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This is part three of our three part review on the Topaz Suite for Wildlife Photographers. In part one I reviewed Topaz Denoise AI v2.0 which as the name implies is used for minimizing noise created by high ISO settings. The second review was for Topaz Sharpen AI which demonstrated not only sharpening but how slightly out of focus images could be brought back in to focus. Part three of our review will focus on Topaz Gigapixel AI.
What is Topaz Gigapixel AI? In a nutshell, Gigapixel AI is an image upscaling software that allows you to upscale your photos by up to 600% while preserving image quality.
When Would You Use It? As wildlife photographers we can not always get as close as we would like to our subjects for a variety of reasons. That means we crop the image in post and that reduces the number of pixels available. Example: My Nikon D5 is a 20 MP camera, if I crop an image and only use half of the frame I am effectively left with 10 MP. Additionally, even if I did not crop the image, my Nikon D5 only provides me with a 20 MP image. Now let’s say a client requests a print of that same 20 MP image and they want it to be a 24 x 36 inches.
I use the table below to determine what size I can print based on the megapixels I have available in the image. As you can see from the table I can only print to a maximum of 12 x 18 inches natively from my Nikon D5 20 MP camera. This is where the magic of Topaz Gigapixel AI comes in, I can specify within the software the exact width and height that I wish the image to render at up to 600% while perfectly preserving image quality. I highly recommend you reference the table below when you do your own printing so you know the maximum print size for your camera or the effective megapixels that you were left with after cropping an image.
Does Topaz Gigapixel AI Work? You be the judge. Below are two images of a snowy owl. The first image is the original and it is a 16 x 10 inch and is an 87 MB file. The second photo with image upscaling using Topaz Gigapixel AI was set at 6X to render an image at 73 x 48 (6 ft x 4 ft). The rendering took 2 minutes on my computer, it’s not fast, but in my opinion it is well worth the wait for photographers needing the best quality image upscaling tool for their business or personal use.
You can click on both images if you wish to view them in a larger size for comparing one image to the other. Not to spoil the ending, but for those of you not wishing to take the time, there is absolutely no difference between the two images which is totally amazing given the image upscaling that was performed.
The Topaz Gigapixel AI interface is shown below and if you click on the image to zoom in you can see the original dimensions on the left and the new dimensions on the right for the snowy owl image upscaling that I performed. In addition this view will show you what the Gigapixel AI interface looks like.
Where to use Gigapixel AI in your workflow: I complete all of my edits in post and then Gigapixel AI is my last step for images that I require to be enlarged for a print run.
This has opened up a whole new opportunity for wildlife photographers who routinely receive orders for large scale prints that go far beyond the maximum print sizes that are capable from their cameras. I’ve used ON1 Perfect Resize, Photoshop and others for image upscaling and hands down Topax Gigapixel AI is the best one I have used. Topaz Gigapixel AI combined with Topaz Denoise AI and Topaz Sharpen AI rounds out the perfect suite of products that every wildlife photographer really ought to have in their post processing tool kit.
Topaz Labs does offer a free 30-day trial and you can follow this link to go to Topaz Gigapixel AI directly. Bonus: If you decide to buy you can use Coupon Code coolwildlife15 to receive an automatic 15% discount off your purchase of any Topazlabs products.