Topaz DeNoise AI review and opinions

Topaz Denoise AI review (2022): My experience using Denoise AI

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In this 2022 Topaz DeNoise AI review, you’ll find an in-depth analysis of and tutorial for this noise-reduction software from Topaz Labs.

Topaz DeNoise AI is a potent, AI-powered software that removes noise while keeping and enhancing the original detail in your photos. It has an easy, intuitive interface with different noise removal options depending on your image. However, making the most of DeNoise AI requires some knowledge, and the software is graphically demanding if you have a slow computer. Even though DeNoise AI is not perfect, it’s one of the best noise reduction software on the market. 

I’ve been using this software for years and my experience using DeNoise AI to reduce noise couldn’t be better. In this Topaz DeNoise AI tutorial, I’m going to show you how the software works, step by step, and explain the pros and cons of using DeNoise AI on its latest version 3.6.1 (released in March 2022)

Ready to fight the noise in your images? Let’s get to it!

What is Topaz Denoise AI?

Topaz DeNoise AI is a sophisticated piece of software created by Topaz Labs, a well-known company that implements cutting-edge technology based on artificial intelligence to fix post-processing issues like noise reduction and sharpening.

While traditional noise reduction software often reduces the original detail in your images, DeNoise AI’s noise reduction eliminates noise, preserving the detail but also enhancing it. Artificial intelligence plays a key role in today’s post-processing software and Topaz Labs was the first company to start developing this tool many years ago, so it’s well ahead of other programs and, without a doubt, the best noise reduction software on the market.

The new update of Topaz DeNoise AI offers different advanced DeNoise AI Models that can be integrated perfectly into your workflow; you can use it as a standalone piece of software or as a plugin for Photoshop or Lightroom.

Topaz Denoise AI logo

How to use Topaz Denoise AI – Denoise AI Tutorial

DeNoise AI is intuitive and easy to work with. In this section, I’ll break down how to use Topaz DeNoise AI in a few simple steps.

DeNoise AI download & installation

  1. Download and install Topaz DeNoise AI. Go to Topaz Labs and select your operating system. Topaz DeNoise AI supports both Windows and Macintosh OS. Once you download the file, you can start the installation process. Be patient, as this process can take a bit longer than normal due to the automatic downloads needed to complete the installation.
  1. Once the installation is finished, you will be able to see the Topaz DeNoise AI standalone version among your applications. Topaz DeNoise AI plugins for Lightroom or Photoshop should have also been added automatically. If not, you can add them manually.
  1. The first time you open Topaz DeNoise AI, you will be asked to log in with your Topaz Labs account or to try the Denoise AI 30-day free trial

Now we’ll dive into how to use DeNoise AI in its different versions.

How to remove noise with DeNoise AI

Before getting into details, this is, briefly, how to eliminate digital noise with Topaz DeNoise AI step by step:

  1. Open DeNoise AI 
  2. Drag or open your image
  3. Select the best AI model
  4. Adjust the setting sliders or leave it in Auto mode
  5. Apply the adjustments locally, if necessary, using the mask tool
  6. Save the new file with the output settings selected

Note: Topaz Labs encourages you to use DeNoise AI at the very beginning of your post-processing workflow to achieve better results for reducing noise while preserving detail. I highly recommend following this advice so you start working on a clean image.

For this DeNoise AI review, I am using a test shot and the latest version of Topaz DeNoise AI (v.3.5 released in Jan. 2022). The image was taken in the Huayhuash mountain range in Peru. It was taken using a Sony a1, at 20mm, using the following settings: f/1.8, ISO 6400, 13s, resulting in a very noisy photo.

Testing Topaz Labs Denoise AI

Sony A1 – 20mm at f/1.8, ISO 6400, 13s

As you can see in this 100% zoom crop, it is very noisy.

How Denoise AI works

100% crop

To begin this tutorial, this is the interface of Topaz DeNoise AI:

Topaz Denoise AI Pros and Cons

Topaz DeNoise AI interface

 

To start using the software, open or drag your file(s). DeNoise AI supports most of the commonly used photography files like raw files, dng, tiff, jpegs, etc.

In the upper right corner, you will find a toolbar with these options:

Preview options

To change the view mode of the photo you’re working with, you can select: 

  1. Original (original photo preview)
  2. Single (denoised photo preview).
  3. Split (Original and denoised photo preview with a split slider)
  4. Side by Side ( Original and denoised photo preview)
  5. Comparison ( Compare how the different Ai Models work in your photos at the same time).
Zoom

Zoom in on your images to accurately check the process’s progress.

Denoise AI full review and tutorial

Top Toolbar view in DeNoise AI

On the right side, you’ll find:

  1. A navigator with the selected zoom box.
  2. A list with the following DeNoise AI Models:
  • Standard: Broadly developed noise reduction that maintains detail.
  • Clear: Best for photos with smooth and rounded surfaces such as skin, rocks, water, etc.
  • Low light: Best for low-light conditions and heavy noise
  • Severe noise: Best for extremely noisy photos
  • Raw: The newest AI model in DeNoise. It provides excellent noise reduction, preserving detail, and authentic color starting from a RAW file.

    This model applies a color profile prior to noise reduction and, on some occasions, it adds a lot of contrast and mismatches some colors. If that is the case in your photos, my recommendation is to use DeNoise AI after applying your desired color profile and lens correction in Photoshop or Lightroom.

  1. Main Settings. The Auto mode works great in most situations. However, it can be pretty aggressive and give your photos a washed-out look. With Manual Mode, you can set the adjustments according to your taste.
  2. The Post-processing sliders help reduce any color noise remaining in your photos and preserve original detail.
  3. Save Image: To set your output settings before saving your images.
Denoise AI user interface

AI Models and settings panel in DeNoise AI

DENOISE AI workflow recommendation

The easiest way to start using DeNoise AI is by using the suggested mode (Light bulb icon) which automatically selects an AI model based on your image. However, to eliminate digital noise with Topaz DeNoise AI and get the best results, I recommend using the updated comparison view, where you can quickly see and compare different AI models and even the same AI models with different settings.

Denoise AI comparison model

Use the comparison view to check which AI Model/settings work best

Once you have selected the best AI model either manually or automatically, then fine-tune the adjustment using the following settings:

  1. Remove Noise: This slider works wonders. It effectively removes the digital noise in your photo but doesn’t result in washed-out images. Values between 10-50 are enough in most cases.
  1. Enhance Sharpness: It sharpens and recovers the detail in images that may become a bit blurry after denoising.  I don’t recommend setting values over 30 if you want to avoid halos or weird textures.

    Topaz Labs has another piece of software dedicated to sharpening your photos called Sharpen AI. If you need to resharpen your image because it’s a bit out of focus or too soft, I recommend using that software after Denoise AI as I explain in this Sharpen AI review

Please also note that the Clear Mode has 3 (Low, Med, High) “Remove Noise” options and 2 (Low, High) “Enhance Sharpness” levels to choose from the settings above.

After that, refine your results with these DeNoise AI Post-processing adjustments:

  1. Recover Original Detail: It helps recover some detail that has been washed out after the noise reduction and adds a bit of grain to keep the image natural. 20-40 points is usually more than enough.
  1. Color Noise Reduction: This is a very powerful tool to reduce any color noise remaining in your images. The new update includes a preview for this adjustment, so my recommendation is to zoom in on a dark area and adjust the slider until the color noise disappears.

Quick Tip: If your photos are too dark it might be difficult to see how DeNoise AI is removing the noise but you can turn on the “Auto Brighten” (a brighter preview of your image) using the command ⌘+B or Ctrl+B keys.

DENOISE AI masking tool

Topaz DeNoise AI also includes a super simple Mask tool in case you want to apply these adjustments locally in certain areas. Masking might sound daunting, but it’s really easy to understand; DeNoise AI will apply the selected adjustments only to the areas that you paint in red.

Tip: Make sure the Overlay tool is checked so you see the red color when you’re painting.

After painting over these areas, you will see a preview of your mask in black and white where white shows the adjustments and black hides them. Following this, DeNoise AI will just be applied to the areas painted in white.

DeNoise AI Masking settings

DeNoise AI Masking settings

These are the masking settings:

  • Add/Subtract: to paint in white or black and reveal or hide your adjustments.
  • Size: to change the size of your brush.
  • Softness: to change the hardness of your brush. Being 0 is the hardest and 100 the softest.
  • Opacity: to vary the opacity of the mask to add precise local adjustments.
  • Mask options: to clear or invert your mask.
  • Overlay: to show in red these areas where you are painting.

Once you finish creating your mask, just click on the “apply mask” button. You can always update this mask by clicking on the mask icon and clicking the “update mask” button later.

These were the settings I used for this particular scenario:

Denoise AI Models Topaz

Denoise AI Model (Severe) and Settings

Now let’s see the results of DeNoise AI noise reduction in this before and after comparison:

Topaz Denoise AI discount Topaz Denoise AI opinion  

DeNoise AI removal using Severe AI Model 

As you can see, DeNoise AI effectively reduces the noise in all the shadows, the clouds, and the sky while preserving the detail in the stars and even enhancing the sharpness in some areas of the mountain. You can see another example in a noisier area here: 

Topaz Denoise AI worth it Topaz Denoise AI before and after  

The luminance and color noise are completely under control while the details are still there

Using Topaz Denoise AI plugin for Lightroom

Reducing noise in Lightroom with Topaz DeNoise AI couldn’t be easier. Even though you won’t be able to apply the adjustments locally as well as you can with the DeNoise plugin for Photoshop, launching the plugin from Lightroom makes the whole process faster.

To use DeNoise AI in Lightroom follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the image selected > Edit In > Topaz DeNoise AI. If asked, always edit a copy with the Lightroom Adjustments.
  2. Apply the adjustments accordingly as explained above.
  3. Click on Save and wait until the image is processed and imported into Lightroom.

You can reduce the noise in Lightroom with the LR built-in adjustments, but using the Denoise AI plugin will make a vast difference in your photos.

Topaz Denoise AI plugin for Lightroom

How to open DeNoise AI as a plugin in Lightroom

Using Topaz Denoise AI plugin for Photoshop

Using the Topaz DeNoise AI plugin for Photoshop is the best way to reduce noise in your images. It’s a process I’ve been using for years, and you can easily benefit from incorporating this method into your workflow.

The most remarkable advantage is being able to create different noise reduction layers depending on the areas of the image and applying the layer masks locally with more precision than the Denoise Masking tools.

To reduce the noise using Topaz DeNoise AI as a plugin in Photoshop, follow these simple steps:

  1. Duplicate your layer or create a Smart Object layer so your adjustment is not destructive.
  2. Go to Filter > Topaz Labs > Topaz DeNoise AI
  3. Apply the adjustments as explained above
  4. Click on Save and wait until the image is processed and imported into Photoshop.

While the internal Photoshop noise reduction options are more varied than in Lightroom, DeNoise AI provides better results.

Topaz Denoise AI plugin for Photoshop

How to open DeNoise AI as a plugin in Photoshop.

Topaz Denoise AI before & after review

So far, I’ve covered how this software works, but the question is: is Topaz DeNoise AI worth it? Let’s analyze the results in more detail using some Topaz DeNoise AI before and after examples.

Topaz Denoise AI for astrophotography

Astrophotography always means dealing with digital noise, so having a reliable denoise piece of software is a must.

This is one of my favorite photography genres and, after applying DeNoise AI to countless Astro images, I can tell that the way this software reduces the noise in the sky without eliminating any stars is simply incredible. There is no question that Topaz Denoise AI is the best noise reduction software for astrophotographers:

Topaz Denoise AI for low light photography Topaz Denoise AI for astrophotography   

DeNoise AI removal using the Low Light AI Model on a deep-sky astro image

Topaz Denoise AI for wildlife

When shooting wildlife, there are many occasions where High ISO settings are required to maintain a fast shutter speed, which results in noisy images. Topaz DeNoise AI is able to fix this common problem, providing clean images with enhanced details:

Topaz Denoise AI review Topaz Denoise AI for wildlife   

DeNoise AI removal using AI Clear model on a wildlife shot

Topaz Denoise AI for architecture

Topaz DeNoise AI also performs really well with complicated structures and textures, easily removing any kind of noise while keeping even the smallest details sharp:

Topaz Denoise AI worth it Topaz Sharpen AI for architecture   

DeNoise AI removal using the Standard AI Model on an architectural photo

TOPAZ DENOISE AI Pros and cons

In a nutshell, these are the main pros and cons of using Topaz DeNoise AI

DENOISE AI PROSDENOISE AI CONS
  • Effective noise reduction
  • Preserves and enhances detail
  • Batch Mode
  • RAW or DNG file support
  • Intuitive interface
  • 30-day free trial
  • Chat support
  • 30-day refund guarantee
  • High system requirements needed
  • Slow process
  • Paid updates after 1 year
  • Raw AI Model needs to improve
    •  

Topaz Denoise AI discount AND PRICE

The price of Denoise AI is $79.99 for a lifetime license, a fair price considering it’s probably the best noise reduction software on the market.

Planning to give it a try? You can use our Topaz Denoise AI promo code to enjoy 15% off your purchase.

15% OFF Topaz Labs with the code CAPTUREATHOME15

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25% Sitewide Discount

15% OFF with the code CAPTUREATHOME15

 
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If you’re a passionate photographer, my recommendation is to get the Image Quality bundle. which includes, in addition to Denoise AISharpen AI, and Gigapixel AI. This is the best software package with Artificial intelligence and will take your post-processing to the next level.

At the time of writing this article, the image quality bundle is being offered at a huge discount, to which you can also add our Denoise AI Coupon Code to get an even better price!

You can check if the offer is still available here.

If you want to get more info about the other software included in the Topaz Bundle, you can also check my other Topaz Reviews:

Even though it’s not part of the bundle, Topaz Studio 2 is also a great piece of software to consider for editing your images.

Conclusion

Topaz Denoise AI is capable of eliminating the noise while preserving detail in most situations. It’s a very simple and effective software with a user-friendly interface and possible connections as a plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop. However, Denoise AI is not perfect; it requires some experimenting with the different adjustments and a relatively powerful computer.

My experience using Topaz DeNoise AI for many years has been fantastic. I usually shoot in low-light conditions and end up with noisy images, so Denoise AI is a key tool in my post-processing that I use almost on a daily basis, along with Sharpen AI

Topaz DeNoise AI is the best denoising software at the moment, and, if you don’t believe me, just take a look at this noise reduction software comparison, where I tested the 9 most important denoise programs on the market.

I hope you found this Topaz DeNoise AI review helpful and don’t forget that you can get a free 30-day trial!

15% OFF Topaz Labs with the code CAPTUREATHOME15

HOLIDAY PROMO

25% Sitewide Discount

15% OFF with the code CAPTUREATHOME15

 
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Any questions about this Topaz Denoise AI Review? Feel free to leave them in the comments!

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PHOTOGRAPHER & CONTRIBUTOR

Jose is a photographer based in Sydney. He truly believes photography is all about interpreting emotions.

He is a “glass half full” kind of guy. His curiosity consumes him and keeps him wanting more. He will go to the edge of the cliff or the top of a mountain to capture the perfect moment; no fences will stop him. In fact, the more challenging the scenario, the more adrenaline he has, rushing through, pushing him forward.

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4 thoughts on “Topaz Denoise AI review (2022): My experience using Denoise AI

  1. David Stapley says:

    After reading a number of reviews I downloaded the software at this morning (01:00 hrs or thereabouts). I have tried it out on various high ISO high noise images. I can honestly say I am blown away by the results. The details are enhanced and the noise, well it’s just gone. Amazing piece of software. I have 29 more days to put it through it’s paces but to be honest I’m sold on it already.

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi David,

      Your comment reminds me of the first time I gave a try to Topaz Denoise AI, I was also amazed by the incredible results. Not only in noise reduction but in keeping details in the image is by far the best noise reduction software.

      Enjoy it! 😉

      Dan

  2. Bob says:

    Very good review, explanations, and before and after examples. If I can, I would like to share an experience I was having with the software after recently purchasing it. I was finding that in Photoshop the preview display of before and after looked amazing. But when I saved the changed and it returned to Photoshop the results were not that great. I tried doing some pictures using the software as a stand alone and got similar results. I reached out to Topaz. I got back this response which seemed to do the trick. “One thing I would suggest is going into File > Preferences > Advanced Preferences and switching “Enable Discrete GPU” to Off (If it’s On) and enabling OpenVINO. If it’s already Off, switch Enable Discrete GPU to On instead” Not sure why this worked but it did but it did slow down the processing. But, the end results are what matter

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Bob,

      Thank you very much for your message and for sharing this valuable tip with us.

      I never experienced that (or at least I didn’t notice that difference), but guess that it also depends on your GPU or your initial settings.

      In any case, as you said, what matters is to make it work and achieve the effect on the image, so I’m glad that you could work this out with the guys from Topaz.
      Another side note is that they’re truly helpful, I had some questions related to the software and they always replied very quickly and did their best to help me, so the great customer service behind this software is another thing we missed to remark in the article!

      Best,
      Dan

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