Best Free Photo Noise Reduction Software

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Introduction

Noise on a digital image looks like random speckled color dots in areas where the color should be more even. The more you zoom into the image the more prominent the noise becomes. All digital images include some noise just as all traditional photographs have some grain. The amount of noise varies considerably between cameras but it also varies with how you use your camera.

On an automatic camera taking photos in poor light conditions increases the noise as it forces the camera to a higher ISO or sensitivity setting. Similarly on a manual camera; setting a higher ISO invariably increases the noise. Generally speaking the problem is worst with cheaper cameras but even the most expensive cameras have noise problems in extreme conditions.

Noise-reducing programs cannot eliminate noise from your digital photos but they can make it less obvious. But, there is a cost: any noise improvement you make will inevitably lead to some loss of detail to your images.

There is no outright winner in this review for a top noise-reducing program but there are two excellent contenders.

 

Rated Products

Noiseware Community Edition  

A noise suppression tool to reduce noise from photos with simple choices.


Our Rating: 
4.5
License: Free (Limited features)
Results are not bad if done in small stages.
Automatic is a blunt instrument and will definitely ruin your image.
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Helicon Filter  

A general purpose image correcting suite includes an excellent noise reduction filter.


Our Rating: 
4.5
License: Free (Limited features)
This is not just a noise reduction software, it enables you to adjust and correct your image in many other ways.
For thirty days it is fully functional, but then some of the filters and actions will stop. This doesn't make it any the worst as it's excellent free software.
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NDNoise  

Java-based freeware for serious users to adventure into the world of noise reduction software.


Our Rating: 
3.5
License: Free
It works with Windows, Mac and Linux. Multiple image format support : PNG, JPEG, GIF, ... (prefer lossless PNG compression !)
Takes time to get to know, help files are minimal. Fast noise reduction is not very good so opt for the more precise 'Calc'.
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Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Photo Addict. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

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