SmartDeblur is a clever graphics tool which uses advanced mathematical techniques to help sharpen blurry digital photos.

Don't be put off by the science, though - the program is even easier to use in this new version. Drag a slider, click "Analyze Blur" and watch as SmartDeblur automatically figures out the blur type, and applies its corrections.

You will need to be patient, because SmartDeblur can take a minute or more to work, and that's even after resizing your image to a maximum of 1000 pixels on the longest edge (click Settings if you'd like to change this). But the example image proves it can be worth the wait, showing absolutely spectacular improvements.

Other images don't fare so well, though, and we found plenty which SmartDeblur couldn't analyse automatically, and actually made far, far worse. But there is something else you can try. If there's a specific element to the picture which you're trying to highlight - one or two people with a countryside backdrop, say - then click and drag to draw a box around that element, click "Analyze Blur" again, and SmartDeblur will work from that area only. It sounds like a small step, but this made a huge difference in our tests.

Smart Deblur 2.2 brings new UI, Mac version, ringing artifacts suppression, internalization and more.

Verdict

Slow, and a little awkward to use, SmartDeblur isn't a tool we would use regularly. But it's still worth keeping a copy to hand, just for the worst blurry images, because there it really can deliver amazing results