Digital Photo Noise Reduction

While looking for audio noise reduction, I kept running across digital photo noise reduction software. I thought I would take a moment and look into a few of these products since it could be very useful. I have always complained that I think consumer-grade digital photos look a bit grainy when you are able to see them close up at full quality.

Most software costs a lot of money (well, ok, most of it is pretty cheap, but software that costs anything costs too much when there is a free alternative 😉 ), and I have not found any Free software yet in my searching, but I did find some software that is free for personal use.

NeatImage – This is a neat piece of software that easily allows you to build a noise profile and tweak with the output. It has a few nags about the fact that it is only a ‘demo’ version, but it seems this ‘demo’ is fully functional and never expires. Also, it runs quickly on a modern PC. The only major way it is gimped is that you can only output jpg instead of bmp/tiff, but if you have a consumer grade digital camera, you are probably already working in jpg anyway. Recompression does suck a little bit though.

JPEG Enhancer – This is not really digital photo noise reduction software, but it can help you to recover from critical mistakes. This software allows a user to smooth over artifacts caused by overcompressing a JPEG image. I tried it out on an old image in my gallery that I only had a really compressed version of. I found that it created surprisingly good, though imperfect results. Obviously it would be imperfect though because the information really is not there and it is just using it’s best guesses to smooth out the image artifacts. Nonetheless, I found it much more appealing.

If I get around to it, I will put up some before and after shots with both pieces of software so that you can compare for yourself.

Here are examples of the work Neat Image and JPEG Enhancer can do. I think it is pretty amazing, especially Neat Image.

Picture Comparison

Update: Somehow this post got set to be a private post. I bet no one will ever see it now 🙂