Noise Reduction Software

While today's cameras can do some amazing things shooting at high ISOs, sometimes they need a little help. By default, noise reduction is automatically applied to JPEGs. Raw files, however, can be served up with whatever noise reduction is needed. Lightroom, Photoshop, Capture One, Capture NX-D, and other raw processors have built-in noise reduction. Optionally, you can purchase plug-ins that can also perform the function.

As an experiment, I used all the noise reduction software I had to determine which one is best. They all do a fine job, and I really couldn't pick one as the best. It's all about balance; each of the applications can be tuned to get rid of the noise but at the expense of detail. None that I used could get rid of the noise and keep the fine detail. I tried to find the right balance among all the choices between noise reduction and detail.

Click on the images below to see them full screen.

This is the straight-out-of-camera image from a Nikon D5 at 102,000 ISO.

Capture One at a noise reduction setting of 40.

Topaz DeNoise at the Lightest setting.

Google/Nik Dfine on auto.

Lightroom at 50%.

AKVIS Noise Buster 10 on auto.

Macphun Noiseless Pro on the Intense setting.

Capture NX-D at 20%.

ON1 on the Strong setting.

Photoshop at level 10.