DeNoise software

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I have been using Topaz DeNoise software occasionally (though I use Topaz Sharpen a lot). Both are billed as ‘AI’, and both give good results. In the past few days Adobe have added ‘DeNoise’ to Lightroom, again billing it as AI. I decided to do a quick and dirty side-by-side test.

Yesterday I took an against the light photograph of our good friend Rod Higginson using my iPhone 13 Pro Max set to record RAW (DNG). First I adjusted the image in Lightroom. As it was a stop underexposed, when this was completed the image was rather noisy. Here is a close-up crop. Click on the image to see it larger in your browser.

Original – JPG export of a DNG (RAW) file

I then processed the image in Topaz DeNoise AI. I set this as ‘low light, 50 denoise, 50 sharpen and 50 recover detail’. Here is the result, which I found pretty good. Interestingly outputting to TIF seemed to also slightly brighten the image.

Topaz DeNoise – JPG export of a TIF file

I then used the new Adobe DeNoise tool. This has limited room for tailored settings. To my eye, it is a tad sharper with equal noise reduction to the Topaz result,  as seen on Rod’s hand. Also, as the output is an enhanced DNG it did not get the same brightening lift as via the TIF from Topaz.

Adobe DeNoise – JPG export of an Enhanced DNG file

Finally, here is a side by side screen shot of the results from Topaz DeNoise AI (Left) and Adobe DeNoise (Right).

Although this is very ‘quick and dirty’, and I could adjust the Topaz settings more, seems to me that Adobe is onto something very good here, not least outputting as DNG which allows better fine control than TIF post this de-noising step. It is also worth noting that Adobe make this available within their current tool / app set subscription, so if they also up the game on sharpening, honestly I do not think I will pay extra for Topaz. Sorry, guys.

One point I missed – and which David Collyer commented on. Adobe DeNoise does not yet work on files other than RAW. It handles my Leica DNGs and Nikon NEFs. But it can’t yet be used on, for example, slides or negatives scanned as TIFFs which is my current (and historical) default. I hope that gets fixed.

Anyone else run tests?

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