Comparison of Photoshop Enhance vs Topaz Gigapixel Ai

With the new upscaling feature of Photoshop/Bridge Enhance image you can double the size of the original image while still maintaining image quality and details. I tried this feature on a bunch of different images and compared it with Topaz Gigapixel Ai which I already owned and used a lot in the passed. I can right away say that the results are pretty close, but there is a clear winner here.

I use a lot of images for compositing and sometimes need a stock photo or a photograph I made a long time ago when digital sensors weren’t as good as nowadays, so being able to upscale a photo is a really important tool in my toolbox.

Topaz Gigapixel Ai I have been using for a while now and I was always amazed with the results it produced, so if course I was very curious if the Photoshop Enhance feature would also give similar results.
One of the things I never liked with Gigapixel was its speed and intensive use of my computer power. I do most of my work on a laptop so upscaling could sometimes take up a couple of minutes raising the heat of the computer making the fans kick off.
Photoshop Enhance after my first try was blazing fast in comparison with Gigapixel, so on speed Photoshop scores point in this area straight away.

Topaz Gigapixel Ai vs Photoshop Enhance
Pixel peeping on the upscaling results

Looking at the images in 100% it is really difficult to notice much difference in details between the two upscales. Zooming in even further into pixel peeping mode made it easier to really notice the difference between these two upscales. Immediately I noticed that the sharpening of Gigapixel was a little strong compared to the Photoshop Enhance upscaler, but this also has to do with your own taste and style. But it will always be easier to add more sharpening in a later stage than it is to remove the excess amount of sharpening if you want the detail to be a little softer. But the stapeling isn’t the only difference since the amount of details also differs between the upscales where to my tase the Gigapixel Ai upscaler outputs the most amount of details. Since I don’t mind a little heavy sharpening but really want as much details as possible in my images I tend to vote in favour of the Gigapixel upscaler here.

The last piece of comparison is the ability to clean up image compression artefacts and noise. I think both upscales are pretty similar with working with noise in the image but Gigapixel Ai really does a much better job with compression artefacts than the Photoshop Enhance upscaler. Since I use this software on old JPG images and stock foto’s this difference is really important for me and needless to say my points here go to Topaz Gigapixel Ai for noise and compression handling.

The Photoshop Enhance upscaler can only be used once (but saving it as a new file and repeating the enhance feature will work but this will not give the best results) so you are able to double the size. The Gigapixel Ai upscaler can go way bigger. Of course upscaling too far will not result in great quality but Gigapixel times 4 upscaling compared to enhancing twice did give noticeably better results.

All in all I think both upscales do a good job upscaling images. If you want to enlarge a photo to be able to print larger prints the Photoshop Enhance upscaler will do just fine. If you want as much details as possible in the end results because you want to do more work after the upscaling like compositing, etc I think the Gigapixel Ai upscaler wins the comparison here.
If you want to be able to upscale high compression photo’s for instance downloaded from the internet of from older camera’s or smartphones I think that Topaz Gigapixel Ai is the clear winner both in handling the compression artefacts as well as being able to upscale further than the doubling in size of Photoshop Enhance.

Let me know your results of using upscales. 🙂

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