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
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 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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:
- Open Topaz Photo AI.
- Drag and drop or browse to find your image.
- Autopilot will automatically apply basic adjustments.
- 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:
- Strength: adjusts the amount of noise reduction to be applied.
- Detail: adjusts the amount of detail to be recovered.
- 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:
- 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.
- Extend the “Sharpen” module and you’ll find three different sharpening options:
- Standard: this option is best in most cases where you just need to improve the overall sharpness of an image.
- Lens blur: this is the best option for images that are blurry due to a lack of sharpness of the lens.
- Motion blur: you should choose this option if the blurriness on your image is caused by movement.
- Adjust the strength and clarity sliders to obtain the desired result:
- Strength: targets the overall sharpness of the image.
- Clarity: targets and fixes fine details.
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.
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.
- Continue on the same image you’ve been working on or import a new image.
- Scroll down to the “Enhance Resolution” section.
- Choose the kind of input image between:
- Low Resolution
- Topaz will then generate new pixels by using artificial intelligence. This step should be done before upscaling the image.
- To upscale the image, scroll to the final section of the software, “Upscale”.
- Choose the upscale size between the four available options.
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:
- Open Lightroom.
- In the Develop module, select the photo you’d like to improve.
- Right-click on the image > Edit in > Topaz Photo AI.
- In the pop-up window, choose “Edit a copy with Lightroom adjustments”, then click “Edit”.
- Adjust the image to reduce noise, sharpen, or upscale in Topaz Photo AI.
- Once you’ve finished in Topaz Photo AI, click on “Save to Adobe Lightroom Classic” to return to Lightroom.
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:
- Open your image in Photoshop.
- Click on Filter > Topaz Labs > Topaz Photo AI.
- Adjust the image in Photo AI.
- When you’ve finished, click on “Save to Adobe Photoshop”.
- Photo AI will save the adjustments to your layer in 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 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 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.
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!
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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 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.
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.
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!
I agree with you, Dan. I shoot a lot of my Canon R3 full frame RAW images with a wide variety of subject matter in low light — sometimes very low light. I also shoot almost exclusively hand-held and with natural light. I used to use Topaz DeNoise AI plugin to Adobe’s Lightroom Classic to tweak and remove the ever-present noise, ranging from Standard all the way down to the two lowest light presets, but lately I’ve been using Topaz Photo AI more and more. With every update, that program is getting better and better, greatly reducing my need to use the manual tools in Topaz DeNoise AI and the other plugins. Right now I am editing a group of photos that I took at night for my review of SUPER NINTENDO WORLD at Universal Studios Hollywood. If you and your readers would like to see those low-light photos, here is a link to where they will be posted on my AutoMatters & More website at (AutoMatters.net). If you wait a day or do and then enter SUPER NINTENDO WORLD in the search bar in the middle of my Home Page , that column should come up as a choice.
Thanks for sharing this about your experience with Topaz!
Does Topaz Photo AI work offline? What is the privacy related to my photos? Do they get uploaded for processing? Thanks!
Yes, it works offline and your photos are safe; you can decide if they can be used for improving the software or not, but they won’t be stolen 😉