Sometimes a photograph can come out blurry and you’ll need a software to sharpen it. In this Topaz Sharpen AI review, I’m going to provide a summary of the results this application produces.

Reasons a Photograph May Not Come Out Sharp

  • Motion Blur – You or your subject may be moving.
  • Poor Equipment – The quality of a lens or image sensor can impact sharpness in addition to noise.
  • Focus Point – Depth of field or incorrect auto/manual focus can cause certain parts of an image to lose detail.
  • Hand Shake – You can’t always have a tripod with you.

Here are the Results of My Topaz Sharpen AI Review

Topaz Labs developed Sharpen AI to have it continually improve with its artificial intelligence or machine learning capabilities.

The software is batched with millions of blurred and sharp photos to determine which parts of an image needs to be sharpened or untouched. This includes not sharpening noise.

In reality, the AI or machine learning technology of a photography software is only as good as its code or algorithm. It’s also a marketing term in my opinion so don’t get caught up in it.

Now let’s get into my case study.

The first image I used was a pelican cleaning itself in the Galapagos Islands. The background is blurry with another pelican out of focus.

Topaz Sharpen AI screenshot

The pelican is moving and I was partially in the water standing when I took the photo. I used a fast shutter speed of 1/4000; so not that much movement. Nonetheless, the image and pelican still needed sharpening. My autofocus could have been incorrect as well.

Topaz Sharpen AI has 3 processing modes: sharpen, stabilize, and focus. The names kind of speak for themselves on what they’re meant for.

For the pelican image, I found stabilize to work best. It resulted in significant improvments to detail and sharpness. Also, the out-of-focus areas of the images were also improved including the pelican in the background.

I also tested the focus mode on the same image. The results were not so good but keep in mind the out of focus areas were really blurry so I wasn’t expecting a work of art.

sharpen ai focus mode example

Topaz Sharpen AI focus mode example on auto.

The next image I tested was from inside a moving vehicle where I photographed another moving vehicle and some guanacos running in Bolivia. It was shot at 1/2500 and the image came out a bit blurry.

I used the stabilize method to process the sharpening and there was a noticeable improvement. The improvements can be seen better zoomed in. The sharpness was improved and the noise was reduced. Also, the landscape was sharpened in the foreground and background.

Conclusion and Summary

Topaz Sharpen AI works but with limitations. I tested other images and I found the stabilize processing mode works best.

The focus method doesn’t work as advertised in correcting depth of field which was something I wasn’t expecting. It’s not that is easy to correct manually or with automation.

I would rather do my sharpening in Photoshop or Lightroom which have masking options.

With Topaz Sharpen AI costing $79.99, it’s not worth the price unless you don’t have a sharpening software. If you’re really inclined, you can use Topaz Sharpen AI for 30 days for free and test it out yourself. You can also use coupon code aperlust for a 15% discount if you decide to buy it.

 

Summary
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Software Name
Topaz Sharpen AI
Operating System
Mac, Windows
Software Category
Photography
Price
USD 79.99
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