NEW FROM TOPAZ! Sharpen AI (discounted/free, replaces InFocus)

May 1, 2006
If you are just wanting noise reduction, you should be using Denoise AI not Sharpen AI.
Correct. The potential NR in Sharpen AI is sort of a bonus in the sharpening process.
I.E., after post processing and when sharpening at the end, it could be possible to clean up a bit of noise as part of that process.
Jan 2, 2009
I've tested and/or used all of the new round of "AI" products from Topaz. It seems they are all built on the same basic algorithms and tuned for specific purpose. If you run them side by side on the same image it is very interesting. They all(including Gigapixel AI) do some degree of noise reduction and sharpening depending on the settings. The one downside as compared to sharpening/NR in RAW converters is the the AI products are prone to producing artifacts and it's easy to get results that look over processed.

Like everything else there is no "one size fits all". Used appropriately they produce excellent results.

I also just recently started using DxO Photolab. Similar to Karen's experience I'm finding that for images shot with camera/lens combos that have a profile in DxO, it is hard to beat for NR during first step RAW conversion.
Dec 16, 2006
South Florida
I use Denoise AI first.

My process is:
LR adjustments + crop/rotate in LR
then Ctrl-E to export to PS
then in PS
Denoise AI (if needed)
Sharpen AI (if needed)
Adjust AI (if needed and only with my own made presets -- very slight adjustments every time)
Next I do all the processing + resize, signature adding and conversion to JPG with the very powerful TK Actions v7 Luminosity masks for PS

Note: If you haven't seen TK Action, search the web for Tony Kuyper's Luminosity Masks and/or the excellent Sean Bagshaw tutorials for them to get a glimpse of their power.
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Apr 26, 2008
Up in the hills, Gloucestershire, UK
I have Studio so I'm curious as how this product compares to Topaz Studio's "AI Clear"
There are really three denoise options now.
1. Denoise AI handles the tradeoff between noise and detail and appears likely to be the best with high ISO.
2. Just to confuse things, Denoise AI includes two models, the Denoise AI model and the AI Clear model.
3. And then these is the old AI Clear product, now built into Studio.
Opinions seem to vary wildly, and be careful about what you may read because the Denoise AI product has been subject to a rapid development with many versions, many of which have improved the AI model used over the previous version.
They all work but it isn't clear what each is best for. I think you will have to find out for yourself.

What I can tell you is that I think Sharpen AI leaves all other sharpening programs far behind. None of the old fringing problems, and amazing clarity. (If you do see a fringe it is because you already had a small fringe from previous sharpening, and Sharpen AI has sharpened it.) Sharpen AI can also reduce noise, so you could almost call that a fourth denoise option.
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