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The Big Fixx: digital camera image probl... > Removing Digital Noise (Method #1)

Removing Digital Noise (Method #1)

If you’re shooting in a low-lighting situation or shooting with a high ISO, chances are you’re going to get some amount of “digital noise” (also referred to as “color aliasing”). You generally can’t remove all this noise, but you usually can reduce it—and Elements 3 has a new feature to help you do just that. However, remember this is one of those “the-cheaper-the-digital-camera-the-more-noise-it-creates” situations, so if you’re shooting with an “el cheapo” digital camera, this is a technique you’ll be using a lot.

Step One

Open the photo that was taken in low lighting or using a high ISO setting and that has visible digital noise. This noise will be most obvious when viewed at a magnification of 100% or higher. Note: If you view your photos at smaller sizes, you may not notice the noise until you make your prints.


Step Two

Go under the Filter menu, under Noise, and choose Reduce Noise. The default settings really aren’t too bad, but if you’re having a lot of color aliasing (dots or splotchy areas of red, green, and blue), drag the Reduce Color Noise slider to the right (try 25% and see how that works).

Step Three

One thing to watch out for when using this filter is that although it can reduce noise, it can also make your photo a bit blurry, and the higher the Strength setting and the higher the amount of Color Noise Reduction, the blurrier your photo will become. If the noise is really bad, you may prefer a bit of blur to an incredibly noisy photo, so you’ll have to make the call as to how much blurring is acceptable, but to soften the noise a bit, drag the Preserve Details slider to the right.


To see an instant before/after of the Reduce Noise filter’s effect on your photo without clicking the OK button, click your cursor within the Reduce Noise’s preview window. When you click-and-hold within that window, you’ll see the before version without the filter. When you release the mouse, you’ll see how the photo will look if you click the OK button.



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