Topaz Studio AI Clear


DXO PL has Unsharp Mask and DeepPRIME.
I would really like for DXO to offer a similar solution to Topaz’s AI Clear (a kind of smart sharpen + noise reduction all-in-one).

If DXO could develop their own solution to achieve the same effect as AI Clear, I would happily upgrade from PL5 to PL6.

Thank you,

I don’t think you can beat DeepPRIME because it is done at the same time as demosaicing. Unsharp Mask and Local Contrast should be all you need after that.

The only thing I would add is to use the four Fine Contrast sliders from FilmPack.

But, certainly, nothing is going to beat DeepPRIME for noise reduction.

I do use Topaz Sharpen AI for rescuing other folks images when they are slightly out of focus or slight motion blur. But, as they say, you are never going to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Yes, so I guess what I’m asking for is a single DXO detail function that acts like a “DeepPRIME Sharpen AI” tool.

For images that are in focus, with no movement blur, you don’t anything other than PhotoLab with the FilmPack Fine Contrast sliders

DxO Lens Sharpness(with the appropriate lens module) is far superior to Unsharp Mask and with the exception of motion blur, it is superior to anything that Topaz has to offer.

As far as NR is concerned, Deep Prime blows the competition out of the water at really high ISO. The following photo of the Miami Florida skyline at night was taken by forum member Mike Myers at 12,800 ISO. The NR method that I used from Topaz was not AI Clear but rather their RAW AI algorithm(Clear AI was much worse). Here is a comparison of NR methods Topaz Denoise AI, On1 NoNoise, and DxO DeepPrime. All NR versions are at their default settings. Denoise AI and NoNoise both include sharpening at their default settings so I included default Lens Sharpness with Deep Prime. I applied a +2EV exposure correction to all 4 files so that anything at all could be seen. No other edits other than EC, NR and sharpening were applied to any of the files. All files were converted to JPG using DxO PL5 with no other corrections applied.

Original RAW with no NR on Upper Left, NoNoise on UR, Deep Prime on LL and Denoise(RAW AI) on LR. All are viewed in FastStone IV at 300% magnification.

Click on the image two discrete times to see the image at full magnification.


Thanks Mark. I shall check out the Lens Sharpness feature with the lens module.

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Do you have FilmPack?

Agree @rrblint and I think the DXO interface is somewhat problematic because there are now so many different features affecting sharpness, contrast and noise and some like Fine Contrast are only available after installing plugins or lens profiles.

As @Joanna stresses Fine Contrast is very important for suppressing noise and Lens Sharpness can increase sharpness more without increasing noise and haloeffects like Unsharp Mask tends to do many times.

On the other end it’s necessary to avoid tools using too much of Microcontrast like too much of Clear View Plus for example. It’s just to look what happens with the images skies if you wonder. It’s usually there the problems tends to manifest them first and most clearly.

Maybe DXO has to take a new grip on the interface issues like most interface designers have to with mature software that has undergone structural growt over many years since they risk to get both overloaded, confusing and ineffective over time.

I agree with you on all but the DxO interface. I find the DxO interface to be elegant and very user-friendly. All of the various tools that you mention can be used to control noise and sharpness as well as to their detriment, and I appreciate their inclusion by DxO.

The fact that Filmpack 6 is an add-on doesn’t bother me as the cost of the DxO suite of programs(PL5+FP6+VP3), bought in a package deal is commensurate in price with Capture One. C1 does not include Deep Prime and has rather basic NR whereas PL5 does include DP. As illustrated above, nothing currently on the market can compete with Deep Prime for NR and detail retention. One could argue therefore that the DxO suite is the better bargain.

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I don´t mean the design of the interface visually. It is the effects of the structural growt where a lot of different sliders affect the same parameters and that it´s far from obvious which tool to use when. Quite a few tools interfer with each other.

I have no problem with the pricing of DXO and never has at all but that a tool like Fine Contrast för example is part of a plugin like Filmpack is quite weird I think. I also think that the View Point-tools should be an integrated part of Photolab. If they wanted to build a set of plugins it would be more logical to sell PhotoLibrary as a plugin since quite a few not are intrested in it.


While there is some overlap between the effects, each of these tools has a specific use and I have(by trial and error) found some of these specific use-cases. It is worth doing this so as to learn when and where to use each tool.

I agree with you on the DAM portion of Photo Library. I have no use for it.

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@Joanna that is the only feature I want from Filmpack, in fact I would be happy if only the base ‘Fine Contrast’ was available but having to purchase FilmPack just to get that feature is wrong. I feel that DxO slice and dice the features on offer in DxO and the outlying components to encourage (force) users to part with even larger amounts of money and that is getting way beyond a joke with the recent price hike.

How long will an older version of Filmpack continue to work with a newer version of DxPL.

@Stenis that’s because it belongs in the base product, I would add in my humble opinion but I actually consider it to be absolutely part of the base product. The current price for DxPL is £199, FilmPack 6 £129, ViewPoint £69 and NIK £139 (but £225 for a Creative Bundle of PhotoLab + NIK). To have to pay £129 just to acquire ‘Fine Contrast’ is ridiculous and why it was ever put it into FilmPack is a moot point.

OpticsPro 11 offered the OpticsPro 7 ‘Smart Lighting’ option which offered the ability to adjust the following (please see snapshot) with the “Advanced Options”, many of which are simply not available in PhotoLab 5, but ‘Fine Contrast’ (plus ‘Contrast’/‘Highlights’, ‘Midtones and Shadows’) were reserved for FilmPack then and now!

I believe that at least ‘Fine Contrast’ should be moved to DxPL or offered as a reasonably priced option @Musashi & @sgospodarenko not “buried” in an expensive upgrade where there is nothing of interest for me and possibly/probably many others!

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Hello @BHAYT ,

Unfortunately, this correction setting is only available with a FP license. It is not planned to include it with DPL for the moment.
Thank you

Best regards

@Musashi, for those of us who already have FP licenses, one of the things we miss is the availability of a fine contrast adjustment in Local adjustments. I know that implementing it in the current LA equalizer format won’t happen, but when Local adjustment sliders are eventually moved to the Local Adjustment palette it would be great for users of FP if fine contrast was available locally as well as globally.


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Local Adjustements are definitely on our list of improvements and yes maybe under a different form than the current one. But this is a long-term development.


@Musashi is there some technical reason that forces you to include it in Filmpack or is this just marketing?

Personally I almost only use the Fine Contrast since Microcontrast so often severely affects for example the sky in my images. Microcontrast also seems to be one of the parameters affected by Clear View Plus which means that even that tool has to be handled with great care if it should not make more damage than good.

… but Fine Contrast on the other hand has been a real image saver when I use it to save old positive color film that I have been digitising. I always start the process with pulling the Microcontrast as far to the left that is possible and then rise the Micro Contrast instead to maybe 25-30. It´s one on Photolabs most essential tools for me.

I read what you are writing but it doesn´t really get more understandable at least for me. At some point someone at DXO made a decission and it would be very intresting to understand how they thought when they took that decission. The fact that the Contrast and Microcontrast functions got included in the main product and Fine Contrast not and that they all appears together in the Photolab interface under “Contrast” (when FP is installed) makes it even more hard to understand. Why not place it from the beginning where even you at DXO seem to believe it naturally belongs??

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… which was (and still is) one of the reasons I did NOT recommend DxO PL to a very good friend.


@Stenis I have to agree. The business aspect is that when the software is professionally reviewed or evaluated by a potential new customer, what we regard as essential tools that we rely on, are not available. I fail to understand the logic in these business decisions although I have assumed that Photolab is the “hero” product in DXO’s product line-up. There is always the possibility that this assumption is wrong as the plugins sell to a much larger market i.e. PS/LR/AF?

I think you guys may be missing the point. DxO modularizes their product line to allow customers to take advantage of their editing products at different price points. That is why there are two versions of PhotoLab as well as FilmPack and Viewpoint. There are actually no add-ins. Everything is already built into PhotoLab, but additional licenses are needed to unhide PL Elite, Viewpoint, and FilmPack specific features…

Some people are perfectly happy with the PL 5 standard version without VP or FP at the lowest price point. However, for those of us want to experience everything PhotoLab has to offer you need to purchase the entire suite which when purchased together is very competitively priced compared to Capture 1.

I have always used the Elite version of PhotoLab, Viewpoint, and FilmPack.i am surprised when people say that FilmPack has little value to them other than Fine contrast. It has a significant number of features, besides film emulations, that I use almost every day.

Perhaps, to avoid this ongoing confusion, DxO should just market a single product with everything already included like Capture 1. It would certainly stop this continuing controversy although that combined product would sell for a lot more than PL 5 Elite or PL 5 standard.