Topaz DeNoise 5 Review

August 27, 2010 | Jon Canfield | Software Reviews |


Does your camera suffer from noisy images? Tired of having to shoot at a maximum of ISO 400? Then Topaz Labs may have the answer with the launch of DeNoise 5, an in-expensive software plugin that promises to optimally remove noise and recover image detail. Jon Canfield finds out if it lives up to its billing in our Topaz DeNoise 5 Review.

Although digital cameras have improved dramatically in their ability to handle high ISO and noise, there are still times when the level of noise in an image is bad enough to be a distraction.

And, if you're using an older camera, this problem is more pronounced, even at lower ISO settings.

Finally, with point and shoot type digicams, noise can be a factor even at ISO 400, in part because of the very small photosite size on these smaller sensors.

There are a number of options available for reducing noise in your images, including favorites such as Imagenomic's Noiseware, Noise Ninja, and Neat Image.

A slightly newer option from Topaz Labs is DeNoise, a plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom. The latest release, 5.0 has added significant improvements in the output quality and the processing speed and warrants a fresh look.

Topaz DeNoise 5

The UI for DeNoise 5 is similar to other Topaz plug-ins, like Simplify and Adjust. On the left side of the window are all the available presets, which are quick adjustments that can be applied and used as is, or as a starting point for your adjustments.

The center panel takes up the bulk of the window and is your preview area. Tabs at the top of the window let you quickly swap between the original and the adjusted version. Along the right side are the preview navigator window and the actual adjustments.

The actual controls that are provided with Topaz DeNoise 5 are broken into three sections – Noise Reduction, Detail Recovery, and Debanding. To start with, you'll want to work on the noise reduction settings. DeNoise gives you control over both luminance noise and color noise with separate controls for shadow, highlight, and for the red and blue color channels – the two channels most affected by noise problems. Noise reduction can often lead to a problem with the black levels, taking away from the true blacks in your image and replacing them with a haze that looks unnatural. A new Correct Black Level control allows you to correct for this type of issue, restoring blacks to their correct levels.

Topaz DeNoise 5

Topaz DeNoise 5

Next, you'll use the Detail Adjustment options. Luminance noise reduction frequently softens contrast in the image, which can be recovered with the Recover Detail slider. A Reduce Blur control will enhance the contrast of edges in the image, and if your image starts to take on an unnatural smoothness, you can add a bit of grain with the Add Grain control.

Banding noise is very obvious when it's present in your image – parallel lines with strong color patterns. A new Debanding control gives you the ability to correct for this type of problem with both vertical and horizontal correction options.

Topaz DeNoise 5

Topaz DeNoise 5

Entry Tags

plugin, noise, Photoshop, reduce, topaz labs, reduction, Lightroom, ISO, Noiseware, Topaz DeNoise 5 Review, high ISO, de noise, Neat Image, de-noise, remove, Noise Ninja, denoise

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47 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 JRSisson


Whats the best stand alone software for noise reduction?

1:17 pm - Friday, August 27, 2010

#2 Richie

Good question, I’d also be interested in a standalone program particularly if it had the ability to remove banding and fixed pattern noise. I’m tired of the assumption that everyone works within Photoshop, I don’t need it and wouldn’t pay the ridiculous asking price anyway. I did try Lightroom but couldn’t get used to its awkward, dog-slow user interface…the only thing in its favour was its excellent noise reduction.

1:35 pm - Friday, August 27, 2010

#3 Joshua

Over at it only costs $79.99c - why the 3-times overprice on the PhotographyBlog at all?

2:50 pm - Friday, August 27, 2010

#4 spike

It also plays nice with Corel PaintshopPro for a less expensive alternative.

3:43 pm - Friday, August 27, 2010

#5 VanillaSeven

Noise reduction softwares can only solved little problem in noise no matter how advance they are. Picture with bad noise is like burnt pancake. you simply can’t un-burn it, but you can scrape off a bit of burnt parts.

3:02 am - Saturday, August 28, 2010

#6 Frank J

In terms of rescue high ISO noise photo, Denoise 5 is the best. You have to try it to see what it can do. 

For light noise reduction, noise Nanjia is faster.

6:03 pm - Saturday, August 28, 2010

#7 Corros

I’m also a convert from Noiseware to Topaz. I really like the software and the effects are great! Take a look at:

1:47 pm - Monday, August 30, 2010

#8 Umesh

This has been a miracle software and has saved my a$$ several times…from that damn AutoISO…If you are a serious photographer - just get it. I converted from Noise Ninja, and have completely stopped using it.

2:38 pm - Monday, August 30, 2010

#9 London Escorts

The central panel has most of the window is the preview. The tabs at the top of the window let you quickly switch between original and adapted version. On the right side of the browser window and the settings are real.

6:50 pm - Monday, August 30, 2010

#10 translation services

Banding noise is very evident when you see in the picture - the model of strong models. Debanding new control system gives you the opportunity to correct such problems both horizontal and vertical correction options.

6:53 pm - Monday, August 30, 2010


Personally i think Capture One is fantastic.
However i do like the look of this software.

1:06 am - Tuesday, August 31, 2010

#12 payday loans

Topaz is not a better job of LR with luminance, but not enough to justify its use. I had to work hard to get a more clean sound Topaz Lightroom more detail.

1:22 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#13 hp coupon code

Software noise reduction can be resolved only in the small noise problem, no matter how they are in advance. Image with low noise, is like burning pancake. You can not burn, but you can scrape a few parts burned.

6:17 pm - Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#14 Turkish Transalation

i think Capture One is fantastic.
However i do like the look of this software.

8:33 am - Sunday, January 22, 2012

#15 Wedding Photographer Cork

Honestly i would like to say that, i dont like any photographs.

11:36 am - Thursday, April 19, 2012

#16 Colin Nicholls

I like the burnt pancake analogy, noise reduction is useful tho, but not crucial.

10:07 pm - Sunday, March 3, 2013

#17 vlondon

excellent i loved the de noised photographs and post, i think this is also one type of expertise in photography

11:03 am - Wednesday, March 6, 2013

#18 Martin

Great review.
I’m a web designer and use Topaz denoise to clear pictures - its a great addition to photoshop and LR.
Its currently discounted to $39 - Grab your self a bargain

8:01 pm - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

#19 Bob L

My D4s can deliver absolutely clean images at ISO 4000-5000. At ISO 8000-10000 the photos start to show grain particularly if you zoom in. However, today I discovered even at those high ISO’s with post processing I can completely eliminate all noise!

Phase One Capture One Pro 7, which is highly rated by pro photographers, does a very good job but still leaves a little noise. Topaz DeNoise with the noise reduction set at the strongest with debanding completely eliminates all traces of noise with the very, very minimum loss of detail . Amazing!

I decided to try Topaz DeNoise because of their claims of noise reduction without loss of detail and some reviews by customers. Other than Capture One, I have found no software package that has noise reduction that equals it.

I will definitely be buying this software at the end of the trial period.

6:36 am - Monday, April 21, 2014

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