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Best Noise Reduction Software for Photographers in 2022

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Topaz Denoise AI has proven to be the best photo noise reduction software compared to other denoise software such as DxO PureRAW, Lightroom, Photoshop, and Luminar AI. However, each program has its own pros and cons, and finding a balance between eliminating noise and maximizing the photo’s detail is crucial when it comes to deciding which denoise software to use.

There are so many different types of noise reduction software that it can be difficult to decide which one to use. That’s why I decided to run a group of tests using the main pieces of noise reduction software for photographers available in the market.

In this article, you’ll find all the info you need related to the best noise removal software, with all the specs, functions, and the graphic tests I run using each specific piece of software.

Ready to find which is the best noise reduction software in 2022?

Noise reduction software comparison

Best noise reduction software for photographers in 2022

Briefly, these are the best noise reduction software to remove noise in photography:

    • Topaz Denoise AI: The most advanced denoise software in the market thanks to its AI
    • DXO PureRAW 2: Ultimate AI technology and an easy user interface to eliminate the noise. 
    • Adobe Lightroom: Reduces the noise in the RAW file in a simple, fast, and accurate way
    • Adobe Photoshop: One of the best ways to reduce the noise selectively using masks
    • Noiseware:  One of the simplest and most effective ways to get rid of digital noise
    • Skylum Luminar AI: An alternative noise reduction software to Lightroom
    • Nik Dfine: A simple noise reduction plugin included in the Nik Collection package
    • Capture One: Great color noise reduction with  hot pixels elimination
    • Noise Ninja: A classic noise removal for photographers included in the Photoninja package
    • Neat image pro: External plugin with plenty of customizable noise reduction options
    • DxO Optics Pro 11 elite: Uses a popular option called “prime noise reduction” to reduce noise

1. Topaz Denoise AI

Topaz Denoise AI removes noise using AI after analyzing your image. It automatically gets rid of digital noise in grainy areas while preserving the detail.

You can adjust the noise removal using two basic sliders to remove noise and sharpen. Denoise AI also includes more advanced options, like a low-light mode for high-ISO images (Perfect for Milky way photography) and masks to apply the effect selectively without having to use Photoshop.

Topaz best noise reduction plugin

1. Topaz Denoise AI

Pros:

  • Best results reducing noise and preserving details thanks to the use of artificial intelligence 
  • Includes advanced noise reduction options for night photography and masking

Cons:

  • Higher computer graphic card requirements needed
  • Processing times are a bit slow in comparison to other software


Noise reduction software comparison
Noise reduction software most effective

Noise reduction software comparison Noise reduction software most effective
Before/After Topaz Noise Reduction

In terms of noise removal, I think that Denoise AI has no rival at the moment and it’s without a doubt the best noise reduction software in the market and the one I always use on my workflow. I created a specific Denoise AI review and tutorial where you can learn more about its functions and how to use it.

Topaz Denoise AI can be used standalone or as a plugin both in Lightroom and Photoshop for a price of $79.99 (check the offer). You can download the free trial version and also get 15% OFF using the link and code below.

15% OFF Topaz Labs with the code CAPTUREATHOME15

SUMMER SALE PROMO!

$20 DENOISE AI DISCOUNT

15% OFF with the code CAPTUREATHOME15

 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

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$99 OFF DENOISE + SHARPEN + GIGAPIXEL AI

15% OFF with the code CAPTUREATHOME15

 
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2. DxO PureRaw 2

DxO PureRAW was released in April 2021 and is the newest noise reduction software on the market. They recently launched the new version called DxO PureRAW2.

The same as DeNoise AI, the main benefit of using this program is the advanced application of artificial intelligence to reduce the noise in your images. It offers a very user-friendly interface and you can easily improve the quality of your photos in a couple of clicks. 

DxO PureRAW is one of the best noise reduction software

2. DxO PureRAW2

Pros:

  • Perfect integration with Lightroom and Photoshop with RAW Denoising options
  • Different effective AI models to eliminate the noise like HQ, PRIME, and DeepPRIME. 

Cons:

  • Most expensive noise reduction software
  • Lack of advanced options like Masking 


Noise reduction software comparison
Noise reduction software most effective

Noise reduction software comparison Noise reduction software most effective
Before/After Topaz Noise Reduction

I put this software to the test as soon as it was released, and I was greatly surprised by the results. The interface is similar to the previous DxO Prime Lab noise reduction software and, in a few seconds and clicks, I could see a significant improvement in the image quality. You can find more details and how it works in our DXO PureRAW 2 Review.

The price of DxO PureRAW2 is $129 (check the price here), so it’s the most expensive denoising software on this list. I recommend giving a try to the 30-day DxO PureRAW2 free trial to test the program by yourself. Considering the results, I believe that Denoise AI is a better option at a lower price. 

DxO PureRAW2 TRIAL VERSION

 

3. Adobe Lightroom

Reducing digital noise in Lightroom is simple and effective, and that’s the main reason why it’s one of the most popular noise reduction software for photography.

In terms of noise reduction, inside the “Develop” module, there is a “Detail” section where you can find different sliders to reduce luminance noise and eliminate chromatic noise.

Best noise reduction software Lightroom

3. Adobe Lightroom

Pros:

  • You can easily reduce the general luminance and color noise of your images
  • Complete tool to edit and catalog your photos from start to finish. It allows plenty of denoise lightroom plugins if you need a more advanced noise reduction

Cons:

  • The balance between noise and detail preservation is not as good as in other pieces of software
  • Ineffective at removing strong color bands


Noise reduction software comparison
best software to reduce noise is lightroom

Noise reduction software comparison before after lightroom noise reduction software
Before/After Lightroom Noise Reduction

Since it is the most used noise reduction software in photography, we created a specific article on how to reduce noise in Lightroom.

The price of Lightroom varies depending on the Adobe package. As a reference, the basic photography package (which also includes Photoshop) is priced at $9.99 per month.

 

 

4. Adobe Photoshop

As we previously mentioned, noise reduction in Photoshop is the most effective way to reduce and remove digital noise selectively using masks.

Using this software, you can process the noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw, which uses the same algorithm as Lightroom, but with the enormous advantage of being able to apply these adjustments in a much more selective way.

Furthermore, you can use noise reduction filters and other more advanced techniques to get rid of digital noise, such as blending noise reduction or stacking noise reduction.

Photoshop top noise reduction software

4. Adobe Photoshop

Pros:

  • Includes different noise-removal tools from basic to advanced adjustments
  • Possibility of using masks to apply the effect selectively and to use different photoshop noise reduction plugins

Cons:

  • The noise reduction process is more time consuming compared to other pieces of software
  • Adobe Photoshop might be daunting for new users


Noise reduction software comparison
Noise reduction software best comparison

Noise reduction software comparison Noise reduction software best comparison
Before/After Photoshop Noise Reduction

To sum it up, the possibilities to reduce and eliminate noise with Photoshop are endless, that’s why we created a specific article on the best techniques to remove noise in Photoshop. Don’t forget that you also have the option to apply many photoshop denoise plugins like Topaz, Noiseware, Dfine, etc.

Like Lightroom, the Photoshop price in the basic Adobe photo package is $9.99 per month.

 

 

5. Noiseware

Reducing noise with Noiseware is very simple since it allows you to remove noise with a single click, without having to make manual selections or adjusting settings.

Noiseware includes different preset modes depending on the amount of noise you want to reduce and customizable options in case you want to adjust the noise reduction manually.

Noiseware best noise reduction software

5. Noiseware

Pros:

  • Great tonal and contrast recovery even in high ISO images
  • Very easy and quick to use applying the preset modes

Cons:

  • To get the best results, it requires to fine-tune the adjustments using masks in Photoshop
  • Only available as a noise reduction plugin for Photoshop


Noise reduction software comparison
Complete Noise reduction comparison

Noise reduction software comparison Complete Noise reduction comparison
Before/After Noiseware Noise Reduction

Noiseware is one of the best noise removal software and a great option if you’re an Adobe Photoshop user. However, in the last couple of years, if you compare Noiseware vs. Topaz Denoise, it’s lagging behind Topaz in terms of detail preservation.

The Noiseware price is $79.95 and can only be used as an extension in Photoshop.

 

 

6. Luminar AI

A good alternative to Lightroom that includes a noise reduction module is Luminar AI.

To reduce noise in Luminar, in addition to the basic noise reduction settings, you can make adjustments more selectively using masks and layers as if you were using Photoshop; with the advantage of processing in a non-destructive way.

The Luminar AI noise reduction is applied through a filter called “Luminar Denoise,” which will allow you to reduce luminance or color noise, increase or decrease the overall effect through a “boost” slider, and finally, adjust the opacity.

Best noise reduction software Luminar

6. Luminar AI

Pros:

  • Plenty of noise reduction options and fine results
  • It’s a cheaper alternative to Lightroom

Cons:

  • There is a star-elimination side effect when applying higher values of luminance noise reduction.
  • Their technology eats up more processing power than others, which can cause some delays


Noise reduction software comparison
Noise reduction best software review

Noise reduction software comparison Noise reduction best software review
Before/After Luminar Noise Reduction

The price of Luminar AI is $47  (check the offer) for a permanent license in one computer and $59 for a permanent license in up to two computers., which makes it a very affordable option. You can also give it a try downloading the free trial version following the link below.

 

 

7. Nik Dfine

Included with the renowned Nik Collection 4 package, Nik Dfine is one of the most popular and straightforward plugins to reduce digital noise.

With Nik Dfine noise reduction, the software analyzes the noise in the image and applies the required noise reduction automatically. It also allows you to manually select the noisy areas and to tweak and fine-tune the process manually.

dfine 2 is one of the best sofware to reduce noise

7. Nik Dfine

Pros:

  • It’s fairly simple to use and includes a user-friendly interface
  • You can use it as a standalone version or as a noise reduction plugin in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Cons:

  • It washes out too much detail and some modes, like the edge conservation, pulls out too many artifacts
  • Their local adjustments using circles it not as good as the masking available in other noise removal software like Photoshop or Topaz Denoise AI.


Noise reduction software comparison
Noise reduction plugin vs

Noise reduction software comparison Noise reduction plugin vs
Before/After Dfine 2 Noise Reduction

Even though I use Color Efex Pro and other plugins of the Nik Collection 4 Software, I never use Dfine in my noise reduction process since it’s not as effective as other plugins like Denoise AI or Noiseware.

Nik Collection 4 is priced at $149 in a Package that includes 8 advanced plugins like Color Efex Pro or Dfine. You can also give it a try by downloading the free trial version.

 

 

8. Capture One

Capture One offers more powerful tools and editing and options than Lightroom. Considering the price and features, this software is usually aimed at professional photographers.

In terms of noise reduction in Capture One, in addition to settings like luminance or chromatic noise reduction, which are similar to those in Lightroom, Capture One includes a slider called “single-pixel“ dedicated to hot pixels reduction.

Best software get rid of noise

8. Capture One

Pros:

  • Best color noise reduction software in the market
  • The “single-pixel” slider works wonders eliminating hot pixels, something very useful for images taken with high-resolution cameras

Cons:

  • It’s not very intuitive and requires some time to learn how to navigate and use the different functions
  • It’s the most expensive noise reduction software and it’s aimed at professionals.


Noise reduction software comparison
Noise reduction software example

Noise reduction software comparison Noise reduction software example
Before/After Capture One Noise Reduction

Capture one costs $299 or $24/month, so it’s not a cheap option unless you develop your entire editing process with this software and you need top-notched editing tools. You can check the different options here.

 

 

9. Noise Ninja

Noise Ninja 4, part of the Photo Ninja package, is one of the most classic pieces of denoise software. It’s renowned for its effectiveness and preservation of detail.

Noise Ninja previously focused solely on noise reduction, but currently, Photo Ninja offers more functions, such as light recovery or color enhancement.

The noise reduction panel in Noise Ninja is similar to other plugins, with luminance and chromatic noise settings. It can be used as a plugin in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

Noise Ninja best noise reduction software

9. Noise Ninja

Pros:

  • Easy and intuitive to use. It loads the settings extremely fast
  • Include a specific slider to remove halos called “defringe” that works really well

Cons:

  • There’s a significant loss of contrast, especially when compared to other image noise reduction software.
  • Their AI technology and algorithms are not as updated as other options considering its price


Noise reduction software comparison
Top choice noise reduction software

Noise reduction software comparison Top choice noise reduction software
Before/After Noise Ninja Noise Reduction

Noise Ninja 4 cannot be purchased as a stand-alone denoise software. You can only buy it as part of the Photo Ninja package, which is priced at $129. They also charge $59 for upgrades. Here is the link to their site.

 

10. Neat image pro 

The Neat Image Pro noise reduction allows you to automatically analyze the most noise-heavy sections of the image and apply anti-noise settings to eliminate them. In addition, you can adjust the denoise through several default sliders set in the software.

Best noise reduction software Neat Image Pro

10. Neat image pro

Pros:

  • Good noise reduction analysis
  • Wide variety of options to fine-tune the image noise reduction

Cons:

  • It includes too much impractical information that can be confusing for the user
  • The before/after zoom is messy, and it’s extremely low when loading settings


Noise reduction software comparison
Noise reduction software review and test

Noise reduction software comparison Noise reduction software review and test
Before/After Neat Image Pro Noise Reduction

You can use it as a Photoshop plugin for the price of $39. You can check the software information here.

As you can see, there is an overwhelming amount of software and plugins options to remove digital noise.

To help you decide which is best for you, in the next section, you’ll find a real comparison with the tests I run using all the best noise reduction software by trying to remove noise from the same image.

COMPARISON: What is the best noise reduction software? – Graphic Test

After comparing more images with all the different photo noise reduction software and carefully analyzing the graphic results, these were my conclusions:

  • The best luminance noise reduction software is tied between Topaz Denoise AI  and DxO PureRAW2. They are even more effective when used as denoise plugins in Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • The best denoise software in terms of detail conservation, according to all tests performed, is Denoise AI. Its AI noise reduction technology cleans the noise and keeps the detail in the stars surprisingly well. In the second position, Noiseware also shows very good results.
  • The best color noise reduction software is, without any doubt, Capture One. All you need to do is to review the test images to see it at a glance. Not only does it effectively eliminate all the color banding, but it also shows very natural colors.

Just so you can draw your own conclusions, below you’ll find the graphic tests of all the noise reduction software used in the previous photo, with a 100% crop image so you can see the noise removal process in more detail.

WHAT NOISE REDUCTION SOFTWARE OR PLUGIN SHOULD I USE?

As you can see after the previous comparison, the best noise reduction software is Topaz Denoise AI.

Best Denoise software 2022

Noise reduction with Denoise AI + post-processing in Photoshop 12 sec, f/1.8, ISO 6400

However, even though Denoise AI is the most well-rounded, it’s not perfect, and the decision to use a specific piece of software depends on many factors, such as the type of photography you do, the workflow you follow, and your budget.

Just as general advice, I would suggest:

  • If you are already working with Lightroom or Photoshop, you can take advantage of all the features they offer by using a plugin that is simple and effective, such as Topaz Denoise AI,  DxO PureRAW2, or Noiseware; adjusting and applying the noise reduction selectively using Photoshop tools.
  • If you don’t use any photo editing software and Lightroom exceeds your budget ($9.99 per month), you can use Denoise AI as a standalone version or start with a cheaper photo editor that includes noise reduction tools, such as Luminar AI, which has a fixed price of $59.
  • ALL plugins and software covered in this article offer free trials, so you can download the different plugins, test them with your own images, and choose the plugin that best suits your needs.

What do you think the best noise reduction software is?

If you use any other plugin that I didn’t mention, please share it in the comments so I can include it in future updates. Thank you!

 

COFOUNDER & PHOTO TOUR LEADER

Dan is a professional nature and landscape photographer, photography educator, and co-founder of Capture the Atlas. His base camp is in California, USA, but he spends long periods of time exploring and photographing new locations around the world.

Apart from shooting the Milky Way, the Northern Lights, and any breathtaling landscape, he enjoys leading photo tours to some of the most photogenic places on Earth.

You can find more about Dan here.

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18 thoughts on “Best Noise Reduction Software for Photographers in 2022

  1. Kyaw Kyaw Htet says:

    As I am a beginner photograpger, I got alot of knowledge from your web.
    Thank you for your sharing knowedge.
    I appriatiate.
    For a beginner , I would like to know some suggestion .
    THank you

  2. Martin says:

    Well, I am missing ON1 NoNoise in this list, it is also AI powered like Topaz or DxO PureRaw, but offering advanced masking options, or crop options (to reduce file size).
    Only downside is the color shift when using it with Fuji X-Trans files.

    • Dan Zafra says:

      Martin,

      I’m working on a specific On 1 review, and I’ll put it to the test to include it in this article. Thanks for the recommendation!
      Dan

  3. Ken says:

    Noiseware is available FREE as a stand alone software as well, no need for PhotoShop. It is called ‘Noiseware Community Edition’. Fully featured.

    • Dan Zafra says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ken, but the Noiseware that you mentioned is a different piece of software.

      Best,
      Dan

  4. John says:

    Topaz denoise and sharpening can’t seem to open since last update. I installed the sharpening but it won’t open. Seems like a lot of people having same problem and there seems to be lack of support. Sad it doesn’t work.

    • Dan Zafra says:

      John, I updated both versions and had no issues nor heard any issues from my students which most of them use Denoise and Sharpen AI on a daily basis.

      Topaz offers live chat support and also email support and they always reply very fast. did you try getting in touch with them?

  5. Michael RJH Murphy says:

    Hi
    I am a big fan of Topaz Denoise AI, but your review should also deal with DxO’s Deep Prime, a feature DxO introduced to PhotoLab a couple of years back. It’s often powerful enough to avoid passing my shots through Topaz. If I were a more technical chap I could probably tell you what sort of noise each is better at, but suffice to say that up to ISO12800 I don’t need Topaz, and sometimes even at 25600.
    What I was looking for is to see what astrophotographers find the best solution.
    Cheers, and happy new year
    MM

    • Dan Zafra says:

      Thanks Michael!

      I am working on a new update where I’ll include DxO’s denoise software.

      I’m an astrophotographer and so far Denoise AI works wonders for me, especially since the last updates 😉

  6. Graham Thorpe says:

    Superb and thank you so much for putting this together

    On a point of detail it is true that Luminar is a one time payment …but …only for that years edition . If a user wishes to upgrade to the following year’s version an upgrade fee is payable equivalent to 2/3 of the original price

    • Dan Zafra says:

      Thanks Graham!

      That’s a good point. They claim to offer a lifetime license and while that’s true, whenever there’s a major upgrade you’ll have to pay an extra for the new version.

      In the long run, it’s cheaper than Adobe or Capture 1 but it’s something to consider.

      Best,
      Dan

  7. Neilsky says:

    This is an excellent review, Dan, and a LOT of work all nicely presented in a digestible format! With much appreciation. I’m leaning towards a Topaz AI bundle. Will use your affiliate code if I do, as thanks.

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Thanks Neil for your comment! It took a lot of work to put this together so I really appreciate your kind words 😉

      I’m using extensively Denoise and Sharpen AI. From time to time Gigapixel as well, so the Bundle to me is completely worth it.

      Thank you for using our codes too;)

      Best,
      Dan

  8. Marc Battez says:

    Thank you for having made available all this work of research, analysis and synthesis on a difficult subject.

  9. Heimshleken says:

    A thorough review – well appreciated. Gave me essential information for making an informed choice. Thanks

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