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Neat Image review

Name: Neat Image Home/Pro
Version: 4.0
Publisher: AB Soft
Cost/License: $29.90–74.90
Download Size: 2 MB

Neat Image is a digital filter designed to reduce visible noise in digital photographic images. It reduces the high ISO noise associated with image sensors (CMOS, CCD) in digital cameras and scanners, and also reduce the film grain visible in scanned slides and negatives, JPEG artifacts of overcompressed images, and color banding, and at the same time makes images sharper.

Review: This really works. At first I was quite pessimistic and thought this is just combination of blur and sharpen filters. But Neat Image actually studies the noise profile of your camera at different settings (ISO, white balance, etc.) systematically and provide very good results. In the case of very bad noises at high ISO, the end result could be quite stunning.

You will start with printing out the standard target and shooting it with your camera at a particular settings. After loading the image into computer the program build up the noise profile of the camera, which you can use to effectively enhance images taken at that settings.

The other settings include edge smoothing, channel sharpening, and different level of noise reduction for each channel. The Pro version is capable of batch processing, and the plus version includes photoshop plugin.

Noise profiles of many camera models are available for download at AB Soft’s website, and with the above method you can generate yours without too much trouble. (Only a decent printer required)

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