Topaz AI - so far
I have been using the Topaz AI suite for a couple of months now & continue to be impressed.
The suite comprises of Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, PhotoAI.
(It also includes Gigapixel AI, but I haven’t found much use for Gigapixel yet.)
These packages can be used as standalone or as add-ins to Photoshop, accessed via the Filters palette.
I use Topaz AI with all images to some extent but especially on:
1. Images with motion blur or camera shake.
2. Images taken with prefocused camera trap where the image is soft because the subject was not quite on the focal plane & a high f number is used to maximise depth of field.
3. Images that are in focus but some details are soft due to depth-of-field issues.
4. Images taken in lowlight & high ISO.
I am revisiting old files taken with EOS 40D, 7D Mk1, 7D Mk2 & 5DSr that include both Jpeg & RAW format. Some of these files where never processed because of low quality although they often captured interesting behaviour. Their quality seems even less impressive when compared to images off my current R5. Some of these poor images have benefited remarkably from the Topaz AI suite.
All of these 3 Topaz add-ins confusingly include a denoise & a sharpen capability, which is the most common reason I reach for Topaz. I usually start with Denoise AI with moderate sharpening & then move to Sharpen AI for specific detail sharpening using the History Brush. Some images even get a final tweak with Photo AI. So there is quite a bit of overlap between packages. I can never tell quite how an image will respond to the different packages so there is a bit of ‘suck it & see’.
Here is a before & after image of a Mallee Emuwren with motion blur as it was springing into flight. The Mallee Emuwren is a rare species & difficult to find so any photo is worth working on. It was taken with an EOS 7D with EF500 f4 Mk1, 1000th sec, f6.3, ISO800 & saved as RAW.
Before Topaz AI
After Topaz AI
Here is a Brush Wattlebird shot with 5DSr in a camera trap set-up. High speed flash has frozen action but high f number -small aperture- has softened image generally & head is not in optimal focal plane. The After image is sharper but there have been some artefacts introduced on the green leaf margins that would need a History Brush tweak.