Topaz Studio V2 Released

Topaz Labs have just released version 2 of their excellent Topaz Studio software.

Put simply, Topaz Studio 2 is one of the best, if not the best, photo enhancers available. It provides non destructive editing with both a collection of presets and a comprehensive set of filters.

It is the filters that particularly interest me – I make use of AI Clear (image sharpening and noise reduction par excellence) on every one of my images and regularly use their Black and White and HSL tuning filters, and several others.

Topaz Studio 2

What’s new?

  • everything! With version 1 the Studio itself was free, and you had to purchase the specialist filters individually. With V2, you get all the filters for a single price. It’s quite a bargain.

Upgrading?

I also like Topaz Labs’ customer care – all too many upgrades (from some publishers) are just a handful of minor tweaks at an exorbitant ‘upgrade’ price. Not so with Topaz! As I already owned enough of their filters, I got my upgrade for free! Had I owned fewer filters I would have received a substantial upgrade discount.

The Topaz Family

Topaz Labs now offer the following tools for those wishing to break free from subscription based software. And their policy is usually to provide owners of existing software free upgrades – so you won’t need to keep buying the software every year.

Topaz’ products are:

Studio: General purpose editing with a complete set of non destructive filters and presets.

Additional, standalone products:

Adjust AI: One click image enhancements and a full set of customizable image filters.

Gigapixel AI: The best image enlargement software. See my reviews here and here.

Denoise AI: Top quality image noise removal.

Sharpen AI: Sharpen images, remove motion blur and recover out-of-focus images.

JPEG to RAW AI: If you need to enhance a JPEG image you usually run into JPEG’s 8 bit limitations. But this software converts it to a 16 bit DNG or TIFF image. It is remarkable, as my review shows.

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Recommended software

Image Resizing

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

Image sharpening & noise reduction

Topaz A.I.Sharpen can not only sharpen images but correct slightly out of focus and blurred images.

Topaz A.I.Clear both sharpens and removes noise. It is the best noise reduction program around.

Photoshop and Lightroom Alternatives

Exposure X4 is the best alternative to Lightroom as far as image browsing and management goes. It is also a decent RAW converter and image editor.

Affinity Photo is the complete Photoshop replacement.

RAW Development

Skylum Luminar is a full featured RAW converter with a basic image browser. Its shadow recovery is the best in the business.

Photolemur is an automatic RAW converter, based on Luminar. Its results are very decent with facial detection and enhancement.

Photo Ninja is a purists RAW converter. It is not as fully featured as the others but it produces some of the best results, especially if you are prepared to build camera profiles.

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