Topaz Labs InFOCUS First Look [Updated]

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Updated: this post has been updated by the author with an example of the software in action.

Topaz labs has just released a brand new product in their line up of powerful software programs called InFocus. In Focus is a program that can actually take a blurry image and make it sharp. It doesn’t really make sense and it’s quite hard to believe honestly. There are plenty of sharpening tools out there, but they simply do so by adding edge contrast to the image.

This program is the first ever to use a blur estimation feature and complex deconvolution technology to help detect and enhance blurry images. Topaz Labs states, “This new sharpening approach completely changes the way detail refinement is done, by recovering true details, restoring image clarity and offering natural sharp-looking enhancements.”

This program is sure to be a helpful tool in any photographers arsenal. We all get blurry images here and there that we simply have to disregard. Now, we don’t necessarily have to. There’s no substitute for taking the time to get your images tack sharp in camera, but when all else fails, InFOCUS seems to save the day.

Topaz InFOCUS retails for $69.99, but through December 3rd you can pick up a copy for $29.99 with the coupon code “SuperSharp.”

Here are some results from Topaz Labs..

Update:

I was asked by some readers to include an example of some of my own work instead of just showing results from the software developers own site. Makes sense and I’m more than happy to do it. Unfortunately, I never take blurry images!

Ok ok, that’s not true. I have plenty.

Now, I want to stress again that this isn’t some magical piece of software that is going to save any and every image out there. Don’t expect this program to create a masterpiece out of junk. This hopefully isn’t even a program that you will need very often. It’s more of a last resort if you have no other options than to try and save a blurred image.

When I first started using the program, I had the same reaction as some other people. I thought it was junk and that it wasn’t worth the money. But after watching a couple tutorial videos (which I linked to below in the comments) I really began to understand what this program is to be used for. It’s really all about matching the blur radius of the image to the blur radius correction of the software. So you sort of have to just play around with it until you get it right.

Here is an example of  an image I ran through inFOCUS during my testing.

Conclusion thus far…

Now that’s not bad! This is zoomed in to 100% and this cropping is in the far off background of the original scene. When I took this image, I was hand holding from atop a cliff on the other side of the bay (this is at Dana Point in California). Notice the difference in the detail of the bridge on each side of the divider. inFOCUS went in and got rid of the blur to create cleaner and more defined lines. It also did a great job of adding detail and texture to the water. I’m pretty happy with this result! Now, do I have a stellar image here that I can print on canvas and display in a gallery? Probably not. But what if that was the only image I had of Dana Point, and I had nothing else to remember it by?

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James Brandon is a landscape photographer and educator residing in Dallas, Texas. Join 20,000+ photographers and get access to his free video tutorial library at his website. James also has an online store full of video courses, ebooks, presets and more. Use the coupon code "DPS25" for an exclusive discount!

  • Steve (keeping my amatuer status)

    Is this for real?!?!? or did I misplace my calendar again and it’s actually April Fools Day?

  • Did you guys actually try it? Or just basically reprint their ad?

  • Holy cow… that looks amazing.
    I think I am going to make a Christmas investment on myself!

    Cabin Fever in Vermont

  • Aaron

    Try before you buy. This tool is not nearly as impressive as the sample images make it out to be.

    Also, is this an article or an advertisement? Has the author even used the product?

  • Same question: is this for real?
    If the second example is true, there’s someserious mistake in pricing.

  • Yes I’ve tried it and used it :-). Keep in mind, it’s not necessarily made to create portfolio quality images. It’s made to take poor images and enhance them to “usable” status.

  • pat

    I bought it and so far I’m not impressed. Glad I only paid $30. Maybe I just need more practice. I have a slightly soft photo, nothing as extreme as the examples, and I have not been able to get it in focus.

  • Rabi

    I’m playing with this now. I don’t know if I’m just using it wrong, but the deblur doesn’t seem to be doing anything beyond sharpening, in the bad way.

  • It’ll just be an algorithm to sharpen, not patentable. If it’s good it’ll be in a upcoming version of Photoshop or Camera RAW. As a photographer I’d rather take better pictures than rescue crappy ones.

    But, as Reuters said, and forgive me for not getting the quote right “Quality doesn’t really matter, if you get us a picture of Elvis in Starbucks, we’ll run it worldwide”!

  • Alun J. Carr

    FocusMagic has provided this capability as a Photoshop plugin for years. Unfortunately, it’s 32-bit and the Mac version is PowerPC only. Development has been stalled for at least two years. All a great shame, because it does a superb job. I’d better buy the Topaz equivalent.

  • Lrn2TakeBetterPhotos maybe.

  • jp

    good thing i’m not too “focused” on immediate gratification! nowhere in your article, and not immediately on their site, is it mentioned that this is NOT a stand-alone program, but requires photoshop or a photoshop plugin compatible editor. i’d have wasted a lot of time and $30, which, especially at this time of year, i can do better things with. please consider adding these all-important details when writing up a product for your readers!

  • If you are unsure about the quality of the software, simply do the 30 day free trial. This program does have a learning curve to it.

    I admit it can be a bit tricky to get the result you want. It’s all about matching the radius of the blur in the software with the radius of the blur in the image. The blur estimation tool has given be some good results too. Here are a couple video tutorials from Topaz showing how to use it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwrFuaLJv1c&feature=player_embedded#!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyuXwDFs95U&feature=player_embedded#!

  • recreating detail that is not there? maybe with simple shapes but detailed subjects will not be worth using at a decent resolution. I guess I will have to try before I knock though.

  • Tracy

    well i purchased this 2 hrs ago, and i still cannot get it to work. It says to reload it from another link and that didnt work either……THEN ….I READ THE REVIEWS grrr ……. http://topazlabs.com/support/kb/index.php?View=comment&EntryID=308

    I WONDER IF THE PROGRAM OF THEIRS FOR HDR WORKS THE SAME WAY!!!

  • jackie

    Give him a break everyone! Nowhere in the article did he say this software is as amazing as the company says it is. In fact, if you read through it, he was even hesitant to say it even worked. I believe this article was simply to say it was available and on sale. It is still up to everyone to do their due diligence and test it for themselves. It would be dumb to buy the software without testing it first no matter how well known the software is. Thats why they have 30 day trials!

  • Phillip Tola

    I think it probably works something very like the GIMP refocus plugin, which apparently uses something called FIR Wiener filtering to sharpen and refocus blurred images. A description of how it works can be found at http://refocus.sourceforge.net/doc.html#id2752745.

  • pat

    Thanks for the links. It would be nice if the narrator didn’t have such a heavy accent.

  • peter

    sorry to disturb the party but i have yet to find a picture where this plugin is usefull.

    i love the TOPAZ plugins.. don´t get me wrong. detail, remask, adjust are all great.

    but this one just cut the cake for me… the result of an out of focus image is still crap.
    it looks somewhat better but i can achive the same with other plugins or by hand.

    it does no magical trick and it does not look as good as the examples.

    it´s not hard to use. it only has a few sliders and you can test a dozend settings in just 30 seconds.

    but the results are not satisfying.. at least not for me as photographer.

    if i would work for CSI las vegas i maybe would love to get better readable license plates… but im a photographer who needs good results… not just readable license plates.

  • Toby

    There are a number of published papers from previous years’ Siggraph conferences that do this for shake induced blur, either with a ‘detail shot’ (not blurry, but grainy) or without (both proceed by estimating and reversing a convolution filter).

    See, for example, http://www.cse.cuhk.edu.hk/~leojia/projects/motion_deblurring/index.html

    The published results for this kind of blur removal look a lot better than the topaz labs result (top).

    Removing focus blurring is conceptually rather similar, but for a lot of images there’s some difficulty associated with the fact that the circle of confusion changes size with image depth. I suspect that the sample image (bottom) was just gaussian blurred, rather than shot blurry, so there’s a single blur radius (which they know beforehand) and thus the deconvolution represents the best possible result.

  • Ok everyone, thanks for all the feedback on this. I went ahead and updated the post to include an example of my own work. Should have done that the first time :-). If you have a hard time viewing the difference on the image, click the image to view it full size. Hope this helps, thanks again everyone!

  • Curious to see if it actually works as well as described in this post/ad.
    I will have to try and see.

  • I’ve been playing with InFocus and am very impressed. It does take reading the docs or watching the tutorial, but the learning curve isn’t that steep. Do download the demo and kick the tires.

  • Stan

    And do you know DeblurMyImage or FocusMagic? Both are cheaper and you get the same or better result – deconvolution methods are know from dark age. And DeblurMyImage can work as PS Plugin as well.

  • januler

    i must say im not impressed.

    the after photo from the habor is nearly as ugly as the blured one.

    plus… with normal sharpening and microcontrast technics you get the same result.

  • peter

    yeah with the normal photoshop tools you can get the same results.

    just with the normal sharpening and contrast editing.

    don´t know if this (10 seconds in ps) looks so much worse then what this extra plugin produces.

    http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/3655/screenshotfn0.png

  • peter
  • Jay Gould

    I have tried it and I am impressed! I think it definitely adds a powerful tool to your PP kit. Of course you want tack sharp in the camera; simply doesn’t happen all of the time. Does that mean throw it away? No! Depending upon the image In Focus can come to the rescue. And, I have no connection with the company. I like some Topaz products; Nik products, Pixel Genius – each product stands on its own.

  • It’s amazing how many positive emails I’ve had back about this one from people who picked up a copy. Glad it was helpful to many of you. For those in doubt – do take advantage of the 30 day free trial and see if it suits your needs.

    Like all Topaz products – they offer the trials and its a great way to test and see if they’re right for you.

  • pat

    This is the simple little flower I am trying to get “in focus” and I am having no luck. I have watched both of the videos that James provided links for and I can’t make it look any better, only worse.
    http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee269/patski107/InFocus%20Samples/WhiteFlower.jpg

  • Ron

    I have tried Infocus and have seen it work very well on a portrait picture where the sharpening was compared to Unsharp Mask, High Pass sharpen and the original at 150% zoom. On the other hand, I have seen the Sharpen control in Infocus produce black specks throughout the picture in two scenic shots. This was not usable unless I set the sharpen control to 0 but then it was not as sharp as I needed. The pictues were normal in focus shots. I think there is a problem with this control. If that were fixed I might buy it but the sale won’t last that long.

    BTW, this comment area should allow uploading of images with a browse function to get them from a hard drive which it doesn’t.

  • Rick

    Try before you buy. I downloaded the free trial and have used it on 1/2 a dozen images so far . I’m not that impressed with it , it’s on sale for 29 bucks till Dec. 3, but I’m not sure it’s worth that even. Having said that I do have other topaz software and am quite happy with their stuff. Their de noise 5 is great.

  • Definitely try the 30 day trial before you buy! I watched the tutorials and read about it, but I still can’t get any good results. It just makes my pictures look even more blurry and noisy! I think there’s a specific type of photo that works well for this plug-in, I don’t know. All in all, I’m not going to buy this. Waste of time. I have NO idea how they got those results in their sample pictures.

  • jan

    honest this for PHOTOSHOP beginners who don´t know how to do this with the photoshop tools.
    when you keep that in mind you understand why some people like this plugin.

    for me its useless… i see NOTHING i can not achive with the photoshop tools.

  • How interesting! When something doesn’t work for you, when you have not takenmthe time to study allmof themsupport materialsmincludingmlotsmof videos on You Tube prepared by Topaz, the product is useless and a waste of time.

    You lose!

    The product is great, it works as designed, and I know lots happy with the product.

  • pat

    Jay, the links have been posted a couple of times. Narrator is very difficult to understand (heavy accent) and as hard as I try I still can’t make any of my images look better.

  • It is very much like a TopazLabs version of FocusMagic: i.e. well done (but you have to get the sliders right, and I think using in conjunction with a layer mask is a smart move, to “remix” some of the areas that are overly sharp and/or have artifacts). I run FocusMagic on Windows 7 (PS/32-bit) despite the fact that FocusMagic is officially not supported on Windows 7, and it works just fine. Nevertheless, I will be buying InFocus since it works in PS/64-bit (along with the rest of my plugins), and I like to support TopazLabs 🙂

    If FocusMagic looked alive I’d reconsider this decision, but its development seems to have come to a stand-still.

    PS – Its not intended as a substitute for focusing your camera and holding it still…, and in my opinion, one can often get just as good results or better using vanilla sharpening techniques, for vanilla blurring. But in the cases where blurring is due to linear motion as example, there is no substitute for a directional deconvolving algorithm (like InFocus and FocusMagic), instead of a non-directional (vanilla) sharpening algorithm.

    Rob

  • It is very much like a TopazLabs version of FocusMagic: i.e. well done (but you have to get the sliders right, and I think using in conjunction with a layer mask is a smart move, to “remix” some of the areas that are overly sharp and/or have artifacts). I run FocusMagic on Windows 7 (PS/32-bit) despite the fact that FocusMagic is officially not supported on Windows 7, and it works just fine. Nevertheless, I will be buying InFocus since it works in PS/64-bit (along with the rest of my plugins), and I like to support TopazLabs 🙂

    If FocusMagic looked alive I’d reconsider this decision, but its development seems to have come to a stand-still.

    PS – Its not intended as a substitute for focusing your camera and holding it still…, and in my opinion, one can often get just as good results or better using vanilla sharpening techniques, for vanilla blurring. But in the cases where blurring is due to linear motion as example, there is no substitute for a directional deconvolving algorithm (like InFocus and FocusMagic), instead of a non-directional (vanilla) sharpening algorithm.

    Rob

  • TomL

    I am a fan of Topaz Labs and love all the products. But, I haven’t been able to salvage good results in the number of photos I have tried InFocus on.
    My photos were artist concert shoots with a lot of dark backgrounds. InFocus only managed to add a ton of noise into these photos.
    I spent only $30, so I’m not crying – but will try it a few different shots and lighting types.
    I have been working very hard at learning to take super sharp focused shots with the camera and hope I don’t really need this except as last resort.

    Tom in Canada

  • I confess, after further experience, it does seem like TopazLabs need to put this one back on the design table. Although it is possible, under just the right circumstances, to get good results, the artifacts are just too rampant for the results to be usable in the vast majority of photos where one might hope to use it…

  • Mike C

    I purchased the $30 deal. I feel that this tool adds a ton of noise and have yet to find any real value as of yet. Still will give some time but a huge disappointment so far.

  • Topaz has so much confidence in their products that they feel it’s unnecessary to provide a customer support phone number on their website. Nor is their organization listed in any Dallas, Tx. phone directory. What’s up with that? Makes me wonder ……

  • I mostly adore Topaz products, but InFocus is a big fat loser, in my opinion. I tried it a few more times to no avail. Glad I didn’t pay $30 for it. Sorry TopazLabs, but my results have not been anywhere near as nice as your example… Striped ripples

  • I guess the problem is everyone expects it to perform like the out of focus picture of the boy in the water up there. It is almost certainly a cropped image so the blur is barely noticeable in the full sized picture. However, if you do have such pictures, you can size it down and the software can fix it amazingly well. This should be great for pictures from your phone etc. Check out my results here: Topaz inFocus Test Results

  • l would love to have this software in Focus but in the UK you cannot get it l did have a download vesion that lhad downloaded but t never worked and was refunded by Topaz..
    Best wish Alan Ford

  • Looks interesting, but better to get it right in camera I think 🙂

Some Older Comments

  • Chris Renton April 8, 2013 09:44 pm

    Looks interesting, but better to get it right in camera I think :)

  • ALANFOD November 30, 2011 04:00 am

    l would love to have this software in Focus but in the UK you cannot get it l did have a download vesion that lhad downloaded but t never worked and was refunded by Topaz..
    Best wish Alan Ford

  • alter^arman January 11, 2011 02:08 pm

    I guess the problem is everyone expects it to perform like the out of focus picture of the boy in the water up there. It is almost certainly a cropped image so the blur is barely noticeable in the full sized picture. However, if you do have such pictures, you can size it down and the software can fix it amazingly well. This should be great for pictures from your phone etc. Check out my results here: Topaz inFocus Test Results

  • Rob Cole December 24, 2010 03:01 pm

    I mostly adore Topaz products, but InFocus is a big fat loser, in my opinion. I tried it a few more times to no avail. Glad I didn't pay $30 for it. Sorry TopazLabs, but my results have not been anywhere near as nice as your example... Striped ripples

  • gene lowinger December 22, 2010 09:33 am

    Topaz has so much confidence in their products that they feel it's unnecessary to provide a customer support phone number on their website. Nor is their organization listed in any Dallas, Tx. phone directory. What's up with that? Makes me wonder ......

  • Mike C December 8, 2010 04:08 am

    I purchased the $30 deal. I feel that this tool adds a ton of noise and have yet to find any real value as of yet. Still will give some time but a huge disappointment so far.

  • Rob Cole December 2, 2010 07:49 am

    I confess, after further experience, it does seem like TopazLabs need to put this one back on the design table. Although it is possible, under just the right circumstances, to get good results, the artifacts are just too rampant for the results to be usable in the vast majority of photos where one might hope to use it...

  • TomL December 2, 2010 02:07 am

    I am a fan of Topaz Labs and love all the products. But, I haven't been able to salvage good results in the number of photos I have tried InFocus on.
    My photos were artist concert shoots with a lot of dark backgrounds. InFocus only managed to add a ton of noise into these photos.
    I spent only $30, so I'm not crying - but will try it a few different shots and lighting types.
    I have been working very hard at learning to take super sharp focused shots with the camera and hope I don't really need this except as last resort.

    Tom in Canada

  • Rob Cole December 1, 2010 10:17 am

    It is very much like a TopazLabs version of FocusMagic: i.e. well done (but you have to get the sliders right, and I think using in conjunction with a layer mask is a smart move, to "remix" some of the areas that are overly sharp and/or have artifacts). I run FocusMagic on Windows 7 (PS/32-bit) despite the fact that FocusMagic is officially not supported on Windows 7, and it works just fine. Nevertheless, I will be buying InFocus since it works in PS/64-bit (along with the rest of my plugins), and I like to support TopazLabs :-)

    If FocusMagic looked alive I'd reconsider this decision, but its development seems to have come to a stand-still.

    PS - Its not intended as a substitute for focusing your camera and holding it still..., and in my opinion, one can often get just as good results or better using vanilla sharpening techniques, for vanilla blurring. But in the cases where blurring is due to linear motion as example, there is no substitute for a directional deconvolving algorithm (like InFocus and FocusMagic), instead of a non-directional (vanilla) sharpening algorithm.

    Rob

  • Rob Cole December 1, 2010 10:16 am

    It is very much like a TopazLabs version of FocusMagic: i.e. well done (but you have to get the sliders right, and I think using in conjunction with a layer mask is a smart move, to "remix" some of the areas that are overly sharp and/or have artifacts). I run FocusMagic on Windows 7 (PS/32-bit) despite the fact that FocusMagic is officially not supported on Windows 7, and it works just fine. Nevertheless, I will be buying InFocus since it works in PS/64-bit (along with the rest of my plugins), and I like to support TopazLabs :-)

    If FocusMagic looked alive I'd reconsider this decision, but its development seems to have come to a stand-still.

    PS - Its not intended as a substitute for focusing your camera and holding it still..., and in my opinion, one can often get just as good results or better using vanilla sharpening techniques, for vanilla blurring. But in the cases where blurring is due to linear motion as example, there is no substitute for a directional deconvolving algorithm (like InFocus and FocusMagic), instead of a non-directional (vanilla) sharpening algorithm.

    Rob

  • pat November 29, 2010 12:08 pm

    Jay, the links have been posted a couple of times. Narrator is very difficult to understand (heavy accent) and as hard as I try I still can't make any of my images look better.

  • Jay Gould November 29, 2010 11:59 am

    Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/v/cyuXwDFs95U?fs=1&hl=en_US&fs=1&autoplay=1

  • Jay Gould November 29, 2010 11:53 am

    How interesting! When something doesn't work for you, when you have not takenmthe time to study allmof themsupport materialsmincludingmlotsmof videos on You Tube prepared by Topaz, the product is useless and a waste of time.

    You lose!

    The product is great, it works as designed, and I know lots happy with the product.

  • jan November 28, 2010 09:43 pm

    honest this for PHOTOSHOP beginners who don´t know how to do this with the photoshop tools.
    when you keep that in mind you understand why some people like this plugin.

    for me its useless... i see NOTHING i can not achive with the photoshop tools.

  • Karilyn November 28, 2010 06:38 pm

    Definitely try the 30 day trial before you buy! I watched the tutorials and read about it, but I still can't get any good results. It just makes my pictures look even more blurry and noisy! I think there's a specific type of photo that works well for this plug-in, I don't know. All in all, I'm not going to buy this. Waste of time. I have NO idea how they got those results in their sample pictures.

  • Rick November 27, 2010 03:06 pm

    Try before you buy. I downloaded the free trial and have used it on 1/2 a dozen images so far . I'm not that impressed with it , it's on sale for 29 bucks till Dec. 3, but I'm not sure it's worth that even. Having said that I do have other topaz software and am quite happy with their stuff. Their de noise 5 is great.

  • Ron November 27, 2010 02:27 am

    I have tried Infocus and have seen it work very well on a portrait picture where the sharpening was compared to Unsharp Mask, High Pass sharpen and the original at 150% zoom. On the other hand, I have seen the Sharpen control in Infocus produce black specks throughout the picture in two scenic shots. This was not usable unless I set the sharpen control to 0 but then it was not as sharp as I needed. The pictues were normal in focus shots. I think there is a problem with this control. If that were fixed I might buy it but the sale won't last that long.

    BTW, this comment area should allow uploading of images with a browse function to get them from a hard drive which it doesn't.

  • pat November 26, 2010 09:19 am

    This is the simple little flower I am trying to get "in focus" and I am having no luck. I have watched both of the videos that James provided links for and I can't make it look any better, only worse.
    http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee269/patski107/InFocus%20Samples/WhiteFlower.jpg

  • Darren Rowse November 26, 2010 09:00 am

    It's amazing how many positive emails I've had back about this one from people who picked up a copy. Glad it was helpful to many of you. For those in doubt - do take advantage of the 30 day free trial and see if it suits your needs.

    Like all Topaz products - they offer the trials and its a great way to test and see if they're right for you.

  • Jay Gould November 26, 2010 08:51 am

    I have tried it and I am impressed! I think it definitely adds a powerful tool to your PP kit. Of course you want tack sharp in the camera; simply doesn't happen all of the time. Does that mean throw it away? No! Depending upon the image In Focus can come to the rescue. And, I have no connection with the company. I like some Topaz products; Nik products, Pixel Genius - each product stands on its own.

  • peter November 26, 2010 04:16 am

    again side by side.

    http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/8662/screenshot2a0.png

  • peter November 26, 2010 04:10 am

    yeah with the normal photoshop tools you can get the same results.

    just with the normal sharpening and contrast editing.

    don´t know if this (10 seconds in ps) looks so much worse then what this extra plugin produces.

    http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/3655/screenshotfn0.png

  • januler November 26, 2010 04:02 am

    i must say im not impressed.

    the after photo from the habor is nearly as ugly as the blured one.

    plus... with normal sharpening and microcontrast technics you get the same result.

  • Stan November 25, 2010 05:42 pm

    And do you know DeblurMyImage or FocusMagic? Both are cheaper and you get the same or better result - deconvolution methods are know from dark age. And DeblurMyImage can work as PS Plugin as well.

  • michael November 25, 2010 03:57 pm

    I've been playing with InFocus and am very impressed. It does take reading the docs or watching the tutorial, but the learning curve isn't that steep. Do download the demo and kick the tires.

  • Todd Metcalfe November 25, 2010 12:56 pm

    Curious to see if it actually works as well as described in this post/ad.
    I will have to try and see.

  • James Brandon November 25, 2010 11:46 am

    Ok everyone, thanks for all the feedback on this. I went ahead and updated the post to include an example of my own work. Should have done that the first time :-). If you have a hard time viewing the difference on the image, click the image to view it full size. Hope this helps, thanks again everyone!

  • Toby November 25, 2010 11:28 am

    There are a number of published papers from previous years' Siggraph conferences that do this for shake induced blur, either with a 'detail shot' (not blurry, but grainy) or without (both proceed by estimating and reversing a convolution filter).

    See, for example, http://www.cse.cuhk.edu.hk/~leojia/projects/motion_deblurring/index.html

    The published results for this kind of blur removal look a lot better than the topaz labs result (top).

    Removing focus blurring is conceptually rather similar, but for a lot of images there's some difficulty associated with the fact that the circle of confusion changes size with image depth. I suspect that the sample image (bottom) was just gaussian blurred, rather than shot blurry, so there's a single blur radius (which they know beforehand) and thus the deconvolution represents the best possible result.

  • peter November 25, 2010 11:14 am

    sorry to disturb the party but i have yet to find a picture where this plugin is usefull.

    i love the TOPAZ plugins.. don´t get me wrong. detail, remask, adjust are all great.

    but this one just cut the cake for me... the result of an out of focus image is still crap.
    it looks somewhat better but i can achive the same with other plugins or by hand.

    it does no magical trick and it does not look as good as the examples.

    it´s not hard to use. it only has a few sliders and you can test a dozend settings in just 30 seconds.

    but the results are not satisfying.. at least not for me as photographer.

    if i would work for CSI las vegas i maybe would love to get better readable license plates... but im a photographer who needs good results... not just readable license plates.

  • pat November 25, 2010 10:58 am

    Thanks for the links. It would be nice if the narrator didn't have such a heavy accent.

  • Phillip Tola November 25, 2010 10:52 am

    I think it probably works something very like the GIMP refocus plugin, which apparently uses something called FIR Wiener filtering to sharpen and refocus blurred images. A description of how it works can be found at http://refocus.sourceforge.net/doc.html#id2752745.

  • jackie November 25, 2010 10:12 am

    Give him a break everyone! Nowhere in the article did he say this software is as amazing as the company says it is. In fact, if you read through it, he was even hesitant to say it even worked. I believe this article was simply to say it was available and on sale. It is still up to everyone to do their due diligence and test it for themselves. It would be dumb to buy the software without testing it first no matter how well known the software is. Thats why they have 30 day trials!

  • Tracy November 25, 2010 09:54 am

    well i purchased this 2 hrs ago, and i still cannot get it to work. It says to reload it from another link and that didnt work either......THEN ....I READ THE REVIEWS grrr ....... http://topazlabs.com/support/kb/index.php?View=comment&EntryID=308

    I WONDER IF THE PROGRAM OF THEIRS FOR HDR WORKS THE SAME WAY!!!

  • Andy November 25, 2010 09:13 am

    recreating detail that is not there? maybe with simple shapes but detailed subjects will not be worth using at a decent resolution. I guess I will have to try before I knock though.

  • James Brandon November 25, 2010 08:16 am

    If you are unsure about the quality of the software, simply do the 30 day free trial. This program does have a learning curve to it.

    I admit it can be a bit tricky to get the result you want. It's all about matching the radius of the blur in the software with the radius of the blur in the image. The blur estimation tool has given be some good results too. Here are a couple video tutorials from Topaz showing how to use it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwrFuaLJv1c&feature=player_embedded#!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyuXwDFs95U&feature=player_embedded#!

  • jp November 25, 2010 08:15 am

    good thing i'm not too "focused" on immediate gratification! nowhere in your article, and not immediately on their site, is it mentioned that this is NOT a stand-alone program, but requires photoshop or a photoshop plugin compatible editor. i'd have wasted a lot of time and $30, which, especially at this time of year, i can do better things with. please consider adding these all-important details when writing up a product for your readers!

  • Nick Bedford November 25, 2010 08:13 am

    Lrn2TakeBetterPhotos maybe.

  • Alun J. Carr November 25, 2010 07:59 am

    FocusMagic has provided this capability as a Photoshop plugin for years. Unfortunately, it's 32-bit and the Mac version is PowerPC only. Development has been stalled for at least two years. All a great shame, because it does a superb job. I'd better buy the Topaz equivalent.

  • Mark November 25, 2010 07:57 am

    It'll just be an algorithm to sharpen, not patentable. If it's good it'll be in a upcoming version of Photoshop or Camera RAW. As a photographer I'd rather take better pictures than rescue crappy ones.

    But, as Reuters said, and forgive me for not getting the quote right "Quality doesn't really matter, if you get us a picture of Elvis in Starbucks, we'll run it worldwide"!

  • Rabi November 25, 2010 07:43 am

    I'm playing with this now. I don't know if I'm just using it wrong, but the deblur doesn't seem to be doing anything beyond sharpening, in the bad way.

  • pat November 25, 2010 07:09 am

    I bought it and so far I'm not impressed. Glad I only paid $30. Maybe I just need more practice. I have a slightly soft photo, nothing as extreme as the examples, and I have not been able to get it in focus.

  • James Brandon November 25, 2010 06:56 am

    Yes I've tried it and used it :-). Keep in mind, it's not necessarily made to create portfolio quality images. It's made to take poor images and enhance them to "usable" status.

  • Jens Murer November 25, 2010 06:52 am

    Same question: is this for real?
    If the second example is true, there's someserious mistake in pricing.

  • Aaron November 25, 2010 06:35 am

    Try before you buy. This tool is not nearly as impressive as the sample images make it out to be.

    Also, is this an article or an advertisement? Has the author even used the product?

  • Jen at Cabin Fever November 25, 2010 06:26 am

    Holy cow... that looks amazing.
    I think I am going to make a Christmas investment on myself!

    Cabin Fever in Vermont

  • Kris Dysert November 25, 2010 06:04 am

    Did you guys actually try it? Or just basically reprint their ad?

  • Steve (keeping my amatuer status) November 25, 2010 05:54 am

    Is this for real?!?!? or did I misplace my calendar again and it's actually April Fools Day?

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