Real Magnify and Enhance? In depth review of Topaz AI Sharp and AI Gigapixel

This is not regular sharpening or interpolation.

“Enhance that image” she said, as the tech on a 1999 486 clicked a his button and made the perp appear from the muddy shadows down the alley. Data that was never there appeared like magic!

Most photographers have seen this many times and laughed thinking of what unsharp mask actually does. For me my everyday tools, software, presets and actions are the simple mainstays of being a photographer. But what if we could have something that could save images we screwed up or that were missing information?

 

Today we’ll look at two products from Topaz, Sharpen AI and AI Gigapixel. to see if we actually can MAGNIFY and ENHANCE in 2019. Don’t forget to go full screen or watch on YouTube in 4k so you can see what a day ago, you might have thought was impossible.

Also here’s a couple high res examples so you can see just how much is being done before and after. Click on the images to view them large.

— Gav

 

 

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  1. Gavin, having a ball with Lumist 2 and just purchased Topaz Sharpen AI. Works on many files but not all. When it does it is pretty incredible. However their support is awful and request cases are slow to non-existent in terms of response. I had one question in their system for 17 days which was viewed once and forgotten. I closed it after 17 days and immediately got an email asking how great was the support. I have another in now abd after 8 days it hasn’t been looked at. Sad to see.

    1. Thanks for that feedback. That’s not a good thing and hopefully Topaz gets their support channels resolved ASAP.

  2. Gavin

    I’ve found both products to be really good, especially with photos that are detailed to begin with. I have on my wall a print enlarged by Gigapixel by 150% – nothing too much but the print is 30 inches wide. The detail is incredible. A friend of mine, a professional photographer, stares at it and says he’s never seen anything this sharp.

    What I have found with AI Sharp is that it is very ‘clever’ in rescuing images that are out of focus or have some motion blur, but it’s also relying a bit on on our brains to rationalise the result. In my review (https://www.andybellphotography.com/blog/2019/10/07/topaz-sharpen-ai-then-end-of-soft-images/) I have a picture of a building with a Parking Notice visible at the bottom. Looking at the result – the building looks great but, at 100%, the writing on the notice is smudged. My brain ‘sees’ the building and overlooks any defects in it because it looks enough like a building. But the writing? It’s not sharp and my brain can’t rationalise that away…

    Nevertheless, this software is as good as it gets. It just can’t perform miracles.

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About the Author

Glad you're here.

I'm from WA State USA and started studying photography in 97. I started work as a pro (using that word loosely because I sucked) using film at age 16. I learned fast but was not as easy to find training then. Sometimes I beat my head against the wall until I figured stuff out.

As digital dawned I went all in and got to study with masters like Ken Whitmire. In 09 I founded the Pro Photo Show podcast. I started promoting tone-focused editing. When Lightroom arrived, I started developing tools to make editing and workflow better.

20 years of study and photography around the country earned me a Master of Photography (M.Photog) from PPA. I got to see my workshops and tools featured in publications across the industry. Once I even won the prestigious HotOne award for my "EXposed" light and tone workshop.

Wanting something calmer, I moved to Mexico in 2017. It's a land of magical light. I'm here now exploring light and trying to master my weak areas. I make videos of that for my Youtube channel, sharing what I learn. I hope you'll stick around and be part of Light Hunters Tribe... Gavin

Gavin Seim

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