I just returned from shooting in the rainforests and jungles of Costa Rica (we’re posting our Costa Rica workshop soon!), and I shot a lot of images at ISOs of 1600 and even 3200. If you see a bird in the understory, the light is often low. But honestly this isn’t too much of a problem with the amazing high ISO performance of cameras today. I regularly shoot my D850s at 3200 with great results. And when it comes to reducing noise, I use Topaz DeNoise AI.
Both LR and PS have great sliders to control and reduce noise, and even a few presets. But Topaz DeNoise does an amazing job of analyzing the image, and applying just the right amount of noise control with the right amount of sharpening so the end result looks great. Reducing noise affects sharpness and softens an image up. You need to sharpen an image after reducing noise
Topaz DeNoise AI is very simple to use. There are three sliders to use. The first ‘Remove Noise’ slider is the main slider to reduce noise. Next is ‘Enhance Sharpness’ which helps bring some sharpness back to the image after noise reduction. And last is ‘Restore Detail’, which also helps recover details lost during noise reduction. The program allows you to preview split screen (before/after), and also increase image brightness to better see the noise. Simply put, this is a one click program with default settings that are often really good. No playing with sliders wondering how to get the best result. Just drag your image (it works on RAW files) into DeNoise and let the program do its magic. Right now Topaz DeNoise AI is on sale for $59.99, $20 off the original price. If you shoot a lot of images that need noise reduction, this is a great program to use.