Scanned photographs, either from negatives or printed copies, are prone to acquire different levels of digital noise, such as grain. Neat Image is a highly effective and easy-to-use image editing tool capable of reducing this noise to undetectable levels. It does not matter how much digital noise your images have, Neat Image has a different Device Noise Profile for each case. And if it doesn’t, it allows you to create your own with its built-in calibration tool and save it for future use.
Though scanners are among the usual suspects when it comes to grainy images, excessive compression (in JPEG files, for instance) and poor light conditions are also to blame for the artifacts and other blemishes that Neat Image can remove from your photographs. Apart from those already mentioned, among the various types of digital noises that the program’s algorithms can get rid of, you will find luminance noise, banding noise, salt-and-pepper noise, in-camera noise reduction artifacts, and electronic interference noise. By removing all these imperfections, your images will gain in contrast, detail, and sharpness.
The program’s main interface works with one photograph at a time. This will allow you check the various Device Noise Profiles provided, and see for yourself which one fits your image, your camera, your scanner, or your shooting habits best. If you happen to have a set of pictures taken in similar conditions and, therefore, suffering from the same noise problems, you can then move to the program’s Batch Profiler, where you can process entire folders of images in one go using any of the existing presets. If no profile fits your needs, you can always create your own and save it for future use and batch filtering tasks. Together with the various auto-processing features (Auto Fine-Tune, Auto Profile, and Auto Match), the program offers a Beginner and an Advanced mode to please all types of users, while keeping track of all the processes performed.
Neat Image comes in various flavors – as a standalone application or as a plug-in for both Photoshop and Aperture. Either way, you will be amazed by the high level of flexibility shown by this tool, its ease of use, and – most of all – the astonishing results you will get in the most varied situations.