Topaz Photo AI Review and is it better than the Image Quality Bundle
My Photo AI Review and would I use it?
Welcome to my Topaz Photo AI Review where at I look at just how good this software really is, I compare it to the other Topaz products and lastly we will be looking at it to see if it’s right for you?
A lot of people have asked me over the last few months if they should upgrade if they have slightly older versions of the “Image Quality Bundle” and is it actually worth it?
Topaz Photo AI First Thoughts.
As soon as Topaz Photo AI was released I immediately went about installing it. My first few attempts of using it left me some what disappointed though.
I was expecting great things from this software and I was hoping it would blow me away. The results were sadly no better than the Image Quality Bundle. So I didn’t finish the Topaz Photo AI Review I had started writing, instead I let it sit here on my work station, with every update I had another quick look at it and I still didn’t use it.
Is this review sponsored?
Before we go any further I should mention I paid for this software myself and I no longer have any affiliation with Topaz Labs, that’s a long story, that’s actually really short :-). BTW for those you that followed that story I am still waiting for replies to my emails that went out over 9 months ago now :-).
So, as I mentioned above I just wasn’t using it and didn’t play with it as I personally found Gigapixel AI (Review Here), Sharpen AI (Review Here) and DeNoise AI (Review Here) gave far superior results, which in all honesty was very disappointing.
So why the Review now you may ask?
Recently, I have come across some amazing Topaz Photo AI reviews, so I started to wonder was it just me? Was I missing a trick here or something? So, I asked around a few serious photography friends and they all seemed to have very mixed reviews of Photo AI also, out of 12 of them using Topaz Products none of them were using Photo AI in their workflow.
After getting loads of comments from Topaz Photo AI users recently about how great it was on one of my social media posts I decided to test it again. This time I was going to do a full Topaz Photo AI Review and no matter what the results I was publishing it.
Before I even opened up the application I again updated it and I started to wonder have the more recent updates really pushed it radically forward.
2023 Topaz Photo AI Review and Videos.
As well as this written review I also have several videos of my Topaz Photo AI reviews where I compare it side by side with other Topaz Products like Sharpen AI and Gigapixel AI with my Topaz Photo AI vs DeNoise AI video review there now too. Watching the video reviews is always going to be far better than me posting a few photographs on here as you can clearly see the editing process as well as the results on screen.
Or skip down further on this page to read my full Topaz Photo AI Review.
Topaz Photo AI Release Date
Topaz Photo AI was officially released on the 15th of September 2022, interestingly it didn’t replace the Image Quality Bundle but sat alongside it in their product range.
There have been several updates in a short space of time which is a positive and hopefully they get bigger and better as time goes on.
I am starting to wonder if this will end out being a separate app that Topaz will run alongside their other products but aimed at faster and more convenient editing.
Photo AI challengers
Is Photo AI a reply of sorts to Luminar Neo which has now seriously entered the Sharpening, Noise Reducing and Enlarging arena over the last few months.
With Neo Priced at approx $100 or €100 per year and it including 7 expansion packs and a full all-round editing platform that must be putting serious pressure on Topaz right now. In saying that Topaz Photo AI is still that bit better but the way Skylum are progressing with Luminar Neo I don’t see that lasting for much longer.
Then you have ON1 with their range of plugins and Photo Raw 2023 catching up rapidly on Topaz and putting some serious pressure on. Have a look at the video at the end of this article to see my ON1 NoNoise AI 2023 vs Topaz Photo AI Review.
Then we have the evergreen DxO PhotoLabs with Deep prime XD and Photolab 6 crushing it these days or check out PureRaw 3 that’s an amazing Raw Editor.
So there have been several shots fired at Topaz over the last few months the real question is now when can we expect a reply and are you up to the challenge Topaz?
Yes, Topaz are at this longer than the rest but hey the rest just got caught up and are moving at speed where as Topaz seems to be fairly stagnant these days…
I love the fact there is more competition in the market and so should you as we the consumers are the winners here. At the end of the day we get better software and hopefully cheaper software then too, so we should all be hoping this battle rages on for some time yet. So, come on Topaz pull the finger out and do something.
Topaz Photo AI Price
At the time of writing this review the price was €199.95 or $199.95, now I should add here that if you already have the Image Quality Bundle and are paying for the updates then this is a free update so fair play to Topaz Labs for that.
The yearly updates for Topaz Photo AI are €99.95 or $99.95 which is the same price as the image quality bundle.
Below is the first of four Topaz Photo AI Review videos I have put up on my YouTube channel, the one below is Topaz Photo AI vs Sharpen AI.
Photo AI Review
There are two things that AI technology can do for us in photography… It can help to dramatically improve the quality of our photographs and secondly it can save us time by automating the editing process.
So let’s take a closer look at both of these steps individually, for a fair review I think that’s what’s really going to be important here.
Please remember this is my personal review of this software and what fits right for me may not be right for you. I also work with Adobe, ON1 Software (review here), Skylum Software (reviews here) and DxO labs (reviews here) so I have fairly high standards when it comes to editing software and the results I expect from them.
Let’s start off on a positive note and look at its editing speed first.
Topaz Photo AI Speed
Topaz Photo AI is without doubt staggeringly faster at editing a photography that’s not sharp, is noisy and needs upscaling in comparison to using all three separate applications like DeNoise AI, Gigapixel AI and Sharpen AI but I would also hope most of us photographers won’t need all three apps at once.
The more common case is we would need one or two of these AI facilities to edit or enhance our photographs.
When just using one of the AI enhancements there is practically no time saving in using Photo AI over one of the other AI apps. Where Photo AI comes into it’s own is when you need to use noise reduction and also enlarge a photo in one go. Photo AI does this a lot faster than using the other apps due to the time saved opening apps and saving images.
It also has another very handy trick up its sleeve in that it knows which AI edit to perform first so that is very handy and makes it easier for people unsure what to do next.
Topaz Photo AI Results.
As I mentioned above I was less than impressed when I first tried Topaz Photo AI so I decided to update all my Topaz Labs Apps and record my editing results and directly compare them to the same shots being edited in Gigapixel AI, DeNoise AI and Sharpen AI.
Even after app updates in Topaz Photo AI you can still see that in the results that the individual apps are still better and give consistently better results. I had an image I was restoring for someone recently and when I tried it in Photo AI it came out like something out of a cartoon so I popped the very same image into Sharpen AI and Gigapixel AI with far superior results.
My third videos below is where I directly compare Topaz Photo AI vs Gigapixel AI even reading the comments on these videos you can see most photographers believe the individual apps are better than. I say most as you get a few die hard fans that just cant see the difference.
Topaz Photo AI Conclusion
In this Topaz Photo AI review I have possibly cheated a little bit by giving them a 4 star rating… Let me explain why they don’t deserve it in my mind and yet do at the same time…
Personally, I am disappointed in Topaz Labs here and I believe you should be too. I love rewarding companies that push products and software forward in a bid to advance technology, these are the companies that deserve our support and also our money.
I have two conclusions here both a harsh and positive one as I feel they are both needed.
Harsh conclusion 2.5 star rating.
For me right now Topaz Photo AI is a poor blend of all three apps and in all honesty it hasn’t progressed past the performance of any of the apps it has replaced. I would still use any of the other apps over it which is a serious pity.
In my mind applications like this should be jumping forward rapidly every six months now, considering the advances in machine learning and AI technology but instead we are getting software that still isn’t as good as the individual apps were twelve months ago. I just can’t understand that and struggle to say anything positive about it.
At the same time social media is being drowned by ads from Topaz Labs and people selling their products (at least mine is anyway). Makes you wonder if too much of the R&D money is going into advertising now.
Heck even from a design point of view the logo looks like very blah… That shouldn’t matter but it all points to something that for me lacks thought or direction or maybe I just don’t get it.
One of the things I am annoyed over is paying for yearly updates and yet DeNoise AI hasn’t been updated in any serious form for 12 months now! How is that possible and what makes it worse is DeNoise AI is still better than Photo AI.
I am not doubting that Photo AI is a great app and yes it could very well work fine for you and that’s great I am delighted for you and keep it up. I just find it very hard to write a positive review on a mediocre all in one product.
Positive Review 4.2 star rating.
If I hadn’t used any other editing apps before doing this Topaz Photo AI review then I would probably love Photo AI and think wow this is ground breaking so for that I have to applaud them and give them a 4 star rating.
Photo AI is a good all round editing application for certain issues but it’s not great and there are so many other companies now progressing so quickly that Topaz Labs would want to start moving in the right direction quickly if they want to keep their customers.
Is Topaz Photo AI worth it?
Now, that again is a difficult question to answer but right now I would think it’s rapidly going towards being a €99.95 or $99.95 price tag and even at that I think it’s going to be expensive unless they drop the yearly updates down to €49.95 or $49.95. There is so much competition out there right now that I can’t see the price staying as high as it is.
Could Photo AI be good? Yes, it most certainly could and I for one will be very happy to see that happen. I just hope it starts to happen soon though. With all those other companies chasing them down rapidly it needs to be soon. Advertising can only keep you there for awhile.
The last video is below where I compare ON1 NoNoise AI to Topaz Photo AI and it wasn’t a positive result for Photo AI.
Topaz Photo AI Real Rivals
It’s biggest rivals are it’s own stable mates as let’s face it if you already bought Topaz products right now there is no point in updating to Photo AI after that you have to look at some of the other amazing companies out there Like ON1, DxO and Skylum…
Look at what ON1 have done with NoNoise AI 2023 and how that has stepped forward dramatically now to over take DeNoise AI and DxO for the title of best Noise reduction software.
Look at Skylum breaking new ground with SuperSharp AI from a company that never released AI sharpening software before that’s a statement and something I seriously applaud.
Heck even from a design point of view the logo looks like very blah… That shouldn’t matter but it all points to something that for me lacks thought or direction, surely a step backwards is not the way forward!
Maybe I am looking at this all wrong and Topaz Photo AI is just for the novice who doesn’t understand the slider controls and how to use the other stand alone apps and in what order.
Topaz I seriously hope there will be a proper update to this app soon as competition is very good for us all.
With Topaz Studio being “sun-setted” as well as “Topaz Mask AI”, “Topaz JPEG to RAW AI” and “Topaz ADJUST AI” and the massively increased competition from some very serious competition it’s not looking very positive.
See you out there,
Topaz Photo AI Review by Kieran Hayes for Landscape Photography Ireland.