DeepPrime XD - is there a type of image it is most useful for?

Hi Folks,

I’ve yet to have time to trial PL6 but I have read a lot about DeepPrime XD (DP XD) not offering people a significant improvement over DeepPrime ‘original’ (DPo for short!).

Has anyone found a type of image that DP XD reliably offers an improvement with to justify the extra export time (and electricity!)? I certainly have no wish to spend time exporting images with DPo and DP XD, and then yet more time comparing the output from both to choose which file I’ll be keeping.

The general rule I’ve been told with DPo was to always have it enabled if you have a computer system that is fast enough to export all your images with it (or if you have sufficient time to wait for a slower machine to export them all).

However, with DP XD taking significantly longer than DPo to export and for it to not always offer superior results this definitely does not seem to be an ‘always enable’ solution.

I have tried (DP XP) on a range of high ISO images and have found no improvement. My images are outdoor landscape, fungus, autumn colour under tree’s. Maybe not the subjects of any use as the example’s DxO gives are of buildings.

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I exported and compared various images for testing with both DeepPrime and DeepPrime XD under otherwise the same conditions as JPG and TIFF and I see clear differences, especially with images with a lot of dark content and high (ISO) noise. DeepPrime denoises even better and it still shows some details and structures that had disappeared with normal DeepPrime. Let’s see if I have time later, maybe I’ll pick out a picture or two.

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Hi @Ralf_Brinkmann, thanks for this insight. Very useful to know about it working well with images with a lot of very dark content.

Out of curiosity, what would be your personal threshold for calling the ISO setting ‘high’.

For some people this may be 400 iso, for others it may be 1600. No right or wrong response here. For me, having had my introduction to photography back in the film days, 800+ iso is considered high, but I appreciate that for anyone coming into photography now (along with the incredible high iso quality acheiveable from the latest cameras), that they may now only consider anything from 1600/3200/6400 to be high (to me those are ‘very high’, and anything greater than 6400 is ‘the dark arts’!).

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My high are 1600 and higher as you need depth of field for the images I take using. Sony a6400

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I have no special limit. It depends on the camera and on some other facts. There is a difference between for example a Nikon D850 and a Sony RX10 M4. I look at the image and see if there is noise in the photo or not.
With PL5 I’ve started setting this up as a quasi-standard for every image. Now I’m going to try out if this makes sense with DeepPrime XD in PL6 as well.
The longer time for exporting a photo doesn’t bother me. I develop some images (five or ten, sometimes only one) and start the exporting process. While my computer does the work I can go on and select the next photos or start developing them. After a while it’s finished.
My computer is a Windows x64 system with 64 GB RAM and my graphics card is an old Nvidia Geforce GTX960 with 4 GB RAM.

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@John7 & @Ralf_Brinkmann Totally agree, the concept of ‘high iso’ depends heavily on the camera being used too.

I use a Nikon Z6ii (full frame) and a Z50 (APS-C crop sensor), and they have different characteristics as the ISO goes upwards (note: the Z50 is actually very good as the ISO increses, but I find that the Z6ii files are more straight forward to process regarding highlights, shadows and colour).

I definitley want to start using DeepPrime from ISO 640 with the Z50, and 800 with the Z6ii.

However, with my M1 Mac Mini I enable DeePrime for all images I export. My Windows laptop is slower so I only enable it on images that really need any noise reduction.

I see differences in e.g. high ISO (12k) images. Less noise and more detail…although some of the results look “artificial” to me. Not all images profit from _XD. Very fine details remain blurred and a certain level of edge contrast is needed in order for _XD ti kick in…

Improved details can be seen in zoom levels of 100% and up, which means that we’d have to be really close to a print to see a difference. In most of my (high ISO) images, the improvement is not worth the 3x export times.

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Two I tried, I can’t see any difference in them. They are exactly the same created a virtual image, 2500iso, so I don’t understand why the XD is smaller when uploaded, both were 19.3 Mb. I compared them with FastStone Image Viewer and as said can’t see any change


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According a comparison in Kaleidoscope, there are minute differences…

Hmmm, in this example it does seem to have come to a limit of what a computer analysis can see and the human eye cannot. On a 27" 4k screen when looking at the images full screen, I cannot see any difference - even when knowing where to look from the Kaleidoscope analysis.

What are others thoughts on this?

I have a full Adobe RGB calibrated 24inch monitor and I fail to see any change. Its not the processing, hardly any difference on my desk PC its just is it worth it?

Processing images in different ways will always produce different results. If we can’t see the differences though, we can ask ourselves what needs to be done for “good enough” results as viewed under “normal” conditions. If viewing conditions change, “good enough” will change.

We don’t need DeepPRIME XD for a portrait that gets glued into a passport. :grin:

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There isn’t a huge difference in DeepPrime and DeepPrime XD for average images in my opinion. But, I can see an improvement using XD in high iso macro photography. There is definitely an improvement in detail on 1:1 macro images I have shot. The fine details in such images are more apparent than in a landscape for example. I also can see an improvement in very high iso up close portraits. But I normally would have some sort of artificial/additional light source (flash etc) and not have a need for very high iso.
At lower iso, for example iso 3200 and below, I can’t see a lot of improvement, but that is partly because normal DeepPrime is so freaking good in the first place.
In some special cases, it is worth the price of the upgrade on its own. In other cases…DeepPrime will do the job with a perfectly fine result and you will never miss XD.

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One of the more obvious differences I’ve seen is smoothness of bokeh. DeepPRIME can leave a fair bit of noise/grain in out-of-focus areas. DeepPRIME XD improves this part of an image and overall detail rendering to the point that I don’t need to incorporate Topaz AI software into my workflow as much.

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I used it on a couple of images of birds of prey in flight taken at 3-5,000 ISO using a Sigma 150-600 C handheld to test it and found it did a very good job of sharpening and noise reduction

Not had chance to test it on night/dusk shooting yet

@CHPhoto

I just had checked for DeepPrime XD’s development times

The pic from my Nikon D750 was taken at 12.800 ISO when photographing musicans in a dark club w/ mediocre stage lighting. – As @Egregius said, DP XD smooths the out-of-focus parts. That is, when your focus is perfect on the subject you almost get a kind of 3D effect – well, you don’t really but it seems as if the unsharp part is even further away / more out-of-focus → checked at 100% … which means, DP XD can help w/ really high ISO’s and / or heavy crop.

The second pic was taken by another user w/ ILCE-1 at 200 ISO – so definitely no noise! But wait – he had taken an animal with a long lens in good light and the fur was really sharp. Again at 100%, the sharp hairs had gotten just a touch of local contrast and seemed to stand in front of the bokeh parts.

(used DP XD at standard settings – didn’t play around)


I think, DeepPrime XD is a specialized tool and can be quite useful. But if it’s a ‘must’? – Check yourself.

Does anyone know if DP or DP XD also improve dynamic range?

Both tools are meant for noise reduction and do not change the dynamic range of your RAW files.
They can make shadows look cleaner though, which allows for brightening them a bit more…which actually reduces the dynamic range, depending on how the shadows are raised.

I’ve seen mention (on this forum) that DP-XD does a better job when working on a tight crop … such as bird photographers might make.

Perhaps that’s why there’s not much apparent difference when comparing DP vs DP-XD on the same un-cropped image … Tho, as I’ve also seen reported, there can be significant differences on certain images (even when not cropped).

Sounds like it’s a “suck it and see” workflow.

John M