Topaz vs DXO vs Me

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 

MYount

Active 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

Active 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
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

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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
 

Blue tit photo

Well-known member
I tried DXO and Topaz, and I think that both are great. I guess just use one that is the best for you, though I like the sharpen AI the most. I recommend Photolab(as some have already said) if you go with DXO, because of the controls.
 

RichF

Well-known 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?
I have started to test DxO PureRaw and find it does a better job when I really push the ISO. I tend to turn down the sharpening in Topaz Denoise, I find it oversharpens my images. In a few examples, I found that DxO images were nearly a stop underexposed but that readily fixed. Over all I preferring DxO PureRaw after some initial tests.
 

SBurkholder

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Thread starter
I got an email a few days ago that On1 is releasing their version of NR software in a couple of weeks. Competition is a good thing for all of us.
 

ruley74

Well-known member
Unfamiliar with the DXO Pure RAW however I have DXO PL4 and from what I can understand PL4 is the fuller program. I also have Topaz Denoise AI

For me when I was using DXO PL3 I was still using Topaz quite a bit just to finish of the noise... since trialing PL4 prior to purchasing I haven't used Topaz at all. I too found in certain situations Topaz produced artefacts that just weren't present using the DXO Deep Prime noise reduction that was released with PL4, and the NR was al least as good.
 

FB101

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I have started to test DxO PureRaw and find it does a better job when I really push the ISO. I tend to turn down the sharpening in Topaz Denoise, I find it oversharpens my images. In a few examples, I found that DxO images were nearly a stop underexposed but that readily fixed. Over all I preferring DxO PureRaw after some initial tests.
I am finding the same - I started using DXO Pure Raw a week or so ago and at ISO 1600 to 4000 I don't see much of difference between Topaz ai and DXO (assuming I pick the right settings in Topaz DeNoise) but above ISO 4000 Pure Raw retains more details, contrast and colors.
 

ElenaH

New member
I tested PureRAW vs Tppaz and agree with
SBurkholder
Topaz has a bit more details but I spent a lot more time to get the image right playing with settings. I zoomed to 200% on images with ISO 9000 and 12800. But Topaz has sometimes artifacts and sometimes it can be difficult and time-consuming to find the right settings.
PureRaw is a batch-programm based on DXO PhotoLab PRIME (I think, engine is the same).
I choose the photos to be processed and let them run during the night. It saves a LOT of time. This is why I like PureRAW. It perhaps doesn't eliminate ALL noise but it is subtile and doesn't have any artifacts. So, I like the result and recommend to download the trial and simply try.
 

Bristolian

Active member
Supporting Member
I concur with what several people have said above in that DxO PureRaw produces a more pleasing image on screen. The only drawback is that you don't really get to see the end result until the image is exported, whereas both Lightroom and DeNoise AI show the effect almost in real time. Being able to do this level of noise reduction within the editing program is a real bonus though. Horses for courses :)

Also, as said in post 14 above, I can't see any difference when the photos are printed.
 

NorthernFocus

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I use DxO PL4 and the Topaz products and also tested DxO PureRaw out of curiosity. From what I can tell testing PureRaw all it is doing (in addition to RAW conversion) is NR and lens corrections with no added sharpening. Topaz denoise sharpens as well as dong NR which is why it produces the artifacts. When I use it I turn the sharpening off and make that a separate step in workflow. They are both great products but honestly I don't use DeNoise any more as IMO DxO Deep Prime NR beats everything else. For those with control issues DxO PL isn't that much additional cost vs PureRaw and you can have all the control you want. I use it strictly for Raw conversion with NR and lens corrections but I also have a hard time dealing with things like PureRaw that are a total "black box". I at least like the illusion of control :rolleyes:
 
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