureCode’s Noise Ninja, Nik’s Dfine or even the noise reduction settings found in Adobe Lightroom 2.

The images below illustrate my point. The first is a 100% crop (click on the image for a larger version) of an image taken at ISO 640 and it shows both luminance and chrominance noise. At this resolution you can also see the moire pattern in the background.

ISO 640 No Noise Reduction

The second image shows the reduction in noise that Lightroom’s noise reduction settings can achieve without softening the image too much.

ISO 640 Lightroom's Noise Reduction

The third shows the reduction that Noise Ninja can achieve with it’s default settings.

ISO 640 Noise Ninja's Noise Reduction

Remember, these are 100% crops of a 15.1 megapixel image so the noise they show is highly exaggerated. Even at this resolution, the noise found in images taken with the new Canon 50D can be easily controlled using noise reduction software. The bottom line is that the new Canon EOS 50D can create great looking images, even at higher ISO settings. The inherent noise level may be higher than the 40D but the image quality is still excellent!

So quit worrying what those technical reviews and pixel peepers have to say and go out and make some great exposures with your 50D!

Objects at Rest

I believe this is a Great Blue Heron¬†photographed in late August at the Brazos Bend State Park southwest of Houston. It’s interesting to note that this heron stayed on his perch for over an hour allowing me to capture some really nice images as I walked around this small lake.

Great Blue Heron

Objects at Rest, Brazos Bend State Park
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D, 70-200mm f/4L USM with a 1.4x extender at 280mm, f/5.6, 1/1000th of a second at ISO 400 on SanDisk digital film. Post capture processed in Lightroom 2 to correct the white balance and add vibrance and in Noise Ninja to reduce any noise in the image background. Click on the image above for a larger version.