Topaz AI Gigapixel – a further review

I have reviewed this software before but now feel it is time to retest the software with a much bigger challenge.

The Big Topaz AI Gigapixel Test

My sample photo is one of the dreaded ‘brick wall’ pictures – useful because the repetitive structure of the wall allows the edges and centre of the picture to be compared.

I took the sample photo with the 24mp Canon EOS M50 using a high quality telephoto lens. The native picture is 6,000 by 4,000 pixels, which is good for a 20 inch print at 300 DPI.

I then resized the photo to 9,000 x 6,000 pixels, for a 30 inch print and 18,000 by 12,000 pixels for a huge 60 inch print – five feet wide!

As a comparison, I also resized it using Affinity Photo’s Lanczos3 re-sampling method to the same dimensions. My previous tests showed that Affinity Photo is one of the best image upscaling programs available – every bit as good as Photoshop.

Let’s compare the results:

Original Image

Here’s the original image – both a small version and 100% crops of the centre and edges. I’ve not sharpened it at all – it is as it came out of the camera.

The Original Image The Original Image
Edge of the Original Image Edge of the Original Image
Centre of the Original Image Centre of the Original Image

It’s a decently sharp image, both in the centre and the edge.

Now let’s have a look at the results of the upscaling. In the comparisons, the Affinity Photo image is on the Left and the Topaz AI Gigapixel Image is on the Right.

9,000 x 6,000 Pixel Image

Centre

Centre of the Image Upscaled to 150% Centre of the Image Upscaled to 150%

Edge

Edge of the Image Upscaled to 150% Edge of the Image Upscaled to 150%

18,000 x 12,000 Pixel Image

Centre

Centre of the Image Upscaled to 300% Centre of the Image Upscaled to 300%

Edge

Edge of the Image Upscaled to 300% Edge of the Image Upscaled to 300%

The Results – Part 1

Affinity Photo has done a good job with the upscaling. The 18,000 pixel version is well over a gigabyte in size, so it is a real test of the software and both have handled the file successfully.

But look at how much better Topaz AI Gigapixel has done! The clarity and sharpness of its results are just unbelievable. There is no question that a really excellent print could be made from its results – a FIVE FOOT wide print, no less.

The Results – Part 2

But how do the AI Gigapixel enlargements compare to the original image? The results may surprise you.

Original vs AI Gigapixel 150%
Original vs AI Gigapixel 150%
Original vs AI Gigapixel 300%
Original vs AI Gigapixel 300%

Notice that the enlarged image is sharper than the original! Even the 300% enlargement is! The more modest 150% enlargement is also better than the original! This has real implications – it means that any enlargement is better done in AI Gigapixel than any other tool. Previously, I had thought the difference for modest enlargements wasn’t enough to justify purchasing AI Gigapixel. Not any more! The latest version is so good that I will do all enlargements with it.

Conclusion

These results are better than when I previously tested AI Gigapixel. Topaz just keep on improving this software and it is now in the must have category. The enlargements are incredibly sharp already, and absolutely no image post processing has been done, so the final result will be even better…

Even if the enlargements are modest, AI Gigapixel outperforms the competition. It does take longer than the other tools but the results are so worth it!

Topaz AI Gigapixel retails at $99.00 and can be downloaded from Topaz Labs.

 

23 thoughts on “Topaz AI Gigapixel – a further review”

  1. For me, a more practical everyday use of AI Gigapixel is with low resolution images. The downsized jpg images received from family members who then want it printed. Genuine Fractals was the first of this type of software, but it had limitations in how well it worked with random patterns in nature. AI Gigapixel does amazing things even with ripples in water. Now I have a tool that really works!

    1. That’s a good point. I haven’t tested it on such images and it’s making wonder how it would do with scans of old photos…

      I feel another test coming on!

  2. I agree 100% with your review, Andy, I use it on already high-resolution images from a Nikon D810 and 850 and the results are fantastic, especially on images larger than 36 x24 inches. I was asked to do a 60 x40 inch print and was gobsmacked at the detail and sharpness.

    1. I recently upsized an old EOS 300D (a 6mp camera) to do a 60×40 print. I didn’t think anything could manage that but A.I. Gigapixel produced a perfectly acceptable upscale.

      It’s astonishingly good…

    2. I know – it seems crazy. I can push old EOS 300D images to 60 inches! It shouldn’t be possible. But it is!

      Their new sharpening/unblur/focus correction tool is also great. I’ll be reviewing it soon…

      1. Thanks for your reply Andy, I also have been very surprised with Topaz Ai Sharp, again amazing results with no artifacts or haloing.

  3. It seems to me that a valuable application that you don’t mention is cropping to extend the reach of your lens.

    For example, rather than carry a zoom, you could use one of two fast primes or use one of the fine fixed-lens compacts.

    I suspect that cropping a prime lens image and enlarging with Gigapixel would give excellent results compared to a zoom while lightening your load – fast zooms are heavy buggers to lug around…

    1. That’s a good observation. Thankfully it’s easy to test as I can compare my 85mm prime with my 70-300 mm zoom at various focal lengths and see what the result is.

      Expect a new post soon…

    1. As far as I can tell the metadata problem occurred with Topaz Sharpen AI but not with Gigapixel AI. I don’t know if they’ve fixed Sharpen AI yet – it’s a great sharpening and deblurring tool but I haven’t got around to really testing it yet.

  4. I just purchased this software. I do composites using my images in Photoshop and save as a PSD. Have you had experience with composites having the same good results? I’m not sure it would make a difference.

    1. I don’t have experience of using it with composite images, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work with them. You might need to convert the images to TIF files first – I’m not sure it will open PSD files.

  5. A few questions if I may please –
    My interest was piqued after viewing a video talk by Nick Knight on his exhibition of still life’s of roses which he shot on his iPhone and blew up to 5 or 6 feet !!!!
    He talked about using Topaz gigapixel and sharpen. But did say that there is a “texture”, unlike grain or pixelation, that goes with the territory. Can anyone elaborate on that?
    I’m also curious to know what the ‘order of operations’ is – do you first enlarge (gigapixel) and then sharpen (aisharpen) as you would conventionally?
    I usually shoot raw images and process them in ACR prior to saving as a Tif. In ACR I do some sharpening. Is it best to skip this sharpening altogether? If I need to resize (upscale) I do this in ACR too.
    Thanks
    Frank

    1. Frank

      Sometimes Sharpen, when correcting out of focus or motion blur, can leave a texture – this indicates that the settings are not optimal and you need to adjust them more. Of course, some images may be beyond repair and won’t ever look perfect. The texture occurs when Sharpen has tried to ‘line up’ pixels that are blurred but hasn’t quite achieved it.

      I’ve not seen texture with Gigapixel, not with sharp and detailed images in any case.

      My sharpening strategy is:

      A little touch during RAW processing in Luminar 4 or PhotoNinja

      Denoise AI if needed

      Sharpen AI after further tweaking of the image

      Maybe a little more sharpening after resizing, depending on how it looks.

      When upsizing Gigapixel provides that final sharpening. After downsizing a touch of extra sharpening can help if you are printing.

      Andy

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The best image resize program is Topaz A.I.Gigapixel

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