I took the following photo using a Nikon 1 V2, 1″ sensor camera, at ISO 800. This is a big enlargement of a tiny section of a photo of a Titan II rocket launcher (from underneath). This was a very dark location, in the basement of the Evergreen Aviation Museum building.
I processed this image using Neat Image 8, the latest version of the Neat Image noise reduction software. You can see the remarkable improvement from the original, at left, to the noise reduced version, at right.
Today’s noise reduction software enables even small sensor cameras to produce remarkable results in low light.
Noise reduction is built in to Adobe Camera RAW, Photoshop, and Lightroom, RAW Therapee, Affinity Photo, and nearly all image editing software today.
3rd party tools are available in the Google NIK Collection (Dfine2 tool), and the Noise Ninja “community edition” or commercial edition.
Each noise reduction software applies its own methods for noise reduction. You may find that some programs work better on some types of photos than others. I have used Neat Image 7 for a long time and just began using Neat Image 8. For most photos, I just use Lightroom and a combination of “Masking” and Noise Reduction. But for tougher photos or those where I want the best result, I generally turn to Neat Image.
Original Image, after Neat Image processing, and then re-compressed using Mac Preview to 55% to keep the size under 2 MB for upload (in other words, this is a moderate lossy compression version).