The Best Noise Reduction Tools for Photography (2024)

The Best Noise Reduction Tools for Photography (2024)

Excerpts:

Either way, my impression – subject to my personal photos and preferences – is that DxO’s noise reduction is currently the best available as of 2024. The DeepPrime XD algorithm in DxO PhotoLab 7 is the best, while the algorithm in DxO PureRaw 3 is also very good. Topaz Denoise AI is close behind.

And

Personally, I’m impressed by PureRaw 3. Not only does it give very pleasant results without needing any tweaking, but it also outputs a Raw (DNG) file for further editing.

End excerpts.

The second excerpt is incorrect to the best of my knowledge. No DxO workflow application outputs a raw file; the DNG output mentioned in the excerpt is a de-mosaiced “linear” DNG, not a “raw” DNG that is “equivalent” to a NEF, ORF, etc. (Please correct me if there is a way to both adjust an image and still output the image from a DxO standalone application in a raw format that is un-demosaiced.) My personal tests with Topaz Gigapixel AI is that it can salvage images, either from older bodies, bodies with low pixel count sensors (such as an OM TG-6), or from crops. My present workflow that needs such upscaling (not suitable for any image from which fine detail will be extracted, say for biology input data, as the upscaled detail, whilst aesthetically pleasing nonetheless is not “real”) is first run through PL Elite Complete current. In terms of total denoising and sharpening, the latest Topaz Photo AI actually seems to do as well or sometimes better than DeepPrime XD when exporting to a JPEG for a client; however, Topaz lacks the ability easily to adjust highlights, midtones, shadows, and blacks – this makes it a less than useful tool for backlight birds in flight, for which PL elite complete current excels.

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You are correct. Exported DNG files from PureRaw and PhotoLab are linear DNGs. They are created as the output of demosaicing, and as a result are no longer true raw files.

Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to assume, incorrectly, that these exported linear DNG files are containers for raw files which can be demosaiced. This confusion probably exists because they are called DNG files and most users don’t understand how linear DNGs differ.

Mark

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I have taken a photo in DNG format with a cell phone and cannot load it into DxO. DxO says: “unsupported format”. I suspect that this has something to do with this issue. The photo is 132 MB, so there must be a lot of information in it, but DxO can’t read it. Does anyone know of a way to convert such DNG photos so that loading into DxO works?

DxO does not support DNG files from any current phones. I am not knowledgeable about phone DNG files but I am under the impression that they are partly processed in the phones and as a result are not true raw file containers. However, I may be incorrect about that. Perhaps someone who know more than I do on the subject can chime in.

Mark

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