RAW Normal & Strong v2 and Sharpen Standard v2 Model Discussion

Both versions are typically terrible with the texture on suits which, as a corporate photographer, is a big bummer for me. Here is an example of the artifacts introduced in the current “Standard” model:

and here is what the new V2 model does:

V1 tends to introduce these “tire tread” looking patterns, while V2 seems to typically add blotchiness. V2 also definitely increases the light level of the image in general and particularly dark parts of the shot.

So either option requires a good amount of masking and brushing in PS, which is unfortunate.

Thanks for reporting these. These are the hot pixels in the original image which the RAW v2 model didn’t remove. We will add the hot pixel removal capability shortly, should be within two weeks. Thanks.


Please, don’t be too quick in phasing out the old models. I’d like to keep both Sharpen V2 and the previous Standard Sharpen. In some cases I’m getting more halo around edges in Standard V2

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I am also seeing lots of white speckles when I use the sharpen standard V2

Sharpen Standard version two is in many cases less photographic looking, which is not what I’m looking for. I’m trying to achieve photographic reality, I don’t want something that sharpens the image and makes it less photographic.

Thanks for your continued development

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I am an amateur photographer shooting with Fuji gear, primarily Wildlife and Landscapes. Photo AI assists me in approaching my goal of (occasionally) getting a Pro-level shot or two. I am not a pixel peeper as it appears are many that are commenting here. I have just finished processing several hundred recent photos taken at various locations on Cape Cod. I found the new Sharpen Standard v2 to be a significant improvement over the current version and will make it my default going forward. One can always dial it back from the default settings if desired, which is a great plus. Thanks for your continued development of this great product!

Sharpen Std v. 2 is, typically, sharper and less soft in its sharpening than original Std.

I agree with an amalgam of opinions above wrt to how I like Sharpen Std v. 2 for my photography.

(A) I don’t want my photos sharpened (and/or smoothed) in a way that makes them look like illustrations vs photos,

(B) I do want strength controls that functionally span the full length of the slider in controllable, minute increments for me to dial in as much or little sharpening as desired (sometimes I prefer softening for a certain artistic “look” - but, perhaps it’s not PAI’s goal to enable that…in which case a user could forego PAI sharpening altogether & soften using a diff. software tool if capture in camera didn’t do it),

[C] I don’t want sharpening (or, denoising or scaling) features/models to change the hues or overall exposure in my photos. If I want to alter overall or selective tonality or color grade, I want that to be a separate process from the 3 primary functions that comprise PAI. (The ‘post-processing’ features in PAI work that way - expos. & color balance should be optional ‘finishing’ steps for those who either don’t have other s/w host processing or prefer the convenience in PAI).

If Sharpen Std. v2 meets my criteria above, I’m a happy (photographic) camper!

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I find the Standard V2 model is an improvement but needs to fine tune it, initially might be a bit too agressive, so sliding down a bit (starting by 50% of the value and increasing in steps of 10) makes my day. Overall, pleased with the new model.

Hi when I use the Raw V2 mode and use the minor deblur it slows down the process quit considerably

I’ll be doing some more extensive tests with the different new Sharpen models and Autopilot. This will help us improve the models for future releases so you can get the highest image quality.


Hi Cameron

I have only compared standard with v2 in subject sharpening, mainly lichen and fruits. I have noticed a lightening in tone in V2, which isn’t apparent in v1. I also think the default v2 sharpening is overdone, and currently prefer to increase amount in v1 to get the best sharpening and preserve colour and tone.


I’ve found the new sharpening tool also produces a color shift and LOTS of color artifacts.

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I’m seeing the same brightening in my images too, about 1.25 stops.

Can you upload the original so I can try to reproduce this?

Hi Tim,

Since the image is copyrighted, can you guarantee me that it will be handled appropriately?


Yes, we only use images for our internal testing purposes. You can securely send it to my Dropbox. Let me know when you send something because Dropbox doesn’t always notify me.

Using Sharpen Standard and Sharpen V2 on scanned B&W film I’ve found that V2 does a significantly better job of preserving details, strength at 50 and minor denoise at 50.
I’ve noticed speckles at times, but backing off on strength seems to help.

The RAW Normal v2 keeps adding specks to every photo I upload. I keep switching it back to the RAW Normal. Sharpen Standard v2 sometimes seems to be less grainy in some photos than Standard when I slide the strength to the same spot.

Now that I have tried Photo AI a bit, some things have become apparent. – First I used it on a bunch of “generic” daylight type shots and it worked well. Seems to me sharpening has to be “brought back” quite a bit in order to not look too harsh and yes, I’m definitely a “pixel peeper” and when I looked at the result at 400%, I felt I wanted just a tad of anti-aliasing and for that reason, I’m thinking that the whole idea of this type of sharpening, calls out for a slight amount of enlarging – not 200% or so, but 115% or around that and that this could be used to introduce a tiny amount of anti-aliasing…edges are too sharp even at huge magnification.

When I compared “standard” to “standard 2” I felt “2” was too strong and I had to bring it back a lot…a lot…so I tended to go with “standard”…

I can’t used RAW sharpening since I use DxO for RAW processing and if I let Topaz do anything to RAW files (NEF in my case), DxO won’t recognize file type and I won’t be able to process…so I’m curious to hear what Topaz would recommend for those who use DxO…until then I have to let Topaz process 16 bit tifs…

But then I tried Photo AI on a bunch af aviation shots…
I found that the automatic subject detection was only “ok”…this type of subject should be the easiest of all to detect and define, but Photo AI didn’t really do a “great job”, just “so-so”…so manual editing was always needed (if one cared).
I also found that letters – there’s a lot of “words” etc on any airplane – had to be eliminated from the mask, but even so, photo AI sharpened those areas anyway…I wish it didn’t. Because if the picture is “pretty sharp” to begin with, lettering and similar degrades…and more manual editing might be needed…
I’m going to see if I can layer the sharpened image above the original and mask out certain details for best overall result…that would require perfect registration and I don’t know yet if that is the case by default, ˆhope so…

More suggestions…the process of controlling brush size and feathering is clunky and needs to change…when you’re used to how Photoshop does it, it’s hard to get used to moving sliders…
Also, “shift-clicking” should be possible…you “click brush” somewhere, press shift and click somewhere else and you get a straight painted line from original point to position of second “click”…standard in Photoshop for thirty years I believe…definitely needed here…

OK, those are my thoughts so far…the sharpening of the planes otherwise, was fantastic…
Oh…one more thing…on a plane there are lots of details and if light is “just so”, shadows may be cast on the fuselage and Photo AI treats those shadows as “objects” and the result is not desirable…so manual editing is again necessary…
I realize that this type of problem might be hugely difficult to try to eliminate, since it might require “actual intelligence”…but thought I’d mention it anyway…

Noise reduction wasn’t much of an issue – DxO does a good job to begin with, but I have seen in demos that Photo AI does a spectacular job…

Sorry for long message…

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Did you try Text Preserve on the airplane text?

Have you tried using the left and right bracket keys to alter brush size? And “x” to change b/wn Add & Subtract? Granted, as far as I know, there’s no scrubby brush shortcuts in PAI (like in Ps) to change b/wn soft & hard brush. But would be helpful to have! Ditto for click-shift-click to draw a straight line between 2 points…

And, yes, Std 2 typically seems more aggressive (robustly sharp?) than Std. But I like the option of having them both to choose from for different types of images.