Topaz Photo AI is an all-in-one AI-powered photo enhancement application combining image upscaling, sharpening, and noise reduction into a single, easy-to-use interface. Moreover, each of Photo AI’s image enhancement features is world-class and, when combined, can produce spectacular results.
In this updated Topaz Photo AI review, we’re exploring Topaz Photo AI 2, its new feature set, testing its output, and seeing how it compares against the competition. Let’s get started. Jump to Conclusion
REVIEW CONTINUES BELOW
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Table of Contents
- What is Topaz Photo AI
- Watch Topaz Video AI Review
- What does Topaz Photo AI do?
- Additional Topaz Photo AI features
- How to use Topaz Photo AI
- Is Topaz Photo AI any good?
- Topaz Photo AI Alternatives
What is Topaz Photo AI
Topaz Photo AI is an all-in-one photo enhancement that combines AI-powered upscaling, noise reduction, and sharpening into a single, easy-to-use application for PC and Mac.
In other words, Topaz Photo AI is Gigapixel AI, Sharpen AI, and Denoise AI all rolled into one. This means two things. First, Topaz Photo AI is more valuable, more often, because it does more. Second, you can combine each of Topaz Photo AI’s technologies to achieve results beyond the reach of standalone sharpeners, denoisers, and upscalers.
Moreover, you can use Topaz Photo AI’s Autopilot to apply multiple enhancements to a single image or batch automatically. Alternatively, you can apply any amount of any enhancement yourself.
Topaz Photo AI is a standalone application. You can use Topaz Photo AI alone or as a plugin for the following photo editing applications.
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Lightroom Classic
- Capture One
New to Topaz Photo AI 2
Topaz Photo AI 2 introduces two new features – Adjusting Lighting and Balancing Color. As the names suggest, both relight and recolor your photo, and we will explore these features later in this Topaz Photo AI review.
While neither tool is mind-blowing, they succeed in reducing the likelihood of you needing to export your image to a separate photo editing application to make simple adjustments.
Who is Topaz Photo AI for
Topaz Photo AI is for anyone who needs to denoise high-ISO images, correct poorly focused or motion-blurred photos, and upscale their pictures for large prints. In other words, Topaz Photo AI is helpful to most digital photographers.
How much does Topaz Photo AI cost
Topaz Photo AI costs US$199 for a Lifetime license and includes one year’s updates. Buy Topaz Photo AI Today
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You can try a fully functional version of Topaz Photo AI free of charge for 30 days. Try Topaz Photo AI Now – For Free.
Watch Topaz Video AI Review
The written review continues below.
What does Topaz Photo AI do?
Topaz Photo AI is an all-in-one photo enhancement studio that combines three main features,
- Noise Reduction
Topaz Photo AI’s AI-powered Image sharpening is superior to traditional image sharpening because it does not introduce artifacts, outlines, and halos.
However, Topaz Photo AI goes beyond image sharpening and can deblur and sharpen poorly focused and motion-blurred photos.
Furthermore, Image sharpening has improved in the latest version of Topaz Photo AI. For instance, you can choose between five AI sharpening models: Standard, Strong, Lens Blur, and Motion Blur. New to Topaz Photo AI 2 is Standard v2, which will ultimately replace the existing Standard sharpening model.
Embedded in the five AI models are up to three adjustments for fine-tuning the AI model’s strength and noise reduction.
As with previous versions, Topaz Photo AI 2 features Subject and Face Detection, enabling you to apply sharpening to the subject while leaving the background intact. You can also augment your sharpening with the Recovering Faces tool for more natural-looking portraits. Try Sharpening your Photos with Topaz Photo AI – for Free.
Topaz Photo AI 2’s noise reduction differs from traditional detail-sapping noise reduction. Specifically, it denoises your photo while enhancing detail.
To illustrate, I fed Topaz Photo AI a noisy ISO6400 Micro Four Thirds image. The results are so impressive that they can be considered equivalent to a sensor or lens upgrade but at a fraction of the price.
Topaz Photo AI offers several distinct AI Models for denoising JPEG and Raw files. Each AI model has separate adjustments for fine-tuning noise reduction strength and deblur. Alternatively, you can enable Autopilot, and Topaz Photo AI will make these adjustments for you. Try denoising your photos with Topaz Photo AI.
You can use Topaz Photo AI’s Upscaling to enlarge your digital photos by up to 600%. But unlike traditional photo enlargement applications, which turn one pixel into many, Topaz Photo AI’s artificial intelligence anticipates and inserts additional detail as it goes.
As you can see in the sample below, images enlarged with Topaz Photo AI can look sharper and more detailed than the original smaller image.
Topaz Photo AI includes four different AI models: Standard, High Fidelity, Graphics, and Low Resolution, and each features separate adjustment, giving you granular control over Denoising, Deblurring, and Compression. Alternatively, you can switch on Autopilot and let Topaz Photo AI apply the adjustments for you.
Additional Topaz Photo AI features
Topaz Photo AI’s Recover Faces mode leverages face detection technology to identify and preserve Faces from destructive over-processing – a situation I often encounter when testing AI enhancement apps.
Even with Recover Faces disabled, Topaz Photo AI is better than most. However, enabling Recover Faces and adjusting its strength adds flexibility seldom found in other photo enhancement applications.
With AutoPilot enabled, Topaz Photo AI will automatically assess your photo and apply whatever amount of Sharpening and Denoising it thinks is best. And, if you are in a rush, you can use AutoPilot to batch-enhance multiple photos simultaneously.
Moreover, as the sample below demonstrates, AutoPilot is reliable enough to take for granted, although you may find further image-enhancing improvements with additional manual tuning.
New to Topaz Photo AI is Adjust Lighting. As you might expect, Adjust Lighting enables you to relight your subject, and in operation, it is similar to boosting Exposure in Lightroom and most other photo editing applications.
Therefore, Adjust Lighting is hardly a novel feature. However, it does diminish the need to reload your Topaz-enhanced photo into your favorite photo editing application for a second round of adjustments.
As a result, in some cases, Adjust Lighting could cut your editing workflow by half. It’s worth noting that Adjust Lighting currently exists in Beta.
Balancing Color is an effective white balance tool that can remove color tints or adjust your image’s ‘warmth.’
Like Adjust Lighting, Balancing Color seeks to diminish your dependence on a secondary Photo Editing application. And in some cases, it might.
How to use Topaz Photo AI
Opening a Photo
Click Browse Images to open one or many photos
Enhancing your image with Autopilot
Upon opening your photo, Topaz Photo AI will automatically run Autopilot and enhance your image for you. A window will appear, showing you which adjustments have been applied.
Enhancements applied by Autopilot are denoted with a green dot, and you can click on each adjustment and observe or replace Autopilot’s settings.
Comparing your image before and after
At this point, you may wish to compare the enhanced version of your image with the original. To this end, you can use the icons at the bottom of the screen to switch between a single and a 2-way comparison view.
Now, you can accept Autopilot’s settings and save your image. Alternatively, you can continue to make your own adjustments.
Adjusting Noise Reduction
Click on the Removing Noise Section to access Topaz Photo AI’s noise reduction settings. Begin by trying each AI Model to see which suits your image best. After that, you can fine-tune the model by moving the Strength, Minor Deblur, and Recover Original Detail adjustments.
Continue this process until you are happy with the result. Alternatively, click the green arrow to restore Autopilot settings or flick the switch to turn off noise reduction altogether.
Sharpening your photo
Click on the Sharpen section to reveal Topaz Photo AI’s sharpening tools. Start by choosing whether to limit sharpening to your subject or your entire photo. The former is useful when sharpening images with blurred backgrounds.
Continue the sharpening process by trying each of the five AI models to see which suits your image best. You can then adjust your preferred AI model’s strength and denoising effect.
If applicable, you can revert to the Autopilot’s preferred settings at any time by clicking on the green arrow or turn off sharpening entirely by pulling the switch to the left.
Upscaling your photo
Click on the Upscale section to reveal Topaz Photo AI’s upscaling tools. Begin by choosing how much you want to enlarge your image.
The easiest way to do this is by selecting one of Topaz Photo AI’s presets, namely 2x, 4x, and Max. Alternatively, you can set your photo’s desired height and length in inches, centimeters, or pixels.
Then, sample each of the AI models to see which looks best. After which, you can adjust your preferred AI Model’s Denoise, Deblur, and Compression Settings to taste.
Saving your Photo
When you finish enhancing your photo, click the Save Image button at the bottom right of the screen. By default, your enhanced image will be saved as a copy, thus leaving your original photo intact and untouched.
When saving your enhanced image, name it and specify the folder in which it will be kept. By default, Topaz Photo AI will save your enhanced image in the same folder as the original.
After that, choose which format you wish to save your image. You can choose between JPEG, TIFF, and PNG. However, if you plan on editing the picture further, you may want to save your image as a DNG raw file. And that’s it, you’re finished.
Is Topaz Photo AI any good?
As the samples littered throughout this review demonstrate, Topaz Photo AI is a highly effective image enhancement application. Each of its major components, namely upscaling, denoising, and sharpening, are the best or comparable with the best of their kind.
But with Topaz Photo AI, you can combine each of these features to produce compound results beyond the reach of standalone denoisers, upscalers, and sharpeners.
For instance, Gigapixel AI is the best standalone AI upscaler I have tested. But Topaz Photo AI’s upscaling is just as good, and we can augment an upscale with sharpening and noise reduction. As a result, we can produce results Gigapixel AI cannot. Allow me to demonstrate.
We will upscale this image with a bird with Gigapixel AI and Topaz Photo AI. But we will also exploit Topaz Photo AI’s denoising and sharpening features. As you can see in the sample below, Topaz Photo AI soundly beats Gigapixel AI because it’s doing so much more than upscaling.
Topaz Photo AI’s interface is attractive, responsive, and stacked with sensibly named tools. Moreover, its Autopilot mode reliably produces excellent results, saving time and effort.
But even if you prefer to set your own adjustments, Topaz Photo AI’s well-designed interface feels welcoming and intuitive.
However, Topaz Photo AI does demand some patience as each time you change your AI model or make an adjustment; Photo AI will take between 5-10 seconds to rerender the image preview. Yet, even when the image reloads, Topaz Photo AI’s interface remains responsive to your instructions.
To be fair, such pauses are common to most AI image enhancement applications, and Topaz Photo AI is faster than most. Nevertheless, you might consider the results are worth the wait.
But if you want to see how well Topaz Photo AI runs on your PC or Mac, you can download a free 30-day trial here.
Topaz Photo AI Alternatives
Topaz Photo AI and Gigapixel AI have similar feature sets and can produce near-identical results. In other words, both Topaz Photo AI and Gigapixel AI are among the best AI Upscalers I have tested.
However, there are some differences. For instance, Gigapixel AI has a few additional adjustments. But, practically speaking, the main difference is that Gigapixel AI costs half as much as Topaz Photo AI and is limited to upscaling only.
Thus, holistically speaking, images processed with Topaz Photo AI have the potential to look better thanks to its expanded feature set. But if you only need an upscaler, Gigapixel AI is as good as it gets. Read the Topaz Photo AI vs Gigapixel AI comparison for more information and samples.
Topaz Photo AI vs Denoise AI
Therefore, the reason to choose Topaz Photo AI over Topaz Denoise AI is for its upscaling and sharpening features. But if you only care about noise reduction, you might as well save your money and buy Topaz Denoise AI instead. Read Topaz Denoise AI Review.
Topaz Photo AI vs Sharpen AI
Topaz Photo AI and Topaz Sharpen AI produce nearly identical results. In other words, both are outstanding image sharpeners capable of correcting poor focus and motion blur.
Interestingly, Topaz Sharpen AI has ten AI sharpening models to Topaz Photo AI’s four. But, in practical terms, I’ve found Topaz Sharpen AI to be no more capable as a result.
Therefore, the reason to choose Topaz Photo AI over Topaz Sharpen AI is that you don’t mind paying extra for upscaling and noise reduction. But if you only want world-class image sharpening, you can save a lot of money and buy Topaz Sharpen AI instead. Read Topaz Sharpen AI Review.
Topaz Photo AI vs Topaz Bundle
The Topaz Image Quality Bundle includes Topaz Denoise AI, Gigapixel AI, and Topaz Sharpen AI. Therefore, as a collective, it offers similar functionality to Topaz Photo AI.
However, the Topaz Image Quality Bundle requires you to hop between three different applications to take advantage of all its features. In contrast, Topaz Photo AI provides all these features in one place. Moreover, with Topaz Photo AI, you can use the Autopilot feature and exploit and combine all of these features while barely lifting a finger.
For these reasons. I would always choose Topaz Photo AI over the Topaz Image Quality Bundle.
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Topaz Photo AI is a formidable image enhancement application that blends first-rate noise reduction, sharpening, and upscaling into a single, easy-to-use application.
More than a year from its debut, this latest iteration of Topaz Photo AI has matured and improved. Notably, Topaz Photo AI 2 is faster, offers more adjustment, and packs new and sensible features such as Face detection and recovery. Thus, you might reconsider if you have previously passed over Topaz Photo AI.
Unfortunately, Topaz Photo AI isn’t perfect. For instance, Photo AI is faster than ever but slower than some. And, if you don’t need to combine upscaling, sharpening, and denoising, you can buy any single one of these features standalone for much less money while enjoying comparable performance.
Overall, Topaz Photo AI 2 is a sum of its excellent parts, with a massive dollop of convenience piled on top. If you’re looking for world-class sharpening, noise reduction, and upscaling in a single easy-to-use package – Topaz Photo AI 2 is the best game in town. Try Topaz Photo AI Now – For Free
TOPAZ PHOTO AI 2
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