Topaz vs DXO vs Me

If you would like to post, you'll need to register. Note that if you have a BCG store account, you'll need a new, separate account here (we keep the two sites separate for security purposes).

SBurkholder

Member
Supporting Member
I've been evaluating Topaz DeNoise AI and Topaz Sharpen vs the new release of DXO Pure Raw vs my photos. I've always considered that I could get the noise out of my photos and sharpen them better than any automated software. Well, having taken three photos that I did a lot of work on and running them through the default settings of the above two software packages (demo versions), I'm now convinced that I can't. These two packages both did better than anything I was able to do on my own.

Now when I came to compare these two packages side by side, I noticed that Topaz seemed to keep just a tad more detail in the images. (viewed 100%). When I pixel peeped at 500% the detail that I was seeing at 100% seemed to be made up from created artifacts in the files. The DXO product lacked any artifacts that were visible at 500%. The sharpening seemed to be a little less harsh as well. More subtle as it were. But then the DXO product doesn't seem to allow any changes in strength of the effects it creates. It seems to be a fully automated product. Photo in, photo out with out much effort on the part of the photographer.

I'll continue to evaluate the two packages, but just wondering if anyone else if seeing what I see as the differences between the two products?
 

Rustic land

Active member
I have tried both and settled on Topaz as it gives better results at 100%, just out of curiosity why are you viewing at 500%? at that magnification even the best image will look like mud. Im my opinion if it looks good at 100% then that's all that matters.
 

SBurkholder

Member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Because, when I go to print an image I will often enlarge it beyond 100%. And when you enlarge the image, artifacts will often become much more prominent in the printed image where they are often unseen at 100%.

This is often your limiting factor in how much you can enlarge an image without it falling to pieces. Because I’m not as good as a photographer as many on this forum are, I’m trying to enlarge cropped photos and this becomes important to me.
 

Rustic land

Active member
Because, when I go to print an image I will often enlarge it beyond 100%. And when you enlarge the image, artifacts will often become much more prominent in the printed image where they are often unseen at 100%.

This is often your limiting factor in how much you can enlarge an image without it falling to pieces. Because I’m not as good as a photographer as many on this forum are, I’m trying to enlarge cropped photos and this becomes important to me.
Have you taken a look at Topaz Gigapixel AI, I use that as well when enlarging anything.
 

SandyW

Active member
Supporting Member
It appears that Pure Raw is Photo Lab with the denoise and basic processing as a standalone. I haven't used it, but from what I read It doesn't have any of the denoise controls you find in the actual Photo Lab. The control freak in me would not like the auto only option for denoise. :)
 

SBurkholder

Member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Have you taken a look at Topaz Gigapixel AI, I use that as well when enlarging anything.
I have. Years ago there was a product called Genuine Fractals that I used a lot to blow up photos for trade shows. Sometimes by an amazing amount. Digital photography wasn’t that far along yet. GFs got bought by OnOne and renamed Perfect Resize. Crummy name IMO. But the product still works and I think still produces a better enlargement than the Topaz product for now.
 

SBurkholder

Member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
It appears that Pure Raw is Photo Lab with the denoise and basic processing as a standalone. I haven't used it, but from what I read It doesn't have any of the denoise controls you find in the actual Photo Lab. The control freak in me would not like the auto only option for denoise. :)
I’m with you as being a control freak. I haven’t tried PhotoLab yet.
 

topcat

New member
I tried Sharpen AI and DeNoise AI from Topaz, and I think that they are great. I used to be afraid of the noise on high ISO birds, but now I'm not. At least not nearly as much as iI was.
 

MYount

Member
I bought one of the topaz bundles for $150.
It took a minute to figure out where to work them into the workflow to get the best results but I'm almost there. Sometimes denoise will make an image too clean and you'll lose detail in fur and feathers. You can send it to photoshop. Create a mask and add whatever amount of noise you need back to get your detail in the areas you need to. I like the programs a lot. I don't need them on every image but when I do they work well..
 

MYount

Member
You're supposed to be able to do that in Lightroom too but I haven't figured that out yet. I'm learning all these editing programs at the same time.
 

topcat

New member
Lightroom noise reduction is nothing compares to DeNoise.
In Lightroom, hold down the alt key and move the masking to remove what you don't want to be sharpened.
I used to like it, until I got DeNoise.
 

BCcanuck

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I have both DeNois AI and Sharpen AI but found I did not need to use them. Photolab 4 does an excellent job for both noise and sharpening.

D500, 500PF, ISO 4000
Swallows.jpg
 

SBurkholder

Member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Here is a summary of what I've found evaluating the two products. Below is a piece of a photo at 100%. It was taken with a Z6; 200-500 mm lens at f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 8000 which produced the photo on the left, unprocessed without any CR (camera raw) adjustments. As you can see, it is pretty noisy, both in the background and in the feather detail. The middle photo has been run through DxO and then brought into PhotoShop, again with out any CR changes. You can see that the background has been smoothed out. The feather detail has been retained along with substantial noise reduction.

The image on the right has been processed through DeNoise AI. In order to approximate the other two photos, I needed to increase exposure and contrast in CR. I probably also needed to increase saturation as well but didn't. I found that using DeNoise AI, I continually needed to make these adjustments to approximate the original colors. I probably could have setup a pre-set to make this adjustment automatically, but didn't. Also note that the watermark from the demo version makes it difficult to compare around the bird's head.

Looking at these photos on a monitor, both DxO and DeNoise AI produced a substantially better image, and images that would have required quite a bit of effort through PS or LR. I prefer the DxO because it would also save me constant adjustments for Exposure, Contrast, Saturation & Clarity.

I then printed the images using on my Epson P800 using Premium Glossy Paper with the highest quality settings. The interesting thing that came out of that process is that the printer was unable to hold that detail, even viewing through a loop. There was virtually no difference between any of the images when actually printed on paper. On a screen, you can see the difference. On paper, not so much.

So the outcome will depend on the target of your image. If it is targeted for a screen, either product will produce noticeable results. If targeted for a printer, at least with the P800, I don't see the products doing very much.

CardinalTEst.JPG
 
Top