Since image processing aimed at reducing image noise can also remove important texture, standard methods for evaluating the capture and retention of image texture are currently being developed. Concurrently, the evolution of the intelligence and performance of camera noise-reduction (NR) algorithms poses a challenge for these protocols. Many NR algorithms are ‘content-aware’, which can lead to different levels of NR being applied to various regions within the same digital image. We review the requirements for improved texture measurement. The challenge is to evaluate image signal (texture) content without having a test signal interfere with the processing of the natural scene. We describe an approach to texture reproduction analysis that uses embedded periodic test signals within image texture regions. We describe a target that uses natural image texture combined with a multi-frequency periodic signal. This low-amplitude signal region is embedded in the texture image. Two approaches for embedding periodic test signals in image texture are described. The stacked sine-wave method uses a single combined, or stacked, region with several frequency components. The second method uses a low-amplitude version of the IEC-61146-1 sine-wave multi-burst chart, combined with image texture. A 3x3 grid of smaller regions, each with a single frequency, constitutes the test target. Both methods were evaluated using a simulated digital camera capture-path that included detector noise and optical MTF, for a range of camera exposure/ISO settings. Two types of image texture were used with the method, natural grass and a computed ‘dead-leaves’ region composed of random circles. The embedded-signal methods tested for accuracy with respect to image noise over a wide range of levels, and then further in an evaluation of an adaptive noise-reduction image processing.