Which noise reduction software do you use?

Started Jan 5, 2014 | Polls thread
Marco Cinnirella
Marco Cinnirella Veteran Member • Posts: 7,144
Re: Why not test them all
1

calson wrote:

The noise reduction in Photoshop is as good as any third party application, only it takes longer.

I tested 4 NRe apps by downloading the free trial versions and using them on an image. I wanted to see which provided the best noise reduction with the lowest loss of detail and least compression of tonal range in the person's face.

It tool less than 30 minutes to download and install the 4 NR apps and less than 30 minutes to create 4 different output files using the same source file and then I placed these 4 pictures on a single PS sheet as layers and added text to identify each sample and then I flattened the layers and printed out the result.

Dfine 2 was the least effective in reducing noise while Noise Ninja was the most destructive of tonality in the image and Neat Image was only a little better.

Topaz Denoise produced the best combination of noise reduction, detail and tonal preservation in the pictures. It also did the best job in auto mode so would also be my first choice for batch processing lots of files.

This evaluation took very little time and provided me with exactly the information I needed.

I do think this is a matter of taste - I did the same as you but reached different conclusions. I would also say that just as defenders of Adobe say you need to fully understand the NR in ACR or PS in order to get the most out of it, I would say you need to spend some time getting to know NR plugins before you can really test them properly. certainly, plugins like Neat Image, Topaz Denoise and Noiseware have many functions and sliders. I have found that Photoshop can often match them if you only use a few sliders in the NR plugin or just use full auto or presets - you need to make use of all appropriate sliders and specialised views to make the most of them.

Still, Photoshop is very good for NR and will suit many just fine. For me, I am happy with Noiseware and the NR offered in my raw software, DXO Labs, though I do use Topaz for debanding sometimes.

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"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." Ansell Adams.

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