Count me among the converted. My photo workflow has just made a huge shift for the better all with one piece of software: Noise Ninja.
To explain: I love Photoshop. It’s one of two programs that keeps me from switching to Linux full time.† I use it for all of my photo editing and while I may not be a power user, I get the job done. Traditionally I did noise reduction within Photoshop — a sometimes desperate series of selections, unsharp-mask, maybe another filter or two, then more selecting and filtering. It was a nightmare, often taking several hours for the noisier images.
Finally, after seeing it mentioned in so many workflow examples on various photography Web sites I read, I gave Noise Ninja a test drive. In under 60 seconds I took the image on the left and turned it into the one on the right (look at the brim of my hat and my forehead‡):
I’m serious, under 60 seconds having never used the software before. Imagine what would happen I knew what I was doing!
† Yes, I know about GIMP — but GIMP’s interface bites. The other piece of software is 3rdPlanIt.
‡ The dark spot on the crown of my hat isn’t noise, it’s wear because I (naughty naughty) grab it by the crown all the time.