Finally, there's another good noise control filter -- but for Windows only. The Plugin Site has rolled out NoiseControl, which may just be the one that's worth the $49 price! You can spend hours trying to save a noisy JPG file ... this one does it in a few clicks -- and does it well!
NoiseControl is a tool which effectively removes image noise while preserving essential details and the photographic quality of the image. It offers sharpening, saturation and grain features for enhancing the image after denoising. You can also apply denoising with extreme settings to create painting-like effects.
NoiseControl removes image noise and other artifacts while keeping image edges and details intact and at the same time applies sophisticated sharpening without amplifying noise. It distinguishes details from noise by performing thousands of clever calculation per pixel. Thus it is able to achieve a superior detail/noise ratio by keeping indispensable details while filtering noise. For best results it internally operates with 16-bit and 32-bit precision, even when processing 8-bit images.
NoiseControl offers two methods for automatically choosing effective denoising parameters: The Auto Sample feature finds and evaluates a noise sample, a uniform image area without any details, whereas the Auto Preset feature chooses an existing preset according to the embedded EXIF data, mainly the camera model and ISO value, of the photo.
There are also various possibilities to manually fine-tune the denoising settings. You can manually select a noise sample in the preview by drawing a sample area, visually compare split views with different settings and select one of them or you can manually adjust the denoising controls. The ability to view luminance and color channels separately is an additional aid for manual fine-tuning.
In order to selectively adjusting the denoising for various image areas, NoiseControl allows you to alter the denoising parameters in shadows, midtones, highlights and nine color areas of the image. These selective adjustments can be performed with the help of sliders or by clicking on the appropriate image area with the eyedropper tool and dragging left or right.
Even Further Functionality
NoiseControl also provides various facilities known from other PhotoWiz plugins. It offers a simple mode for novices as well as an advanced mode for pro users. There are three preview tab sheets for quickly comparing and adjusting three versions of the image at the same time. A Navigator tab sheet lets you quickly scroll the preview image and the preview zoom can be set between 6% and 3200%.
Furthermore NoiseControl: it supports multi-core CPUs, detects your CPU's L2/L3 cache and adjusts its memory usage accordingly, which results in faster rendering. For faster preview updates there is the preview limit tool to restrict the effect to a smaller preview region.
NoiseControl is available as a Photoshop-compatible plugin for Windows. It works in dozens of Graphics applications, including Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro, Photo-Paint, PhotoImpact and IrfanView among others. It supports batch processing, smart filtering and processes grayscale and RGB images with 8-bit and 16-bit/channel.
Standalone/Lightroom and a MacOS X versions are already under development.
The Plugin Site is located in Nuremberg, Germany, and mainly develops image processing software. They also created the following products: ColorWasher, FocalBlade, LightMachine, B/W Styler, ContrastMaster, PhotoFreebies, Plugin Galaxy, Plugin Commander and HyperTyle. In the past we co-produced Alpha Magic with Pinnacle Systems and co-developed FilterMeister with AFH Systems.