But is it worth buying a separate AI upscaling application such as Gigapixel AI if you can have Super Resolution, one of the best photo editing software applications, and 1TB of Cloud Storage for just US$9.99 a month? Well, quite possibly. Here’s why. Jump to Conclusion
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How I test AI upscalers
I have extensive hands-on experience with Gigapixel AI, Lightroom Super Resolution, and other AI upscaling applications. As a result, I can compare the usability and speed of each application firsthand.
As for image quality, I test each upscaler by creating a copy of a reference image and shrinking the copy to 400% of its original size. Then, I use Gigapixel AI and Lightroom Super Resolution to upscale the smaller copy by 400% – thus restoring the smaller copy to its original size.
Finally, I compare the upscaled image with the original reference image. The best AI upscaler is the one that produces an image closest to the original reference image.
As a Gigapixel and Lightroom affiliate, I may receive a commission if you choose either of these products. Let the comparison begin.
Lightroom Super Resolution vs Gigapixel AI
Lightroom Super Resolution
Lightroom is one of the best AI upscalers and can enlarge your image by 200% while improving detail and overall image quality.
Furthermore, unlike many other AI upscalers, Lightroom Super Resolution is included with one of the best photo editing applications. Thus, for US$9.99 a month, you get an ever-updated version of Lightroom, 1TB of Cloud Storage, AI noise reduction, and Super Resolution. Read Lightroom Review.
Unfortunately, Lightroom Super Resolution has its share of problems. Notably, Lightroom is limited to 200% upscales. Therefore, if you want to upscale an image by 400%, you must upscale your photo to 200%, export it, then upscale the export by another 200%. While I don’t consider this particularly difficult, it’s hardly convenient.
Moreover, Lightroom Super Resolution is not as consistently reliable as the best AI upscalers and, as the samples below demonstrate, can produce strange and unreliable results.
Nevertheless, while Lightroom Super Resolution isn’t perfect, it is very good. Therefore, it becomes much more difficult to justify buying a separate AI upscaler if you already subscribe to Lightroom. But, if you need the best AI upscaler there is, you need Gigapixel AI.
Unlike Super Resolution, Gigapixel AI will AI upscale up to 600%, and thanks to its multiple AI models and adjustments, you have far greater control over the result compared to Lightroom Super Resolution.
Moreover, Gigapixel AI is more consistently effective than other AI upscalers. Specifically, some photos are more challenging to upscale than others, and in these cases, Gigapixel AI typically delivers where other AI upscalers fail.
However, Gigapixel AI has two problems. First, Gigapixel AI runs slowly compared to the blisteringly quick ON1 Resize AI – but has comparable speed to Lightroom Super Resolution.
Finally, Gigapixel AI costs US$99, which is a lot when you consider Super Resolution comes bundled with a full-blown photo studio. That being said, Gigapixel AI is a one-off purchase and could be considered cheaper over a longer term than a never-ending Lightroom subscription. Read Gigapixel AI Review
Lightroom vs Gigapixel AI Tests
Lightroom Super Resolution vs Gigapixel AI for Portraits
Gigapixel AI version 6.3 includes a Face Recovery Feature, vastly improving natural features and skin tones. In comparison, Lightroom Super Resolution looks unnatural and clumsy.
Lightroom Super Resolution vs Gigapixel AI for Wildlife
Lightroom Super Resolution produces an incredibly faithful result to the original image. Yet Gigapixel AI goes further, creating a superior-looking image.
Lightroom Super Resolution vs Gigapixel AI for Landscape Photography
This is one of those stress-test images I mentioned earlier, and it demolishes every AI upscaler I’ve tested – except Gigapixel AI. As you can see, Lightroom Super Resolution is genuinely beaten, but Gigapixel AI produces a much better result.
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Gigapixel AI is better than Lightroom Super Resolution in every measure except price. In other words, if you’re already subscribing to Lightroom, it may not be easy to justify spending another $99 for a superior version of a feature you’re already paying for.
But Gigapixel AI is indeed superior. And in my testing, it beats Lightroom Super Resolution outright. Furthermore, Gigapixel AI can upscale to 600%. In contrast, Super Resolution is limited to 200% unless you can endure a clumsy workaround.
Gigapixel AI may be a little more expensive, but if Upscaling is essential to you, it’s worth every dime.
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