Topaz Studio 2 and RAW files

Hey folks,

I just wanted to start with Topaz Studio 2 and I am very confused, how RAW images look like, when I open them. They are very flat, and by that I mean VERY flat. The picture have almost no colour. I played around with a few sliders in the Basic adjustment panel, but it’s hard to get the image looking as a real image.

I mean, I know that raw images are raw and you have to develop them, but the way Topaz Studio handles it, seems to be very unpopular.

I use Lightroom as main raw editor and when I import an image there, the image at least looks almost normal and with a few adjustments the picture looks great. And I tried an few other programs and the raw images all have a good starting point.

Here a quick comparison:

Studio 2:

Why do images look so flat in Studio? Or am I doing something wrong?


RAW is handled differently by each different software package.

I am not familiar with Lightroom. I use Capture One as my RAW converter. What I know is that CO - and I think the same applies to Lightroom - use standard ICC profiles based on camera and lens used. In CO e.g. there are different curves which are applied automatically. Auto is the standard and there are different other options like ‘extra shadow’ etc. One setting in CO is ‘linear response’ which is probably what you have seen in Topaz Studio. In CO this will give you the most flexibility to adjust the image to your likings in terms of contrast, color etc. I guess that Studio does not apply (yet) ICC profiles when importing the RAW file and therefore it looks flat. What you could maybe do is trying to achieve the same look as the image in LR adjusting contrast, color maybe clarity and then save this as your own preset in Studio which you can apply to imported RAW files. Don’t know if this makes sense…


Yeah, I know that, but I tested many raw photo editing softwares and in no other software the raw images looks such flat. Every software interprets the image the own way, but they all have a decent starting point. The standard in Studio is just mega flat.
If that is how it is meant to be, I am OK with that, everyone has his own preference, but then the software isn’t for me.

Thanks, but it doesn’t really help. It basically only says that it is a feature, not a bug. :wink:
But as I said in my previous answer: I am OK with that, but then the software isn’t for me. I prefer a decent starting point to improve the image, not to develope the image from scratch.

@Laundromat Thanks for your explanation. I got you. It seems that this behaviour is wanted.

I would not say this. Studio 2 is still not ‘complete’. Why don’t you check with the Topaz team to find out if there is something in the pipeline. I personally have not used TS to convert RAW files because CO has so many options to use (incl. layers) to get the image right before exporting it but I guess you are looking for ‘one stop shopping’ which is fine, too.

It was the same in Studio (1). So I dont think that will change.

but I guess you are looking for ‘one stop shopping’ which is fine, too.

Yes and no. I am a long year LR User and like how LR works and the results, but its so damn slow and I also dont like the subscription model. I subscribed a few month ago, but I am activly serching for an alternative for converting and developing my raw images. But as it comes out, Topaz Studio is not really designed for working as raw converter, but to improve already developed images from other software.

The basic issue with the way Topaz process RAW images is that it is applying a Linear Response curve so therefore you need to apply a tone curve for each camera. In a way it is annoying but it also leads to you being able to apply a curve of your taste.

You are right in saying Topaz Products are not designed as a RAW converter and don’t apply commercial tone curves but at least there is that ability to read a RAW image if you don’t have a RAW converter.

I believe Topaz are aware of this and are working on it but they also say that it isn’t yet a solid product. So it means that you can open RAW files but they are really not supported.


To make this clear: I am not paid by Phase One to promote CO :slight_smile: CO can be purchased or you can use a subscription. I have the paid version. Yes, it comes with a price tag but in my eyes it is a damn good software. You can test it with full functionality for 30 days.

@AiDon Thanks for your explanation. I will try playing around with tone curves.

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Your welcome I usually find a normal “S” curve works well but you may need to add contrast and saturation as I do for FujiFilm. This is a Canon CR2 (5DsR) and a simple tone curve works well for other full frame Canons.


A work-around that I find that is very little extra effort is to just use a different Raw processor, export a Tiff, and work from that (I do that even when not flowing through Studio). For me it’s much less effort than trying to coax Studio to a good starting point (with Raw input files). YMMV.


This look pretty good!
I also have Canon, a small 650D and a 5DMK3. So it might work for me as well. Had no time to test it yet.

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Many of us use Affinity Photo which is not expensive and does a good job on RAW pictures. You can also use topaz Studio and other AI products (except Gigapixel) as plugins to AP.

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The bottom image is desaturated, hazy and lacks details.

Thats exactly what I am talking about! :wink:

I wasn’t aware I was supposed to be helping. You asked:

My post answered both of those questions. I won’t bother again. OK?

Peter, I’m with you on this. In my experience CO rocks! And I’m still on CO10

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So far, I’m REALLY liking what I see with Studio 2 (vs Studio 1) and plan to use it more in my workflow. I recently attended a Topaz webinar where it was commented that Studio really isn’t a raw converter. Well…I guess when compared to software directly intended for converting raw files, that is true, but we can open raw files into Studio. On Windows side, does anyone know what is being used for the base raw engine in Studio 2?


I believe LibRAW.