Best Noise Reduction Software for Photographers in 2022

After thorough testing, Topaz DeNoise AI has proven to be the best noise reduction software for photographers compared to other denoise software such as DxO PureRAW 2, ON1 NoNoise AI, and Luminar NEO. 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 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.
    • ON1 NoNoise AI: Cutting-edge AI technology to clean up noise in your images.
    • Adobe Lightroom: Reduces the noise in the RAW file simply and quickly.
    • 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 NEO: An alternative noise reduction software to Lightroom.
    • Nik Dfine 2: A simple noise reduction plugin included in the Nik Collection package.
    • Capture One: Great color noise reduction with hot pixels elimination.
    • Neat image pro: External plugin with plenty of customizable noise reduction options.

1. Topaz Denoise AI

Topaz DeNoise AI is the best noise reduction software when putting all its features together.  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

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
4.5/5
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, DxO PureRAW has a similar advanced algorithm; however, DeNoise AI is the one I use when I need to remove noise in my images because it gives me more options and it has a Photoshop plugin. I created a specific Denoise AI review and tutorial where you can learn more about 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 also download the free trial version.

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I also created a DeNoise AI full review and tutorial in the video below! 

 

2. DxO PureRaw 2

DxO PureRAW 2 is a fantastic piece of denoising software, and, when it comes to noise reduction in photography, this software is unmatched.

As with 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 PureRAW 2

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
4.5/5
Noise reduction software comparison Noise reduction software most effective
Noise reduction software comparison list Noise reduction software powered by AI
Before/After DxO PureRAW 2 noise reduction

After using this software, DxO PureRAW’s 2 interface is very simple, maybe too simple. It lacks any sliders or adjustments. The AI is so good you probably won’t need to adjust any settings, but it’s always better to have the possibility if you need to. That’s one of the main cons, along with not having a plugin for Photoshop. 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. You can download PureRAW 2 for free and try it for 30 days, which I recommend, and test the program for yourself. 

DxO PureRAW2 TRIAL VERSION

3. ON1 NoNoise AI

ON1 NoNoise AI is the latest addition to this best noise reduction software test, and it has quickly become one of my favorite pieces of software to reduce noise in photography.

Its AI capabilities put it right on par with its direct competitors (DeNoise AI and PureRAW). However, it allows more than just removing noise. It features a complete set of tools to improve the RAW files.

ON1 NoNoise AI best noise reduction software

3. ON1 NoNoise AI

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
4/5
Best noise reduction software for photographers Noise reduction software powered by AI
Noise reduction software comparison Noise reduction software most effective
Before/After ON1 NoNoise AI

When it comes to removing noise in your photographs, ON1 NoNoise AI does a fantastic job. It removes all the noise in the image and maintains detail. It does a particularly good job in wildlife photography and portraits; however, when it comes to astrophotography, I would use it with caution. Head over to the ON1 NoNoise AI review article I recently wrote to learn more.

ON1 NoNoise AI retails for $69.99, but you can get it for 20% off by using our discount code CAPTURETHEATLAS20. Don’t miss out on a great deal!

NoNoiseAI_Logo

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4. Adobe Lightroom

Reducing digital noise in Lightroom is quick and simple, 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

4. Adobe Lightroom

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
3.5/5


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

The main problem of Lightroom is the outdated algorithm that reduces the noise at the expense of sacrificing detail. If you push the noise reduction slider too far, you’ll see how your image will have a washed-out look, even if you balance the detail slider. 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.

 

 

5. Adobe Photoshop

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

In Photoshop, you can process the noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw, which I recommend because it 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. I show these techniques in my noise reduction in photoshop tutorial

Best noise reduction software Lightroom

5. Adobe Photoshop

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
3.5/5
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 and don’t forget that you also have the option to use many Photoshop denoise plugins like DeNoise AI, Noiseware, Dfine, etc.

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

 

 

6. Noiseware

Reducing noise with Noiseware is very simple since it allows you to remove noise with a single click and without having to make manual selections or to adjust other 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

6. Noiseware

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
3.5/5
Noise reduction software comparison Complete Noise reduction comparison
Noise reduction software comparison Complete Noise reduction comparison
Before/After Noiseware Noise Reduction

Noiseware is a great 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. DeNoise AI or DxO PureRAW 2, it struggles to keep up in terms of detail preservation.

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

 

 

7. Luminar NEO

Luminar NEO is another powerful photo editor better known for its AI capabilities, and it comes with a noise reduction option.

To reduce noise in Luminar NEO, 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.

Luminar NEO noise reduction is applied through a setting called “Denoise,” which will allow you to reduce luminance or color noise.

Best noise reduction software Luminar

7. Luminar NEO

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
3.5/5


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 NEO is $79 (check the offer) for a permanent license on one computer and $59 for a year-long subscription, which makes it a very affordable option. You can also give it a try by downloading the free trial version following the link below.

 

 

8. Nik Dfine 2

Included with the renowned Nik Collection 5 package, Nik Dfine 2 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 denoising automatically. It also allows you to manually select the noisy areas and tweak and fine-tune the process manually.

dfine 2 is one of the best sofware to reduce noise

8. Nik Dfine 2

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
3.5/5


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 5 Software, I never use Dfine 2 in my noise reduction process since it’s not as effective as other plugins like DeNoise AI or DXO PureRAW 2.

Nik Collection 5 is priced at $149 in a Package that includes 8 advanced plugins like Color Efex Pro or Silver Efex Pro. You can also give it a try by downloading the free trial version.

 

 

9. Capture One

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

In terms of noise reduction, 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, which works like a charm.

Best software get rid of noise

9. Capture One

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
3.5/5


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 using this software and you need top-notched editing tools. You can check the different options here.

 

10. Neat image pro 

The Neat Image Pro noise reduction allows you to automatically analyze the noisy 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

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
3/5


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 plugin 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 are my conclusions:

    • The best overall noise reduction software is Topaz DeNoise AI. The AI capabilities, intuitive interface, and multiple AI models make this software my favorite noise reduction software.
  •  
    • The best luminance noise reduction software is tied between Topaz DeNoise AI  and DxO PureRAW 2. They are even more effective when used as denoise plugins in Lightroom and Photoshop (only for DeNoise AI). ON1 NoNoise AI is also up there. 
    • The best denoise software in terms of detail conservation, according to all tests performed, is by far DxO PureRAW 2. Its AI noise reduction technology cleans the noise and keeps the detail in the stars and the landscape surprisingly well. The runner-up is Topaz DeNoise AI, and third place goes to ON1 NoNoise AI.
    • 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?

The best noise reduction software is Topaz DeNoise AI, followed closely by DxO PureRAW 2 and ON1 NoNoise AI. However, even though DeNoise AI is the most advanced noise reduction software, 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.
Best Denoise software for photographers 2022

Final image after applying the noise reduction with DeNoise AI as a plugin in Photoshop

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,  or ON1 NoNoise AI; both are top of the line when it comes to noise reduction.
    • If you don’t use any photo editing software and Lightroom exceeds your budget ($9.99 per month), you can use DXO PureRAW 2 or DeNoise AI as a standalone version, or start with a cheaper photo editor that includes noise reduction tools, such as Luminar NEO, which has a fixed price of $59 for a yearly subscription. The standalone version of ON1 NoNoise AI is also worth considering.
    • 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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20 thoughts on “Best Noise Reduction Software for Photographers in 2022

  1. Phil says:

    Hi,
    Thanks much for the article, I really appreciate it.
    I like photography and take pictures occasionally. Had an addition in the family and took more pictures and most at a not ideal lighting conditions. This was the reason I was looking for noise reduction software to “clean” the pictures. I did download the Topaz Denoise and Pureraw2 for testing. To my untrained eyes, it felt the Pureraw2 provided cleaner photos. I may have to check your tutorials to find out what I did not do correctly with the Denoise software.
    Thanks again for this excellent article.

    • Dan Zafra says:

      Phil,

      Both pieces of noise reduction software (DeNoise Ai & PureRAW2) work exceptionally well. In my experience, the results also depend on the type of image and levels of noise in your image.

      One thing I’m missing in DXO PureRAW 2 is a plugin in Photoshop to apply the noise reduction selectively using advanced masking. Hope they work on that plugin in the future!

      Best,
      Dan

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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?

  6. 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 😉

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Marc Battez says:

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

  10. Heimshleken says:

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

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