What Level of Noise Reduction Do You Use?

Blue skies give a perfect example of when advanced noise reduction is helpful even with low-ISO images. With my cameras, blue skies tend to have coarse grain that even has a bit of color to it (often yellow). The image is fine as is, but if I want to make that grain finer and smoother there’s nothing like DeepPRIME or DeepPRIME XD, applied in just the right amount (usually 15 or lower, but not always). I get the same benefit with shadow details (not necessarily underexposed) and details that have become smudged or fuzzy due to insufficient light. (One can take low-ISO images in relatively low light after all.)

1 Like

I meant what I said. DxO recommends using DeepPRIME on all raw images, This has been discussed here many times, both during its development and afterwards when it was implemented in PhotoLab 4 Elite.


Yes! I noticed this on a shot just this week. It was barely noticeable in “fit to screen” but quite obvious at 1:1 and DeepPRIME made it buttery smooth.

I find XD is 3 or 4 times slower than DeepPrime on my elderly PC so I’m using it sparingly for high ISO images with very dark areas. It will force me to get a new computer eventually.

That is correct, on average it runs between two and three times slower. However, if you have a newer computer and a fast graphics card, DeepPRIME XD can process a raw file in as little as a few seconds.


I’m sure. My PC dates from 2014 and it really labours over DeepPrime, never mind XD - it can pretty much hog all the processing power. I’ve been using DeepPrime on all the photos I process but I can’t really justify that with XD.

I was struck though by comments suggesting that XD was no slower than DeepPrime, or even was faster in some circumstances. This suggests that it’s not just the speed and RAM of a computer and graphics card that makes a difference but the specific architecture of the equipment - type of graphics card, for instance - that supports the noise reduction feature most efficiently. It would be useful to know what that might involve when I upgrade, as I will have to in the not too distant future.

There is no evidence that DeepPRIME XD is ever faster then DeepPRIME. Nothing evening hinting at that was discovered during the very extensive testing prior to release. However, for those of us lucky enough to have fast new computers with the best new graphics cards, exports using DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD may process so quickly it may give the impression that they are equally fast. It is true that on the Mac different architectures come in to play than on a Windows machine but there is nothing that suggests that DeepPRIME XD is ever faster. Any suggestion of that is purely anecdotal.


Thanks Mark, it did seem rather improbable given my experience!

I think the key is to use the CPU usage chart and the GPU usage chart to see what’s happening on your system. And also know that the behavior will depend on how many images you allow PL to process at the same time.

With an 8-core CPU and 3070GPU while exporting DeepPRIME my system is CPU limited. That is, the CPU doing all of the image processing work takes longer than the GPU to do DeepPRIME. CPU is at 100% and the GPU has spikes of high usage and then idle time.

When using DeepPRIME XD the reverse is true. Your system may be different.

Anyway take a look at it this way if you’re trying to explain to yourself why XD or non XD is behaving the way it is time wise.

Deep prime i find safe to use always , deep prime XD has sometimes a bit of over sharpening effect so i evaluate it.

Often there is not much difference between the two except for real dark / noisy parts. So on images where i think ‘this might be a deep prime XD candidate’ i see what it does .

I have a bit of a rule for myself where images iso 800 and less , i use the classic stock noise reduction (HQ?) which luminosity / luminance slider all the way down. So i use chroma reduction only.

Then , for my Sony a7m2 , anything between iso 800 and 3200 gets deep prime set to around 10 or even less. Any iso higher i set deep prime to ‘auto’.

For my olympus em-10 i go to auto quicker , at iso 1600 give or take .

It’s a ‘feeling’ thing. Images with higher iso but lots of light captured can take less noise reduction. While some images with lower iso but requiring heavy exposure / shadow-lifting or just shot with low amounts of light can require more .

That being said, i often prefer a bit of (luma) noise to still be present or even add it in after final resizing (so after dxo pl). But if i have loads of images in a shoot that i want to get out of the door quickly (as a preview , or for daily blog with a deadline to give somthing) i just set all images to deep prime auto, classic gamut , dxo portrait rendering , adjust exposure image to image and be done with it.

On lower end but modern hardware (rtx3050ti 35watt laptop gpu) deepprime can finish in 5 seconds while deep prime XD can finish in 25 seconds. I call both fast , but deep prime is clearly faster ! I don’t think a super beefy gpu will skew that 'to be the same '.

The older prime (not deepprime or deepprime XD) noise reduction is slower compared to deepprime, if you have a bit of gpu acceleration going. Even a tiny bit can help a lot.

I am not sure what you are suggesting by bringing PRIME into the mix, but unlike DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD, PRIME makes no use of a graphic card’s GPU. Its only value is for those who don’t have a GPU capable of accelerating DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD. In those situations PRIME will process more quickly than the two newer NR options.


Thanks for all the responses. I recently stopped using Deep Prime XD on my M1 Mac mini due to the purple colouration. This has been discussed in other topics.

1 Like

After one year, and many photos of this kind, I can definitely confirm this!

So, definite confirmation: DeepPrime XD remains always ON for me, regardless of the type of photo and of the ISO.

1 Like

Yes: Always DeepPRIME … and DeepPRIME XD when I need to (such as for very high ISO images, or for images that have been tightly cropped … In both those cases, DP-XD is simply amazing).

it’s more than a raw denoizer it’s also a raw optimizer so since I got a 3060 geforce gpu : deepprime on all my Nef’s ! :slight_smile: they fly :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks for a lot of good opinions to learn from!

I shoot a lot inside jazz restaurants with lighting typically “whatever” and including high dynamic range. My ISO is typically set to 6400 and some times more and exposure is corrected with -0.7. Still the shutter is at abt 1/40 to 1/80 and aperture about f 5.6 to get some depth of field.

The better noise reduction there has bee available from DxO, the better images I feel I get. I use DP XD with standard settings and I as well as the viewers of my images, have been pleased with the results.

As an outcome of this discussion I will experiment with the settings of XD to see if anything can be made even better.

FWIW I now process everything with XD if the iso is below 6400…. If the iso is above, I have to evaluate some details and if any trouble I switch back to deepprime non XD… usually I find at iso 12,800 (full frame, modern sensor) and greater I’m not using XD anymore.

Default for all processing, I apply DeepPrimeXD with 20. If ISO is below 6400 then usually there aren’t too much obvious artifacts. Sometimes maybe night sky with stars then I will have to adjust it otherwise it works quite well in general.

On my elderly computer, I make sparing use of XD which I find to be excellent in revealing detail in architectural subjects. Deep Prime I use for all the rest at a level of 5 or as much as 20 if the ISO is high (above 1600 on my micro 4/3 cameras) or if there is unwanted shadow noise.
I noticed that a level of 0 still has quite an effect and that a very low level is enough to clean up skies. The default settings are too smooth for my taste.

1 Like