See How Amazingly Well the New Topaz Photo AI Works on Old Pictures

Topaz recently released its new Photo AI software, which deals with noise, sharpness, and resolution. I have been using it and it's seriously impressed me. If you want to see it work its magic on old pictures, take a look inside.

The footsteps are getting louder, as AI threatens to revolutionize the way we approach photography. Now, I don't necessarily mean revolutionize in a good way, I am just using it in its purest sense — in that AI will perhaps radically, or fundamentally change the process in which images are created. With each iteration of Photoshop or other post-production editing platforms, we are seeing more and more evidence of AI's encroachment on the traditional way of doing things. Topaz's new Photo AI platform is no exception. If you're not aware of what it is, essentially it takes the three separate components of its previous editing bundle - sharpening, noise reduction, and resolution enhancement - and puts them all together into one, single package. Once you've brought a photo in for editing, you can tweak the settings yourself or you can just leave everything on Auto and let Topaz weave its magic. So far, I've been very impressed with my application of the tool. But how well does it work on old pictures?

That brings us to this great new video by Anthony Morganti, in which he brings some very old, grainy images into Photo AI and puts the software to work. What I like about this video is that Morganti uses a variety of old images, including color photos and black-and-white images. He also uses some simple, old family photos, which is helpful for this demonstration because I think that's what many people will have in their albums from decades ago. The results are quite stunning, and I really encourage you to give the video a look if you're on the fence about getting this new software. Also, if you already own Topaz's bundle, the new Photo AI is a free download. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. Fstoppers is where he writes about photography, but he's also a 5x Top Writer on Medium, where he writes about his expat (mis)adventures in Japan and other things not related to photography. To view his writing, click the link above.

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I've been using Photo AI for nearly 30 days now and it's marginal at best. Its biggest issue is locating the actual subject in the image. While it generally doesn't get it totally "wrong" it routinely misses sections of the subject. And the clumsy sensitivity slider is awful for picking up what was missed by the AI's guess. To make matters worse there's no way manually 'paint' the mask on the subject.

When I contacted their customer service I was assured that they were working hard to provide manual masking, and the other features in their other products that they combined into Photo AI. But basically, this product was released too early without the full capabilities inherent in their other products.

I'm "returning" it shortly before my 30 day money back guarantee runs out (because the 30 day trial version was ALSO not 'ready' when I purchased Photo AI).

FYI - Never buy version 1.x even if it's built from existing software.

I only downloaded it because it was free with my subscription. Was not impressed.

Happy to keep using multiple Topaz apps on top of each other.

I've been using it since it appeared in beta. I was impressed then and am more impressed now. I bought it and do not for a moment regret it. I do think it can overkill, rendering a plastic-y look. I can dial it back manually. I agree with Dan Crowther that Topaz was probably too eager to release it; it needs work, especially the ability to manually mask, but overall I am very happy with it and expect great things in the future. I still use mainly DeNoise as it's usually all I need, and not always that, but when all three apps are needed this all-in-one is amazing. Attached are a couple of before-and-afters of tiny house spiders made with a dedicated macro. The first shows the degree of noise, color noise, and relative unsharpness. The middle is the SOOC unprocessed raw render, and the third is after Lightroom Classic plus Topaz Photo AI.