Google Photos continues to add new and innovative features on a regular basis, but now we’re finally getting some of the basic features that many would have expected from day one.
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The unlimited free cloud backup of Google Photos is now over. However, that doesn’t mean that Google has completely forgotten about users on its free tier.
As noted by Android Police, Google Photos users can now apply manual sharpening and de-noise filters to photos to reduce two of the most common quality problems in digital photography.
The new Sharpen and Noise Removal tools are located in the Adjust section of the Edit menu and allow users to reduce image blurring in “soft” images or to compensate for grainy image noise that is common when shooting in low light.
The sharpening tool can be subtle or extreme. I recommend using it sparingly and only where it is absolutely necessary. Enlarging your picture for the first time helps a lot. Just move the slider slowly until you can see the improvement – more than that, and you’ll start to make your photo look worse.
Google Photos adds new tools for sharpening and de-noise.
The Denoise tool seems more of a blunt instrument. It can definitely help improve the look of grainy images, but it can also smear them and make them terrible if overdone.
Unfortunately, both tools are limited in that they can only be used on an entire image at once. This is especially problematic when using the Denoise tool, as setting the level correctly for the noisy areas of the image often results in ruining the details in the rest of the image.
What is really needed is the ability to sharpen or smooth only the specific areas of the photo that really need it. Maybe this feature will be added in a future update, and hopefully not just for paying users.
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