Topaz Photo AI is a relatively new program that only came out in September of 2022. It’s the latest version of Topaz Labs’ high-quality photo enhancement studio. The idea behind Topaz Photo AI was to combine their other products like Sharpen AI, Gigapixel AI, and Denoise AI into one simple interface.
Essentially, Topaz Photo AI is your one-stop shop for AI photo editing. Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, taking advantage of new editing software can take your photos to new heights. If you’ve been thinking about dabbling with the Topaz Photo AI but want a little more information before you do, I’m here to help.
What Is Topaz Photo AI?
Topaz Photo AI is a comprehensive editing tool from Topaz Studios. It allows you to edit your photos with classic editing tools as well as take advantage of AI editing that can help improve the quality of your images.
Topaz Labs designed the program as a standalone editing program or a plugin for other software. Some of the programs you can use Topaz Photo AI as a plugin include:
Topaz Photo AI and Its Impact on Photography Workflow
Despite only coming out at the end of 2022, Topaz Photo AI has already significantly impacted the photography workflow for photographers of various skill levels. Impacts that this editing tool has had on workflow so far include:
- Being efficient and helping photographers save time without compromising on high-quality images
- Higher quality images thanks to new technology
- Allowing for more creative possibilities with color grading, tone adjustments, and filtersTopaz Photo AI Specifications: Minimum and Recommended
Minimum Requirements for Mac
If you have a Mac computer or laptop and want to use Topaz Photo AI, these are the minimum requirements for the program to run well:
- Operating System: macOS 10.13 or later
- Processor: Intel i5 or equivalent with a 64-bit processor
- RAM: 8 GB or more, but ideally 16 GB or more
- Hard Drive: Minimum 2 GB for installation
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 / AMD Radeon R9 280 or equivalent
- Monitor Resolution: 800 x 600 pixels minimum, but the higher, the better.
Minimum Requirements for Windows
For the most part, the minimum operating requirements to run Topaz Photo AI on Windows computers are the same as for Mac computers. Here’s a look at the minimum requirements:
- Operating System: Windows 7 or later
- Processor: Intel i5 processor with SSE4.2 support or equivalent
- RAM: 8 GM or more
- Hard Drive: 2 GB for installation
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 / AMD Radeon R9 280 or equivalent
- Monitor Resolution: 800 x 600 pixels minimum
Recommended Hardware for Optimal Performance
It’s important to say that the minimum requirements to operate Topaz Photo AI on your Windows or Mac computer are the bare minimum, and while it will work, it won’t provide you with the best user experience. For the best experience, the recommended hardware you should have when using Topaz Photo AI is:
- Windows Operating System: Windows 10 (64-bit)
- Mac Operating System: macOS 10.13 or later
- Processor: Intel Core i7 or higher
- RAM: 16 GB or more
- Hard Drive: SSD with plenty of storage space
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 or equivalent (or higher) with 8 GB VRAM (or higher)
- Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher
Topaz Photo AI: The Pros and Cons
Weighing the pros and cons is a great way to make almost any decision, especially when choosing editing software for your photography business or hobby. Before we dive into the nitty gritty of Topaz Photo AI, let’s look at the pros and cons of this program.
What Topaz Photo AI Excels At
We found that Topaz Photo AI has a lot of areas where it excels. The pros of Topaz Photo AI are:
- You don’t need a subscription.
- It has automatic lens corrections (optional)
- Excellent and fast noise reduction
- The interface is clean and logical.
- It’s easy to use
- Its performance and stability are overall good.
- The deblurring tools work better than expected.
- The face detection tools are reliable even on partially visible faces.
- The resolution enhancement is top-notch.
The Shortcomings of Topaz Photo AI
Topaz Photo AI isn’t without its faults. Some of the shortcomings I found with Topaz Photo AI include the following:
- The price might be high when you factor in needing accompaniment from other, fully featured editing apps.
- The mask refinement tools are tedious.
- You can’t see thumbnails or raw files in the interface.
- It lacks some basic editing features like white balance correction.
- The face recovery option sometimes produces artificial-looking results, which can be off-putting.
Is Topaz Photo AI for You?
With so many different photo editing tools available nowadays, deciding which one to use for your photos can seem daunting. I find that depending on the type of photo you’re editing, some software and programs are better than others.
Why You Should Consider Topaz Photo AI
There are a few reasons why you should consider trying Topaz Photo AI. Some of the most appealing reasons why you might want to try Topaz Photo AI are:
- The ability to play around with AI photo editing
- It has superior image quality.
- There’s a community of people who use it and offer tips and tricks to members.
- It can streamline your editing workflow.
- You want to integrate it into other programs after editing your photo in Topaz Photo AI.
- You’re looking for an easy-to-use interface.
Why Topaz Photo AI May Not Be Your Best Choice
While there are plenty of reasons you might want to try Topaz Photo AI, there are several reasons why it might not be the best choice for you and your photos. These are the reasons I found others might not want to use them, but you might not think they’re a reason not to try them.
If You Have an Outdated or Slow Computer
Topaz Photo AI requires a newer or more updated computer as newer editing software. It can probably work on an older computer, but you’ll get easily frustrated when the editing program runs incredibly slow and barely works, thanks to an incompatible computer.
If You’re a Highly Experienced Photoshop User
Photographers with strong Photoshop skills don’t benefit as much from Topaz Photo AI as those without that experience. With more Photoshop experience, you might find that the editing process is more straightforward, and the AI tool doesn’t allow you to feel as involved in the editing process.
This isn’t to say that you can’t enjoy using Topaz Photo AI if you have more Photoshop experience, but it’s likely you won’t find it worth it.
If You’re a Photography Purist
There’s nothing wrong with being a photography purist, but if you consider yourself one, you won’t like using Topaz Photo AI.
Since photography purists dislike relying on post-processing software for the most part or entirely, this editing software won’t benefit you or your photos because you prefer not to edit them at all or very little.
Deep Dive Into Topaz Photo AI Features
Now for what you’ve been waiting for, let’s deep dive into the features of this program so you can see if it’s a good choice for you.
Installation & Setup
Topaz Photo AI is known for having an easy installation and setup process. All you have to do is visit the Topaz Labs website and look for the Topaz Photo AI product. You can try the software for free before paying, but you’ll still need to download the installer.
Once you download the installer, you can follow the prompts on the screen, and before you know it, you’ll have Topaz Photo AI on your Windows or Mac computer.
Importing, Browsing, and Organizing Images
Unlike other editing platforms, Topaz Photo AI doesn’t have much regarding organizing photos. Importing your images is easy, but browsing through them can be tedious, depending on how many photos you imported into the program.
Exploring the Editing Interfaces
The editing interfaces are the most important features of Topaz Photo AI. You need to know what you can do within the program if you’re satisfied with just Topaz Photo AI or need to depend on other editing software.
Standard Editing Tools
When you open up the Topaz Photo AI interface, you’ll have the ability to use standard editing tools in addition to the AI ones. Some of the standard editing tools you’ll have access to with this program are:
- Cropping and straightening
- Contrast, brightness, vibrance, and saturation adjustments
- Detail enhancement
- Lens correction
- Noise reduction
- Tone curves
- Color adjustments like luminance, hue, and saturation for specific colors
- Split toning
- Histogram and masking
- VIgnette and graduated filters
AI-Driven Editing Tools
The AI-driven editing tools are a huge draw to this editing program. The main one that I want to talk about is Autopilot. Autopilot is a feature you can enable in the settings of Topaz Photo AI.
When you enable Autopilot, the software will use AI technology to assess the image you’re editing and find ways to edit your photo in the best way possible. It will look for the subject of the picture, mask the subject, and then apply an appropriate amount of noise reduction and sharpening without you having to do anything other than import the image.
Even when this feature is enabled, you can still add more adjustments to the final AI image if you see fit, but this feature is one people love using with the program. It can help streamline your editing process and acts as a solid foundation for the editing process.
The Presets Interface
There’s a substantial amount of presets in Topaz Photo AI. They all have different levels of sharpening, noise reduction, color enhancements, and more. With the click of your mouse, you can see how the different presets look on your photos.
Once you apply a preset, you can still make tiny adjustments to get your images to look precisely how you want them.
The Power of Topaz Photo AI Extensions
There are also several extensions that you can use with Topaz Photo AI. They all work well with the program, but you might not want to use them or any of them. Extensions you can use Topaz Photo AI with include:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Lightroom
- Topaz Studio
- Topaz Studio Community
- Batch processing
- Exporting and sharing options
Each one allows you to edit your images, share your pictures with other photographers or friends, and more. Taking advantage of these extensions will improve your experience using Topaz Photo AI.
Performance and Output Sharing
The performance of this program surprised me. It ran very well, and even with more complex edits, it still performed. I noticed that the performance varies depending on your edits’ complexity.
Depending on how good your hardware is, it can speed up editing while working in Topaz Photo AI. The Autopilot option was a neat feature that could streamline your editing workflow.
As for output sharing of your final images, you have several options.
The program is integrated with social media, so you can easily share your beautiful photos on your Instagram, Facebook, or other social media profiles. You can also save the image to your computer within seconds and then send it wherever you want.
Pricing and Purchasing Topaz Photo AI
Every photographer knows that higher-quality editing platforms aren’t available for free long-term. Before you commit to using Topaz Photo AI, you should know how much it costs to install and use.
Cost of Topaz Photo AI
Overall, Topaz Photo AI is a reasonably affordable editing software. For a lifetime license to use the software, you only need to pay $199. Some people might find the price tag to be high, but when you think about purchasing Sharpen AI, Gigapixel AI, and Denoise AI separately (which are all included in Topaz Photo AI), it would cost you closer to $260.
Special Discounts and Offers
The good news is that Topaz often runs sales and promotions where you can get Topaz Photo AI for a lower price than the original $199. You can order through our link and get a special discount for ordering the software, but I recommend just watching for discounts and promotions on Topaz’s website.
User Support for Topaz Photo AI
Something I think Topaz Labs does well is provide support for all their products and users. No matter what issues you’re having and what support you need, you have various methods to find the help you need.
You can visit their website and live chat with a customer support representative if you want to speak to someone almost immediately. They also have a plethora of resources on their website about the user’s face, how to use the editing software, and much more that can help you find the answers you need.
Learning Topaz Photo AI: Is It Hard?
Whether you think learning how to use Topaz Photo AI is hard or not is personal, and only you will know how difficult or easy you find it once you try. Generally, most photographers, including myself, will tell you that learning how to use Topaz Photo AI isn’t hard.
Topaz Labs makes its interface easy to use and user-friendly for a reason. They don’t want people to struggle to learn how to use all the features and get the best photos possible. They also provide plenty of interactive tutorials and documents that can help you understand how to use different features of the program and more.
As with anything, there will be a slight learning curve when using Topaz Photo AI, but I don’t think anyone will find this program overly difficult to learn and use.
Alternatives to Topaz Photo AI
Topaz Photo AI isn’t the only editing platform out there that you can take advantage of. If you’re not sold on using this one, there are a few alternatives you might want to consider.
Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are two of the best editing programs available for photographers. You’re probably wondering how these are alternatives to Topaz Photo AI since you can use them in conjunction with Topaz Photo AI.
I mention them because if you don’t want to use Topaz Photo AI, you can still use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom independently of Topaz Photo AI.
While they lack the AI features that Topaz Photo AI has, they have far more in-depth editing tools that many photographers are looking for. Unlike Topaz Photo AI, the best part is that you can use Lightroom on your phone or tablet.
If you want an alternative to Topaz Photo AI that is slightly more similar to the product than Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, Luminar NEO is the program. They both utilize AI software to enhance and edit images.
Luminar NEO is an excellent alternative because it still uses AI technology, but it incorporates far more traditional editing tools that photographers typically use. It’s also a full editing suite, whereas Topaz Photo AI is used as a plugin or a standalone editing program.
The Future of Topaz Photo AI: Roadmap and Expectations
One of the best things about Topaz Photo AI is that they’re constantly providing updates and new features to the program for photographers to experiment with. As for the future of Topaz
Photo AI, it’s hard to say what exactly will happen, but I have some guesses.
AI is a unique tool that is being used all over nowadays for different areas of life. As the technology continues to advance, I believe Topaz Labs will add improved algorithms and AI features to their Topaz Photo AI program.
Another thing I think Topaz Labs might do in the future with this program includes more classic editing tools that it currently doesn’t have so it can compete with more prominent editing platforms. They might add more filter presets, more adjustments like white balance, and more.
I also feel like they’ll try to add more integration abilities. We might see some integration with augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) at some point. How will they incorporate this? I have no clue, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest.
Only Time and Topaz Labs will tell what their roadmap looks like for this AI photo editing tool, but I’m excited to see what they come up with in the future.
Verdict: Is Topaz Photo AI Worth It?
So, after going over everything there is to know about Topaz Photo AI, you’re the only one who can decide if the editing software is worth it for your photography.
Situations Where Topaz Photo AI Shines
Based on everything I talked about already, you might be able to guess where Topaz Photo AI shines by now. The main reasons this program is worth it photographs are:
- Image upscaling
- Batch processing
- Enhancing textures and details
- Noise reduction
- Creative styling
- Restoring older and damaged pictures
When Not to Buy Topaz Photo AI
Anyone can buy Topaz Photo AI, but there are some circumstances where you shouldn’t purchase this program. Some of those circumstances include:
- You have no interest in AI editing tools
- You consider yourself a photography purist
- You have extensive Photoshop knowledge and skills
This isn’t to say you can’t buy Topa Photo AI if the above situation applies, but I don’t think they’d be worth it. So, it’s best not to spend the money when you likely won’t enjoy it or use it at all.
Topaz Photo AI is one of the best-in-class enhancement software for photographers. It combines three core programs from Topaz Labs, including Gigapixel, Denoise, and Sharpen AI. Topaz Photo AI is basically the sum of all the best programs Topaz Labs offers.
The editing software is ideal for photographers who want to play around with AI technology in the editing process, batch edit, and enhance their photos via noise reduction and upscaling. Overall, Topaz Photo AI is an easy-to-use software that will allow you to create stunning photos you will be proud of.