Today’s question comes from Carl. He actually asked two questions in his email, both of which were fantastic questions. I decided to break the questions into to #AskScottWyden blog posts.
Carl’s first question was “How do you compare the top noise removal programs?”
Before diving into the answer, please note that like red eye reduction, noise reduction is just that… reduction. It will not remove noise completely. So Carl’s use of the word removal is incorrect. But that’s ok because I’m helping resolve the incorrect word choice as well as answer the question.
I’ve tried so many of them from Nik to Lightroom to Photoshop to MacPhun to ON1 to Topaz Labs and beyond. They all have their strong suits and limits. For example, Lightroom and Photoshop are ok with noise reduction, but they’re not great. MacPhun is super simple (I’ve even made presets for Noiseless Pro). ON1 also made it easy when they built it into their software. With theirs you have a lot of control over the noise reduction.
Topaz Labs I was using for a while, before I got my hands on Nik DFine. I actually used to say Nik DFine was my “go to” choice, but with Google not doing much with the Nik suite I rarely open their software these days.
What I loved about DFine was the automated algorithmic points to determine optimal reduction. It is so neat.
If I had to pick 1 or 2 that I would recommend outside of Lightroom and Photoshop it would be either using ON1 Photo 10 or MacPhun’s Noiseless Pro. Which really depends on your workflow and how much you are willing to spend on noise reduction.
ON1 Photo 10 is more of a full powerhouse that can compete with both Lightroom and Photoshop.
MacPhun’s Noiseless Pro is a standalone app (for Mac only) which you can buy individually or in their Creative Kit.
If you are not interested in a full package of software then I’d suggest Noiseless Pro for simplicity sake.
But if you want the full gamut and powerhouse then I recommend ON1 Photo 10 because noise reduction is built in and super powerful, like DFine and Noiseless Pro.
If you are on the fence about ON1 Photo 10 then stay tuned to the blog for the second question from Carl.