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Old August 1st, 2008, 09:25 PM   #1
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Noise in BLUE sky.. how to minimize or fix?

What camera settings? and what would you do in post? Favorite plug ins?

I'm seeing grain in my BLUE skies. I'm shooting f 5.6 with a pola and ND grad, PLUS ND3 ON FORM CAMERA - under-exposed about a 10 IRE to protect high lights. (90 IRE ON SCOPES)

Other settings are a Matrix of std 3, 'standard' saturation with a level of -10 to desaturate (offset the polarizer). On the scopes - all whites are below 90 IRE, SKY is a bit underexposed and saturated but looks good... however, noise (not saturation) more of a gradient noise is appearant. (In B/W, I can see the noise, so its not oversaturated - I think?!) Gain is -3.

So, DO ALL SKYS HAVE SOME NOISE?

What are your favorite plug ins to reduce the noise?

since Im going to DVD and Blu-ray, SHOULD I not worry about it and let the encoder remove the noise like Bit-vice. Bit vice worked great on noisey DV footage for DVD. Im not sure about grain for HD 1080p 30fps, for blu-ray and downrezed to DVD. Thanks.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 10:25 PM   #2
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you might try out Topaz Enhancement, I think you may be very pleased with the results...
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 07:59 AM   #3
 
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what you are seeing may very well be the nature of the EX1 in low light conditions. if you are underexposing, especially with long GOP form footage, then bringing the levels up in post, you're exacerbating the noise in the shadows. You might want to try better exposure, using gradient filter to protect the sky exposures. In post, you can apply a denoising filter like NEATVIDEO.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 09:47 AM   #4
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I notice this type of noise on all of the sky shots and other shots as well.
Its different than low light underexposure situations... (possible gain induced)

I think its called Mosquitoing...
My guess is its a compression problem, thats why there's lots of interest right now with
the XDR product allowing non compressed footage... to get rid of micro blocking and mosquito artifacts in the compressed EX footage... its very suptle but it is there...

I was going to suggest Neat Video as it too seems to work well with the EX footage but
the Topaz Enhancement has much more control...

If you visit the Topaz site, on first examination it appears that Topaz is just a SD to HD
converter.. it does this also, but the Enhancement product is a " Suite of tools "
and has several different ways to reduce noise and in a 4.4.4 mode.

Magic Bullet is also using thier sizing engine in the newly released Instant HD Advanced...

I have no affiliation with any of these companies, just use their products... :-)

Digital Juice has the Topaz Enhance for 50% off on their web site... good price
and good product..

They also have Mercalli for $59 if you need your footage stableized
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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The EX1 produces some clean footage. All cameras have a noise floor. Some just better than others.

As Bill mentioned, you might want to try Neat Video. It can turn EX1 footage from having just a little noise in the shadows, to virtually not detectable without destroying the image.

I can tell you the EX1 is a lot cleaner than my JVC HD100.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 07:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. I downloaded topaz and tried several of its filters in pro rez 422. Each created banding in the sky... :-(. And the render times for MBP for a 10 second clip were long...

I also tried Crispening from -99 to +99 and honestly could not see much difference at all.. the -99 was a bit sharper as it should be, but I didnt see any difference in the noise - and this was on several different shots - skies, high contrast, high detailed on a 42 inch plasma at 4 feet!
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 07:53 PM   #7
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Spots on sensors?

OOPPPPSSSSSSSSSSSSSS - new post.
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