Dealing with noise is a tough challenge for digital cameras, especially indoors and in low light conditions. Shoot a picture with your cellphone or digital camera in low light or at night and you’ll find colored grainy artifacts all over the image. This is because the ISO speed is boosted by the camera in order to make the sensor more sensitive to light for better exposure. The ISO speed is also boosted by the camera when using Sports/Action modes so that fast action can be frozen with fast shutter speed even in broad day light. Neat Image Pro is a standalone application designed for curing noisy images. It takes up only 2.6 MB of hard drive space, but it’s so powerful that we strongly recommend it for professional photographers. Eliminating noise from images is a simple 4-step process. You first have to load the image from the Image Input tab and then profile the image for the degree and pattern of noise present. The next step is tweaking the noise filter. Here you can reduce the graininess, desaturate the color of the grains, and specify the intensity of noise reduction. The preview button shows the effect of the settings in a small selection.

The final step is applying the noise filter and saving the result as JPG, TIFF or BMP image. Neat Image Pro supports batch processing and is optimized for multi-core CPUs. In addition to the standard mode, the software features an advanced mode for experts, which offers fine grain control over color and noise parameters. Automatic profiling delivers excellent results, but if you’re a professional, it’s recommended you profile the noise level of your camera at various ISO speeds or download the profile that suits your camera from the developer’s website. You’ll be lucky to find a profile for your camera though, as the website lacks profiles for newer models.