I’ve tried all of the popular software packages for removing noise from my photos and I’ve found that Neat Image works the best. But, for as good as it works, there are settings that can be made that will make it work even better. Here’s what I’ve experimented with and found out about setting up this fantastic software.
First I would recommend that you get a noise profile for your input device (camera). There are profiles available at the Neat Image website and they are easy to install. This improves the profiling. If you don’t have a profile installed though, auto profiling works just fine too.
Next, the noise filter settings are where the noise removal process is controlled and where the level settings are critical for getting good results. I’ve set up 5 different sets of filter presets that each do a different job. However, there is one that I use the most and that works for 90% of all of my noise problems in my photos. Here are the settings I use:
- Noise Levels – High +50, Mid +0, Low +0, Y +0, Cr +25, Cb +25
- Noise Reduction Amounts – High 100%, Mid 100%, Low 100%, Y 60%, Cr 100%, Cb 100%
- Checked boxes – High quality, High resolution
- Sharpening Settings – none
I learned how to set these correctly by reading the manual that comes with Neat Image and I highly recommend that you read that manual thoroughly in order to understand what the settings mean.
Also, Lightroom 3 has improved the noise reduction so much that most of my photos now I do not need to run through Neat Image. However, Neat Image still does a superior job compared to Lightroom and I use Neat Image whenever I have a critical photo that I want to look perfect. If you want your photos to look perfectly clean, then you should be using Neat Image also!