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Topaz DeNoise Photoshop Plugin Review

topaz denoiseTopaz DeNoise is one of the best noise removal tools on the market. Topaz DeNoise specially shines with photos that have a lot of noise preserving details and color edges to be sharp. Topaz Labs claims that Topaz DeNoise can make ISO1600 look like ISO100. This Photoshop plugin can be useful not only to shoot darker indoor or outdoor and get clear images but also shoot faster increasing shutter speed to freeze the action and minimize motion blur or camera shake when shooting without tripod. That is invaluable for sports, wedding and wildlife photographers. Topaz DeNoise can also be a very valuable asset for landscape, architectural and interior photographers where proper lighting is often limited.

Before Topaz DeNoise
topaz denoise

After Topaz DeNoise
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While previous Topaz DeNoise versions had “wormy” artifacts in really heavy noise, and some “flattening” issues, DeNoise 4 has improved algorithm called IntelliNoise™ and new presets to greatly remove noise, recover detail, and keep the image looking natural at the same time. DeNoise 4 also features new slider “Clean Color”, for removing large color clamps and Auto-detect button which automatically sets the optimal noise suppression for your image. Other improvements in DeNoise 4 includes boost in processing speed, more stability on large images, simplified and improved interface.

Topaz DeNoise User Interface
topaz denoise ui

Ideally you should use Topaz DeNoise at the beginning of your workflow because it will ensure that you are working on a clean image before applying any color, detail or creative adjustments.

Here’s basic Topaz DeNoise workflow (download a fully functional 30-day trial of Topaz DeNoise to follow):

1. When you start Topaz DeNoise it automatically sets the optimal noise suppression, try different presets and see what works best for you.
2. Adjust the Overall Strength slider to perfect the noise removal. Increasing it will remove more noise, but if overdone will your image look flat, smooth and blurry.
3. Compare the before (original) and after (Preview) of your image, use Spacebar keyboard shortcut, then process your changes.

For advances tweaking, use Noise Reduction Tab sliders (adjust IntelliNoise strength separately for Red and Blue channels as well as for Shadow and Highlights) and Detail Recovery tab sliders (Recover Detail slider to bring back original small image details, Reduce Blur to reduce slight blurring or camera shake, Add Grain to add some texture back for more natural look). The Auto-Brightening feature gives you the ability to automatically evaluate darker areas of the photo.

Before Topaz DeNoise
topaz denoise

After Topaz DeNoise (crop close to 100%, the whole image looks even better)
topaz denoise

Topaz Denoise has two kinds of presets: Adaptive presets (included with software) and Camera presets (which you should make by yourself). Adaptive presets use noise estimation techniques to try to figure out the best settings for your image but sometimes require fine-tuning afterwards for best results. They include 4 JPEG presets from light noise to strongest and 6 RAW presets. The rule of thumb is to start with Lightest preset first and then choose stronger preset if needed.

Camera presets are noise reduction settings fine-tuned for a particular camera at a particular ISO setting such as Nikon D300 at ISO1600 or Sony α380 at ISO400. These are extremely accurate, work well for batch processing, and give great results because these presets are created for a specific camera/ISO combination.

Before Topaz DeNoise
topaz denoise

After Topaz DeNoise crop 100%
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While it’s not that difficult to create Camera presets by yourself using extensive Topaz manual, Topaz should really consider creating directory of various Camera presets for download.

Some technical specification of Topaz DeNoise: It supports smart filters and both 8-bit and 16-bit RGB color modes, MAC and Windows versions are available. Topaz DeNoise also supports Windows 64 bit and is optimized for multiple CPUs.

Verdict: Topaz Denoise ($79.99) is highly efficient tool for digital image noise removal while preserving crisp and clear details. It especially shines on high ISO with a lot of noise. Topaz Denoise features all the latest algorithms in noise removal in conjunction with extreme ease of use which makes it a must have for any photographer.

Topaz DeNoise is also included in the Topaz Photoshop Bundle ($299.99), a complete solution for all of your post processing needs.

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