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Do you want to filter out all the noise?

Software Review: Noiseware Professional 4 by Imagenomic

Noiseware is the software product from Imagenomic that provides professional digital image noise reduction. Its claim to fame is that provides speed, quality, and ease-of-use in restoring image fidelity by eliminating digital noise and unwanted artifacts introduced by high ISO photography and less than optimal environmental conditions.

While it is impossible to automatically rid a noisy photo of all types of noise and recreate the photo to resemble the original scene, it is possible to reduce the image noise to reasonable levels and provide a high quality output.

Within the noise reduction workflow there are three main parts. The capture, which, if you can control the shot, should be overexposed as noise is more prevalent in the shadows. In the editing where it is best to use the RAW format as it contains all the captured information giving better latitude with the noise reduction. And finally in the output which includes the use of Noiseware Professional.

Noiseware Professional 4

In working with Noiseware there are two basic modes. The first is default mode. In this mode it is best to do the noise reduction before you boost shadows and color saturation so that you will come out with cleaner images overall.

The other mode is to perform custom noise reduction. Because noise can come in two basic forms — luminance, which is the sparkly kind many times seen in darker images, and color noise, which can be quite blotchy and noticeable in certain situations.

To handle these issues, Noiseware provides four main areas of control. Detail provides detail protection and enhancement. Through the use of DetailGuard you have greater control over the filtering process by setting the detail protection levels. You can set sharpening and contrast as well as four different types of edge smoothing — auto, high, normal, and low. You can even save your settings to create your own presets.

What all of this means is that for simple images, the default works great by itself, but for a complex image with both high and low frequency luminance and color noise, you have much finer control in which to contain and reduce it.

So what kind of features come with Noiseware Pro?
• Increased Performance
now shows and additional 25% performance increase for a single core processor and as much as 200% increase for dual processor support.

• Advanced filter controls sets provide wide range of fine-tuning depending on specific image requirements. The available controls include frequency, color and tonal range adjustment and noise reduction parameters as well as dedicated controls for luminance and color noise filtering. By varying these parameters you can fine-tune your custom filter configuration for optimal results.

• DetailGuard provides greater control over filtering process to safeguard image details from excessive alteration. Additionally, it includes an advanced detail color protection to retain the color fidelity of the image.

• Manual Profiling can also be employed to provides mechanism for manual noise profiling which allows fine-tuning the input to the profiling engine by specifying custom image regions to be analyzed. A sample region can span across different tonal, color or detail intensive areas of the image. Noiseware will automatically allocate the respective noise indicators across the results derived from all sampling regions.

Noiseware Professional 4

• IntelliProfile is a built-in expert system that supports the operation of Noiseware’s core noise suppression engine. It employs powerful Artificial Intelligence methods to analyze and recognize noise patterns and to enable effective noise detection. It also employs the results of its analysis and the EXIF data to build a knowledge repository that matures as more images are being processed. Noiseware learns to perfect its processing capabilities by fine-tuning the treatment variables such as the noise levels based on its knowledge repository.

• Interface Features have been improved to include split-screen preview, enhanced zooming, and enhanced bracketing. All of this provides for an easy to work with user experience.

• Other improvements include coarse color noise and color banding treatment, and improved transparency layer support. Noiseware also fully supports Photoshop LAB mode and works directly on LAB channels to provide more accurate noise reduction while ensuring color, luminance, and contrast preservation.

I found Noiseware Pro incredibly easy to use and quite remarkable even in the default mode. It is amazing to see what kind of difference it can make and the speed at which it can make it. The fine tuning abilities, while it will take time to become accomplished with them, means that you don’t have settle for good noise reduction, you can have high quality reduction.

The features are well designed and provide a lot of intelligence to take care of most of the work behind the scenes. Between the DetailGuard, the advance filter controls, and the manual profiling capabilities, you have a lot of abilities at your disposal. Then when you add in the IntelliProfile expert system, you now have a product that has the ability to learn as you process and will provide more detailed control over time, this makes for a very powerful package.

Noiseware Professional 4

Noiseware Pro comes in both a standalone version and a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. The plugin also works with Photoshop Elements, Corel Paint Shop Pro, Corel Draw, and more. From the standalone version you just launch and select your image. If you are in Photoshop, you navigate to the filters and launch from there.

If you are looking for truly professional noise reduction that is both high quality and fast, then Noiseware Pro will fill the bill. It has a much greater range of adjustments than the standard noise reduction that is available in Photoshop and it provides much more fine control. If you want high quality noise reduction then I can very highly recommend Noiseware Pro.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.