Please undo the supposed enhancements

Horrible, just horrible update. After 15 minutes of frustration I uninstalled this version and reverted to version 2.3.2. I, like I bet most users, use this product for 3 reasons and 3 reasons only: remove noise, sharpen, and occasionally upscale. Period. I, like most people, use auto pilot. But I find that in bird photography, the software had a tendency to over sharpen. And, especially with a busy background, the software gets the subject wrong. Before this update, no problem. I could hover over the image to see what the software has selected. If I need to modify it, there was a ready button to click to access the masking tools and brushes. So to modify sharpening before this update I would simply click a few buttons, modify the mask, and adjust the sharpening intensity slider.

With this new update everything is buried within the Add Enhancement section even if I use auto pilot. Tons more clicks to get to what I need and nothing is placed intuitively. Even something as common sense as the placement of the dialog box is crazy. It defaults to covering the image and you have to drag it somewhere else. Yes it’s easy to drag but who wants it superimposed on the image in the first place?

In the prior version, upscaling after cropping was brilliant. I’d crop the image and the software automatically decided if upscaling was helpful and applied auto settings. Not anymore. Now it’s an extra manual step that even displays the resolution incorrectly! (1x of upscaling shows my original pixel size but I’m told by tech support that 1x basically does nothing even after the image has been severely cropped.)

There may be some photographers who want to spend tons of time in a secondary software program tweaking sliders then revering to their primary editing software to edit some more. For me, I can’t dream up a use case where I want to apply different levels of sharpening to different parts of an image. And, different levels of noise reduction to different parts of the image. I’m sure there are people who relish this capability. But those are a small minority. For most of us, we want a product like Topaz to Denoise, sharpen, and if needed upscale. Period. Simply and quickly so we can move on to our editing software. If there are those who want to putter around like version 2.4 does, just give them an option to do so in preferences and let the vast majority of users keep the simplicity.

I feel that Topaz has seriously lost its way. It is trying to become a photo editing program but it is light years behind Photoshop or Capture One or Luminar or the others. Until now, Photo AI has excelled in its simplicity and superb results. But by adding all of this complexity, it has stepped on its own feet. If this continues, I may need to seriously consider changing to DXO.

Thanks for sharing this insight and feedback. I have shared a note with some of my team to review this information. We appreciate you taking the time to share this with us.

If you would like to revert to any previous Topaz Photo AI version, you can find a list of previous installers at the following link:

Topaz Labs | Community Forums | Topaz Photo AI | Releases

Thank you.

Please let me know when/if the changes I described (or something like them) are available. Until then, I will keep using version 2.3.2.

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