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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

About this Review

I begin all my software reviews by installing the application onto my own PC and testing it thoroughly using photos from my library. During this time, I record my experiences and capture dozens of screenshots and multiple videos. All text is written by me, with no third-party or AI assistance, though I do use Grammarly for grammar and spelling.

As an affiliate, I may receive a commission if you buy this product using the links provided. However, as an affiliate of many competing brands, I have no incentive to recommend one product over another. Thus, my main objective is to produce reliably excellent reviews you’ll trust now and in the future.

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

You can buy Nik Dfine as part of the Nik Collection for a one-time payment of US$149. Thus, Nik Dfine is excellent value, but only if you want the rest of what the Nik Collection has to offer. In comparison, ON1 NoNoise AI costs US$69.99, while DxO PureRaw knocks you back $129.

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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 before and after noise reduction test.
Nik Dfine before and after noise reduction test.

Alternatives to Nik Dfine

  1. ON1 NoNoise AI
  2. DxO PureRaw
  3. Lightroom Denoise

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 Tack Sharp AI – a debluring tool. Critically, ON1 NoNoise AI denoises JPEG and Raw, whereas Nik Dfine is limited to JPEG and TIFF formats.

Nik Dfine vs ON1 NoNoise AI before and after noise reduction test
Nik Dfine vs ON1 NoNoise AI before and after noise reduction test

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 my ON1 NoNoise AI Review for more information, comparisons, and your free trial.

Nik Dfine vs DxO PureRaw

Now that DxO owns Nik Dfine, it seems reasonable to compare it with DxO PureRaw. As shown below, Nik Dfine has not benefitted from DxO’s latest noise reduction technologies and is soundly beat by DxO PureRaw.

Nik Dfine vs DxO PureRaw before and after noise reduction test
Nik Dfine vs DxO PureRaw before and after noise reduction test

DxO PureRaw 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 are DxO products. Second, DxO PureRaw is my favorite noise reduction tool thanks to its reliably excellent automated denoising and outstanding raw conversion.

Read my DxO PureRaw Review for more information, comparisons, and your free trial.

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.

Nik Dfine vs Lightroom before and after noise reduction test
Nik Dfine vs Lightroom before and after noise reduction test

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 my Lightroom Denoise Review for more information, comparisons, and your free trial.

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Conclusion – 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.

Rating: 2/5

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NIK 6 COLLECTION

LIFETIME LICENSE

$149

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About the Author

Richard Adams

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