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Home » Topaz Photo AI Review – Topaz Photo AI 2 Tested and Compared

Topaz Photo AI Review – Topaz Photo AI 2 Tested and Compared

Topaz Photo AI Review FI

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











Table of Contents

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.

Topaz Photo AI is an all-in-one photo enhancement 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.

Enhancing images automatically with Topaz Photo AI’s Autopilot

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.

Adjusting Image Exposure and Brightness with Topaz Photo AI’s Adjusting Lighting Feature.

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

Try Topaz Photo AI for Free

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.

See Topaz Photo AI in action.

What does Topaz Photo AI do?

Topaz Photo AI is an all-in-one photo enhancement studio that combines three main features,

  • Sharpening
  • Noise Reduction
  • Upscaling


Topaz Photo AI’s AI-powered Image sharpening is superior to traditional image sharpening because it does not introduce artifacts, outlines, and halos.

Topaz Photo AI 2 is an exceptional image sharpening that can correct poor focus and motion blur.

However, Topaz Photo AI goes beyond image sharpening and can deblur and sharpen poorly focused and motion-blurred photos.

Topaz Photo AI 2

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.

The latest version of Topaz Photo AI includes settings similar to those in Topaz Sharpen AI. Namely multiple AI models – resulting in greater flexibility over the final result. Standard V2 will ultimately replace Standard.

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.

Noise Reduction

Topaz Photo AI 2’s noise reduction differs from traditional detail-sapping noise reduction. Specifically, it denoises your photo while enhancing detail.

Topaz Photo AI is one of the best noise reduction software applications you can buy.

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

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.

Topaz Photo AI 2 now has multiple AI denoising models for Raw files (as seen above) and JPEG images. Consequently, you now have more control over the final result. Note the V2 models will ultimately replace the V1 editions.


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.

Topaz Photo AI 2 is a terrific upscaler that enables you to enlarge your photos by almost 600%

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

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.

Topaz Photo AI 2 offers Gigapixel-like control over your Upscaling with four separate AI upscaling models offering distinct aesthetics.

Additional Topaz Photo AI features

Recover Faces

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.

Sharpened + Recover Faces

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.

AutoPilot is a significant selling point for Topaz Photo AI. With AutoPilot enabled, Topaz Photo AI will automatically apply a reliably sensible amount of sharpening and denoising to a single photo or batch of images.

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.


Adjust Lighting

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.

In practical terms, Adjusting Lighting is similar to boosting Exposure.

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.

Adjust Lighting

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.

Adjusting Light Real-time demo

Balancing Color

Balancing Color is an effective white balance tool that can remove color tints or adjust your image’s ‘warmth.’

Balancing Color Feature in Topaz Photo AI 2

Like Adjust Lighting, Balancing Color seeks to diminish your dependence on a secondary Photo Editing application. And in some cases, it might.

Balancing Color

How to use Topaz Photo AI

Opening a Photo

Click Browse Images to open one or many photos

Opening a photo in Topaz Photo AI

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.

Autopilot runs automatically when you open a file.

Enhancements applied by Autopilot are denoted with a green dot, and you can click on each adjustment and observe or replace Autopilot’s settings.

The Green Dot tells us Autopilot has applied noise reduction using the Strong AI model. You can leave these settings as is or adjust them to taste.

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.

Use the icons at the bottom of the screen to switch between single view and 2-way comparison views.

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.

Noise Reduction Settings in Topaz Photo AI

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.

Whichever AI Model is best varies from photo to photo. Experiment with the settings until you like what you see.

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.

Upscaling photos in Topaz Photo AI.

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.

Saving your enhanced image.

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?

Image Quality

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.

Topaz Photo AI

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.

Crop of original Image – before upscale

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
Gigapixel AI


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 vs Gigapixel AI

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.

400% Upscale Topaz Photo AI
400% Upscale Topaz Gigapixel AI

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

Being another Topaz Labs product, it’s perhaps no surprise that Topaz Denoise AI and Topaz Photo AI are equally effective photo denoisers, with both ranked on my best noise reduction software list.

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
Topaz Denoise AI

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.

Topaz Photo AI
Topaz Sharpen AI

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.

Topaz Photo AI

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

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10 thoughts on “Topaz Photo AI Review – Topaz Photo AI 2 Tested and Compared”

  1. Thank you for the best review of this product so far. I already had Topaz noise reduction for several years, but bought Topaz AI out of desperation for a tricky job I’m working on. I found the result’s remarkable and a great relief, just need a bit more time to familiarise with the layout and all the assets, so thanks for your short video and great review. I don’t have a problem with waiting if the results are worth it!

  2. Thank you for the review. It is very helpful.
    Does anyone have any idea as to what Topaz is doing with Studio 2? They are no longer updating it and it’s not on their list of products, nor do I see anything similar.

    1. Hi Robert – Not sure, if you log into Topaz Labs and add Topaz Photo AI to your cart – will offer you a price based on your past purchases. Alternatively, you have 30 days to refund Gigapixel AI and buy Topaz Photo AI instead, which is what I’d do.

    1. Sorry to hear that James. Unfortunately, its difficult to diagnose your fault from where I’m sitting. Perhaps check the forums for any vanilla issues and if all fails, you have 30-day’s get a refund.

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