Those with the Fujifilm X-T4 (and also the X-S10) might have noticed that Noise Reduction is no longer in the menu. Instead, there’s something called High ISO NR. What’s the difference? Why the change?
Below is a screenshot of the X-T3 manual (top) and X-T4 manual (bottom):
Notice that they both say the same thing: Reduce noise in pictures taken at high sensitivities. This demonstrates that they’re actually the same thing, just renamed. The X-T4 manual adds a little more info about what Noise Reduction does to a picture, although vaguely.
I don’t know why Fujifilm renamed Noise Reduction to High ISO NR; perhaps it’s a more accurate name, but it seems to have created some confusion. I’ve received several messages from users asking about it. Just know that both are the same exact thing: High ISO NR is Noise Reduction.
A couple years ago I took a closer look at Noise Reduction (and also Sharpening), and concluded that, for the most part, it doesn’t matter what the Noise Reduction is set to unless you pixel peep or print large. My personal opinion is that I like Noise Reduction set to -2, -3 or -4, with the lower setting most preferable. Why? Because the digital noise from Fujifilm X-Trans cameras has a film-grain-like appearance, and doesn’t look like typical digital noise from other camera brands. I like film grain, and I like the digital noise from Fujifilm cameras. That’s just my preference. Besides that, Noise Reduction reduces sharpness and smudges fine details, at least a little—you’ll likely only notice if you look very, very closely. There’s no right or wrong setting—choose whatever you prefer—but I most often set Noise Reduction (or High ISO NR) to the lowest option available, which is -4 on X-Trans IV cameras like the Fujifilm X-T4.
Hi Ritchie, yes this renaming is causing very large confusion for a serious reason.
“Noise reduction” is much more correct name, because it’s noticeably affecting image rendering starting from base ISO160, especially in shadow green details. I used to always set it to minimal possible with older gen cameras, and keep setting it to -4 in newest cameras as well, because I also like the “grain looking noise” at higher ISO, but I also like more clean picture look at base ISO. It’s very easy to apply NR in post processing later, but it’s harder to “UNDO” the NR (that’s said regarding JPEG of course).
Because it’s named “High ISO NR” now, people may think (and I was one of them initially) that this setting does not affect NR setting for “non-high ISO” but in fact it is affecting. And it is important to know that it is still modifying resulting picture, even at lowest ISO 160. By having “-4” as minimal NR, there are 9 levels of NR intensity, and you will get noticeably different JPEG at NR level 9.
I agree, if picture is later downsized or printed in smaller size, then it’s not so critical difference. But if you take picture of a distant object like bird, and then want to use 100% crop – results will be very different at ISO 160 for minimal and maximal NR setting. I don’t know why Fuji decided to introduce this confusing name change.
It definitely affects High ISO more than Low ISO, but you are right, the name might mislead people to think that it only affects High ISO pictures when that’s not true.
The more you crop or pixel-peep, or the larger you print, the more that the High ISO NR (aka Noise Reduction) makes a difference. I’m like you, the less the better, and -4 is my preference.
Hi Ritchie, just discovered your site and recipes and looking forward playing around with it a lot! Nice work!
I only got quite confused about the change of scale direction from “Noise Reduction” to “High ISO Nr.”:
I am an xt4 user (and relatively new to the Fuji world), so if I read “Noise Reduction -2” in one of your recipes, do I have to “translate” it into “Hight ISO Nr. +2”? (plus instead of minus!?) Or minus stays alway minus and plus stays plus?? 😀
I am not sure if Fuji also changed the interpretation of “minus”. Did MINUS Noise Reduction mean minus for less noise? or minus for less Noise Reduction (means more Noise)?
Thank you for your help!
All the best,
It is confusing. Fujifilm changed the name of Noise Reduction to High ISO NR beginning with the X-T4, but it’s the same thing. Instead of -4 through +4, it should be 0 through +8, that would be more logical. Anyway, -4 is the least Noise Reduction applied and +4 is the most Noise Reduction applied.