Infocus, Detail, Sharpen, AI Clear... what is the difference?

Currently use Camera RAW, and PS CS6. I was looking for a tool to sharpen, with out introducing noise,

all of these seem to do that, and the demos look fabulous… but I’m at a loss trying to determine the differences, and which one I should purchase.

do Infocus, Detail, Sharpen and AI Clear. do something different from each other?
Is one more effective than the other?
are some of these tools at end-of-life?

In theory AI Clear fights noise and can sharpen the image (without much control over it).

The other tools would work better with a noise-free image.

The names basically tell what their main function is. From what I remember Detail was quite good for getting a “detailed” look that sort of doubled as sharpness.

Plugins, pardon me, Adjustments that are used in Topaz Studio are the way they are moving forward, so the rest may face lack of updates at some point in time.

You can trial everything from Topaz, so doing your own testing will probably provide the best answer.

I have the same workflow as you have and can offer some help.
Infocus does aid in sharpening by removing blurs in images. It works well in some situations such as those with straight lines. I use both Infocus and Piccure+ to clean up for sharpness.
Detail breakdowns down sharpness into small, medium and large feature detail with boost. Can increase or decrease detail in those areas. I use it often.
I didn’t go for AI Clear because it would mean a hardware upgrade that would cost more than AI Clear. I will look into AI Clear when I get a new computer capable of using it.
You should also review Clarity plugin or the Topaz Studio equivalent. It works very well and it’s another plugin I use often.
Hope this helps a bit.

Having used all of these, and I assume you mean Topaz Precision Detail, I would go for Precision Detail and AI Clear. Infocus is not part of the Studio adjustments and I rarely see any advantage in it (and likely it will not be updated). You can use the Sharpen adjustment in Studio with several free settings and can use it along with AI Clear if you desire. Make sure you test the trial version of AI Clear to see if it runs on your machine but the latest version is faster so it should work on most. Final advice is to attend one of the Topaz webinars and you will get a 20% off coupon code that can be used for about a week while also learning something.


Thank you all. Great information!

I’m going to have to watch a tutorial on how to use Studio in my workflow.
It appears the Studio replaces PS in the workflow… so I would make initial adjustments in Camera RAW, and any masking or fine adjustment and sharping in Studio. (or can Studio open PSD files?)

While Topaz Studio can be used as a stand alone product it also is used as a plugin for Photoshop, Corel Paintshop Pro, Affinity Photo and perhaps some others. After using ACR, you go to Photoshop then if you do any changes there such as cropping or masking, be sure to make a stamp copy (ctrl + Alt + Shift + E) before going to Studio. Open Studio from the plugin menu. When finished, click the Save button in the lower right corner and it will return to Photoshop or other host program. Someone else can answer if Studio will accept .psd files but this is not needed if going directly as described above.

I have had Topaz Clean for while and it opens in PS Filters the way you describe.

I just installed Studio and i see no link to it in PS, and can only open it as a stand alone program. That’s why assumed Studio was meant to be a replacement for PS

my preference would be to complete my editing in PS, and open up Topaz Detail at the end to add sharpness to selected areas of the image

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You should try the help center. Here is a link that will help:

If all you want to do is add a bit of sharpening you could probably just do that in a layer in Photoshop with a mask. I don’t use Photoshop any longer but did use it for years. Personally, I like AI Clear in Studio.

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