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Old Feb 6, 2010, 11:15 AM   #1
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Default Trying some new software

I've been using Topaz Lab's deNoise for a while and really like it even though it's slow. At the time I was thinking about it, I looked at their other programs, to see if I wanted to buy deNoise alone or in their suite. My first reaction with most of their other offerings was that I'd probably not use them - they create effects that I'm not always crazy about.

I'm such a sucker for ads and "new and improved". They sent out an email announcing a new version of their detail plug-in. It is supposed to sharpen pictures without halos etc., so I thought I'd check it out - I'm always interested in how to sharpen without going over-the-top.

The first thing I found was that they have a separate free program that can make any of their programs, which are Photoshop plug-ins, into external editors within Lightroom (or iPhoto or Aperture, I think) - a very neat thing for me as I use LR for a lot of my post processing. Thought I'd mention that as I hadn't seen it when I was originally researching deNoise.

In any case, I downloaded their 30 day trial version of Topaz Detail. I tried it on this picture - I'd be interested in what others think of the two versions.

Here's the processed picture. It's a picture that doesn't quite work - I was walking around with just the camera and a prime lens. I happened on this scene and the lens was really too long for the story I wanted to tell. This one comes close and tells the story reasonably well, it's just not balanced as a picture. But do you think it looks over-processed? Sometimes its hard to tell with my home monitor - it can make pictures look sharper than they do on other monitors, and will show sharpening halos before other monitors.



Here's the photo how I would probably process it normally.



Which one do you prefer, and why?
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 12:58 PM   #2
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#1 definitely looks sharper. Additionally, #1 has a warmer tone to it as evidenced by the color of the cinder blocks. I am biased towards sharper images (in most cases) and I think #1 looks better (IMO).
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 5:04 PM   #3
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Just working with a netbook screen for a while but I agree with jelpee, everything seems to look more real in #1 the texture on the blocks, bricks and hair etc...
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 5:09 PM   #4
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there is quite a bit more detail in #1
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 5:35 PM   #5
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#1 gets my vote as well.

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Old Feb 6, 2010, 5:58 PM   #6
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So no one thinks it looks over-processed? That's one of my biggest concerns - there's a very fine line between soft and over-sharpened with Photoshop. I do think the program, which uses contrast instead of outlining, allows for more sharpening than I usually like (though I haven't tried processing a picture with lots of leaves yet).
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 6:05 PM   #7
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From what I can see on my 17-inch iMac monitor, image #1 doesn't appear oversharpened. It's high on sharpness and detail but stops short of going over the line into oversharpened. Image #2 probably looks fine when viewed on its own with nothing to compare it to. But it's clearly soft and lacking in detail in comparison to #1.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 7:09 PM   #8
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I'll have to agree with the others Harriet, although #2 by itself looks good with nothing to compare it to.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 7:15 PM   #9
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Mtngal. I have been looking at this product with interest. It obviously, to my eye, works very well. I'm going to get it. Thanks for the report.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 7:15 PM   #10
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i gotta say - that #1 seems that the contrast is just a little to strong - so much so in the dark areas around his shorts your loosing detail - then again you do see more detail elsewhere

i'd probably want a compromise between them of use some layer masks to pick out the best bits of both =)
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