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Nik Dfine Review

Nik Dfine Review

The Nik Collection’s Nik Dfine might be the pinnacle of old-school photo noise reduction technology in that it can sweep away a fair amount of noise while preserving fine detail.

However, Nik Dfine is outgunned by the new wave of AI-powered denoisers that rank amongst the best noise reduction software I have ever tested. So, while there are many reasons why you might buy the Nik Collection, Nik Dfine is not one of them. Jump to Conclusion

REVIEW CONTINUES BELOW


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Table of Contents

What is Nik Dfine

Nik Dfine is a photo noise reduction software application designed to strip noise from your image while preserving as much detail as possible.

Nik Dfine is primed with a hyper-responsive, straightforward-to-use interface.

Moreover, Nik Dfine differs from some of the other noise reduction applications I have tested thanks to its generous supply of local adjustments. With these adjustments, you can apply noise reduction to specific areas of your image with unusual precision instead of the picture as a whole.

Aside from denoising, Nik Dfine can help reduce the impact of JPEG artifacts and high ISO phenomenons such as banding. Unfortunately, Nik Dfine is limited to denoising JPEG and TIFF files and cannot help you with your raw files.

Comparing the before and after. See below for interactive samples and comparisons.

You can buy Nik Dfine as one part of the 8-application US$149 Nik Collection, which includes tools such as sharpeners, effects layers, HDR, and more. While Nik Dfine is marketed mainly as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom Classic – it works perfectly well as a standalone application.

How much does Nik Dfine cost

US$149 for Nik Dfine and the entire Nik Collection. Check Today’s Prices.

Nik Dfine Free Trial

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Nik Dfine Sample

Nik Dfine
My go-to noise reduction test image.

Beginning with my familiar test image, Nik Dfine hits the ground running, and the improvement is plain to see. Specifically, there’s less noise and minimal impact to detail. So, let’s see how Nik Dfine fares against its contemporaries.

Nik Dfine Compared

Nik Dfine vs ON1 NoNoise AI

ON1 NoNoise AI demonstrates how far noise reduction software has come and how far Nik Dfine has fallen behind.

Moreover, ON1 NoNoise AI is excellent to use and includes AI-powered subject selection masking and TacSharp AI – a debluring tool. Critically, ON1 NoNoise AI denoises JPEG and Raw, whereas Nik Dfine is limited to JPEG and TIFF formats.

Thus, the only reason to choose Nik Dfine is that it is reasonably cheap when evaluated as one-eighth of the Nik Collection. But if you really care about noise reduction, ON1 NoNoise AI is a massive step up. Read ON1 NoNoise AI Review.

Nik Dfine vs DxO PureRaw 3

Now that DxO owns Nik Dfine, it seemed only fair that I compare it with DxO PureRaw 3. As shown below, Nik Dfine has not benefitted from DxO’s latest noise reduction technologies.

DxO PureRaw 3 costs almost as much as the entire Nik Collection. Thus, I only included it in this comparison for two reasons. First, Nik Dfine and PureRaw 3 are DxO products. Second, DxO PureRaw 3 is my favorite noise reduction tool thanks to its reliably excellent automated denoising and outstanding raw conversion. Read DxO PureRaw Review.

Nik Dfine vs Lightroom

Nik Dfine is often marketed as a plugin for Lightroom. But, earlier in 2023, Lightroom got its own AI-powered photo denoiser. So, is it worth supplementing Lightroom’s denoiser with Nik Dfine? As the old saying goes, no.

Lightroom Denoise is now comparable, though not quite as good, as the best noise reduction applications on the market. In other words, it easily outperforms Nik Dfine. Read Lightroom Denoise Review

Is Nik Dfine any good?

Nik Dfine works well but is utterly outdone by the best noise-reduction software applications I have tested. While Nik Dfine might be cheap when considered one-eighth of the $149 Nik Collection, I’d be much happier to refer you to the AI-powered ON1 NoNoise AI instead.

Nik Dfine Noise Reduction Software
Nik Dfine is perfectly suitable for moderately noisy images.

While ON1 NoNoise AI is a little more expensive, it’s a vastly superior noise reduction tool and, unlike Nik Dfine, can denoise JPEGs and Raw files. Moreover, ON1 NoNoise AI includes localized sharpening and TacSharp AI, an AI-powered de-blur tool.

Ironically, DxO-owned Nik Dfine is thoroughly outdone by DxO PureRaw 3 – my favorite noise-reduction tool and Lightroom’s AI denoiser.

Therefore, Nik Dfine’s primary advantage is price – assuming you value what the Nik Collection as a whole has to offer. But, if you prioritize noise reduction – Nik Dfine is not for you.

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Conclusion

As a noise reduction product, Nik Dfine is impossible to recommend. In terms of technology, it has fallen behind today’s latest and greatest AI-powered noise reduction application – including its DxO stablemate PureRaw 3.

But, measured as one-eighth of the overall Nik Collection, Nik Dfine is a bit of a bargain – especially if noise reduction isn’t your priority. However, since you are reading this review, I might presume you want the best possible noise reduction you can afford. To that end, I recommend you check my list of best noise reduction software.

Overall, Nik Dfine is pleasant to use and capable to a point. But if you can spend a bit more, you can board the AI Denoiser bandwagon and enjoy Raw compatibility and almost miracle-like noise reduction.

Rating: 2/5

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NIK 6 COLLECTION

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Richard Adams

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