Sometimes you need to enlarge a digital photo and Topaz Labs developed a software for this exact reason. As a result, I’m going to provide my Topaz Gigapixel AI review. I’ll provide a summary on the image quality it produces.
But first, why would you need to enlarge a photo?
Prints – Large prints require large image resolutions.
Crop Size – Cropping usually reduces the image resolution, especially if you crop to a small sample size of an original image. In this case you may want to upscale the cropped image.
Stock Images – If you sell stock images, you’ll want to offer images in various sizes.
Here’s My Topaz Gigapixel AI Review
Now let’s dive into the case studies.
To test Gigapixel AI, I first used a 4032×2268 JPEG image that I photographed with my Samsung Galaxy S8. I enlarged the image by 600%, which is the largest size the software can produce.
I was surprised by the quality; it’s actually good.
I did notice halos along the horizon on the enlarged photo but there were already some artifacts in the original horizon. But it is only noticeable when you really zoom in.
Another thing I noticed is when you zoom in on the original photo, it looks pixelated – as expected. On the other hand, when you zoom in to the same area on the upscaled photo, it looks painterly.
Keep in mind the original image quality is not great in terms of professional photography standards. I did take it with a mobile phone while on a boat (think moving platform). However, this image is good to set a floor quality for Gigapixel AI.
To compare the images yourself you’ll need to see the original and expanded files. The enlarged photo is a whopping 183 MB which I’m not going to load on this blog post.
Lastly, I used a 5496×3670 TIFF image (originally a DNG image) and expanded it by 400%.
The results were amazing. Not only was the final image still sharp, the noise was reduced.
See the before and after. The final image is an insane 1.80 GB.
A few important notes about Gigapixel AI:
Gigapixel caps the upscale by either height or width to 22,000 and 32,000 pixels for TIFF and JPEG outputs, respectively. So, you can’t enlarge everything by 6 times.
I tried enlarging a RAW file. The software will not output a RAW file.
Also, Gigapixel’s RAW rendering is not good. The color and contrast look washed out once completed to a TIFF or JPEG file. I tried correcting the color and contrast by playing with the color settings and spaces in Photoshop but it didn’t work.
If you want to enlarge a RAW file, I suggest saving the image as a TIFF file then use Gigapixel to upscale to TIFF.
Gigapixel AI is CPU intensive. It can sometimes take 5 to 10 minutes to process an image.
It doesn’t have batch processing.
There is no option to customize resolution ppi during output.
Topaz Gigapixel AI costs $99. You can use coupon code Aperlust for a 15% discount.
I also did a quick test and compared it to Photoshop’s image size tool. I have to give a slight edge to Gigapixel AI because it’s noise reduction on upscaling is on point.
Have you tried Gigapixel AI? What were your results?