Topaz Labs Sharpen AI Software v3.3.5

This review is of Topaz Labs Sharpen AI version 3.3.5 using the GPU as the AI processor.

The Topaz Labs Sharpen AI software helps to rescue blurry images that would normally be thrown out by sharpening them with artificial intelligence. Here are some of their promises:

If true then this software will greatly help with small blur from shutter shock in mirrorless cameras and mirror slap in DSLR cameras.

Using with Noise Reduction Software

In reviewing the Topaz Labs DeNoise AI v3.5.0 software, some very soft images resulted. The noisier the original image, the softer the resulting cleaned image was. Let's see if Sharpen AI v3.3.5 can restore or create detail.

Here is the source image that had the noise reduced. Notice that the image almost looks like a painting due to its lack of detail.

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source sample (detail)
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point of focus (cropped)

After applying a "Too Soft - Very Blurry v2" sharpen model to the image, this was the result. Notice that the AI introduced black hair into the dog's coat. Those are not really there. This is the dark colored dog jacket behind the hair. To be fair, it may be the DeNoise AI that confused Sharpen AI here. There are also black hairs on the dog's head and tail. There is no explanation for this.

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sharpened sample (detail uncropped image)

Motion Blur

This software cannot work miracles. If the image is too blurry, this just makes it worse. Here is an image of a photograph taken in the dark so as to get a realistically blurry image.

In this example, the sharpen model "Motion Blur - Normal v1" was used.

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It's not perfectly sharp, but it is better than using Photoshop's sharpening tool. Parts of the image may need to be blurred using the blur tool in Photoshop to restore a natural appearance. Also, using a mask to select the subject for limited application may help particularly for things like wildlife.

The examples on the Topaz Labs website seemed to get much better results out of the software than this example did.


It's not perfect and one should not expect perfect results. Even though this is better than non-AI software like Photoshop, perhaps the artificial intelligence algorithms could use a little further fine-tuning in order to meet the lofty examples of the Topaz Labs website.

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