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Topaz Labs Huge Update to Sharpen AI v2.1

Topaz Labs last week released a huge update to one of my favorite programs of theirs, Sharpen AI v2.1.

This update is free for current users of Sharpen AI – and if you don’t have it they are running a great special now through Friday, August 7, 2020, along with with EVEN MORE SAVINGS using my coupon code “mattsuess” (more on that in just a bit).

Check out the before/after on this image of an elk using all Auto Settings!

WHAT’S NEW

First up is an “auto-detect mode” which allows Sharpen AI to select the best processing mode for your particular image (the Focus, Stabilize, and Sharpen Modes). Simply let the AI choose not only which Mode to use, but you can also opt to have the AI automatically add what it believes is the correct amount of Sharpness and Noise Suppression.

Of course you can override both the Auto-Mode and Auto-Settings amounts at any time if you feel the AI didn’t choose wisely for your particular image. In testing, it does quite well in Auto, but sometimes I can get some slightly better results making further manual adjustments.

Another major new feature to Sharpen AI is an Auto-Detect Masking Tool to generate base masks. This masking tool can detect 20 different types of subjects, including people, cars, planes, and various animals!

The AI thinks it is a cow, but close enough 😉 Simply manually paint in the mask over the horns of this bull elk and you are all set! Sharpening will only be applied to the elk.

Simply click the Masking brush button to the right of the file list and then the “Find Objects” button in the left corner. Once you have your base mask, you can make further adjustments manually.

MY IMPRESSIONS

Sharpen AI has been my go-to tool for sharpening the last year or so. It has rescued photos of mine that were a little soft, making them sharper than I ever imagined and thus good enough for print. It has also helped me put just the right amount of sharpness to my normally sharp images, bringing out detail that you just can’t get from other tools.

And for Olympus shooters in particular who use either the hand-held or tripod high-res shooting modes, this is an absolute must-have to bring out detail in those shots. Be sure to set it on Stabilize Mode and crank up the Sharpness slider!

Here is a 50MP hand-held high-res mode shot from one of my Olympus cameras. Check out the detail Sharpen AI recovers!

Sharpen AI is really a MUST-HAVE for all photographers. It works as a standalone or as a plugin to Photoshop. While it can be a little slow especially on older computers, the stand-alone version offers batch processing, and the results are definitely worth the wait.

Another example of a 50MP hand-held shot from one of my Olympus Cameras.

PRICING

As mentioned earlier, this is a free update for current owners. Next time you launch it you should be prompted to upgrade. If not, click on Help/Check for Software Updates via the Menu. 

If you don’t own it yet, you can download a free trial. The regular price is $79.99 but if you purchase it by Friday, August 7, you can save $20. 

USE MY COUPON CODE: “mattsuess”

That will save you an additional $15 off the sale and regular prices. So right now until Friday, August 7 you can get Sharpen AI for just $45 – a $35 savings off the original price!

Bulk processing in Sharpen AI

Consider the Utility Bundle! This bundle gets you not only Sharpen AI, but another of my favorites Denoise AI & Gigapixel AI, and also JPEGtoRAW AI. The regular price on this bundle is $360 but you can get it on sale before Friday, August 7 for $196. AND my coupon code “mattsuess’ will save you an additional $15 on the Utility Bundle.

All details on Sharpen AI, the Utility Bundle, and how to purchase can be found here.

I personally use Backblaze to backup my computer and photo files! Check out the free trial on this super inexpensive yet super valuable service.

Disclosure about product links and affiliations: Some of the links I provide are affiliate links which means I get a small commission, with no additional cost to you, if you click it and end up buying something. It helps me provide free educational resources and articles. So if you use them, thank you! My affiliations however never influence my opinions on any products/services and I am only affiliated with companies whose products/services I personally use.

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