Major Adobe Lightroom update brings powerful noise reduction to your photos

Adobe Lightroom Denoise tool
(Image credit: Adobe)

Not every image can be a gem and even those we love can, upon closer examination, be disfigured by blemishes or, worse yet, unsightly grain. Removing it isn't easy, but Adobe now has an AI-based denoise solution for this common image problem.

Adobe has been on a tear lately rolling out updates to its various platforms from collaboration tools on to improved image generation on Firefly. With this latest round, Adobe Lightroom is getting a smorgasbord of new features including this powerful, new AI-based one.

The AI-powered Denoise tool can, according to Adobe, eliminate grainy noise in photographs taken by cameras with high ISO settings, which are often used to capture images in low light.

Clean-up can be done either automatically or you can manually adjust the removal via an in-app slider. Do note Denoise only works with two types of files. According to a web page on Adobe’s Help Center, the tool currently applies to “raw [mosaic] files from cameras with Bayer sensors (Canon, Nikon, Sony, and others) and Fujifilm X-Trans sensors.” Denoise also “isn’t supported when applied [to photos] with Super Resolution” enabled.

The other major addition consists of two new categories in the Masking tool that let users edit both facial hair and clothes. Looking at the recently updated Help Center page, it appears the new masks will have some preset options to tell Lightroom what it should focus on. For example, you can enhance a person’s skin to presumably remove blemishes or clean up imperfections on their clothing. 

Further enhancements

Besides the AI-powered features, Adobe is improving Lightroom’s video editing capabilities. There will now be a Trim icon in the lower right-hand corner of a video's timeline for making quick edits. New Extract or Export options will be added to the Lighthouse toolbox if you need to do small edits to a video. Also, the company is now offering a B&W (black and white) mode if you want to add a cinematic, film noir look.

The last major set of changes involves the new set of Adaptive: Portrait presets. Just to highlight a couple, you have Polished Portrait to “refine facial features to achieve [a] desired look” and Darken Beard to remove those streaks of wisdom (i.e. grey hairs) from a beard.

For the rest of the update, Adobe is focused on growing the list of devices Lightroom supports, now including the Google Pixel 6a smartphone and Sony ZV-E1 camera. A full list can be found on the company’s Help Center website. There are a few tweaks too like improving the performance of select tools for Lightroom on desktop. The Android app is seeing similar performance upgrades alongside support for Filipino and Malay languages.

Everything you see here will be available on the desktop version of Lightroom. Neither the iOS nor Android apps will get Denoise. However, the former will have the video editing tools mentioned earlier. The update is slated to launch later this month with no exact date given. We asked Adobe if it could tell us an exact date and if it has plans to expand the rest of the update to mobile. This story will be updated at a later time.

If you’re looking for a good camera to use with the Lightroom update, be sure to check out TechRadar’s recently updated list of the best camera for 2023. We have top picks for every budget. 

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.