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Best viewed at 1024 x 768 or greater screen resolution, 16 bit color or better. All content & photographs copyrighted, all rights reserved.  

Removing noise from high ISO pictures with Quantum Mechanic Pro

High ISO settings (typically at ISO 400 and above) often contain digital "noise" that degrades picture quality with varying degrees of contamination. Some cameras produce more digital noise than others.

Digital noise can make a picture look grainy (similar to high ISO film prints), can produce static-like patterns (random or banded), and can give a picture a dusty or muddy look.

Several off the shelf software packages contain "quick fixes" for noise patterns, but generally do a poor job at it, and noticeably degrade the image quality while doing so. Other solutions, although often effective, are patterned around rather complicated and time consuming procedures.

But Quantum Mechanic Pro, an Adobe Photoshop based "plug-in", is easy to use, fast, and efficient.

I've used the original version of Quantum Mechanic since early 1999. It was a solid investment, and has fixed countless noise problems in pictures from a wide range of cameras. In many cases, high ISO pictures that would have been otherwise too noisy for practical use have been transformed into showcase samples. (Examples in this website: Kodak DCS 620 Night Drags & Fuji S1 Pro State Fair Photo Display.)

Quantum Mechanic Pro is a significant upgrade and refinement to the original version. I consider it an absolute "must have" for the digital professional or serious enthusiast.

Below: Original Nikon D1H ISO 3200 available light photo taken at night on the sales floor of a new car showroom. I looks pretty good the way it came out of the camera, but it can be made significantly cleaner looking with a little help from Quantum Mechanic Pro software.

Click to enlarge / 1200 x 787 pixels, 881 KB jpeg image

Original Image Data

Click to enlarge / 1200 x 787 pixels, 881 KB (Jpeg)

Below: With Quantum Mechanic Pro noise reduction applied.

Click to enlarge / 1200 x 787 pixels, 839 KB jpeg format

Click to enlarge / 1200 x 787 pixels, 839 KB (Jpeg)

How much noise does the original picture have?
Check out the noise patterns in the Red channel of the original picture.

Red channel - before

And compare it to the Red channel after applying Quantum Mechanic Pro.

Red channel - after

Click here to go to page two - Quantum Mechanic Pro noise reduction in action.