There are several noise reduction software programs out there these days. Many of them do a good job at reducing digital noise. I have been using a program called "Neat Image" for quite some time. It's easy to use and does a good job for me. You can buy Neat Image as a stand alone software package, or a plug in that installs right into Photoshop Elements, or the bigger Photoshop CS programs. I use the plug in version for Photoshop Elements. Neat image is one of the best tools in the bag.
The following photos were all taken with my point and shoot camera, a Panasonic DMC-ZS3. It's a handy camera when I don't want to carry my big boys around. As with any point and shoot camera, they all have a tiny sensor when compared with a DSLR camera. The tiny sensors are OK, but they get extra noisy at high ISO settings. I'll show you some examples.
Here is are 3 shots at ISO 400, ISO 800, and ISO 1600 with no noise reduction.
|ISO 400 without noise reduction|
|ISO 800 without noise reduction|
|ISO 1600 without noise reduction|
Now here are close ups of the noise in each of these photos. As you can see, the digital noise gets much worse in each photo.
|ISO 400 with noise reduction|
But, you can see the difference Neat image can make in each photo.
|ISO 800 with noise reduction|
If you have a DSLR camera, your photos will be significantly cleaner at ISO 800 and ISO 1600 to start with. This is because DSLR cameras have much bigger sensors and produce much better images. When you use Neat image on those, your photos really pop!
I will say this, be careful on what kinds of photos you use noise reduction on. It can work great for landscapes, but is a little challenging for portraits.
Another way to get noise reduction software is to use Adobe Lightroom. The new version has it built in and works very nicely!
You can download a free trial of Neat Image at www.neatimage.com. You can download a free 30 day trial of Adobe Lightroom at Adobe Lightroom.
Good luck practicing!