Bird Images, Denoise and Sharpen or Just ONE?

Hi, For those who use Topaz Denoise and/or Sharpen AI on bird images. Do you tend to use both per image or just the one?
Any good videos over the last year on PP work of bird images with Topaz?
I like to sharpen images as the last thing on an image but am finding if I need to go to Noise AI (been shooting a lot in woodland lately so higher ISO’s) noise AI also sharpens, yes you can turn it down but why include sharpen in a noise reducing software? then Sharpen AI at the end the image/s does/do not look natural. Thanks for any advice. Russ.

I am not really a bird photographer, but sometimes do photograph them and other wildlife. I mostly use the stabilise mode in Sharpen, since my shots are hand-held and I don’t have a very sophisticated long lens.I almost always use masking, otherwise the branch the bird is on gets distorted.
I have had occasion to use DeNoise first, always at the start of my editing process and always with the sharpen slider set to zero. Then, after further editing and/or cropping, I apply Sharpen. I believe it’s always best to use DeNoise on an uncropped image.
I like Anthony Morganti’s video tutorials and he has done a lot on both DeNoise and Sharpen, almost always with an animal image. I have also noticed quite a lot about using both apps on YouTube by specialist wildlife photographers.

DeNoise is always first. Sharpen is always last. Everything else happens in between.

Personally I find Gigapixel (2x) works best for bringing out the feather details while removing the noise (starting from a RAW file works better than JPG), and DeNoise works best if I want to then add additional sharpening on top of this (rarely). DeNoise has the “Recover Original Detail” slider which gives you much more fine control over the sharpening compared to what you get in Sharpen AI (oddly enough). I don’t find Sharpen AI to be so effective for basic sharpening tasks, and have only ever used it for very particular movement blur or focus recovery tasks. It sometimes brings an improvement in those cases, but never enough in my experience to truly save the shot.

Don’t get too hung up on the names and marketing of these programs (presumably intended to be consistent with old ways of thinking about these things to make for an easier sell). In the end they are all trying to extract/extrapolate/emphasise signal over noise in one way or another. I wish Topaz would consolidate all these different tools into a single interface general workspace so one could preview the effect of combining different models applied in different proportions/orders and sequential or parallel.

I rarely use DeNoise since I try not to shoot in low light to start with. In case you need to use both, then, do a DeNoise first. Mostly, Sharpen works fine and for long shots I use GigaPixel.

I am impressed with DxO PureRAW as well and think I will add that to my Topaz set soon.

You can see some of my bird samples using DxO (first few shots) and then the earlier ones are using the Topaz set.

Nitin Chandra | Flickr

It depends.

Sharpen for images with motion blur, i.e. BIF. Simply required.

DeNoise is very valuable if your starting image is sharp to begin with, yet you simple have too much noise, i.e. low light.

Thankyou for replies, Clear seems to give better results than the Denoise option on bird feathers but of course this is only one opinion. I did try the option suggested by nitinchandra the DXO PureRaw but found the results where a little overdone when it came to feathers and to pay out more money when Topaz seems to give excellent results is not an option. Thank You again, Russ.