Saturday, June 25, 2011

Topaz DeJEPG4 & Topaz Lens Effects~ Review



I decided to download the 30 day free Trial of Topaz DeJPEG 4 plug in.

I rarely shoot in RAW format, I won't argue the pros and cons here, that is just my method of choice.

Sometimes with my point and shoot camera [after all, we all don't run around with $thousands of dollars of camera equipment and lenses do we?] ... because it is easy to carry around with me.

LinkAnd I am not afraid of losing it.
And...it is mostly always at hand.

That said.
The top photo is a 100% crop of a photo taken with a Pentax Option W60.

Yes, there is definitely noise in this photo. Most would say that it isn't a big deal. But sometimes I like to smooth out the noise.
Hence the plug in from Topaz DeJPEG 4.





Original photo taken through a tinted windshield of my car. Not an impressive photo, but let's work with it a bit and see what can happen.

Well this sure doesn't do 'much for me.

So I used the DeJPEG4 first.

Topaz DeJPEG4 > settings > Noisy:

Wow, still pretty boring.
Try Topaz Adjust 4 > settings > Vibrance.

Better! There is a bit more excitement to the photo. A bit more pizazz. And since I prepared the photo with DeJPEG4 first, there is not much 'noise', which would normally occur at this point.

Well I had also decided to try Topaz's newer plug in called Lens Effects.

I've found some very useful settings for this. Especially the graduated filters.
Lens Effects > settings > Filter Graduated Density Filter > Filter Duo Tone > Cool to Warm II > Graduated Color > Graduated Orange > and then adjusted the bars under Graduated Color Adjustment...

Viola.
Not an exceptional photo by any means. But a slightly more interesting one at least.

My conclusion on this is that while the Lens Effects are fun and sometimes even useful....

I'm not so sure that it is worth the hefty price tag that is put on it. I can create some of the same effects with the dodge and burn tools in PSE 5 or other means.

However I do like the Topaz DeJPEG4 program and its nice and easy on the pocketbook price of $29.99.

After all I do take many photos while hiking and riding. I cannot always be carrying a high end quality camera and lens.
This just helps the .jpeg format a bit less noisy to work with while processing.


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