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Update August 7, 2018 – Macphun’s Creative Kit (including Noiseless) is now considered legacy software and is no longer available for purchase. However, most of the Creative Kit technology has been integrated into Luminar – available for both Mac and Windows. Make sure you use coupon code ANGANDRIEUX to save $10 on your purchase!
Even with the best of cameras, digital noise is still a very real problem. There are several solutions available to help conquer noisey photos – the newest option is Noiseless by Macphun. I got a copy a couple of days ago and have been testing it on a variety of different images. Its simple to use, and often produces a great result.
I find it works best on high-ISO images from my Canon 7D DSLR and moderate-ISO images from my iPhone 5. A lot of that has to do with the quality of the sensor in those cameras – my DSLR, by far, produces better quality images, even at higher ISOs.
To show a bit of what Noiseless can do, I pulled up a photograph from a visit to the Castello di Amorosa in the Napa Valley. I was shooting handheld with my Canon 7D and Canon 60mm f/2.8 Macro at 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600.
I started my processing in Lightroom where I made the following minor adjustments:
- lens correction
- remove chromatic aberrations
- white balance adjustment
- automatically set whites & blacks (hold down the shift key and double-click on the white and black sliders)
- set sharpening to 0
- set noise reduction to 0
The last two are very important, no matter what noise reduction plug-in you are using. Lightroom (and Adobe Camera Raw) automatically set a small amount of both sharpening and noise reduction to all images. To get the best result in a noise reduction plug-in you’ll want to set these sliders to ‘0’ before moving on. You’ll find these settings in the Detail Panel on the right-hand side of the Develop Module.
Next, I took the image into Macphun’s Noiseless Pro. I simply clicked through a few presets to find the one I thought worked best, in this case “Moderate”, and then clicked apply. You’ll notice it made a HUGE difference to the noise while retaining a great deal of detail.
Noiseless takes a bit of time to process an image once you click “apply”. I’ve noticed this is common with most noise reduction tools on my aged MacBook Pro (circa 2010). I’m sure it runs quite a bit quicker on a newer machine!
Once back in Lightroom I made a few final adjustments:
- Remove Chromatic Aberrations (I do this every time I bring a photo into Lightroom, no matter how many times I’ve processed it in another program)
I’ve loved this photo since I first captured it in 2012, and I like it even more with the noise removed! Kudos to Macphun on another useful, and easy to use piece of software!