Writing with Light

I Can See Clearly Now…with Topaz Clarity

I’ve been fortunate over the last week to have been able to test Topaz Labs’ newest plug-in Topaz Clarity. Topaz Clarity enhances contrast and clarity with absolutely no artifacts or halos. With just a few clicks you can easily manipulate your micro, mid-tone and overall contrast, transforming your image from ordinary to extraordinary, while maintaining the natural feeling and tonality you are after.

While the plug-in is simple enough (you’ll recognize the familiar interface of the other suite of Topaz plug-ins) Topaz Clarity is a very powerful tool. I was a bit skeptical when I’d first heard about this new release but once I started using it I was blown away by the subtle yet powerful improvements achieved using this.

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 10.25.50 PM

Here are some of the unique features introduced in Topaz Clarity:

1. Selective Contrast Control. With Clarity, Topaz Labs has developed a cutting-edge process of selecting specific contrast variations in the original image, allowing you to quickly target and then increase or decrease the contrast and clarity in that specific variation.

2. Breakthrough Halo-Free Algorithm. Boost contrast and clarity without emphasizing transitions between light and dark areas, eliminating the common problem of halos, noise and artifacts.

3. Advanced Hue/Saturation/Luminance Technology. Using IntelliColor technology, you can easily enhance your image with the HSL filter, getting stronger, yet more natural HSL adjustments.

4. Re-Imagined Masking Workflow. The masking module, now attached to each adjustment tab contains a comprehensive set of tools including an edge-aware brush, gradient mask, smart feather tool, color aware tool and more.

5. User Interface Design. Topaz Labs has continued to develop a cleaner, more modern and efficient interface to improve usability, workflow and overall aesthetics.

Topaz Clarity comes with 9 collections of presets that includes Architecture; Fashion; Macro; Nature & Landscape. The presets are a great way to speed up your processing or giving you a good starting point for the look your after.

Instead of continuing to “tell” you what Topaz Clarity does I’ll “show” you instead with a couple of images I worked on specifically for this review. Please click on the images to enlarge and really see the detail.

Flower, Macro, yellow, gerber


Flower, Macro, yellow, gerber, Topaz Clarity

After – with Topaz Clarity

Boston, harbor, long exposure, black and white, pier


Boston, harbor, long exposure, black and white, pier, Topaz Clarity

After – with Topaz Clarity

Topaz Clarity will retail for $49.99, but it’s being offered now at a special introductory price of $29.99 through May 31st. Use promo code: claritynew Click here to purchase.

46 responses

  1. 1annecasey

    Wow – stunning! The flower almost looks 3D! : ))


    May 22, 2013 at 7:55 am

  2. Len

    Yours is the second great review of this product Edith. Looks like a new addition to my software collection.


    May 22, 2013 at 7:56 am

  3. Looks like a useful tool! Well done!


    May 22, 2013 at 8:06 am

  4. Nice review, Edith. Love those B&W images you’ve used here.


    May 22, 2013 at 8:23 am

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this here, Edith.
    I saw a webinar last week on this, and was not impressed, but after reading your post, and seeing your examples here, I am off to pick it up. 🙂


    May 22, 2013 at 9:16 am

    • Thanks Lisa. I think it’s going to make a great addition to their suite of products.


      May 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm

  6. Ah-mazing! I’ll have to pick this up soon!


    May 22, 2013 at 9:25 am

  7. Interesting review, Edith. Good illustration of the enhancements. Thank you!


    May 22, 2013 at 9:38 am

  8. very very nice preset


    May 22, 2013 at 10:42 am

  9. A good review. I have been wondering about topaz. I suppose I should take some time to check it out.


    May 22, 2013 at 11:06 am

  10. I was pretty excited to see this new plugin. I can’t wait to try it.


    May 22, 2013 at 11:32 am

  11. When I click on your link, I cannot see a product called “Topaz Clarity”. Does the product on the Topaz website have a different name or what am I overlooking?


    May 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    • Is it Topaz Adjust? Seems like it as it is the only one for $ 49.99 …


      May 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    • Hi Walter. It is in the site I just checked. On the products page it’s right under Topaz Adjust.


      May 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      • Interesting, it is the top product in the second row now on my screen now but I swear it wasn’t there b4 and I have clicked numerous times … well, well, good to see it now … Thanks … shall give it a try.


        May 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm

  12. This is amazing difference. Thanks and Love, nia


    May 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm

  13. J’ai un problème de traduction! Ce logiciel serait-il un bon complément de Lightroom4?


    May 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    • Bonjour Alain. Oui, le Topaz plug-ins fonctionneront avec Lightroom.


      May 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      • Merci Edith, ok mais est-ce un outil nécessaire complémentaire à Lightroom en terme de qualité de netteté?


        May 23, 2013 at 1:45 am

        • Je l’utilise avec Photoshop, mais je crois qu’il fonctionne de la même façon quel que soit l’endroit où vous le lancez à partir.


          May 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

  14. Thanks for this post. What a huge difference! I will have to give it a try.


    May 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

  15. Wow – thanks for posting this. I just downloaded it and can’t wait to take it for a spin.


    May 22, 2013 at 4:12 pm

  16. It does a great job! Great post Edith!


    May 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm

  17. impressive, thanks for sharing Edith.


    May 23, 2013 at 6:55 am

  18. Very informative review, Edith. Thank you. I’ve spent the last few weeks getting used to some of the other Topaz modules. Looks like there is anther one I need to check out – it certainly looks impressive. One thing that annoys me a little about other modules is the slow re-draw after any slider is moved. This makes subtle adjustments a slow and step-wise process rather than a smooth transition. Does this also apply to Clarity?


    May 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    • The sliders in Clarity functions the same way as the other plug-ins but I don’t find that its sluggish. What are you using the plug-ins with? Photoshop?


      May 24, 2013 at 12:28 am

      • Yes, Photoshop. I watch that little blue progress bar work its way across the screen. it only takes say 10 seconds or so. But when you want to tweak a slider little by little, it gets a tad annoying!


        May 24, 2013 at 4:27 am

    • I just read this on the Topaz FB-page:

      Dave Bosse: Why does it take so long for the “previews to load” when first initiated and even again sometimes when switching between collections. This is way too slow to include in my work flow.

      Topaz Labs: Once inside Clarity, go to Menu->Preferences and uncheck ‘Show preset pop-up previews’ and ‘Allow multiple effects open’. That should help.


      May 24, 2013 at 1:19 am

  19. Great shots and review Edith! I’ve seen so many positive reviews that I had to download the trial to test it out. It didn’t take long to realize I needed this new program in my workflow and I purchased it over the weekend!


    May 28, 2013 at 12:21 am

    • Thanks so much Michael. Topaz Clarity is a terrific addition to their suite of products. I’m really enoying it.


      May 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm

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