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  • JohnC
    Participant
    Post count: 19

    I wonder if anyone out there has any experience of ‘Focus Magic’ sharpening software.

    If so, I should be interested in hearing your opinion – or opinions of other sharpening techniques/software.

    I know that it is best achieved in camera but, not being perfect, I find that sometimes, in my case it isn’t! 🙂

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers.

    John.

    dmhyett
    Keymaster
    Post count: 23

    There are many reasons why we need to sharpen images which has nothing to do with not operating the camera correctly. This includes, moving subjects, camera shake, auto focus errors etc.

    Currently, I believe the best S/W for sharpening is Topaz Sharpen AI. Apart from my own experience, one of the forums of which I am a member has many comparisons and comments and Topaz always wins. I have read a review of a straight comparison between Focus Magic and Topaz and the reviewer though no contest with Topaz a clear winner. Of course Topaz Plug-ins are not cheap but you can usually find special deals from time to time and can also get a discount code from Clive Haynes website. I have most of the Topaz Plug-Ins but Sharpen AI, De Noise AI and Mask AI are probably the most useful.

    Dave

    Richard_Jefferies
    Participant
    Post count: 1

    I have not used Focus Magic but, Like Dave, I have the Topaz suite of tools. I recently upgraded to their latest versions and am seriously impressed. I use Denoise AI, GigaPixel AI and Sharpen AI. They are particularly good used together for slightly soft shots, highly cropped shots and/or older shots when sensors where not quite as good as modern ones. They work as standalone and as plug-ins to PS and LR. They do demand a pretty good graphics card to give you the best. Here’s a link to their site on that (it covers Denoise but they all need the same spec to get the best out of them) https://help.topazlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/360026521591-DeNoise-AI-System-Requirements

    I find it best to run Denoise first, then Gigapixel if you want to increase file size and get back detail and then Sharpen. If it is a soft image I would run sharpen before fully editing but not too drastically and then again at the end. Now I know you can really get back detail but the AI part does a good job at creating detail that convinces. You can let it make decisions for you or you can control a variety of parameters. A bit of careful local sharpening round the eyes can do wonders for a portrait.

    I find Topaz better than the built in tools from Adobe but Adobe will catch up soon I guess.

    Richard

    JohnC
    Participant
    Post count: 19

    Thnaks, both.

    I have downloaded the trial version of Topaz Sharpen AI and will have a play.

    Slightly worrying when I was looking around to see reviews etc when I found :-

    https://community.topazlabs.com/t/sharpen-ai-v3-0/21316

    It would appear from the comments on there that version 3 doesn’t match up to version 2 which it replaced.

    Not having, as yet, had chance to form an opinion, I wonder if you have any comments on the views expressed on the community site.

    Cheers.

    John.

    dmhyett
    Keymaster
    Post count: 23

    I have only had a quick play with the Topaz Sharpen AI version 3.0 but it installed fine and runs with no problems so far.

    Dave

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