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Photon Pro a $29.99 noise reduction plugin for Final Cut Pro X

photon pro fcpx

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)

 comparison

 

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

Before:

After:

 

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.

 


Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

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Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

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BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

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Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

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Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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