Yet More Details

Sand patterns on the beach at Formby. Another LX5 image.

In my previous blog I shared my process for making large prints with the LX5. I didn’t however explain about two of the other pieces of software that I also experimented with. The first of these that I want to tell you about is Photo Ninja which is a RAW converter. If the name reminds you of Noise Ninja, that’s because it’s by the same people.

Anyway, the reason I wanted to try out the converter is because many people are raving about the detail and quality of the images created. And to be honest, I have to agree. There was a huge amount of detail rendered and I didn’t have to work that hard to make the image sharp and of a high quality. Here you can see a small screen sample of an LX5 image shown at 100%.

Section of a file converted from RAW in Photo Ninja. This is a screen grab at 100% zoom. Click the image to view larger version.

No this hasn’t been sharpened other than a little RAW sharpening applied in the converter as I would in Lightroom.

I think the slider that really did the magic for me was something called “Detail”. When I used this the details just seemed to pop out but in a very natural way. It also did nothing to damage the colours which also rendered very well.

There were two interesting points to this experiment however:

  1. I didn’t have to spend much time learning in order to produce excellent images and with a little practice I expect I could do better.
  2. After I resized the image and did the same in Lightroom, I applied the Topaz Detail filter to both images. I expected the image from Noise Ninja to be better but it wasn’t. Both images were pretty much on a par. This suggests to me that Lightroom is also doing an excellent job of extracting details but you just don’t get to see it until you use an enhancement tool like Topaz Detail.

Will I switch to Noise Ninja? Probably not. I found the process of waiting for it to render images after each adjustment a little too time consuming. This is supposed to be lightweight image editing after all.

If you are interested in the link to Photo Ninja, here it is…

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