Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta and Noise Reduction with Neat Image

I have some photographs that are very noisy (low light, high ISO), so I figured I would try out Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta to see if I could reduce the noise and since it’s a free download.  According to Adobe, the requirements to use Lightroom on Windows are Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), an Intel Pentium 4 processor, 768 MB of RAM (1 GB recommended), and 1 GB or more free hard drive space, and a monitor with 1,024 x 768 screen resolution.

I have an old AMD64 3500+ with Windows SP3 and 3 GB of RAM which I bought back in 2006.  Picasa runs pretty smoothly on my system, so I was hopeful that Lightroom would be fine.

Unfortunately, Lightroom was too slow to be useful on my old desktop PC.  There was a 3 to 5 second delay before I could see any changes to an image I was editing.  The photo I was trying to edit was in RAW format, which may have contributed to the slow performance.  I was really looking forward to trying out Lightroom.  It looks like I have an excuse to buy a new computer now.

So instead of using Lightroom, I downloaded a free version of Neat Image, which was very simple to use and worked pretty well at reducing noise (more on Neat Image later).  I had to convert the RAW image to JPEG first before using Neat Image to reduce the noise, but the result was pretty good.

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