I'm In LOVE: Topaz DeNoise AI
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
I've never been into gimmicky software much, but every now and then I succumb and give something a go and, boy, am I happy that I tried Topaz DeNoise AI software. To put it bluntly, I've completely and utterly fallen in love with it.
As someone with a social media profile who is time-poor, I don't want to spend hours each day processing images. Sure, some images don't need a lot of work and can be processed quickly, but others may have lots of digital noise which needs to be eliminated, without unduly impacting the sharpness of the bird. In the past, this would involve making countless selective adjustments to reduce noise in the background and possibly out of focus parts of the bird, then selectively sharpening the detailed, in focus, parts of the image.
Enter specialist noise reduction software by Topaz Labs, DeNoise AI. Now, I just open my problematic images in the DeNoise software, click on 'Auto' and watch the magic happen. Within a few seconds, it produces an image that has eliminated noise in un-detailed, out of focus parts of the image, whilst simultaneously sharpening the other bits. A 5 minute job reduced to less than 15 seconds.
Too Good to be True?
In short, no. I'll let my examples below speak for themselves.
That is not to say that it does not have some downsides, though.
Occasionally the software does produce an unwanted artefact, leave noise in unwanted areas or create some unnatural effects. To give you an idea, this has happened with 3 to 4 out of about 50 images that I have used it with.
However, recently Topaz Labs announced new updates to the DeNoise software that will help eliminate these issues. The update includes a new masking/selective adjustments feature enabling users to selectively apply or remove noise reduction to certain areas in images.
In addition, it includes a "Low Light Mode" toggle option to treat severe or difficult-to-remove noise created in low lighting.For me, the convenience of the software far outweighs the issue of the occasional hiccups in processing.
The other major downside of the software is the cost: US$79.99.
Luckily, every now and then Topaz has their software on sale, or, if you can't wait for a sale, you can buy it from me (yes, I get a small commission***) and get 15% off for subscribers (check your latest newsletter for the subscriber's only 15% discount code) or 10% for non-subscribers, click here and use the code FORTHELOVEOFBIRDS at checkout.
*** I was so impressed with this software that I approached Topaz Labs to become an affiliate, which I have never done before for any photographic product.
Always Try Before you BUY
If you have any skepticism about the value of the software, I strongly urge you to give it a go yourself. You have nothing to lose as Topaz Labs allows you to download and use it for a free one month trial.
In fact, even if you are impressed enough to go out and buy it right now, I would still advise you to first download it on a trial basis. This is because you want to ensure that it works well on your computer, with your images. You may also want to check that it is compatible with your other post-processing software to ensure a smooth workflow.
Topaz Labs also have a couple of articles worth reading to give you a better understanding of the software and how it works: one on the basics of image noise and another on the technology behind the machine-learning-powered solution.
If you have any questions, or have your own experiences of this software, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you.