How Good is the Google Photos Denoise Edit?

In this blog post, I am going to take a look at the Google Photos denoise and sharpening edits that were added to the Google Photo editor at the end of last week. Also, I want to see how good it is when compared to maybe Photoshop and Polarr.

Availability and Overview:

I do believe that this is (or will be) available for Android users. If you are new to the blog, I use a Google Pixel and Google releases features to Pixel users a bit early. I do not think that Google Photos for web or IOS will get this in the near future. Sorry! It isn’t supposed to be a Google One feature only so this should be free.


These two new sliders will fit in between the “pop” and “vignette” sliders. Now, if you have not used these features before, you will see yellow dots. These go away after you use these features once.

Once clicked on, you will see sliders just like any other feature in the Google Photo Editor.

The Edit:

I just slid the sharpening slider to 100 and, as you would expect, it emphasized all the grain.

The denoise slider does just the opposite, it smooths over the grain.

I’m going to be honest, this was very unimpressive. It is just smoothing over the details like any other denoise algorithm would do. But, I do have an idea… I think that maybe if combine some more edits, I would be able to remove grain and preserve details! So… That’s what I tried!

I genuinely think that I made the photo worse… I don’t think that this turned out to nice… I am going to try another photo to see if I can get better results… Here is the photo that I’ll be editing next:

For this photo, I put together a time-lapse. I uploaded this to Kapwing and I have never used this site for videos before, so please let me know if it is okay on your end! I did notice that the music at the end did cut out, sorry!

Background music via (Thank you as always for the awesome music!)

Here is the photo after the edits:

Okay, so in the time-lapse you may have seen that I did a lot of edits. The edit that really helped the most was the blur edit. That seemed to eliminate noise even more than the denoise edit did πŸ˜‚. I think that my theory was mostly correct, the doenoise edit by itself isn’t incredible but, when combined with the other edits it is a lot better.


I first did a comparison edit in Polarr:

As you can see, Polarr let me darken the shadows even more and also the noise reduction is split in two parts. I can go between color and luminance. It came out looking a bit odd, especially the contrast between the flowers and the background…

I next opened up Photoshop Express. I though that using Photoshop Elements would be an unfair comparison since Elements is a paid editor whereas Express is another free editor. In Photoshop Express I was able to add a blur to help reduce noise.

For the last edit, I wanted to see what Photoshop Elements could do to the photo. I do want to note again that Photoshop Elements is a paid editor, so comparing it to Google Photos (a free editor) is probably a bit unfair.

I wasn’t super happy of how it came out of Photoshop Elements. For whatever reason, the software doesn’t let you increase highlights that much which is pretty weird.

I’d love to know which edit came out the best, so I’ll have a poll here:


The Google Photos denoise and Sharpening edits are not mind-blowing at all. They work well, but it isn’t better than any other editors, nor worse.

I was planning a post on Snapseed over on Medium this week, but Samsung had the Galaxy Unpacked event this week, so instead I talked about the new Galaxybooks and answered some questions about some upcoming updates. Visit: (it should be the first post there)

That Snapseed post will probably come next week on Medium. FYI: there are probably going to be a lot of posts about Google coming up with the new updates coming up with Google I/O and a possible Pixel Feature drop. All of those posts will probably be on Medium.

I hope that you all enjoyed today’s post! Be sure to like and comment! It was actually difficult to purposefully take grainy photos for this post! πŸ˜‚ I hope that they look okay…

Thanks a ton for reading and have a wonderful week!

-Digital Wonders & Smiles

Published by Digital Wonders and Smiles

I am a photographer, writing a photography blog here on WordPress. I am based in the USA and take photos in my hometown. I also occasionally travel both domestically and internationally and write photoblog posts and make videos about these trips! On my blog, I cover everything from mobile photography to dslr photography to photography techniques for anyone!

5 thoughts on “How Good is the Google Photos Denoise Edit?

  1. Your question is one I could never answer. Google and I parted ways over two years ago yet they likely still find bits. I use Photoscape X, and Aurora HDR. Be well! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They collect far too much information on everyone. They are like an octopus with tentacles that reach into every crack, digging for more information on you. They violate people’s privacy and so on… I deleted everything and anything I had at the time that even slightly had to do with the beast. I’m they still manage to track me somehow.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, that is for sure understandable. They have so much data on all of us, it is kinda creepy on the adsettings site, especially what they have predicted about you. I just saw that somehow it knows that I use snapchat, even though I don’t have an account linked to the blog or Google account I’m on! I don’t blame you for separating yourself from Google.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: