Hi all and welcome to a quick review on your Topaz special plugin of the month! This month Topaz is running a special on Detail 3 for 50% off! Normally $39.99, if you use the code “aprdetail” HERE on Topazlabs website, the price drops down to $19.99!!!
That’s all well and good, but what does Detail do? I had not tried it until I was made aware of the sale, so here is my experience and thoughts on what I think it is best at doing.
As the name suggests, this plugin focuses on enhancing detail. I’d say it is kind of a cross between Clarity (one of my faves) and Adjust (another mainstay) but for $20, kind of gives you a little taste of each. While at first, my thought was that this would be the perfect plugin for those looking for a one click contrast and detail burst to replicate the psudo HDR look of tone mapping, I actually think that while it will do that, it is better suited to actually further refine a true HDR image by enabling a further expansion of the dynamic range (where tone mapping is actually a compression of the dynamic range by way of compressing the info into more local and global contrast). It can do both (expanding by brightening shadows and bringing down highlights, or compressing by adding detail through local contrast) and of course can do a whole lot more by way of the sliders enabling a further tweaking of any of the presets.
One thing I can say about this plugin is that it seems to run much faster than some of the other Topaz plugins, like immediate refresh on my machine fast, which I’ve not seen with some of the others. I don’t know if this is down to optimization at the programing level, or it just isn’t doing quite as much behind the scenes, but it is quick.
As with many of the Topaz plugins, there are many one click solutions which will immediately alter your image of choice. (click on the screen shot above to see it full sized) From there, you can tinker to your heart’s content with the Detail, Tone, Color, Deblur and Effect Mask sliders and drop downs on the right hand side toolbar. You can then save your preset by clicking “Save” at the bottom left and either add it to one of the existing collection folders or create a whole new folder to keep your refined filters. This comes in handy if you want to process a series of images consistently, or have a series of pre-stitched shots that you are processing and want to stitch afterward (although I processed the 47 mega pixel pano at the top of the page as a finished image and the plugin was still lightning quick for what I’d assume a plugin handling such a large image would be). Regardless, modified and controllable effects being repeatable with a single click is always a good thing.
So, when might I use this over my current favorite Topaz detail oriented and sharpening plugin, Clarity? Well, like I’ve mentioned, with a preset built, and a remarkably quick turnaround comparatively, Detail 3 will come in handy for me when I’m needing to punch up detail and sharpness while processing groups of images quickly and consistently. I still like Clarity, but for $20, I do see Detail 3 as a quick, handy and really affordable tool.
Have a try by downloading the software free for 15 days to see if it’s worth $20. You have until April 30th to get Detail at the 50% off price. See, download and try Detail HERE on Topazlabs website and if you do buy, use the code “aprdetail” to get it for half price.
If interested, here are a few other Topaz Reviews from the past:
I have reviewed a few others which, if interested, you can simply type “Topaz” into the search bar on the right and you’ll be taken to a list of previous articles.
Here are a few more images I’ve run through Detail 3.
Cheers and happy shooting,