In a detailed technical blog I compare six AI-based noise reduction programs for the demands of astrophotography. Some can work wonders. Others can ruin your image.
Over the last two years, we have seen a spate of specialized programs introduced for removing digital noise from photos. The new generation of programs use artificial intelligence (AI), aka machine learning, trained on thousands of images to better distinguish unwanted noise from desirable image content. At least that’s the promise – and for noisy but normal daytime images they do work very well. But in astrophotography our main subjects – stars – can look a lot like specks of pixel-level noise. How well can each program reduce noise without eliminating stars or wanted details, or introducing odd artifacts, making images worse?
To find out, I tested six of the new AI-based programs on real-world – or rather “real-sky” – astro photos. Does one program stand out from the rest for astrophotography?