Topaz Photo AI Review in 2023 + Tutorial

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Topaz Photo AI is the newest addition to Topaz Labs’ lineup of photography-enhancing software. Topaz Photo AI combines all of Topaz Labs’ best image enhancer tools to automatically detect and fix quality issues using artificial intelligence.

This new piece of software also incorporates some new features to make the process easier. In this Topaz Photo AI review, you’ll find an in-depth analysis and tutorial on how to use Topaz Photo AI to fine-tune your images!

I’ve been using Topaz Labs’ software for years and my experience with them has been great so far. When I first got the news about Topaz Photo AI, I couldn’t wait to try it out and I’ve been running multiple tests and using it on my workflow over the last few months.

Is Topaz Photo AI the ultimate photo enhance AI software to rule them all? Keep reading to learn more!

Is Topaz Photo AI Worth it?

Topaz Photo AI combines the power from Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Gigapixel AI to create an all-in-one photo-enhancing software. You can reduce noise, sharpen, and enlarge your images, all without exiting Photo AI, and with plenty of automated settings. However, it’s not perfect, and there are a few features that advanced Topaz users will miss in this new software.

Keep reading this Topaz Photo AI review to find out more!

What are the Pros

What are the Cons

OUR OVERALL RATING:
4/5

What is Topaz Photo AI?

Topaz Photo AI is an all-in-one tool to reduce noise, sharpen, and enlarge your photos by using artificial intelligence.

Topaz Photo AI logo in PNG with a transparent background

Topaz Labs has brought together some features from Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Gigapixel AI into one powerful tool to make your workflow quicker and easier. The key aspect of all these pieces of software is the algorithms based on artificial intelligence which allows all the benefits of reducing noise, sharpening, and enlarging your photos, without the traditional caveats.

All these features make Topaz Photo AI an advanced piece of software; however, there are a few things worth mentioning if you are planning on purchasing this software.

Let’s find out more about Topaz Photo AI!

How to use Topaz Photo AI – Full Tutorial

Topaz Photo AI is intuitive and easy to work with. In this Topaz Photo AI tutorial, I’ll break down how to use Topaz Photo AI in a few simple steps.

Topaz Photo AI Download and Installation

    1. Download and install Topaz Photo AI: you can either download Topaz Photo AI for free and try it for a limited period of time or download the full version of Topaz Photo AI right away. Topaz Photo AI is compatible with both Windows and macOS. In both cases, download the installation file and follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation successfully.
    2. Once the installation is complete, Topaz Photo AI will be installed both as a standalone program and as a plugin for Lightroom, Photoshop, and Capture One.
    3. Run Topaz Photo AI: if you’ve purchased the software, you can log in to your Topaz account to apply the license. Otherwise, you can start the trial period.

After you’ve successfully completed the installation process, it’s time to learn how to use Topaz Photo AI!

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Topaz Photo AI Autopilot

Autopilot is a brand-new feature added to Topaz Photo AI. Autopilot will automatically detect, with artificial intelligence, which aspects of your image need improvement and will apply the best adjustments. Autopilot is enabled by default and will run automatically as soon as you import an image. It is the first element you’ll see in Topaz Photo AI’s interface.

Autopilot can also detect many kinds of subjects and faces and apply automatic local adjustments.

Topaz Photo AI interface with subject selected

Autopilot in Photo AI can help make your workflow quicker

Autopilot is really useful if you want a quick fix; however, you can still fine-tune each adjustment to your liking.

How to remove noise with Topaz Photo AI

One of the many things you can do with Topaz Photo AI is to reduce the digital noise in your images. Follow these simple steps to effectively reduce noise in your images using Topaz Photo AI:

Topaz Photo AI import interface

Import your images into Topaz Photo AI to start editing

    1. Open Topaz Photo AI.
    2. Drag and drop or browse to find your image.
    3. Autopilot will automatically apply basic adjustments.
    4. Extend the noise module and choose between normal noise reduction or strong noise reduction. I generally recommend normal, but that depends on the image. You’ll then find two sliders:
      1. Strength: adjusts the amount of noise reduction to be applied.
      2. Detail: adjusts the amount of detail to be recovered.
  1. Noise reduction module in Topaz Photo AI

    Noise reduction module

    1. Adjust these settings until you’ve reached the desired result.

Note: the “Normal” and “Strong” options for noise reduction won’t show if you are using a RAW file.

Topaz Photo AI uses a simplified version of Denoise AI. To learn more about this software, check out my Topaz Denoise AI Review where I also included a complete tutorial. If you are looking for a more advanced workflow, this might be the best software for you.

How to Sharpen Images with Topaz Photo AI

Topaz Photo AI also allows you to sharpen images that are slightly blurry or out of focus. Once again, this module is very easy and intuitive. Here is how to sharpen an image with Topaz Photo AI:

    1. If you already have an image open, then scroll down to the “Sharpen” module, otherwise, import an image and then scroll down to the “Sharpen” module.
    2. Extend the “Sharpen” module and you’ll find three different sharpening options:
      1. Standard: this option is best in most cases where you just need to improve the overall sharpness of an image.
      2. Lens blur: this is the best option for images that are blurry due to a lack of sharpness of the lens.
      3. Motion blur: you should choose this option if the blurriness on your image is caused by movement.
    3. Adjust the strength and clarity sliders to obtain the desired result:
      1. Strength: targets the overall sharpness of the image.
      2. Clarity: targets and fixes fine details.
Sharpen module in Topaz Photo AI

Sharpen your image in Topaz Photo AI

Note: If your image contains a face, Photo AI will recognize it and then you’ll be able to select the “Recover Faces” option to enhance the detail in faces, otherwise this setting will be locked.

Topaz Photo AI face recovery module

Topaz Photo AI allows you to recover detail in faces

If you are looking for a more advanced tool to sharpen your images, you should check out my Topaz Sharpen AI review. This software provides multiple tools and AI models to achieve the best results in your images.

How to Enlarge Images with Topaz Photo AI

Finally, you can upscale your images and enhance the resolution using Topaz Photo AI. There are two separate sections in Photo AI that will help with your image size. Let’s see how they work.

    1. Continue on the same image you’ve been working on or import a new image.
    2. Scroll down to the “Enhance Resolution” section.
    3. Choose the kind of input image between:
      1. Natural
      2. Graphics
      3. Low Resolution
    4. Topaz will then generate new pixels by using artificial intelligence. This step should be done before upscaling the image.
  1. Topaz Photo AI Enhance Resolution interface

    Topaz Photo AI uses AI to generate pixels and enhance image resolution

     

    1. To upscale the image, scroll to the final section of the software, “Upscale”.
    2. Choose the upscale size between the four available options.
Topaz Photo AI upscale interface

Just like in Gigapixel AI, you can upscale your images in Topaz Photo AI

This is a much more simplified version of Topaz Gigapixel AI. Read my review on Gigapixel AI to find out more about its features. Topaz Gigapixel AI provides a much wider array of options to upscale your images.

Using Topaz Photo AI Plugin for Lightroom

After installing the software, you’ll have the option of running the Topaz Photo AI plugin for Lightroom. This plugin makes it easier to implement this software into your current editing workflow.

Follow these simple steps to run Topaz Photo AI from Lightroom:

    1. Open Lightroom.
    2. In the Develop module, select the photo you’d like to improve.
    3. Right-click on the image > Edit in > Topaz Photo AI.
    4. In the pop-up window, choose “Edit a copy with Lightroom adjustments”, then click “Edit”.
    5. Adjust the image to reduce noise, sharpen, or upscale in Topaz Photo AI.
    6. Once you’ve finished in Topaz Photo AI, click on “Save to Adobe Lightroom Classic” to return to Lightroom.
Topaz Photo AI Lightroom plugin

You can run Topaz Photo AI directly from Lightroom Classic

Note: I recommend editing a copy with Lightroom adjustments. The difference between editing the original RAW file and a Lightroom copy is negligible. However, Lightroom is a RAW editor and will always treat RAW files better than Photo AI.

Using Topaz Photo AI Plugin for Photoshop

If you are a Photoshop user, instead of Lightroom, there is also an alternative for you. Topaz Photo AI also incorporates a Photoshop plugin which comes in very handy. Topaz Photo AI becomes even more powerful when combined with Photoshop layers and masking.

The steps to run Topaz Photo AI in Photoshop are very simple:

    1. Open your image in Photoshop.
    2. Click on Filter > Topaz Labs > Topaz Photo AI.
    3. Adjust the image in Photo AI.
    4. When you’ve finished, click on “Save to Adobe Photoshop”.
    5. Photo AI will save the adjustments to your layer in Photoshop.
Topaz Photo AI Photoshop plugin

You can also run Topaz Photo AI as a filter in Adobe Photoshop

Note: I suggest creating a duplicate of the pixel layer before applying the Topaz Photo AI filter. This will ensure your workflow stays non-destructive.

Note 2: Both with Photoshop and Lightroom, if you want to run your image through Photo AI, don’t apply any previous noise reduction or sharpening settings. This will ensure Photo AI delivers the best results possible.

Topaz Photo AI Before and After Review

In this Topaz Photo AI review, I’ll be showing you some before and after examples so you can see by yourself some results that I got by using this software.

So far, I’m really pleased with the results, even just using the default settings. Topaz Photo AI doesn’t give you as many options as the separate programs, but if you are looking to speed up your editing workflow with a couple of easy clicks, this might be a great option for you.

Let’s see how it does in different photography genres:

Topaz Photo AI in Portrait Photography

Topaz Photo AI in portrait photography does an exceptional job. Autopilot effectively detects the subject and the face in the photograph, and even the default settings make a great difference.

It also has a feature to recover faces which will improve the overall sharpness and details of facial features. I’ve found that this last feature tends to overdo both sharpness and softness a little too much so I haven’t used it too often.

Topaz Photo AI improving imagesTopaz Photo AI

 

Topaz Photo AI in Wildlife Photography

Throughout my tests, I’ve noticed that Topaz Photo AI delivers the best results when applied to wildlife photography. However, in this case, I recommend turning on the sharpening and choosing the best sharpening model for your image.

Topaz Photo AI in wildlife photographyTopaz Photo AI complete tutorial

 

Topaz Photo AI in Astrophotography

The results I’ve obtained from using Topaz Photo AI in astrophotography are very consistent with the quality I’ve enjoyed over the years with Denoise AI. Denoise AI has been an integral part of my workflow over the past few years, and my expectations for noise reduction in Photo AI were very high.

Denoise AI still provides more options and is more versatile, but if you are looking for a quick fix for the noise in your images, Topaz Photo AI does a pretty good job.

Is Topaz Photo AI worth itTopaz Photo AI before and after comparissons

 

If you are into astrophotography and like photographing the Milky Way, I encourage you to download our free Milky Way calendars which will help you to plan your next epic photo!

GET THE CALENDAR WITH THE BEST DATES TO PHOTOGRAPH THE MILKY WAY IN 2023

You'll also receive our PDF guide to photographing the Milky Way!

Topaz Photo AI in Landscape Photography

Topaz Photo AI does a good job in landscape photography. However, I’ve found the lack of more settings a bit problematic because I didn’t always like the results. I’ve noticed Photo AI struggles mostly with photos with clouds where the artificial intelligence has a hard time retaining the detail.

Topaz Photo AI worth it for astrophotographyTopaz Photo AI in astrophotography

 

Topaz Photo AI vs. Denoise AI, Sharpen AI and Gigapixel AI

After thoroughly testing Topaz Photo AI and using Denoise, Sharpen and Gigapixel AI for years, the results I’ve seen with these programs are very consistent. When using default settings, the difference between Topaz Photo AI and the individual programs is unnoticeable, after all, all of these pieces of software are trained using the same machine learning algorithms.

Topaz Photo AI vs Denoise AI Sharpen AI and Gigapixel AI

The biggest difference when comparing Topaz Photo AI vs. Denoise AI, Sharpen AI and Gigapixel AI, is the simplicity of Photo AI. This can be both a good thing and a bad aspect. It is great when it comes to speeding up the editing workflow; however, the lack of settings is a downside if you want to be more detailed and achieve the best possible results.

Topaz Photo AI Discount and Price

Topaz Photo AI retails for $199 for a lifetime license, but Topaz runs regular sales, so you can find it discounted.

The price might seem high at a first glance, but when you consider that you are getting the key features of Denoise AI, Sharpen AI and Gigapixel AI all in one simplified suite, it’s more than worth it. If you decided to buy Denoise AI, Sharpen AI and Gigapixel AI separately, it would cost $260.

Save $40 until February 17th!

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Download Photo AI today from Topaz Labs to get the best deals.

Black Friday in Topaz Labs! Save up to 65% and enhance your images for only $458.97 $159!

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If you want to learn more about Topaz Labs’ software, I encourage you to read the reviews I’ve written:

Conclusion – Is Topaz Photo AI Worth it?

Topaz Photo AI does an exceptional job at improving the quality of your photos in most cases. It has a user-friendly interface with simple and intuitive settings, and plenty of automated functions. However, Topaz Photo AI incorporates simplified versions of Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Gigapixel AI, so you won’t have as many tools and AI models as in the standalone versions of this software

My experience with Topaz Photo AI has been great, just what I was expecting. As a landscape astrophotographer, I’m always looking for ways to make my editing workflow more efficient and Topaz Photo AI helps me in that aspect.

So, who is Topaz Photo AI for? Topaz Photo AI is for any photographer who wants to spend less time fiddling around with settings and wants a tool that will deliver quality results quickly. If you fit into that category, then Topaz Photo AI is completely worth it. On the other hand, if you want to have complete control over every setting, then Denoise AI, Sharpen AI and Gigapixel AI as individual programs might be better for you.

I hope you found this Topaz Photo AI review helpful and, If you have any questions about Topaz Photo AI, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Save $40 until February 17th!

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Download Photo AI today from Topaz Labs to get the best deals.

Black Friday in Topaz Labs! Save up to 65% and enhance your images for only $458.97 $159!

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COFOUNDER & PHOTO TOUR LEADER

Dan is a professional landscape and astro photographer, photography educator, and co-founder of Capture the Atlas. His base camp is in Nevada, USA, but he spends long periods exploring and photographing new locations around the world.

Apart from shooting the Milky Way, the Northern Lights, and any breathtaking landscape, he enjoys leading photo tours to some of the most photogenic places on Earth.

You can find more about Dan here.

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