A short time ago, I posted a comparison of the noise reduction capabilities of three programs: DxO PhotoLab2, Capture One v12 and Adobe Camera RAW CS6. Of course, when working with a lot of programs that one might not be an expert in, the question arises as to whether one produced the optimal image. So here's the challenge: Download the Canon CR2 file that I've placed on my Google Drive (if you click on the link, you will see a preview of the CR2). Using your favorite RAW tool, try to create a version that is sharp (without being over-sharp), avoids losing detail but has the least amount of noise you can manage. Post extracts roughly matching the areas that I include below. Include information on your exact version of the product and as much detail about the settings you use as you can manage. Alternatively, you can provide a different RAW file to test with. If you do, you should also provide your best noise reduction results using at least one tool (and document your results as I did). DxO PhotoLab2 v2.2.3 Build 23 Settings I disabled everything except the settings below. If I don't mention an exact value for an enabled setting, then it is at the DxO default value. DxO Smart Lighting: Enabled Selective tone: H: -28, M: -39 Contrast: Microcontrast: 23 Noise reduction: PRIME, Luminance: 83 Lens sharpness: Enabled Chromatic aberration: Enabled Unsharp mask: Intensity: 48, Radius: 4.45, Threshold: 4 Image 1 Image 2 Capture One v220.127.116.11 Settings I tried to set every adjustment off, then: Sharpening: Amount: 311, Radius: 1.2, Threshold: 1.5 Noise Reduction: Luminance: 80, Detail: 61, Color: 50, Single Pixel: 40 Clarity: Structure: 16 Default lens correction Image 1 Image 2 My Impressions The Capture One (C1) image looked crisper and I can't say I ever matched its tonality with DxO PhotoLab2 (PL2). On the other hand, the PL2 image had less noise and more detail, even if it was slightly less sharp. Compare the green area (Image 2) in PL2 with the C1 version. A lot of the detail maintained in PL2 is just gone in C1. On the other hand, the small fibers on that one strand cutting across the image look a little fuzzy in the PL2 version. In Image 1, the vertical ridges of the plant pot have almost no noise. The top of the pot looks a little blurry, yet there appear to be no details missing (vs. C1). One problem with using PRIME noise reduction is that you can only judge the effect on the entire image if you export it. Within the program, you can only view the effect at 100% in a small capture of a portion of the image. I have a PSD file that compares the entire image. It also includes versions of the image with all adjustments turned off. By toggling visibility on/off, you can quickly compare the differences.