Topaz noise AI discount

Erich_H

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Still holding the discount wich runs for another week, found another fifteen % on top of that, from that youtube fellow in the top post. The Utility bundle was to be had for 165 USD. Very sensible price in my book.
I'm holding out until they include the rumoured update that actually makes the program go out and take the pictures, following my instruction script...
 
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And here's a before and after from a 1996 photograph. I'm holding a small Golden trevally on a boat inside the lagoon at Midway Atoll.
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I'm looking forward to seeing what it can do with some of my scanned images that need a little TLC :D
 

JensM

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I'm holding out until they include the rumoured update that actually makes the program go out and take the pictures, following my instruction script...
You do that, I quite like the effects I see on some old Iphone pics, as well as JPGs taken with 3Mb cameras in the earlies 00s, and not in 3Mbs. Also currently working on digitializing the old analog stock so I think I will get my money worth...
 

BDR-529

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I didn't find sample images about the most important use case for MFT users: low light and very high ISO photographs, so I created some.

First I discovered that Topaz DeNoise AI does not like all Panasonic RAW files (RW2). It does give them same strange purple haze as some old versions of Corel Paint Shop Pro I used to have.

So I did take these test shots with my old Canon EOS 60D instead because it has some serious noise at ISO 6400 which I used. Lens is 1970's era OM 50mm f/1.8 shot at f/4. (This just happens to be the sharpest lens in my kit which I still can use with Canon.)

I used Darktable as a reference because it's free and it has excellent ISO 6400 specific denoise profile for Canon RAW.

So here we go. First the full-size image as jpg (this is Topaz AI version)
Topaz Full Size.jpg
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Now a crop from the original canon RAW without any denoise
No Denoise.jpg
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Then the free option. Darktable profiled denoise (Canon ISO 6400 profile)
Darktable.jpg
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And finally the Topaz Denoise AI version. Note that it takes forever to create these and Topaz does mess up the colours so I had to export image as DNG and adjust white balance with Darktable to same specs.
Topaz.jpg
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BDR-529

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I did some further testing with Panasonic RW2 (among other things converted it to DNG before Topaz) and here are the results I got at ISO 12800 which - to my surprise - was the first point where AI denoise artifacts start to become visible. It should be noted that high ISO creates other problems which denoise can't solve like washed out colours, lack of contrast and so on but these can be fixed at post to a certain limit.

Without further ado, here's a comparison of unprocessed ISO 12800 RAW, camera JPG and Topaz DeNoise AI DNG (RW2 and DNG cropped and converted to jpg with Darktable). All shots with Leica 12-60mm mounted to panny MFT body.

1) Ponytail, ISO 12800, crop of unprocessed RAW file
Topaz2.jpg
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2) Same crop after Topaz DeNoise AI. I had to fix white balance and exposure because they were off in the DNG topaz created.
Raw2.jpg
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3) Unprocessed RAW, ISO 12800
RAW.jpg
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4) Crop from camera JPG which was created together with RAW (lossless crop created with Ifranview, I really prefer free SW)
Camera JPG.JPG
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5) And finally a crop from the DNG which Topaz created from the original RAW
Topaz.jpg
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BDR-529

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Unfortunately the 20MP image becomes heavily oversampled 1M one when I embed it here so these crops are the only way to show how substantial the difference is.

That's the reason why smartphones are killing real cameras: the only way most people can share their pictures is on social media platforms which shrink them into 800x600pix thumbnails anyway. Since the compressed result looks just fine even when the original IQ was outright horrible everyone can just as well use smartphones.

I still believe the difference at ISO 12800 is clear when you look at the "full sized" image even without being able to zoom in (What you can see is certainly not the 5208 x 3904 I uploaded but more likely 1000x800 pixel 0,8MP one so even camera jpg would look almost as good here).

1) Original ISO 12800 RAW, no denoise. Just white balance and exposure adjusted this time to match the Topaz one.
Original full.jpg
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2) And the DNG created by Topaz DeNoise AI (only white balance and exposure adjusted to match)
Topaz full.jpg
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Next I'll check if it's actually possible to shoot indoor sports with inexpensive MFT zoom lenses because without this level of denoise the only way has been to use fast primes (and never be able to frame shots so that they use the full area of sensor to start with)
 
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BDR-529

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That is an impressive demonstration, BDR-529. Thanks for putting it together.
You're wellcome. I have waited for this technology to move from inside smartphones to ILC photography because it should be able to improve MFT IQ on par with previous FF IQ level as far as digital noise is concerned.

As long as there's uncertainty about MFT future I'm neither going to invest in fast 1000€ lenses which I really need, nor in entirely new mirrorless FF kit which would set me back by at least 3500 just because I need substantial improvement in low light IQ

If only there was an inexpensive way the fix the only real problem I have with my current MFT gear: sports/action photography under low light conditions.
I still need some testing but $59 Topaz does look like a solution. Unfortunately it will only solve the problem for still photography. Video is still an issue.

Since Topaz is available today and runs on my old PC, the very same technology will inevitably cover video soon but it will take several years before PC:s I'm willing to buy will become powerfull enough for this. It's the same problem with 8k video today. Forget about the price of camera and lenses, they are peanuts compared to the 15 000€ you have to invest in workstation, SSD disks and other stuff you must have in order to actually render your 8k videos before you die of old age.
 

Lawrence Beck

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It looks like AI Sharpen, as you've used it in your second image, has introduced a lot of mottling in the sky... and this is at the normal screen magnification. No doubt this would be more obvious with even slight magnification.
Topaz Studio 2 seems a decent program. Does not crash on my Mac like so many others, and has some very decent tools and filters. Masking is a breeze, too. I like it quite a bit so far....28 days more to play with it but it may be a purchase. AI Clear (one of the filters) is a real CPU hog, but seems to do a good job, and the Precision Contrast and Dual Tone filters are subtle but effective.

AI Sharpen is better than Luminar for adjustments if you like that sort of thing, but no need to buy it if one has Studio 2, I think.

An example below of a fairly drab scene I worked on last night. I may not be an expert but it works for me, and yes, I DO like colour :D.

BEFORE
View attachment 839170

AFTER (includes a touch of straightening)
View attachment 839171
 

pake

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Hmmm.... Those example photos makes me want to order it after all. Bloody **** those are impressive!
I think the latest discount ended yesterday or will end today. I think I might pull the trigger if it's still on sale.

EDIT: Still on sale. Bought it and tested. Looks impressive (but slow). Not going to apply to every photo.
 
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CD77

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Very interested in this as I have to remove noise quite a bit for competition images, which is usually creating a denoised layer in photoshop and bringing through the subject from the original layer using a mask. Downloaded and had a play with some of my images, these are all <1MB jpg originals run through using auto settings on the 'low light' module... have to say I am pretty impressed and the results are even better when using the RAW files! The only downside I can see at the moment is the output file size, it turns a 1MB jpg into an 8MB jpg and a 15MB RAW to a 90MB RAW!

Original
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Denoised (impressed that it kept the dry ice smoke effect whilst removing the noise)
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Original
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Denoised
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Original
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Denoised
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Original
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Denoised
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Original
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Denoised
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BDR-529

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Hmmm.... Those example photos makes me want to order it after all. Bloody **** those are impressive!
I think the latest discount ended yesterday or will end today. I think I might pull the trigger if it's still on sale.
It's still on sale today ... assuming of course that this is not one of those cases where the price never actually changes but they just warn ever second day that "Buy Now, sale ends tomorrow!" Just download the free 30 day trial as I did and buy it only after you have verified that this is indeed what you need. As far as I can see, trial version is the full program.

In any case $59 or 50€ is a price of a lens hood for Olympus lens which you have to buy separately and nobody as much as blinks an eye when they cough up that money whether they need it or not. If you have to shoot anything above ISO400 I would claim that this level of denoise for pretty much any photo you will take or already have in hard disks is worth the price.

Then some comments.
- as CD77 said, DNG files are enormous without any obvious reason. Even when I first convert RAW/RW2 files into 23MB DNG, the DNG created by Topaz is 120MB. I don't believe that I would keep Topaz DNG files because AI technology will advance every month and if I need to work with the same file again after few years, I will certainly have a lot better tools for processing the original camera RAW

- there is IMHO no reason to use Topaz below, say, ISO 600. Even free Darktable has excellent profiled denoise which does the job just as well up to ISO400 and it works instantly without having to move RAW file between applications. Topaz is definitely worth the price at and above ISO3200

- Depending on picture and the speed of your computer, it might take over a minute just to export one picture and in any case it's a lot of work to process same raw files with at least two different SW. Topaz does one thing - denoise - and does it extremely well compared to anything else in the market at the moment but everything else has to be done with whatever you use anyway.

- Topaz does sometimes leave a slight texture on surfaces like skin (face) which doesn't matter if it has first removed spectacular amount of noise but there's no point to use Topaz when there is very little of that to start with
 

BDR-529

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Aaaarrgghhh! It's too late for me but you can still save yoursef. Do not - I repeat - Do NOT download Topaz on your PC 😬

I bought my first digital camera 16 years and first DSLR 14 years ago. I have sometimes browsed those jpegs I created from original DSLR RAW files with whatever image editing SW I had back in the day (apparently a very crappy one). There are a gazillion jpegs which would have been really good except that they were so noisy, over/underexposed and heavily tinted that I never bothered to look them second time, let alone create prints out of them.

After throwing only few original RAW files through Topaz and then correcting exposure, white balance etc with the tools I have today, I realized that I have over one TB worth of RAW files that I have never seen in their true glory. Now, if it takes an average of 5 minutes to process one I'm done by ...(calculating) 2064 or so...
 

Delb0y

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Just joined the Topaz Noise AI gang. Managed 15% discount which put it down to around £60 Sterling. Which is a lot cheaper than what I was considering last night...

...Most of my shots are taken early morning (bike rides / fishing) or evening (wandering around) and thus light is generally low. Trouble is, of course, noise. And last night I was looking through some recent work and starting to question if lowlight M43 noise was always going to be an issue. Then, as one does, I started thinking full frame and that led me to looking at D700s (that would be about the only FF I could afford) and associated lenses and I could see myself getting on a slippery slope I didn't want to be on. Then I recalled a post here about Topaz and a bit of searching, a quick download of the free version, and a play around... and wow! Just wow. It's very clever, isn't it? Very slow on this old machine, too, but I think it might save me having to worry about a different system after ll. Result :)
 

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