Topaz Studio: Sony RAW files dull and lacking dynamic range

Topaz Studio V1.11.8. AND V1.12.6
When importing Sony a7RM2 or Sony a7S RAW files into Topaz Studio, the result image is muted, dull, and way too dark. How ever I adjust the image, it does not get any better. I’ts like the picture lacks all the dynamic range.
I love Topaz Studio, but this seems to be a total show stopper.

Thanks, Arthur

P.S. I loaded two sample images: one is Topaz Studio and the other is CaptureOne. Both with default settings.

I don’t have that problem but I can see you are using older Studio. There is a new version. The picture was taken from A7RM2

Hi Joe,

Thank you very much for your fast and kind reply!
Well this is interesting… It seems V1.11.8 is the latest version I get.
I’m clueless!?!

Thanks, Arthur

If you can see there is a 1.12.6 version now. Maybe you need to run new setup from web side if you can’t do it from studio.

I’m not sure but I hear that the CaptureOne is enhances picture on load. That’s why maybe your picture looks better in Capture one. I know that if I load the same raw picture in any other application the picture is a little bit dull…


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help with this matter! I finally got the latest version of Topaz Studio. Oh boy, was the server slow!

I did some tests and there still are some serious issues with Sony RAW import:
1) Dullness and darkness that is very hard to adjust right.
I upload images where the same picture is in Photoshop, CaptureOne, DxO PhotoLab, ACDSeePro, Corel AfterShot, Luminar and Topaz Studio. All with no-adjustments -settings.
2) Unfixable blue-color oversaturation in dark images.
This is quite bad, since you cannot fix it with any adjustments.

I hope these issues will be fixed soon.

Thanks, Art

I don’t know way, I don’t have that problem. There is some dull on my side but that is normal for me. I will try later on with On1 2018 and see if there is a different.


Thank you Joseph!
I cannot wait for the result of your test.
This is a very strange problem. Never before seen this kind of issues with commercial (professional) product.

Thanks, Art

By looking at all of them, the studio is the worst.
I can see the different when put next to each other…


Thank you for your test!
Yes, there is a clear difference.
I very strongly think this a bug, because when you try to adjust the dullness away, the light areas of the picture just burn solid white.

Thank you!
– Art

Telling the true, I’m not using topaz studio for fixing Enhancing my photos. I’m using ON1 Photo Raw 2018.5 or Exposure 4. Waiting for ON1 2019 to come out which is on order. That should be the one and Only.
I use Topaz for other stuff like Texture and Impressions Only and some modifications.


This makes me appreciate your help even more. Thank you very very much for your concern and help!

– Art

No problem Glad to help.

This is a known issue and the developers are working on it.


OK! Thank you for your fast reply.

– Arthur

I don’t normally use Topaz Studio to develop my Sony SLT A55 raw pictures but it can do a credible job if needed. Since my raw file is a type ARW, there may be a problem with the type your A7 uses. Below I a recent picture showing the raw file as brought into Studio (dull as expected for raw images since they have no compensation applied). The second image is using a preset I made in Studio and shows the adjustments. Noise Reduce is there but not active, letting AI Clear do the work. Studio v1.12.6 and AI Clear v2 used.

So Studio can do the job, but maybe it has a problem with your raw type.

Type ARW raw image:

Processed in Studio:

That is the issue with the RAW conversions as they are similar to linear RAW conversions and very little basics are applied. Just think of a basic conversion applied in camera or other RAW converters.

The expectation is that there is a reasonable starting point and images taken in even light using camera exposure settings shouldn’t need any processing to have an acceptable output.


Thank you both for your concern and effort! Artisan-West, your work looks really AMAZING!
Sony a7 camera line also makes files with extension ARW but every a7 model makes technically different content in .ARW -file. So it is upon the editor sofware to recognize the right camera model and render the image accordingly.

Modern cameras make quite a good job exposuring pictures right. And when you import your correctly exposured image into editor software, basically only thing you should need to do is to adjust geometry correction and you are good to go. Image with correct exposure should never look dull and lifeless with default settings in editor software.

I photograph people. A lot. With current version of Topaz Studio I find it impossible to get right adjustments to make human skin to look healthy and natural.

Image with no adjustments should look something like this:

Not like this:

Still, I’m sure Topaz Studio will be a great tool for photographers like me very soon.
Thank you once again!

– Arthur

Hi Arthur, What you are missing is that any photo processor is applying settings that are in the meta data of a raw image. An example of this is the color temperature setting which can affect the cast of the photo. Even though you see no adjustment in ACR (or some other editor), it is applying these settings just like your camera would if saving it to a Jpeg.

These settings are not being applied in Studio so you get the raw image as it really is, since the meta data is separate. You should be able to adjust it to look correct but since you don’t know where to start it is much harder. Topaz could apply the settings, which would give a correct starting point, and maybe they will but Studio seems really designed to apply effects to a generally corrected picture. That is why developing the raw photo in ACR (or other) first then going to Studio is normally the best solution for now. As Don said, photographers reasonably expect the starting point to have the camera settings applied.

Thanks for the comment, I just want you to understand what is happening behind the scenes.

This is true but topaz is not getting the right stuff I’m not sure if this what you said that Topaz is importing with out 0 correction. If you see my sample the histogram look different between Topaz and Camera Raw. So Topaz is not doing what other software are.
But to me Topaz don’t have a lot adjustments so I’m not using for correcting my pictures but using for other stuff.