Topaz Photo AI vs. Radiant Photo batch test of speed and quality

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Patrick Murphy Contributing Member • Posts: 964
Topaz Photo AI vs. Radiant Photo batch test of speed and quality

In the past few days I purchased Topaz Photo AI and Radiant Photo.

I tried both of them on a batch of photos and found Radiant Photo to be a clear winner for me, based on both speed and quality. Here are the details.

I'm an event photographer. Most of my pictures are of people indoors. Often the photos are taken in dim lighting and in mixed lighting (different "white" colors and tints, in different parts of a room).

I do what I can to combat this in camera, using gels on my flash and various techniques. My JPGs are pretty good. But I am a perfectionist and want to get the photos even better. That's why I tested with RAWs from a recent shoot.

I took 165 photos and ran them through each program as a batch. Specifically, I just dropped them into the progam's main screen, and set the software to process all of them automatically, using the standard defaults.

TIME TO PROCESS: RP 3x FASTER

Topaz Photo AI version 1.0.0 took 30 minutes to process 30 Sony A7III RAW photos (6000 x 4000 pixels, 24 MP) and convert them into smaller JPGs (3872 x 2581, 10 MP nominal). It was slow so I ended it after 30 minutes.

Radiant Photo version 1.0.1.182 took about 25 minutes to process and convert all 165 photos -- about 9 seconds each.

This was on a 2020 MacBook Pro, 8-core Intel Core i9, with 16 GB of memory.

Incidentally, if I had gone through these manually on Lightroom, it would have taken me about 30 seconds per photo, depending on how much editing I did.

That's an hour and a quarter of non-stop working at the computer, that Radiant Photo can do automatically in 25 minutes while I watch TV or whatever <g!>.

QUALITY OF OUTPUT: RP IS BETTER

Radiant Photo did a much better job, in my opinion. It brought up the background brightness without looking artificial. For shots when the flash did not fire, it brought up a very dim photo to look normal. It automatically corrected even severe color casts. Skin colors, both light and dark, looked normal. Noise was controlled but people did not look plastic.

In short, the photos looked like what my eye saw. I did not see the oversaturated, unnaturally bright colors that some people have reported.

Topaz Photo AI reduced noise, but to the point of people having plastic skin. It slightly modified exposure, and slightly modified white balance -- but not enough IMHO. In one picture that was blown out (flash far too strong), Radiant Photo brought back the proper exposure much better than Topaz Photo AI.

CONCLUSIONS AND CAVEATS

The above is based on my admittedly limited testing, for the kinds of photos I shoot.

Now, I have to say my testing was only for set-and-forget batch mode. Here are some caveats:

  • I used what I believe are the default AI settings on each program. Maybe I set Topaz Photo AI incorrectly; I wouldn't know without more research.
  • I have used Topaz Photo AI manually (non-batch) on some of these exact same photos, as a Lightroom plug-in. I got really good results. I was very happy with Topaz Photo AI in manual mode -- though saving was pretty slow.
  • I have other Topaz AI products -- DeNoise, Sharpen, Gigapixel. I like all of them and love Gigapixel. It is freaking amazing!
  • I really like that Topaz put the three functions of denoise, sharpen and resize into the single program Photo AI that has a simplified "AI" automatic interface. It is very handy for photos that need two or more of these functions. Thank you to them.
  • Topaz Photo AI was free to me, because I own active (recently purchased/upgraded) Topaz AI-series software. You can't beat free!

In conclusion, for my particular usage and in this brief batch test, Radiant Photo clearly came out on top for both speed and quality. I thought I would share that with the forum.

BTW, I would like to share some photos but they are private from the event. I do not have rights to them. Perhaps in the future I'll take some "event-like" photos around the house. But trust me -- in my testing, Radiant Photo beat Topaz Photo AI substantially in quality.

 Patrick Murphy's gear list:Patrick Murphy's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony a7R V
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