Topaz Photo AI uses artificial intelligence to boost any image file on autopilot

So you’ve just captured what you thought was going to be the perfect photograph, but then when you went to look at it after the fact, you were sadly unimpressed with the image quality. We’ve all been there, but thanks to modern advancements in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), we don’t necessarily need to delete those botched images anymore.

Topaz Photo AI enhancing a bird image with one click.

AI is particularly good at fixing bad images, and Topaz Labs offers what I would consider to be one of the most powerful platforms for improving otherwise borderline unfeasible images. With their Topaz Photo AI software, everything works as if it’s on autopilot; simply import a photograph and the AI analyzes it for defects and then boosts it to make the photograph usable.

The Topaz Photo AI software is available for both macOS and Windows computers, and is comprised of four primary functions:

  • Noise Removal
  • Sharpening
  • Resolution Enhancement
  • Face Recovery

What the aforementioned functions do should be fairly self-explanatory, but the gist of it is this:

Noise Removal

Topaz Photo AI noise removal.

Noise removal gets rid of the unwanted grainy appearance of a photograph that can occur in low-light conditions and when your camera’s image sensor’s ISO is boosted way up to compensate.

In the side-by-side images above, you can see what the Topaz Photo AI Noise Removal looks like. Most of the grainy pixels are virtually eliminated, allowing you an unfettered view of the monkey and its fur. Even the Bokeh in the background looks cleaner post-noise removal.


Topaz Photo AI image sharpening.

Sharpening improves out of focus subjects, lens softness, and motion blur to improve the sharpness of an image so that it’s more appealing to the human eye.

In the side-by-side images above, you can see how Topaz Photo AI sharpens the girl’s face after the original photograph captured motion blur. The AI carefully re-creates still pixels that offer solid motionless detail that can make an otherwise unusable image into a usable one.

Resolution Enhancement

Topaz Photo AI image upscaling.

Resolution enhancement up-scales the resolution of a photograph so that small and otherwise unusable files, or over-cropped images, can be restored to higher and more usable resolutions.

In the side-by-side images above, it’s evident how Topaz Photo AI takes a small resolution image and up-scales it into a usable high-resolution image. The software supports up-scaling up to 600% of the original image size.

Face Recovery

Face recovery uses a combination of the above tools to enhance only the faces in specific portrait images. If you take a picture of a person, then Topaz Photo AI can detect the face and make the portrait more pleasing to look at by enhancing any issues that could distract users from the face of the subject. It also boosts the quality of the face in the portrait.

Our thoughts

While the AI in Topaz Photo automatically applies what it believes should be necessary to make your photographs shine, it’s worth noting that everything the software does can be fine-tuned by the end user if the result isn’t to your liking. This is important, because even advanced AI can make mistakes.

In the case of resolution enhancements, you can choose the resolution enhancement style, change the output image size, and more. Other fine-tuning options are available for noise reduction and sharpening too, effectively letting you make the changes less or more pronounced, depending on what your image needs.

AI is everywhere, so even if you’re a professional photographer using a high-end DSLR or Mirrorless camera, you may not be aware that your own camera is using AI to boost the image quality before it ever gets saved to your internal memory. That said, there’s no shame in using AI like the technology found in Topaz Photo to enhance shots that you won’t be able to re-capture easily.

Also worth noting is that Topaz Photo AI supports RAW images in addition to other compressed image file formats. This means that you can use the software whether you shoot photographs in RAW to tinker with via post-processing or shoot photographs in JPG to maximize your utilization of limited storage space.

Our results with Topaz Photo AI have been stellar. We used the software to clean up a variety of images we had on our photo shoots, and we were impressed with the autopilot output at least 90% of the time. Only in fringe cases did we need to intervene and make fine-tuned adjustments to the AI’s output.

How to get it

Those interested in giving Topaz Photo AI a try can purchase the software from the company’s website. Topaz Photo AI is typically $199, but there’s currently a sale subtracting $40 from the purchase price, so you can get Topaz Photo AI for just $159 until February 17th. With no subscription-based payment models involved here, you can buy it once and own and use it for life.

There’s an option to try the software for free before you commit to buying it, which we think is so important when it comes to making the right decision.