Noisy HDR pics?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Optimus Rhyme, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Optimus Rhyme macrumors regular

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    London, UK
    #1
    I've been battling with my HDR pics for months now since I purchased a Canon 40D. Every time I convert the RAW file to an HDR, and then try to do tone mapping with photomatix, the picture is exceptionally noisy. No matter what I do, the pictures I try to do with the 40D in photomatix are noisy. I've even tried auto bracketed photos, but to no avail. Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this? I thought it might be the settings on photomatix, so I uninstalled it completely, and reinstalled it with the same outcome.

    These pictures look as if someone has put ISO 1600 on a cheap 2MP camera or something, that's how bad the noise is.

    Maybe someone has had this issue with photomatix, or even this camera. I'm completely lost and I'm about ready to give up.

    It should be noted that I even tried grabbing the sample pics from hdrsoft.com and testing with those, and it works just fine. I also tried with pictures I took from the past on a different camera, and it works just fine, which leads me to believe it is the camera that is causing the issues. Only thing is, every picture I take normally looks fantastic with no noise, so I don't know where the noise is coming from.
     
  2. Optimus Rhyme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks for the tip. I didn't quite see anything on that link that helped me out too much, but there was a few things I could try from it. I'll try something later today and then post my results to show just how bad they really are!
     
  3. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #4
    Are you trying to make an HDR from a single RAW? If that's the case, then you should expect higher noise, as you're basically pushing the limits of the RAW capture.

    If you want some good looking HDR stuff, then you should be taking at least 3 differently exposed images (sometimes up to 7), and then trying to combine them.
     
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #5
    Exactly.
    I have a couple that came from a single RAW and the noise is quite high. My HDR from 3 RAW files are pretty milky smooth. Usually if I intend to use HDR for what I consider to be it's intended purposes, I shoot 3 RAW files at least. If I'm just trying to get that dreamy surreal look I find the noise adds a bit to the overall look.
     
  5. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502

    onomatopoeia

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    Dec 9, 2007
    #6
    Sounds like he has done bracketed shots as well as single RAW conversions. Post some examples. In addition ot the single RAW HDR's it's likely your subject/settings are giving you images prone to greater noise.
     
  6. Optimus Rhyme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    I've done bracketed shots as well as a single RAW file. All results are the same.

    I'm getting some results for you guys now.
     
  7. Optimus Rhyme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    So here is an example of a photo I just took out my window to do a test. It's a boring shot, I realize that, but I took it for one reason, I had quite a lot of light available. This picture came out just fine, but any shot I've ever tried to do with a sunset, or any other limited amount of light has come out extremely noisy.

    [​IMG]

    If you check out this shot below, you'll notice that it's very noisy, and looks horrible. I didn't change the settings at all for the picture, and both pictures were 3 bracketed RAW shots. Once again I realize it's not a good shot, but it gives you an example of what happens with every HDR picture I try to do of a sunset, or something with limited light. I never had this problem before with my old camera, so that's why I'm puzzled.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #9
    I haven't read the flickr discussion, but I usually encounter noise in my (limited) experience with HDR pics. The higher the ISO you use, the more noise in the final pic, particularly when forming an HDR image from a single exposure. I see my noise in the shadows, mostly. Usually an auto profile NR pass with Noise Ninja clears it up quite nicely. :)
     
  9. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502

    onomatopoeia

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    Dec 9, 2007
    #10
    Judging by the 2nd photo I'd say lower your iso and try being a little less aggressive with the HDR sliders. There appears to be enough available light in the scene to have a good multi-exposure HDR.
     
  10. Optimus Rhyme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    That's what doesn't make sense. I'm using ISO 100 in all my HDR pics, and you are right, there is enough light in the pic. So why am I getting such horrible looking pictures? It doesn't even have anything to do with tone mapping as the noise is there as soon as I combine the bracketed shots.
     
  11. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502

    onomatopoeia

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    Dec 9, 2007
    #12
    In that particular shot, I'd be less concerned with the noise and more concerned with the overblown HDR effect visible around some of the clouds. That is all from over use of the sliders in Photomatix. Keep it subtle.

    It is interesting that the 'noise' really only seems visible in the gray areas of the clouds. Does the full size image exhibit any noise in the black where the trees form a silhouette at the bottom? Did you meter on the sky or the trees in the original shot?
     
  12. Optimus Rhyme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    See, maybe that's partially my problem. Maybe DSLR cameras work completely different to a point and shoot when it comes to HDR pictures, but I hadn't seen that stated anywhere.

    I didn't meter the shot no, but I did use three RAW files that appeared correct.

    You say the picture looks overblown, but I didn't do anything different to the sliders compared to the shot above it. The first shot is quite subtle in my opinion, and the second shot shouldn't be as drasticly noisy. I could understand a small amount of noise due to the picture being darker etc, but it's just a huge jump which leads me to believe something just isn't right.
     
  13. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502

    onomatopoeia

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    Dec 9, 2007
    #14
    That's a problem, IMO. Using the same slider settings on distinctly different images is a mistake. Lots of people try to find some magic combination that works with many images but the fact is each image needs to be tweaked individually. Do it again and play with the sliders until you get a more pleasing result.

    Upload the RAW files and I'd be happy to try it on my end too. It would help to see the full size files anyway.
     
  14. Optimus Rhyme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2006
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    London, UK
    #15
    Well that's what doesn't make sense though. I understand using the same settings shouldn't really work, but they also shouldn't make a result that horrible. I used to use the same settings for every shot I did before on my point and shoot I had before I purchased the program, once I got a DSLR I figured I'd get the actual copy of the program and I've had nothing but bad luck. Not one usable HDR shot yet.

    I will upload a shot as soon as I can. My hard drive died on me last night, so I'm just setting things up on another drive, and I haven't configured things properly yet. I don't even had photomatix installed yet either.
     

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