I am using ACDSee Photo Studio Professional 2019 and shooting with a Canon 80D (storing raw+jpeg files from the camera). In the past I've shot mostly jpeg files and fine-tuned them in ACDSee with fairly good results. More recently I started experimenting with the raw files workflow and I have have a hard time getting good results when exporting my final files to jpeg.
I included a very simple example below where I started with this original raw. I think here the grain is normal since according to my understanding this is how raw files are captured:
Next I edited the exposure, light and added some noise reduction that brought me to something like this result, which still looks noisy to me but when adding more noise reduction it seems to decrease quality even more:
Finally I exported to jpeg and below I'm comparing the original jpeg from the camera on the left side (which is slightly too dark but not noisy at all) with the jpeg I generated from my tuned raw image on the right side.
As shown the original jpeg from the camera is smooth and not grainy at all while the final tuned jpeg has all sorts of glitches introduced to it.
At this point I'm not too sure what I'm doing wrong. I think the top answer from the following post gives a nice overview of the raw file processing workflow Why do RAW images look worse than JPEGs in editing programs?
Using that information I tried to play with sharpness and noise reduction in different ways but I cannot seem to get better results than what is shown above.
Thanks for your help.