One of my favorite software companies, Topaz Labs, has just released an upgrade to their DeNoise software, rasing version 3 to version 4. This is a free upgrade to version 3 owners and is a major upgrade. Check it out at here. It’s not just that the “look” has changed, but the new layout makes it much easier to navigate and also incorporates a new “IntelliNoise” technology.
First, here’s the old look of DeNoise 3 directly below.
Here’s the new layout for DeNoise 4.
I particularly like the choices in the left column when we can pick .JPEG with light, moderate, or strong noise, and RAW with light, moderate, and strong noise. On the extreme right you can override the automatic adjustments if you desire.
Here’s a sample of a JPEG which had suffered from being shot in low light and an attempt made to lighten it. The build-up of color artifacts and noise was/is considerable.
Here’s the same image run through Topaz Labs DeNoise 4 as JPEG with light noise.
To give you a better look at the actual noise change, here’s a close-up of the original image (left), DeNoise 4 adjustments with JPEG with light noise (center) and including my own effort to pick up a little detail that had been lost in the eye, I went to Photoshop (CS4) and UnSharp Mask at 138 amount at 2.8 radius (on a 300 dpi image) and a threshold of 2. This restored most of the eye’s sharpness and took care of the noise in a dual move.
I’ll quote Topaz Labs here on the major advances of DeNoise 4 over DeNoise 3 (and other noise reduction programs).
One of the biggest benefits DeNoise 4 has over DeNoise 3 (and many NR programs) is that it makes the image look natural while removing noise. The new IntelliNoise technology enables DeNoise 4 to preserve the natural photo look while simultaneously removing large amounts of noise. In fact, in internal tests, DeNoise 4 was able to consistently make dSLR ISO1600 photos look almost identical to ISO100 in noise levels and photo quality! We urge you to try this out on your own photos. Benefits of being able to reliably remove 4 stops of noise include: Where you could normally shoot with only 1/20 sec shutter speed, now you can shoot 1/320 sec with similar quality. This prevents motion blurring and helps freeze action. Where before in low lighting situations you would be forced to use f2.8 and its extremely shallow depth of field, you can now use f/11 to keep everything in-focus.
Regularly $79.95 DeNoise 4 is on sale for $49.95 (that’s almost 40% off) until 5/31/10. As an avid user (yes, I bought my copies of Topaz software myself‚ and I use about 2/3 of their products) I thought I’d bring this to your attention. Check out DeNoise 4, and all the other Topaz Labs software plug-ins for Photoshop (both Mac and Windows versions) at TopazLabs.com. It will be worth your while if you are not already a user of their products.