RAW Normal & Strong v2 and Sharpen Standard v2 Model Discussion

We’ve made updates to both the RAW Remove Noise models and the Sharpen Standard model.
We’ve updated these three models, and v2 will replace the older version soon.

RAW Normal —> RAW Normal v2
RAW Strong —> RAW Strong v2
Sharpen Standard —> Sharpen Standard v2

(Note: Remove Noise on images that are not from RAW files is unaffected by this update).

These new v2 models are going to replace the released version in an upcoming release. We would like to hear your feedback about the output image quality and about the effectiveness of the auto parameter setting.


Hi Cameron. The Sharpen Standard v2 sharpens well, but it raises the lighting level on the subject, especially in the darker areas. Its easiest to see in the toggle flip compare. Kerry


V2 seems to leave specks in the dark/black areas. See screenshot and attached olympus orf raw file

untitled shoot-1011778.ORF (20.7 MB)


Sharpen Standard 2 renders detail in grass, trees and wood grain blurry and muted even when I remove noise reduction. The original is much better. Although I do appreciate your continued work on the program.


I have compared the latest release V 2.0 to Denoise AI (V 3.7.2) and found the Denoise AI (low light model) still better at removing noise in the background. I have found this to be consistent through many versions of the Topaz Photo AI product.

Technical stuff:

  • Source image was a Nikon Raw (nef) image first opened in ACDsee Photo Studio Ultimate Build

  • Both Topaz products were launched via the Photoshop Plugin

  • The Photo AI product was changed from its recommendation of strong denoise to extreme because at strong there were still very obvious red pixels in the background. Subject detection was on.

  • The Denoise AI product was left on auto and it did add some sharpening on the auto setting.

  • The attached comparison image was taken with a screen capture program and the image is slightly degraded when saved as a png. Both images were captured at the same time so they are still an apple to apple comparison.

  • Source image was very noisy to begin with.

Photo AI on the left Denoise AI (low light) on the right


With Sharpen Standard v2, I’m seeing moire patterns, subtle vertical lines that are most noticeable on faces.

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I have stopped using Topaz Photo AI, because I thought my photos look too fake, but RAW Normal v2 looks too weak when I switch between it and RAW Normal.
The new RAW Strong v2 seems to be nearly the same as RAW Normal.

I have run it over a few more photos and I have to say that it seems a lot more natural and I am going to use it again.

For the images I’ve tried (sony ARW’s), the default strength for sharpen standard V2 has been far too high (>90) whereas in standard v1, it’s usually in the 35-45 range, which is more appropriate. Sharpening in the 90’s oversharpens some components at the expense of (real) subtlety in other components. Dropping the v2 strength to 40 recovers these, but I’m not sure why the default is so high.


Sharpening V2 is totally unusable as it introduces a shitload of noise. I’ve used a 100% JPG as most of the time the only thing I use Photo AI for is for sharpening of the final image after doing a lot of modifications before that, using LrC and Luminar Neo.


The current standard seems to do better eye sharpening on my bird images and does not over-sharpen feathers or introduce “speckles”. On more than 75% of the bird images that I’ve examined comparing the current standard to v2, I’ve preferred the current standard.


Again, Sharpen Standard V2 is unusable as is, introduces color shift and huge amounts of color noise:

This time working on a .tif file.


I’m trying to recover texture, and the sharpening actually smooths whole areas out instead of bringing the texture back.

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Thanks for the testing and detailed feedback. The new models should retain more details and more control. In some cases, if you think the auto setting didn’t remove enough noise, increasing the noise strength slider should give you the desirable output.

Here you can see details on the bird feathers are still visible in the new model. Using a slightly higher denoise strength slider may be helpful as well. Thanks.

Generally speaking, Standard v2 is better than Standard, however, there are distortions in the sharpening of clothes with grid patterns. In this case, the grid pattern on the collar of the shirt disappears completely after sharpening and is replaced by an irregular pattern.

For me, the RAW normalV2 denoise in Photo AI is generating a huge number or bright speckles. These are making the images almost unusable, or only usable after a lot of work to remove the bright spots. Not sure if this will be visible here, but one image was processed with RAW normal and the other with RAW Normal v2. Thanks

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Yeah, I’m having the same issue with RAW v2.


The updated raw and sharpen v2 are so much better at c corrections. More natural corrections are much more pleasing. Thed sooner the better in making them the norm, please.

I do not understand why the autopilot reports “Levels of blur,” or “high levels of blur” and no correction is applied. There may be some sharpening, but no specific blur correction. Can you explain?

the v2 model adds in color artifacts on dark or highly contrasting scenes .


Thanks everyone for the feedback so far. Please keep posting examples (good and bad) that you see. That helps us improve our models for the future.

The new Sharpen model is cool but seems to leave too much specks/noise