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Topaz Labs Clarity

I'm currently beta testing a new piece of software from Topaz Labs called Clarity. Still in beta the interface is not 100% right, nor do all the brushes work correctly, but what do you expect from a beta trial software. 

Clarity allows you to adjust the contrast levels on an image at various levels to alter the whole image. Or you can brush it in to just certain areas you choose. You can also adjust the luminance and saturation of colours. i.e. make a certain colour darker but maybe increase the colour saturation.

It's still in beta so Topaz won't be realeasing it straight away, but for Topaz fans this seems to be another program well worth adding to your arsenal.

I'm still getting used to Clarity but I achieved the "After" in a couple of minutes at my first attempt

 

 

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Date Fri, 03/05/2013 - 13:12
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It's the same way the Nikon Capture NX works Mike.

I take it it uses U point technology ?

 

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Date Fri, 03/05/2013 - 13:31
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Lightroom has clarity adjustments and it includes brushes for local adjustments since version 1. I know there is a beta LR 5 out but I have LR 4. I understand LR5 has even more control and local adjustments that the older versions. I haven't bothered with the beta LR5 and do not plan to so I don't know how well it works with the new features. 

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Date Fri, 03/05/2013 - 14:32
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Ray. no U-point here, good old brushes and masks. The brushes are content aware though.

Laurie, agreed LR4 does a good job. Topaz is a plugin whicjh works in LR, Photoshop, Elements, Corel Paintshop Pro, and going on past prices for other plugins if it goes to market will probably be about 1/3 of the price of LR.

However it's still in beta and Topaz did can a beta test before to bring out a far superior product when the finally went to production.

 

 

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Date Fri, 03/05/2013 - 15:49
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But is it a stand alone or plug-in only? These individual plug-ins all seem to be somewhat one-trick-ponies and they get you to buy this one to do this and another to do that and yet another to do some other thing and so on. I would imagine that all these plug-ins add up to significant extra costs if I am not mistaken. 

I personally don't have any plug-ins for LR but I do precious little in post processing anyway. I did buy CS6 a few months ago and LR4 for my new computer but I still haven't used CS6. I wish I hadn't bothered buying CS6 at this point. Maybe I will use it eventually...lol

PS...LR 4 cost me $99 USD (£63.48) from Amazon. It would have been cheaper if I had been able to upgrade from LR2 on my old computer. LR4 is also cheaper now that LR5 is in Beta.

PSS...CS6 was purchased at B&H since it was cheapest at B&H. LR was cheapest through Amazon. I bought LR4 in December and CS6 the end of January after my new computer was delivered.

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Date Sat, 04/05/2013 - 07:41
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Little point Laurie in posting the costs of software in the States. The prices there are massively cheaper than here - for instance CS6 there (Amazon) is quoted as $604.49 (£388.23) but here it is £631.28 (Amazon). Dollars equivalent is $982.93. And Amazon.com will not sell unless you have an American address.

Topaz has a 'carrier' which all the plug-ins will work within - so that all processes can be conducted in the same place, but it needs a host.

RAW  tutorial http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/article/83/146826

Processing Photos tutorial http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/article/83/147565

Be what you are, say what you feel, 'cos those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind.

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Date Sat, 04/05/2013 - 13:42
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Angie I understand that. I am fully aware that in the UK you cannot order from amazon.com and that you need to go to http://www.amazon.co.uk/. I can see that LR is available at Amazon UK for £92.98. 

I know there are all sorts of hidden costs VAT etc. which makes it all more expensive there. But the same would also be true for the cost of Topaz products would it not? Here the Topaz Bundle is $300 USD and since it needs a host you also need to spend the extra $$ on the host program. It was stated that Topaz is 1/3 the cost of Lightroom but since Topaz needs a host such as LR or PS that point is moot since you need it or some other host either way.

PS...I was mistaken Topaz plug-ins will apparently work with iPhoto using the Topaz Fusion (free) software and iPhoto comes bundled free with all mac computers. So if you use mac computers and are satisfied with iPhoto you can save some money. But the Topaz bundle is still not 1/3 the cost of LR. and if bought separately Topaz is very expensive. The denoise plug in alone is $80. BW effects is $60 and so on.

 

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Date Sat, 04/05/2013 - 15:21
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If you 'attend' any of the Topaz webinars you will be eligible for a discount - which varies from 15% to 30% and is available (usually) for the whole 'bundle'. All upgrades are free (unlike Adobe which is still very expensive) and when a new plug-in is announced the price is usually around about a fifth of the actual price for about a month. All in all Topaz is a very good system for very few pence - plus it works with a lot of software - not just expensive stuff - so I used to used it with PhotoImpact which was about £30.00. And yes it does work with iPhoto. Compared to many plug-ins it is very good value for money.

RAW  tutorial http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/article/83/146826

Processing Photos tutorial http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/article/83/147565

Be what you are, say what you feel, 'cos those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind.

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Date Sat, 04/05/2013 - 16:07
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I've only ever had one plug-in for CS2 which I had before I got LR and it was Noiseware Pro which was very inexpensive at the time I bought it. I don't have it any longer since nothing from my old mac works on the new one. But the Noise control in LR4 is so awesome...as good or maybe better than the Noiseware CS2 plug-in was. I don't need noise control often but when I do LR4 does a fantastic job with very little effort. But as most here know I am not one to do extensive post processing anyway, so for me at least the extra expense of plug-ins seems completely unnecessary. LR does all I need and more. Although I understand that LR5 has even better algorithms and better brush control than ever. I am thinking about getting the BETA to find out. Upgrades are usually cheap here especially when they come out with new within a year of you purchasing the last version. At least it was that way for me when I purchased LR2 within a year of getting LR1 they offered an upgrade discount. Smile

At any rate even with a 30% discount LR4 was still cheaper than the Topaz bundle by more than $170.

PS...I am still kicking myself for spending $600 on CS6 which I think now I will probably never use. Sad