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Home » Cell Phones, Featured

Photo Noise Reduction Apps for iPhone

Submitted by on December 7, 2011 – 3:59 am 22 Comments

In digital cameras, image noise (grain) is most pronounced in photos taken in low-light conditions without a flash. For such situations, the camera sets high ISO (light sensitivity of the image sensor) and a long exposure. A number of apps are available for the iPhone to reduce the appearance of grain. None of these apps are particularly impressive, especially when compared to specialized PC software. There is a good reason for this: digital noise reduction is a very CPU-intensive process that also requires a large amount of memory.

At full resolution, a photo taken with iPhone 4S may take around ten seconds to be de-noised on a PC. The same process may take over a minute on the iPhone itself. Obviously, such an app would attract only the most patient of users. And so the iPhone apps claiming to “de-noise” grainy photos take a shortcut: they simply blur the image until you cannot see the grain. However, this approach does not just get rid of the noise, but it eliminates much of the good detail in the photo.

Below we will take a quick look at the four best apps for iPhone 4/4S for noise reduction and we will compare the results to those produced on a PC. For consistency, we will use the same photo in all tests. Here’s the original image, resized to 1024px, with a fragment in original resolution showing noise detail.

iPhone Apps

Perfectly Clear

Photoshop Express

Photogene 2


PC Apps

Neat Image

Noiseware Professional



Among iPhone apps, the best result was achieved with Perfectly Clear. But there is one problem: the original image was 3254 x 2444 px, and Perfectly Clear was only capable of saving it in 2592 x 1946 px. Photogene 2 removed very little noise, but, to its credit, it did not blur the photo either. So it didn’t do much of anything, which in this case was a good thing. Photoshop Express blurred the hell out of our photo. It did remove the noise, but half of the photo was gone along with it. Finally, the Iris did remove a significant amount of noise and did not blur the image too much. However, the end result is not particularly pleasing to the eye. Some odd light pixels were left behind and most shades of gray have disappeared, making the photo look very flat.

So go with Perfectly Clear if you can live with lower resolution. Alternatively, Photogene 2 may be an option: it doesn’t do much but it does it with minimum of damage.

Among PC programs, both Neat Image and Noiseware Pro did a decent job. In this case Noiseware Pro removed more grain, but Neat Image produced a better-looking, sharper image with an acceptable amount of residual noise.

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  • dealy says:

    I am planning on selling my iPhone 3G but most of my contacts are on the iPhone and not on the sim card. How do i transfer all of my contacts from my iPhone to my sim card?

  • Matthew says:

    I have an Iphone 4, and my plans are as followed:

    DataPro 2 GB
    Iphone Messaging Unlimited

    But here is the problem: It says on my account that I have Iphone messaging unlimited, but don’t have text messaging unlimited, so why not add text messaging unlimited for $20?

    I just don’t understand this, because I bought Iphone messaging unlimited for $20. So what is the matter here?

  • shahedC says:

    I have an iphone 4 running 4.2.1 and i currently rely on the gevey sim for a jailbreak please can someone tell me how i can update my iphone to ios5.1.1 or any later basebands with untethered jailbreaks without updating the baseband, thanks.

  • stephen m says:

    I have the iPhone 3gs and I want to upgrade to iPhone 4. I’m planning of buying a used one instead of the new one (huge price difference).

    So my question is:
    What do you check for when buying a used iPhone 4?
    Camera, wifi, 3g networking, bluetooth etc..

    A detailed answer will be very much appreciated.
    Thank you!

  • Marshal says:

    Since the iPhone 4 is out with the starting price of $199, the iPhone 3GS starts at $99. If the iPhone 4 without contract costs $599, how much is the iPhone 3GS without the contract? :D

    Thanks for answering! Oh and if it’s ok, can I also know the reference?

  • Smashing Pumpkins says:

    I am about to buy a iPhone but it has a broken sleep button. Does anyone know how to fix that? Thanks!

  • nyyankees1123 says:

    She has a jailbroke old iPhone now and she is with tmobile. My buddy figured out how to jailbreak his new 3g iPhone. If I buy her a new 3g and have him jailbreak it can she just take the sim card out of her current iPhone and put it in the jailbroke 3g?

  • heavenly sword says:

    I have the iphone 3g and i wanna seperate my pictures does anyone know how to do so? Please help!

  • rndmaktn says:

    I am asking this is because I am planning on buying an IPhone mainly because of its applications, like the beatmakers, music makers, anything that is connected with music making applications and some other video stuff. I wont be doing wifi/surfing the internet. Just plain old call and sms plus the applications.

    Will these music applications run using the IPhone clones?

  • supernerd567 says:

    When the iPhone 5 is released, how much do you think the iPhone 4 16gb will be worth?

  • Thomas Lopez says:

    Does the iPhone 4G come with iMessage already or do you have to wait to upgrade?

  • superdork says:

    I know that the iphone is a phone and the touch is not, but are there any other differences or is that it. Also does the iphone have free wifi or do you have to pay for it like a regular cell phone?

  • Hotshot t says:

    So I’ve set up my icloud on my iPhone 4S to only back up my photos and contacts, which are the only important things to me in a phone. I just got a brand new iPhone 5. How do I restore from my backup from icloud to my new phone? And will it only restore my photos and contacts from my iPhone 4S because I’ve set it that way in the first place?

  • Cole says:

    Everybody talks about unlocking an iPhone.. I am planning to buy a new iPhone 4S or may be wait till iPhone 5 to release… All I want to know is after buying iPhone, even I have to unlock it?

  • Jeracoo L says:

    I bought a screen for the iphone 3gs then i realized i have the iphone 3g. Some of the reviews said that they recieved an iphone 3g screen and some said they recieved an iphone 3gs screen. Do you know how to tell the difference? and will an iphone 3gs fit on an iphone 3g
    Its a screen replacement. Some websites told me there was a differencee and some told me there waswnt.

  • Malcolm Hudson says:

    My iphone is on Tmobile.

  • Seth says:

    whats the difference between the regular iPhone and the iPhone 3g? and how much do they cost?
    and are they going to come out with newer better iphones? and when?

  • opurt says:

    I got an iphone from my brother-in-law and i wanted to know if i could buy service for it online. Its an iPhone original.
    How do you activate it through iTunes. Icouldnt figure it out.

  • Scott W says:

    I am with tmobile and planning to buy an unlocked iphone and use it. But I heard that with some iphones you can’t use the internet with tmobile. Please answer if you have experience with this. Thank you!

  • NC Baller says:

    Im getting an iPhone for x-mas and I cant wait! How much do you know about the iPhone? Please tell.

  • Victoria T says:

    I know how to push gmail contacts to the iphone but I want to push iPhone contacts to gmail and I don’t want to use a PC. Anyone know how?

  • Con Orpe says:

    I don’t have Internet at home, only on my iPhone. I updated my iPhone to iOS 6 and now my iPhone doesn’t work with iTunes. If I use a downloading app to download the newest version of iTunes to my iPhone, how can I take off the files without using iTunes?

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