AI Noise Reduction everywhere

I’ve just seen an announcement from ON1 about their soon-to-be-released ON1 NoNoise AI feature. Having checked out their demonstration web page I am quite unimpressed by it, but I think it does sound a warning bell for PhotoLab.

Why? Because if ON1’s algorithm was a similar quality to DeepPRIME, then their much more feature-complete and well rounded app would make PhotoLab far less compelling. That’s why I think PhotoLab needs to ‘round out’ its feature set and the utility of those features.

I know a lot of people here will have [reasons] why PhotoLab should/should not have [feature] etc and I don’t want to re-litigate that here. I just believe that a lot of people want one app that does it all, which is what ON1, Adobe, and others are doing.

It’s a fact that I, and others here, would not be using PhotoLab if Prime/DeepPRIME and the modules were not there.

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Looking at the link the first thing that struck me is that they seem to be comparing it to Lightroom and Topaz De-noise. There is no mention of DeepPRIME. It appears that it will be initially marketed as a stand-alone app like Topaz De-noise. I wonder if it will eventually be integrated into ON1 Photo Raw. Since this may be considered as a competitor to PureRAW, it may be in DXO’s best interests to update PureRAW quickly with adjustment sliders for the various features it supports, similar to PhotoLab 4.Elite.


I honestly don’t think the ON1 product is any good, no matter how they package it. The results look terrible to me, like they’re trying to emulate a fine art painting.

You may very well be correct based on the examples they posted. However, it will be difficult to know how effective this software will be in real world use until it is released.

In any case, since both Topaz De-Noise and ON1 No Noise will allow users to adjust settings, it makes sense to me that DXO should add adjustment sliders to PureRAW so users can fine tune the results similarly to Photolab, especially at the PureRAW regular retail price of $129 USD.


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At the moment, I can’t seem to find out if ON1 are rolling it into ON1 2021.5 like the other modules or if this will be tagged onto the next major (paid for upgrade). As a stand alone plugin, they have some stiff competition from Topaz

[I have ON1 2021.5 full for the Portrait module that runs from from AP plugins like NIK does… Weirdly it was only slightly more expensive to buy the full ON1 suite in a sale than to buy the ON1 module on its own!]

I agree that many may want an all in one solution suite for their photography needs but its seems to me that each of the larger suites all have their strengths and weaknesses, perhaps due to lack of focus, or perhaps because it is a very large (costly?) job to make every part of a large software suite perfect?

Before Adobe became a rental product and a forever “silent partner”, I used Lightroom and Photoshop. LR was for intake and selection and “quick and dirty” work, PS for quality work using a variety of plugins. Currently, I use PL as PS, and I use Exposure X6 as LR. I use Topaz Gigapixel AI for any of my older Nikon D2/D300 NEF files and for my current Olympus TG-6 ORF files, although not for my current primary body (Nikon D850) NEF files.
Thus, even with Adobe, I did not use a single application. The two biggest issues I have with PL are (1) inability to us PS plugins other than those from DxO and (2) lack of the numerous technical howtos from a variety of “professional” photographic “magazines” (not the amateur market, but those targeted to “working” photographers) that are pushing the Adobe rentals. Finding the equivalents in my current workflow is not straightforward. The other thing DxO should consider is working with linear (deBayer’ed) DNG files that are the “best” output from some stages of non-DxO workflow.

It helps to think of PL as more (accomplished!) Lightroom replacement as it works on RAW files hence most plugins don’t work as they work on Tiff type files not RAW.

PL exports a Tiff to NIK and all they have done it ensure that their 2 products are linked (there is slightly more to it than that, but the use of a Tiff in NIK is the key point).

You can of course export to plugins if they work standalone. Topaz/NIK/ON1 etc all work solo

I am sure DxO (and many of us!) would love Pro Mags doing more coverage of PL, but they will always go with the ones that cover a large number of users and hence sales which is still PS and LR sadly

ON1 NoNoise AI has finally launched and DxO do not have anything to worry about from it. It’s better than their sample images suggest, and I could argue that it produces sharper results by default than PhotoLab 4 with DeepPRIME, but it does not remove anywhere near as much noise, and that alone is enough, I think, to account for the improved sharpness.

Here is a test I performed with DeepPRIME against ON1 DeNoise I processed the raw image of the lion in ON1 Nonoise using the default noise reduction and default sharpening and exported it to a DNG. I then edited the DNG created in ON1 Nonoise in PhotoLab 4 Elite and exported it as a jpeg.

Next I edited the unmodified raw file in PL4 with the same settings I used for the ON1 DNG file. I then exported the edited file to DNG with the default value of DeepPRIME applied. I then exported the resulting DNG to a Jpeg.

The images below were compared in FastStone Image Viewer. At lower zoom settings the noise reduction results seem very good on both images. The higher the zoom factor the more the ON 1 version begins to break down. While I still prefer DeepPRIME. I think ON 1 Nonoise gives better results then Topaz Denoise AI 3.

Mark. . . .

Original raw image

Image using ON1 Nonoise is on the left and DeepPRIME is on the right.

At 100% zoom.ON1 Nonoise is on the left and DeepPRIME is on the right.

At 200% zoom.ON1 Nonoise is on the left and DeepPRIME is on the right.

At 300% zoom.ON1 Nonoise is on the left and DeepPRIME is on the right.

At 500% zoom.ON1 Nonoise is on the left and DeepPRIME is on the right.

Here is the lower right hand corner comparison at 200% zoom.with the ON1 Nonoise on the left and DeepPRIME is on the right…

Finally, here is the lower right hand corner comparison at 300% zoom.with the ON1 Nonoise on the left and DeepPRIME is on the right…

In my experience, compared to Topaz Denoise AI 3, DeepPRIME is clearly and significantly more effective. When comparing it to ON1 Noenoise, DeepPRIME is still superior but Nonoise is a relatively close second based on my limited testing. DXO may need to up its game again to stay ahead of the competition. .

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Here was my test. 100% crop, both at default (DeepPRIME 40, ON1 99) and no other processing (other than the optical corrections PhotoLab applied to the unprocessed and DeepPRIME ones. ISO6400 1/125s. Final output for all was 95% JPEG, then in adding the text another 95% JPEG compression, so some muddying has occurred.

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