In-depth Review: Topaz Gigapixel AI

Image enlargement software powered by artificial intelligence

By Cambo in Review Announcements on Jul 12, 2022

There has been a lot of buzz about this and other AI software, so today we at Pentax Forums are happy to present our hands-on, in-depth review of this new category of image enhancement tools. 

We dive into Topaz Gigapixel AI, examining in detail and with fine photographic examples how each of its AI models can be used to enlarge photos and even add detail. See some incredible examples of just how well this software can work on a wide variety of images, from landscapes, to portraits, still-lifes, cellphone images, and even restoration of digital images from early model Pentax DSLRs. 

Is it worth it to spend the money on this new category of software, or will conventional enlargement software still do the trick for you? Read our review and find out for yourself!

Continue to the review of Topaz Gigapixel

Review: Affinity Photo vs Photoshop

A worthy adversary to Adobe by Serif Software?

By Cambo in Hands-On Tests on Apr 4, 2022

When Adobe first announced in 2011 that Photoshop, and all of its Creative Suite applications, would go to cloud-based monthly subscriptions, I was upset, like many users. Having been a Photoshop user since about 1996, and having spent literally thousands on Adobe software over the years, I had developed a good little side business doing photography and graphics which augmented my work as a musician. I started using Photoshop when we were still scanning prints, slides, and negatives. I had grown very used to its cumbersome, arcane, buggy, and, at times, inane, user interface. It was pretty much the only game in town for a long time. In 2013, the fear became a reality, and Adobe stopped issuing standalone software for Photoshop.

I was OK for a while, in that I still had a fresh version of Creative Suite 6 that was still working, so I steadfastly refused to sign up. At the same time, however, Apple was gradually shifting to 64 bit architecture in all of their computers and software, and by about 2015-2016, CS6 no longer worked on my machine. CS6 was 32 bit; I was hooped. What was I going to do? Pay Adobe’s monthly subscription fee, which initially was truly outrageous? And to top things off, what about users like me who needed Illustrator and InDesign two or three times a year, but didn’t use it all the time? Was I going to have to get a subscription for all of this? It was far beyond my ability to pay, and it still is, as initially they were on an annual subscription paid monthly fee schedule, so occasional users like me were disadvantaged. I was really mad and frustrated with Adobe, and I remain so to this day. But then I heard about a wonderful little company in England called Serif, who were building a product called Affinity Photo. I thought I’d give it a try. My heroes!

Affinity Photo does everything that Photoshop in CS6 did as far as I can tell, with the notable exception of 3D, which I never used anyway. It actually does many things better, more conveniently, and certainly more logically than Photoshop ever did. They have completely revamped the interface and user experience of the product, retaining the stuff that worked and dumping a whole bunch of stuff that didn’t. They have done a wonderful job on this, IMHO. On top of that, they also have the equivalent of Illustrator and InDesign available, and their prices are extremely reasonable. I’ve now been using Affinity Photo since about 2016, and here is my review of it, as well as a comparison to my memories of the last version of the more mainstream but more expensive Photoshop.

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