More Topaz Software Revelations

Boats on Derwentwater at sunset – click to view larger image

This past week has seen me focussing on finishing my latest video course (it’s still not finished). It’s been three months in the making so far, but I don’t want to rush things. So, alongside video editing, I’ve been tidying up my photos on Redbubble, and that’s why I’m sharing today’s image.

I won’t go into the technicalities of Redbubble sizing, but I wanted the image to be 7,100pixels on the long edge. The native size of the image was 5,595pixels on the long edge, so I needed to increase the resolution.

After resizing the image, I checked the detail at 100% and was surprised to see quite a bit of noise in the sky. Ultimately, I traced this back to my editing using Nik Color Efex Pro, which I must admit can exaggerate noise. Rather than try to reprocess the entire image I thought I would run the image through Nik Dfine. This did a reasonable job, but I could still see traces of noise artefacts in the sky that I couldn’t remove. That’s when I thought I would try Topaz DeNoise.

I originally purchased Topaz DeNoise years ago, when the first version came out. I always found it good, but it required a lot of fiddling with the controls. As Topaz has a policy of selling a product license for life, I thought I would see if I could download the new Topaz DeNoise AI. Success!

If you haven’t seen the new Topaz DeNoise, it’s quite different from the old software. There’s now little for you to do as most of the settings are automatic. Even when you turn off the auto option there isn’t much to adjust.

Anyway, I ran the image through DeNoise, and the results amazed me. I know we use superlatives like “amazed” far too often these days, but I can’t think of a better way of describing my surprise. The image was beautifully clean with no trace of noise anywhere. Here is a section of the sky before and after viewed at 200% magnification and then enlarged (x2) to help you see the detail.

Comparison of the sky – click to view at full resolution

Better still, the detail in the image was sharper and appeared totally natural. Here’s another section of the boats also at 200% magnification and enlarged (x2).

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Image detail before DeNoise – click to view at full resolution
Image detail after DeNoise – clikc to view at full resolution

I haven’t yet done a detailed review of the software but after seeing the results I will be doing. I also ran a few other images through the software and the results are equally as impressive.

As for the image, as I’m sure some readers will recognise, these are the boats at the Derwentwater landing stage in Keswick. This was another trip where rain came in close to sunset before clearing. Unfortunately, the promising sunset didn’t develop but there was still a surprising amount of colour around.

I shot the image using a Canon 5D MkII and Canon 17-40mm lens set to 22mm. I had the camera mounted on a tripod for an exposure of 3.2” at f/18 and ISO50. I also used a 2 stop ND Grad filter on the sky.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

6 thoughts on “More Topaz Software Revelations

  1. I recently bought Topaz Denoise too & yep, it is pretty amazing. I’ve used it on shots taken at iso 6400 & even 12800 & the noise just disapears with one click; pretty impressive!

    1. Good to hear that it’s not just me. I’m quite shocked at how much some of these products have improved over the past couple of years. It’s nice to see a company investing in improvements rather than marketing spin.

  2. Topaz Sharpen AI is quite impressive too. If a lot noise isn’t the problem, then Sharpen AI can add sharpness to an image in one of it’s 3 modes – Sharpen Mode, Stabilize Mode and Focus Mode. The remove a smaller level of noise, but they sure can impress with the areas that they work on.

    1. Yes. Although I haven’t mentioned it (yet) I’ve been very impressed by Sharpen AI as well as JPEG to RAW. Sharpen AI, in particular, seems to do a great job of sharpening what I thought was already a sharp image. There does seem to be a little bit of a cross over between some of the products but it also means you don’t need to buy all of them. At least not initially.

  3. I’ve been reworking some old raw images taken on a GF1 and a Nikon D70 with both Denoise Ai and Sharpen Ai. The results have been really impressive compared to the older Topaz (and Nik) products.

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