Gigapixel AI by Topaz is said to be the best image upscaling tool in 2023, but it's also the most expensive. In this review, I'll go in-depth to uncover the pros and cons of this software.
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Gigapixel AI is an image enhancement program that uses artificial intelligence to enlarge photos up to 600% without sacrificing quality. The software let's you go beyond 600% upscaling, but quality retention is not guaranteed from 600% onwards. One of the best things about Gigapixel AI is that it's a standalone AI image upscaler that can be used on PC or Mac without requiring any additional photo editor.
"Gigapixel AI can make your image appear like it was captured with a much higher-quality camera. It’s been trained on enough images of different types of subjects (like portraits, landscapes, architecture, and more) to know what photo detail should look like. This allows you to increase your photo’s resolution and quality very naturally with minimal artifacts."
In my experience, Gigapixel AI is the go-to software for enlarging images while maintaining high quality. If you use either Adobe Lightroom Classic or Photoshop, you can use gigapixel as a plugin while you're editing photos.
Topaz Labs also offers a range of powerful photo editing software that can be purchased separately or bundled together. The Utility bundle includes tools such as Denoise AI, Sharpen AI and Photo AI which is an all in one bundle of digital photography tools.
Despite its impressive capabilities, Gigapixel AI is surprisingly more basic than you might expect (which is a good thing for newbies). This user-friendly software is designed to enhance the quality of images through various features such as noise reduction, improved face recognition and recovery, and increased image resolution. With its advanced algorithms, Gigapixel AI effortlessly sharpens details, which gets rid of noise simultaneously, and removes digital artifacts, delivering a more natural and appealing look to the image.
This question depends on what you plan on using Topaz Labs Gigapixel AI for. While it can be an effective solution for certain situations, it might not be the right fit for everyone. For instance, if you're experiencing a low resolution issue, you may want to look into Sharpen AI instead. Sharpen AI is also more powerful than Photoshop, in case you were wondering.
However, if you're looking to enhance the resolution of an image or print it on a larger scale, then Topaz Labs Gigapixel AI may be just what you need. It's a great solution for those who need a sharper version of an old family photo or who have cropped an image and lost a significant amount of pixels in the process. With a scale factor of 0.2 to 10.45 times, Gigapixel AI is an accessible tool that can be used by professionals and amateurs alike.
Like all other Topaz Labs products, Gigapixel AI has a modern installer which only takes a few seconds to prepare the program for execution. After installing Gigapixel AI for the first time, you're all set to start using it, it doesn't need any further setup. To get started, simply drag your images from file explorer (or finder if on Mac) and place them anywhere in the window. You may want to manually select "browse images" to sort through compatible image formats instead if you have plenty of unorganized files in your memory.
Gigapixel AI has five different processing modes, each tailored for specific types of images. With these five options, you can choose the best processing mode for your image to get the optimal result. The Standard mode, previously called "Natural," is the original AI model and works for most images. The Lines mode is ideal for architectural or images with straight lines. For non-photographic images like computer graphics, animation, or paintings, you can use the Art & CG mode. The Low Resolution mode is specifically designed to extract maximum detail from low dpi or ppi images. Finally, the Very Compressed mode is suitable for small JPEGs or images with severe compression artifacts.
The latest version of Gigapixel AI (version 6.1) has a great feature called Face Recovery, which can significantly enhance, well, pictures that consist of people's faces. Especially for low-resolution images that are often blurred or grainy, this feature can be a real lifesaver.
Using Face Recovery is straightforward. Just turn on the switch and set the Face Recovery Strength slider to 100. The program does the rest, and the results can be magical! If the sharpening or noise reduction goes too far, you can always adjust the effect by moving the slider up or down.
As you can see from the examples on the Topaz Labs website, the improvements are remarkable. Although the image is still a little blurring in some sections, the small details which were unnoticeable at first had become highly visible.
Gigapixel AI has an auto option for sharpening and noise reduction, which can be adjusted with manual sliders if needed. From 6 different tests, I can say with confidence that the automatic option does not perform nearly as good as doing it manually.
If you've got two or more images to edit, Gigapixel AI has a convenient bulk editing feature. Just import and adjust the settings for each image as you would if it were just one image, then export them in bulk. Since this process might take some time (depending on file size among other factors), I'd recommend you only bulk process overnight or while doing something other than photo editing such as eating a sandwich or watching TV.
Whatever you do, don't let the program choose the settings automatically. Like I said in the previous section of this article, automatic settings don't give you the same HD results as controlling the settings manually to something that you think looks good.
With a one-time purchase of around $100, you can access a powerful image enhancement tool that can enlarge images to a significant scale, while simultaneously removing unwanted noise and softness through its AI technology.
Topaz Labs offers a range of photo editing software, with each tool available separately for around the same price. As a photographer, having access to a suite of software that can address different editing needs is incredibly valuable, and Gigapixel AI is a tool that I would highly recommend investing in.
Topaz Labs does offer a free unrestricted trial to all their unsure customers. It can be downloaded on their website in just one click with no requirement to provide credit card information.
If you choose to try out the Gigapixel AI prior to purchasing, do note that any magnified versions of your photographs will have a Topaz Labs watermark until you upgrade to a paid subscription.
The Gigapixel AI free trial is unlimited - there is no time restriction or end date. The only restriction that comes with using the trial version is that your processed images will have the watermark which we mentioned above.
VanceAI seems pretty similar to Gigapixel AI - it's an image enlargement software that's powered by AI and lets you increase your files up to 8 times their original size. However, it doesn't have as much control over resolution as Gigapixel does. Nonetheless, it's worth checking out, especially if you're on a tight budget. The program also includes tools that work similarly to sharpen AI, making it a comprehensive option. Plus, the drag-and-drop functionality and user interface are super easy to use!
If you're looking for an alternative to Gigapixel AI, ON1 Resize AI is worth checking out. Both software options are great for upscaling images, but they take different approaches.
In my experience, Gigapixel AI's simple user interface and multiple resizing modes make it the more user-friendly option. However, ON1 Resize AI offers multiple presets, tiling, and gallery wrap modes, making it a great choice for preparing images for print.
It's up to you from here. Both software options are effective at upscaling images. In my opinion, Gigapixel AI is slightly more effective, but Resize AI is faster. Either way, you can't go wrong with either option. Be sure to check out my review of ON1 Resize AI for more details.
Adobe Photoshop can be considered a suitable alternative to Gigapixel AI. However, while Photoshop does offer comparable performance, most of the work will be done manually since it's not AI-powered like Gigapixel AI. To achieve the best results in Photoshop, it's recommended to enable the Preserve Details 2.0 option in the Preferences > Technology Previews drop-down menu beforehand. Once enabled, you can simply right-click on your image, select the Super Resolution option, and click "enhance" to create a DNG file with double the resolution.
Keep in mind Gigapixel AI automatically sharpens the image, which is not the case with Photoshop. To achieve a like-for-like comparison, you'll need to apply a basic sharpening filter in Photoshop. However, Photoshop tends to over-sharpen less than Gigapixel AI and produces fewer artifacts, particularly in shadow areas.
P.s if you also have After Effects installed, it's just a suggestion to explore its Super Resolution feature, which is similar to Photoshop's but offers more control over the process. As with any image enhancement tool, it's important to exercise restraint and try not to overdo it to avoid creating an unnatural or artificial look.
Imlarger is yet another AI-powered tool that specializes in image enlargement and batch processing, which are available through a monthly subscription. However, Imlarger has some limitations, such as a maximum file size of 5MB and a resolution limit of 1200 x 1200 pixels. Unlike Gigapixel AI, Imlarger only supports a few image formats, including JPEG and PNG.
In my assessment of Topaz Gigapixel AI, I've honestly found that it is an exceptional tool for photographers of all levels. It’s an ideal software if you want to create large prints or have old, low-resolution photos that you want to enhance.
One of the most significant updates in version 6.1 is the Face Recovery toggle switch, It has been my favorite function since its release. With all its features combined, It is undoubtedly among the best image enlargement software available in the market today.