UPDATE NVIDIA card problem fixed
We saw the plugin pop up on Twitter last week, but didn't really take any notice until an FCP.co forum member posted an example online and we checked out out the price.
Noise reduction in video, up until now there have only been a few options. A few cheap plugins that say they reduce noise but just do a fancy blur and at the other end of the market, the specifically designed noise reducer Neat Video. Neat Video was the preferred choice and comes in a few flavours from a $49 home version up to a Pro version that sells for $199.90.
The new kid on the noise reduction block is Photon Pro, a $29.99 FCPX plugin that is marketed with the tagline "Photon Pro uses a sophisticated algorithm to remove sensor readout noise and photon shot noise from digital movie recordings" Yes we had to go and look up photon shot noise too, standby for some maths on that link.
A few thoughts here. First of all the low price point means it's a bit of a no-brainer for anybody who has to make video shot in low light look acceptable. We haven't used it ourselves, but the claims and example on our forum look good. Secondly we are pleased that a plugin has made it into the Apple Mac Store, we thought that installing a plugin in the system was one of the reasons you couldn't be listed.
"Inspired by the leading photographic editing applications, Photon Pro allows you to do interactive editing with ease and speed.
The plug in enables you to set different level of correction for the luminance and the chrominance channels. Both spatial and temporal denoising are supported, as well as mixed-mode spatial and temporal.
Photon Pro has been designed to preserve edge sharpness while removing noise. The Sharpening filter included in Final Cut can be used downstream of Photon Pro to make the edges look even punchier.
Photon Pro will take full advantage of the new Mac Pro (late 2013) dual GPU architecture. A recent and fast OpenCL 1.2 compatible graphic card is highly recommended to achieve the best performance."
Here is an example from the Photo Pro site: (Click for larger image)
Wouldn't it be good if somebody compared the Photon Pro plugin to the Neat Video version? Lucky for us that's exactly what Florian Fahrenberger has done on YouTube. Try watching this on fullscreen as some of the differences are subtle.
And here is a before and after from Dan Svoboda on our Forum
It looks pretty impressive for $30. As always, if you have used the plugin, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Just a quick update to say that we have heard from the developer to say that the problem with NVIDIA cards has been fixed.