back to top
Banner Banner

The Best Noise Reduction Software in 2023 (Updated)

A- A+

Subscribe Below to Download the Article Immediately

You can also select your interests for free access to our premium training:

Your privacy is safe. I will never share your information.

The best noise reduction software removes digital noise and improves image quality. Removing noise was once a near-impossible task. But now, there are several programs that remove it with great success. We’ve listed all the best ones. So you can find the software that meets your needs.

Topaz Labs DeNoise AI is the best noise reduction software. It’s an advanced software dedicated to removing digital noise. The AI engine improves quality without removing detail or color intensity. And it’s the best software if you work at ISO levels.

Topaz Labs DeNoise AI
Topaz Labs DeNoise AI
Eliminate unwanted noise from your photos quickly and easily with this industry-leading noise reduction software.

[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here].


What Is the Best Noise Reduction Software?

Before we dive into the best software, let’s look at the images I used to test noise reduction. I used two images in my quest to find the best noise reduction software.

They were shot at high ISOs and had noticeable digital noise. I took them with a Sony a7R III. And I edited the baseline images in Adobe Lightroom Classic before applying noise reduction.

One image was a night shot taken at ISO 10,000. I chose this photo to see if the programs could distinguish between noise and stars.

Night sky with meteor closeup to test noise reduction software
Night sky with meteor. My settings were f/4 at 10 seconds and ISO 10,000.

The other was a wildlife photography image taken at ISO 6,400 with a shallow depth of field. I wanted to see how the programs handle the blurred background and detail in the bird’s feathers.

Noise removal programs can create a waxy look that would be noticeable in the feathers.

Blue Heron noise closeup to test noise reduction software
Blue heron. My settings were f/8.0 at 1/500 s and ISO 6,400.

Here’s a rundown of all the best noise reduction software. We look at each program in more detail in the section after. And you can skip to the end for a FAQ section.

Our Top Choice
Topaz Labs DeNoise AI
Topaz Labs DeNoise AI
Topaz Labs DeNoise AI
  • Dedicated noise reduction software
  • Uses AI for better noise recognition and removal
  • Masking tools for targeted noise reduction
  • Excellent RAW file processing
Best Complete Photo Editing Software
Capture One
Capture One
Capture One
  • Advanced photo editing tool kit
  • Luminance and color noise control sliders
  • Single Pixel control slider
  • RAW processing and library organization features
Best Single-Purpose Software
ON1 NoNoise
ON1 NoNoise
ON1 NoNoise
  • Reduces noise, demosaics, and sharpens images
  • Powerful RAW image processing
  • AI-powered features for quick and easy editing
  • Excellent value and a one-time payment
Best Lightroom Plug-in
DxO PureRAW 3
DxO PureRAW 3
DxO PureRAW 3
  • Seamless integration with Lightroom
  • One-click workflow features
  • 2.5 stops of exposure enhancement
  • Lens and optical correction tools
Best Photo Management and Enhancement Software
Adobe Lightroom CC
Adobe Lightroom CC
Adobe Lightroom CC
  • Comprehensive photo editing features
  • Effortless editing and organization
  • 20 GB storage for secure backup
  • Extra publishing and sharing features
Best Plug-in Collection
DxO Nik Dfine
DxO Nik Dfine
DxO Nik Dfine
  • One of eight plug-ins in the collection
  • Luminance and color noise control
  • U-Point Technology for targeted edits
  • Seamless usability with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
Best Photo Manipulation Software
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop
  • Comprehensive toolset for photo editing and image manipulation
  • Advanced layering tools
  • Comes as part of the Creative Cloud subscription package
  • Subscription service with automatic updates

7 Best Noise Reduction Software

Now we’ll look at each software in more detail. We’ve included examples. So you can see the results for yourself.

And it will help you find the best noise reduction software. So you can use higher ISO settings and still achieve fantastic results.

1. Topaz Labs DeNoise AI

Topaz Labs DeNoise AI
Brand Topaz Labs
RAW Handling Yes
Platforms Windows / macOS
Trial Period 30 days
Payment Type One-off payment
Other Key Features AI engine for accurate and nature noise reduction
Best For Photographers looking for dedicated noise reduction software

DeNoise AI is a specialist noise reduction software from Topaz Labs. It works as a stand-alone program or as a plugin for Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

It’s a dedicated noise reduction software. And it’s the most impressive program we’ve reviewed. You can see the results in the two images below.

DeNoise AI did a good job of retaining detail in the blurred background and removing chromatic noise.

That’s especially true with the wildlife image. The results are more mixed with the night image. But there is quality improvement.

(Chromatic or chroma noise is color noise. it can appear as rainbow patterns. And it’s often found in dark, underexposed parts of photos.) We look at more details below the image.

When you open the tool, you will have three quick options—DeNoise AI, AI Clear, and Low Light. I chose AI Clear because “removing noise from high-ISO images” seemed the best fit for my examples.

The program lets you select if you want low, medium, or high noise removal and how much you want sharpness enhanced. I chose the High setting for the example above.

You also have sliders that let you control how much detail the program recovers and how much color noise reduction you want.

Topaz DeNoise AI also includes a mask feature that lets you selectively reduce noise in parts of your image. This is really helpful for precision edits.

Even without enhancing detail, it produces exceptional results. It preserved detail and removed noise from the wildlife image. It looks much more clear, with increased quality and intensity.

While the results were less impressive with the night scene, there is an improvement. I think that shows there’s still some way to go before noise can be removed completely.

The results are fantastic. But the software can’t work miracles. Not yet.

You can see read our full review of Topaz Labs DeNoise AI. We take a deeper dive into the program. And we have more examples of how the program works.


2. Capture One

Capture One
Brand Capture One
RAW Handling Yes
Platforms Windows / macOS
Trial Period 30 days
Payment Type Subscription
Other Key Features Library organization tools, presets, layer and masking tools, style brushes, advanced color editing
Best For Photographers looking for noise reduction as part of a full editing software

Capture One is an all-in-one photo editing software. And the noise reduction tools are just one of the reasons it’s one of the best photo editing software.

This software produced consistent results with both images. Some programs did better with either the wildlife or the night image. But Capture One did well with both noisy photos.

I compared the photos edited in Capture One Pro (desktop) with and without noise reduction. The program did a good job retaining the detail in the bird’s wings while also softening the background.

The night photo edited in Capture One initially had more noise. But the program did a good job of removing noise in the sky, resulting in a cleaner image.

Capture One Pro includes noise reduction to control both luminance and color noise. And a Detail slider brings out more detail. So you can actually improve quality and details while removing noise.

Unique to Capture One Pro is the Single Pixel slider that eliminates “hot pixels” in your photo. These are isolated white pixels that pop out of the dark areas.

This one feature makes a huge difference to the final outcome. And it’s another reason Capture One is so good for removing digital noise.


3. ON1 NoNoise AI

ON1 NoNoise
Brand ON1
RAW Handling Yes
Platforms Windows / macOS
Trial Period 14 days
Payment Type One-off payment
Other Key Features AI-powered noise reduction, demosaicing, and sharpening
Best For Photographers looking for a dedicated denoising program for a good one-off price

ON1 NoNoise AI is another dedicated noise reduction software. It’s a specialist program rather than a jack of all trades.

And it excels in its chosen field. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) for fast and painless photo editing.

The program couldn’t be easier to use. You make all the adjustments with control sliders. So it’s a great choice for tech-shy and beginner photographers.

I was very impressed with how NoNoise AI handled the heron photo. Not only did it remove nearly all the roughest noise. It also brought out more detail in the subject and background.

The results in the night image are less dramatic. But you still get a smoother image with a finer grain texture. It hasn’t brought out the detail in the same way. But no detail is lost in the process.

ON1 NoNoise AI has a small but effective set of tools. The noise reduction AI tool has sliders for luminance, detail enhancement, and color.

They help you bring more out of your image. So it doesn’t only take away the noise particles.

Removing noise can add a softness to the focus. But NoNoise AI has deblur and sharpening tools to counteract this effect.

You can re-add any sharpness that’s been lost in the process. And you can even add extra sharpness if the image needs it.

Artificial intelligence is the talk of the town right now. But with NoNoise AI, it isn’t just a gimmick.

This intelligent processor removes noise, adds sharpness, and demosaics without damaging your images. It’s an impressive program at a reasonable price!


4. DxO PureRAW 3

DxO PureRAW 3
Brand DxO
RAW Handling Yes
Platforms Windows / macOS
Trial Period 30 days
Payment Type One-off payment
Other Key Features Lens and optical correction tools, workflow and organization features
Best For Photographers looking for a plug-in to enhance their RAW file photos

DxO PureRAW 3 is a Lightroom plugin with enhanced RAW file processing. It has dedicated tools for reducing digital noise. You can enhance sharpness and detail. And you even get lens correction tools.

The seamless integration with Lightroom is ideal if you’re already accustomed to that program. And the smart workflow tools make it easy to use.

We’re looking at another great success with the wildlife image. A lot of the harshest noise is gone. Very little detail is lost. And even though there is a waxy texture, the overall quality has been enhanced.

The results are less striking with the night picture. PureRAW has removed the more noticeable noise. But some imperfections remain.

This was just a quick test with the PureRAW tools. So more adjustments in Lightroom can enhance the quality further.

The folks at DxO say it can reduce noise by up to 2.5 stops. While that is the case with better-lit images, we’ve found it doesn’t quite nail that target at very high ISO levels.

But PureRAW 3 has the tools to enhance photos in other ways. It has lens correction tools to remove distortion and aberrations. And you can enhance sharpness and brightness for more striking images.

It’s on the pricey side for being a plug-in. But there’s no doubt it will enhance your RAW file editing.

Beginners can live without this one. But it’s definitely one to consider if you’re a professional making a living from RAW photography.


5. Adobe Lightroom CC

Adobe Lightroom CC
Brand Adobe
RAW Handling Yes
Platforms Windows / macOS
Trial Period 7 Days
Payment Type Subscription
Other Key Features Full photo editing toolkit, brush tools, cataloging features
Best For Photographers in need of a comprehensive photo editing software

Adobe Lightroom is the industry leader in photo editing software. It’s the most popular program in the photography world. And not many programs come close in terms of quality and selection of tools.

RAW file processing is no problem for Lightroom. And the wide selection of editing tools gives you incredible control over photo post-processing. And that includes reducing digital noise.

Lightroom Classic did an okay job with both images. And it handled the night image challenge better than some of the other programs.

If you are already an Adobe user, this program will likely handle most of your noise reduction needs. But for a challenging image, there is better noise reduction software on the market.

Lightroom’s noise reduction tool is located in the Detail panel in the Develop Module alongside Sharpening. By default, the Noise Reduction sliders, Luminance, and Color are set to zero.

When I pushed all noise reduction sliders to the maximum, there was a noticeable difference in the image. But I also saw some color haloing around the bird’s wings.

Most of the chroma noise in the background disappeared. But so, too, did some of the detail in the bird’s feathers.

In the night photo, fainter stars disappeared, leaving blank areas in the sky. Even at 100, color noise remained in the darkest part of the image.

This level of noise reduction will satisfy most amateur photographers. So you can continue using Adobe Lightroom without any plug-ins or other programs.

But professionals dealing with a lot of noise might need a backup program.


6. DxO Nik Dfine

DxO Nik Dfine
Brand DxO
RAW Handling No
Platforms Windows / macOS
Trial Period 30 days
Payment Type One-off payment
Other Key Features Comes as part of a collection of DxO programs, targeted noise reduction with U Point technology
Best For Photographers looking for a bundle of editing tools

Dfine is noise reduction software included in DxO’s Nik Collection. You can only purchase Dfine as part of the collection. But a free trial for all the Nik Collection plug-ins is available.

Dfine handled the blurred background well, but not the detail in the subject. Like the other Photoshop plug-ins, Dfine struggled with the night image.

And the results were only slightly better than using Lightroom without a plug-in. There is a noticeable improvement. But it hasn’t removed all the noise.

When you open an image in Dfine, it automatically corrects for contrast (luminance) and color noise.

You can remove more noise, balancing noise removal with the retention of detail. And you also have the option to adjust noise in colors selectively.

One feature across the Nik Collection is the use of Control Points. These are like selective edits for targeted noise removal.

Place a Control Point over a targeted area. And you can control the contrast and color noise reduction for that area.

Dfine cleaned up a lot of the noise in the wildlife picture. But there was still some chroma noise visible in the image.

I liked the result in the blurred background better than Lightroom. But the bird lost a lot of detail and looked waxy.

This denoise software struggled more with the night scene. It removed all but the brightest stars and blurred the points of light, making the image look less sharp.

Dfine is worth it only if you’re interested in the other plug-ins in the Nik Collection. It’s not worth it if you only want Dfine for reducing noise. 


7. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop
Brand Adobe
RAW Handling Yes
Platforms Windows / macOS
Trial Period 7 days
Payment Type Subscription
Other Key Features Full range of enhancement and editing tools, making and layer features, graphic design tools
Best For Large-scale photo editing and image manipulation

Adobe Photoshop is the industry’s leading program for photo editing and image manipulation. And while it does have the best tools of any editing program, its denoise features don’t stack up.

Photoshop has a set of noise reduction filter tools. To find these, go to the Filter drop-down menu. Select Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise.

Photoshop automatically reduces noise. And you have the option to adjust the strength of the effect, preserve details, reduce color noise, and sharpen details.

For my wildlife image, I chose maximum strength and reduced color noise by 100%. The results were alarming. It added an odd texture to my entire image. I tried again and again with various settings.

In my opinion, Photoshop made the image worse. I tried it with my night shot with similar results.

Photoshop seemed to add noise rather than reduce it. I tried the other options under the Noise Filter. Median. A radius of two pixels seemed to work the best. But it still wasn’t that good.

Adobe Photoshop is still the best of the best for image manipulation. But you will need help if you want to reduce noise in your images.

You can use Adobe Lightroom, which comes with Photoshop, as part of the Creative Cloud subscription plan. Or you can use a plug-in.


FAQs About the Best Noise Reduction Software

We’ve answered some of the most-asked questions so you can find the best noise reduction software. 

Which Is the Best All-in-One Photo Editor With DeNoise Tools?

Capture One is the best software if noise reduction is one aspect of your editing needs. But Adobe Lightroom is also a fantastic choice if noise removal is part of your editing process.

Capture One is one of the best programs for photo editing. It has a full range of tools for image enhancements and edits. And it has excellent noise reduction tools as part of the package.

Adobe Lightroom is the most popular editing software among photographers. It has the best and most comprehensive tool set.

Plus, Lightroom has a specific tool for reducing noise. But it doesn’t quite reach the standard of Capture One in this regard.

What Is the Best Lightroom Plug-in for Noise Reduction?

DxO PureRAW 3 is the best plug-in for Adobe Lightroom for noise reduction. It includes a denoise tool to enhance image quality. And it’s the best option if you find noise reduction tools in Lightroom limited. 

It also has several tools for improving the quality of your RAW images. And they all work with a high level of success.


Is Noise Reduction More Effective in Lightroom or Photoshop?

Lightroom has better noise reduction tools. While Photoshop has the best toolset of any photo editing software, the noise reduction tools are not impressive.

We found Lightroom was much better at removing noise without damaging the image quality. And the results from Photoshop’s tools were disappointing.

Photoshop barely removed any noise. And the overall image quality wasn’t great. While Photoshop can do many things, Lightroom takes the cake in this contest!


Conclusion: The Best Noise Reduction Software

Digital noise has been a problem in digital photography for years. But thankfully, there are some excellent noise reduction software available. Whether they are dedicated denoising tools or all-in-one programs, they remove noise and improve image quality.

Topaz Labs DeNoise AI is the best noise reduction software. This software is dedicated to removing noise. And it does that with a high level of success. It removes noise without damaging image quality. And you can also sharpen the images to enhance detail. The AI engine is truly impressive.

Topaz Labs DeNoise AI
Topaz Labs DeNoise AI
Eliminate unwanted noise from your photos quickly and easily with this industry-leading noise reduction software.
Show Comments (0)