Nik Dfine 2 Review
Mac users, we're pleased to announce Macphun's all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for purchase with special launch pricing. (Existing Macphun customers get a further discount.)
We rated Luminar as "Highly Recommended", and you can now visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.
Using the paint button lets you paint the noise reduction on as large or as fine as you want to. You can vary the strength of the application by adjusting the opacity of the brush. However, you could always set it to 100% and if you feel it's too strong, you can use the erase option with the opacity reduced instead.
For a global application of noise reduction, you can use the fill tool. It's also useful if you want to leave only a small area of the picture without any noise reduction applied. If you make a horrendous mistake to the entire image and want to start over, clicking the clear button will remove anything you've done to the picture.
As a reviewer, I have to process a lot of pictures at the same time so using actions for batch processing and droplets are an integral part of my work flow. The great thing about Dfine is that it supports actions and droplets so if I need to apply uniform noise reduction to a large amount of pictures, this is a great tool to utilise. If you're in a position where you have to apply precise noise reduction to a lot of pictures, this could be a big benefit to you.
Users of Photoshop CS3 or newer will be happy to know that Dfine supports smart filter compatibility. Smart filters allow you to change the setting of the filter even after the filter interface has been shut down. It's best to make any other adjustments to the picture before you start using a smart filter because even something simple such as rotating it can give a different effect. Unfortunately, there's no way around it if you realise you need to make a change after the filter has been applied. If the filter changes the picture, you'll have to remove it, make the other changes and reapply the filter after that. To apply a smart filter, select convert for smart filters from the filter tab before choosing the Dfine filter from the filter tab.
The main benefit that Nik Dfine 2.0 has over the standard noise reduction settings in an editing suite is the precision with which it can be applied. U-Point technology is a great idea from Nik for the selective localised application of filters.
Dfine has a nice user interface which is simple to use at first but can be expanded to a more advanced state. The actual performance of noise reduction, we don't think is that much better than any other noise performance which is a little disappointing. However, you may consider the afore mentioned localised filters as well as the batch processing with it all being non-destructive a major benefit, in which case it's a program to look at.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||3.5|