Neat Image 7.3
Softpedia Editor's Review for Neat Image
A digital filter application specially designed to efficiently reduce visible noise in digital photographic images
Written by Mihaela Citea on December 13th, 2011
Read an in-depth analysis in our professional review for Neat Image
Image quality is very important for those who are passionate about photography. Neat Image is an easy-to-use photo editor designed to help you enhance your pictures by reducing noise pieces.
Neat Image analyzes your picture and performs a filtering process that results in better quality for the output image. Using device noise profiles and filter presets, Neat Image enables you to easily achieve the desired level of noise reduction.
Noise profiles take into account the characteristics of a picture and can be pre-built or user-customized. Neat Image allows you to build your own device noise profile for a specific shooting / scanning mode of your digital camera / scanner by using the Calibration Target feature. Moreover, the application offers the possibility to easily create profiles in batch mode, by simply selecting the folder where shots or scans of the Calibration Target are stored.
The profile matching is made taking into account multiple parameters, such as input device, ISO rate, resolution, sharpness or exposure levels.
The tab-based interface is user-friendly and permits improvement of picture quality by following a few simple steps: first you have to input the desired image, then load a device noise profile, set the noise filter settings (luminance and chrominance) and you are ready to preview the output photo. You can compare the original photo and the resulting output one by simply clicking on the image.
Furthermore, the application displays the image quality level in percentage, which allows you to view the effect that any modification has on the opened picture. The software also supports batch functionality, so you can process multiple images automatically.
In addition to noise filtering, Neat Image offers you the possibility to sharpen your images without lowering their quality or increasing the noise level. Applying noise reduction and sharpening at the same time is the key feature of Neat Image that helps you produce better quality photos.
Neat Image description
Here are some key features of "Neat Image":
· Premium Noise Reduction and Image Sharpening
· Advanced Noise Filter to reduce noise and grain in digital images
· Neat Image incorporates the most advanced noise reduction algorithms in the industry that surpass the quality of all classic noise reduction methods and even that of the wavelet-based methods. Although the wavelet-based methods were developed only 10-15 years ago and still considered relatively modern, Neat Image uses an even newer and more efficient approach to noise reduction. This approach enables drawing a more clear distinction between noise and details in noisy images. This helps Neat Image reduce more noise and better preserve true image details in digital photos and scans.
· Complete control over the noise filter to achieve desired level of noise reduction
· Neat Image provides direct access to virtually all important noise filter settings. For every channel component and spatial frequency component of input image, you can adjust the noise level estimation and specify how much of the detected noise must be removed. Default filter settings work very well and if you want to tweak filter then the complete control is under your tips.
· Smart Sharpening Filter to make images look sharper without amplification of noise
· Neat Image includes an intelligent sharpening filter. Working together with the noise filter, the sharpening filter makes the image look sharper without any degradation of image quality (which is usually inevitable with noisy images). Neat Image sharpening has a halo-free mode.
· 16-bit image support to fully utilize capabilities of modern image acquisition devices
· The professional editions of Neat Image fully support 48-bit RGB and 16-bit grayscale images. This capability complements the recent advances in both hardware and software technologies (for example, Photoshop CS2 / CS) used in professional digital imaging.
· Photoshop plug-in and standalone application
· Photoshop-compatible plug-in to integrate Neat Image noise reduction in Photoshop-based workflow
· Using Neat Image plugin in the convenient environment of Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements, or another compatible editor) you can apply noise reduction exactly where it is required: in a layer, channel or selection. Using Photoshop selection tools, you can apply noise reduction with different strength to different parts of the image. You can use Neat Image plug-in as a smart filter in Photoshop CS3.
Neat Image plug-in is compatible with the following plug-in hosts:
· Adobe Photoshop CS3 / CS3 Ext / CS2 / CS / 7 / 6 / 5
· Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 / 4 / 3 / 2
· Corel / Jasc Paint Shop Pro XI / X / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7
· Corel Photopaint 12 / X3
· Ulead PhotoImpact 12 / 11 / 10 / XL / 8
· Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006
· Microsoft Digital Image Pro
· Serif PhotoPlus
· and more
· Any file format supported by Photoshop or other used plug-in host
· Any file format supported by the plug-in host can be processed by the Neat Image plug-in. For example, you can open a PSD, TIFF, JPEG, JPEG2000, RAW, DNG, etc., image in Photoshop and then directly process it with the Neat Image plug-in. This streamlines the use of Neat Image noise reduction in your workflow.
· Standalone application to work directly with image files
· When Photoshop (or compatible plug-in host) is not available, you can use the standalone version of Neat Image to work directly with image files (TIFF, JPEG, BMP).
· Device Noise Profiles
· Device noise profiles to make noise reduction device-specific
· Neat Image uses device noise profiles - reusable analysis of noise properties of particular image acquisition device (digital camera, scanner, etc.) working in a certain mode. That makes Neat Image noise reduction custom-tailored to devices described by noise profiles and provides the highest accuracy of noise reduction.
· Auto Profiler to automatically build profiles for your camera or scanner
· Neat Image can automatically make necessary noise analysis of the input image to build a custom noise profile specifically for this image. You can use the automatics or override it and use the semi-automatic or fully-manual noise analyzers.
· Profile Viewer and profile quality indicators to help you build accurate profiles and control profile quality
· Profile Viewer provides detailed information about a noise profile: analyzed noise sample, measured noise levels, device data. The profile indicators show whether a profile was accurately built and fine-tuned. Using quality profiles is the most important step to quality noise reduction.
· Batch Profiler to automate profiling with the Calibration Target
· Using several test images prepared by shooting (scanning) the built-in Calibration Target in different camera (scanner) modes, Neat Image can automatically build a set of noise profiles for these modes. The Batch Profiler makes building noise profiles very easy and quick.
· Profile library: a rich set of free ready-made noise profiles
· There are many free sets of noise profiles for digital cameras and scanners prepared by Neat Image users and made available in the online profile library. Everyone can build a good profile set (yes, this is really easy) and get it published.
· Profile Matcher for automatic matching of noise profiles to images
· When a ready-made profile set is available, Neat Image can automatically select the profile that best matches the input image based on its EXIF data. This capability is especially useful in batch processing and in fully automatic Photoshop actions.
· Batch processing
· Queued processing / batch processing of image series
· The standalone Neat Image can process many images put in the filtration queue. You can create individual filtration jobs one by one or in batch.
· The Neat Image plug-in recorded into an action can be used by the Photoshop built-in batch facility.
· In both standalone and plug-in, you can use Profile Matcher and Auto Profile to make batch processing fully automatic.
· Background processing
· Working with the standalone Neat Image, you can create new filtration jobs when other filtration jobs are processed by Neat Image in the background. You can easily use other applications during processing too - Neat Image will behave nicely in a multi-task environment.
· Visual feedback
· Embedded preview for any selected image area
· When adjusting the filter settings, you can immediately see the preview results in a selected image area. You can select any area and move selection across the image to get better feeling of how the filtered image will look like as compared with the original.
· Preview of filtration results separately for each channel and frequency component
· Using Component Viewer, you can see the preview details on a per channel and per frequency basis. This capability greatly helps to tune the filter settings exactly where needed - in a specific channel or frequency component.
· Variant Selector for easier optimization of filters settings
· Variant Selector enables convenient comparison of applying several filter setting variants. You can consecutively adjust the filter settings and then quickly select the best variant by visually comparing the corresponding filtration results.
· Full-size comparison of original vs. filtered images
· When the whole image is filtered in the standalone Neat Image, you can in one click switch between original and filtered image to compare them before accepting and saving the result.
· Pentium I or better
· 64MB RAM or more
· True color display
· High quality JPEG format save only
· No metadata preserved
· Nag screen
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· Added support for AMD/ATI GPUs through OpenCL
· GPU acceleration is now possible with both NVidia and AMD/ATI cards)
The following AMD/ATI GPUs are supported:
· ATI Radeon HD 57xx/58xx/59xx;
· AMD Radeon HD 67xx/68xx/69xx;
· AMD Radeon HD 77xx/78xx/79xx;
· Another AMD/ATI GPU based on one of the following chip series: Juniper, Cypress, Barts, Cayman, Cape Verde, Pitcairn, Tahiti
· Added support for reading and writing images in PNG format
· New option to preserve original file timestamp in output image file
· New Navigator panel to quickly locate image areas using a thumbnail display
· Improved tolerance to corrupted image metadata
· Several minor bugs have been fixed
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