Friday, March 19, 2010

Pixie, the antidote for pixel dust.

When I got my D300, the higher sensitivity (compared to the D200) was really nice for available light work and concert shots. But when I started pixel peeping, I quickly realized the noise characteristics for the new CMOS sensor led to fine pixel dust which is hard to get rid of with Noise Ninja. If I used enough noise reduction to get rid of the pixel dust, the image became pretty mushy.
So my choice was either to live with the pixel dust or forgo details in the image.

Thanks to Pixie, a free plugin from Barna Keresztes ( I no longer have to make that choice. I can have a reasonable amount of noise reduction and can get rid of the pixel dust on top.

In the example below, the left image has neither NN nor Pixie applied, the one in the middle shows NN (NN registered with a slight increase in the chroma noise reduction) and the one on the right NN plus Pixie. The difference might not be earth shattering, but it leads to much nicer prints.

100% view (click for a larger version):
200% view (click for a larger version):

Note, when working with Pixie, smaller adjustments will lead to a more aggressive noise removal.

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