The Noise in Photoshop Express Editor

Well I have to change my mind about photoshop after what I said here. (That is, photoshop being too complicated for me to use.) Well about the photoshop express editor anyway, not the full program which has many, many more options to play with.

Testing the free express editor out last week on a variety of images, I've decided it's quite fantastic. It's probably going to be my first port of call now when I want to process an image as it's fun and easy to use. As well, it seems to process the image so finely without a huge amount of noise (except with auto adjustment. And the colour just seems more subtle.

Other photo editors
So all the others I use - irfanview, the gimp,, Photomatix Essentials, Perfect Effects 8. Plus the online editor on Flickr will be playing second fiddle from now on basically. They are all good programs for various things. Photomatix for HDR (high dynamic range) photos is the best for this type of photo. But compared to the photoshop online editor they all produce more noise. (I use Neat Image to get rid of the noise but to me if you can have less time spent fixing your photos the better to spend more time doing something away from the computer.)

My aim has always to take a good photo in the camera so that you don't have to do many adjustments on the computer. But I find once you're on the computer these programs are so seductive as you can alter what you've done so easily. Too many choices.

Tools of photoshop express online
Basically with the photoshop express editor you upload your photo and are given tools in 3 categories- basic, adjustments and effects, which once you select your tool, the photo appears at the top of the screen and shows the effect in 6 or 7 options.

The options are: Basic: crop and rotate, resize, auto correct, exposure, touch up, saturation. Adjustments: white balance, highlight, fill light. dodge, burn, sharpen, soft focus. Effects: crystallize, pixellate, pop colour, hue, black and white, tint, sketch, distort.  If I want to see a histogram or do very precise alterations I'll use one of my other programs.

Here's a photo of swans in the Baltic Sea straight out of the camera. It was quite dark so there is a bit of noise in the image as I set the iso high to let in more light.

Here it is after photoshop online.

At 100 percent. Before.


Basically I altered exposure, saturation, fill light and sharpened it. You can see it's too sharp now and I'd have to reprocess it at less sharpening. For something like sharpening it's quite hard to see in the online editor. It isn't perfect for sure. It reduces the size of your image in pixels by around half as well. But I suppose they want you to buy the full program. Fair enough.

In the end processing jpeg photo files produces noise whatever program you use so you just have to try to get the best picture you can in the camera so you can process minimally. (And if possible use raw. You have to have a camera that takes photos in raw though and you can process these files with less noise and more detail. But they take up a lot of space so I don't shoot in raw very often. And then this rules out using this online editor which only processes jpegs.  The full program does of course.) 

Basically if you just want to process your photos for non commercial purposes with a minimum amount of fuss the photoshop express editor is excellent.



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