Some time ago I pointed
on excellent chroma noise removal algorithm in R7/R8 cameras. Today I did a detailed GX100/GX200 ISO shootout and my preliminary comments and worries about integrating 12MP sensor and change in NR strategy in GX200 seems to be confirmed. The GX200 is noisier and the NR is much more aggressive than in its predecessor.
It will take me some time to prepare all relevant crops, but I would like to show you at least small example describing how superior is R7 type of noise reduction. Unfortunately, I currently don't have my R8 with me so I had to do this test with R7. However, the noise reduction in R7 and R8 is more or less the same. So here are two quick examples.
The GX100 and GX200 samples were only scaled down to R7 native size. All camera settings are the same, however, it's impossible to set some settings in R7. While in GX100/200 is used Sharpness -2, in R7 is used "Soft" settings. The white balance seems to be slightly different too (although all cameras were set to Cloudy WB).
It seems that R7 noise reduction outperforms both GX100 and GX200 noise reduction. R7 effectively reduces color noise in shadow parts and leaves only light grain with details. GX100 does only small amount of NR leaving some of the color noise but still preserving details. There is not dramatic difference between GX100 JPEG and DNG files (at least not at ISO400). However, as you can see in GX200 crops, this camera produces very crude NR artifacts and killing all tiny details.
In my humble opinion, Ricoh should consider integrating R7/R8 type of NR also in their other products, like GX or GRD. Maybe not as a replacement of current NR algorithm, but rather as a selectable option, as suggested in GRDII FW wishes
. As a RAW shooter, I personally don't care much about out of camera JPEG. But I'm quite sure that a lot of people would like to see rather a bit grainy but much more detailed and free of color noise JPEGs. And this Rx type of NR is definitely the way to go!