Review: MacPhun Noiseless Pro Plug-in for Adobe Lightroom

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Very few programs and plug-ins make me shout “Whoa!” at the top my lungs to the point where the neighbors in my Brooklyn apartment bang on the wall to get me to shut up, but that record has been shattered by MacPhun’s Noiseless Pro. But seriously, what more would you expect from some of the team that created Nik software?

Noiseless is a plug-in for Lightroom, Photoshop, Aperture or a stand alone program that looks at images and finds a way to get rid of the image noise. Sure, Lightroom can do that and so can other programs–but nothing can do it as well as MacPhun’s Noiseless while making the interface both simple and complicated at the same time.

Pros and Cons

Pros

– You can pretty much kill any image noise in almost any photo.

– Fairly simple interface with the option of expansion and fine tuning. Fine tuning takes very careful paying attention to until you get the hang of it

– Integrates well with Adobe Lightroom

Cons

– You’ll be spending more time fine tuning specific images if you shoot at lot at higher ISOs. Use this program to only tune up the best of the best.

Tech Specs

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Ease of Use

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MacPhun’s Noiseless starts when you’re looking at your images in Adobe Lightroom. What you do is right click the image and then choose to edit it. The program can either edit the actual RAW file if you open it directly or a TIFF if you open it via Lightroom.

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Once the program loads up your photo, you are brought into the image at 200%. Noiseless detects the noise levels in the image and automatically applies a preset. In our experience, we think that many folks will be alright with the way it renders but the more discerning among us probably won’t be. In that case you have two options: apply another preset and be done with it or apply another preset and fine tune the image from there.

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If you choose to fine tune the image, you click on the adjustment panel and then carefully look at the options. Noiseless gives you a ton of them and you’ll probably want to work most with the strength, smoothing, details, and highlights/midtones/shadows. It’d be nice if we could work with specific color channels, but we know why Noiseless doesn’t do this and it makes sense in some ways.

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Once you do this, all you need to do is export the image back to Adobe Lightroom by clicking Accept and you’ll be all set. Shoot at High ISO settings often? This app can kill the noise for sure.

Results

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We tested the plug-in with the Fujifilm X Pro 1 shot at ISO 6400, the Samsung NX30 shot at 1600, Canon 6D at ISO 1600 and 3200, and a scan of Kodak Tri-X. With the Tri-X, we raised the exposure and introduced some noise before exporting into Noiseless Pro. What it seems to do is get rid of very fine noise.

Processed

Processed Samsung NX30

Unprocessed

Unprocessed Samsung NX30

Processed

Processed Fujifilm X Pro 1

Unprocessed

Unprocessed Fujifilm X Pro 1

Processed Kodak Tri-X

Processed Kodak Tri-X

Unprocessed Kodak Tri-X

Unprocessed Kodak Tri-X

Conclusions

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It’s not often that a plug-in really impresses us this much, but when a plug-in tries to take a critical problem and fix it, it makes all the difference. As cameras become higher in megapixels, processors and software need to keep up. Adobe Lightroom does a pretty good job with killing imaging noise if you’re very careful, but MacPhun’s Noiseless Pro makes it simpler, more direct and overall actually helps you to save time. Again though, it’s a good idea to start with a preset and adjust it from there the same way you would with Instagram–except this time around you’re in Lightroom.

We award MacPhun Noiseless app five out of five stars and our Editor’s Choice award. Want it? There are two different options on their website.