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Our review of the new Topaz DeJPEG 4:
Sharing pictures has become as commonplace as text messaging. We snap pictures with our phones and upload them into our Facebook or other social media account. The problem is when we like a picture we posted, try to zoom in on it and discover that it’s quality doesn’t allow us to see details of it. Most of the files shared on line or stored on our computers are in JPEG format whose advantage is its popularity. JPEG files are small so we can keep tons of them and can be opened in any operating system or device, in general, they are a standard file type when comes to sending pictures. Unfortunately, small file size comes at a price of quality, which comes in a form of distortions in the smoothness of color in a picture (checkerboards, mosquito noise) or blurred edges of the objects.
What Topaz DeJPEG is trying to do is to eliminate those imperfections by adjusting color edges as well as making a smooth color transition across an object. Checkerboards often cause a color to progress in scales, which is an immediate indicator of a low quality JPEG file. Applying fixes to that problem might affect sharpness of the objects in the picture and Topaz DeJPEG gives you some controls to improve that category as well.
Similar to other Topaz software, Topaz DeJPEG’s screen is divided into five sections. The first two sections are on the left side of your screen and contain a list of presets you can use as a starting point and a quick glimpse of what each of those presets does to your picture. It is quite helpful especially for the beginners as it gives you an idea of different options that can be applied in order to achieve the required result. The main section of the screen shows the effects of the adjustments made the original image. You can easily switch back-and-forth between the two to clearly see the difference. On the right hand side you find all the necessary selections to adjust each preset according to your needs. Small screen indicates your position in the picture (very useful in case you zoom in 400%) and then you have a choice of display mode and main and advanced sliders. Those options allow you to reduce artifacts, smooth color, and sharpen edges of the image. You can then decide on luminance and color noise, color edge radius, edge radius, saturation and grain.
All these tools combined can improve the image you’re working on and hopefully bring the expected outcome. But keep in mind that some pictures’ quality is simply too low and no matter what software you use, you might not be successful after all. So keep things in perspective and remember that Topaz DeJPEG will not hurt your work but the success in not guaranteed.