Pro Photo

Topaz Studio: a new photo editor for 2017

Topaz Labs is popular for its plugins, some also working standalone. Now they take things a step further and create Topaz Studio, a photo editor offering the essential tools and a bridge to all its software.

Topaz Studio: a new photo editor for 2017

Topaz Studio is now in open beta, available for Windows and Mac. The creators, Topaz Labs, want feedback from users, to help finish a program that offers the fundamental tools and expanded creative horizons.

Topaz Studio is a brand new standalone editor, more than just a host application. It features fundamental tools like cropping  rotating and resizing your images and has a built in histogram and scopes to show your hue, saturation, and luminance of your images. It’s designed for people who want to edit their photos through an easy to use interface, and while it is simple on surface, it is supported by the same technology that fuels Topaz Labs software. In fact, it is even more than that, as it also becomes the interface for Topaz Labs plugins you may already have.

Topaz Studio: a new photo editor for 2017

The program, now in beta, is an interesting proposition and one that makes, for me, complete sense. Topaz Labs offered previously – and still, offers – its photoFXlab, a standalone application that worked as an interface for all things Topaz. The now revealed Topaz Studio takes things a few steps further and offers users a complete photo editor that follows many of the conventions now expected to fin on photo editors able to work with your images from the RAW files.

Topaz Studio combines, as Topaz Labs states, “the customization of Texture Effects, the editing power of some of your favorite host applications, and the sharing power of the Topaz Community. Add, arrange and combine the power of unique adjustments to perfect your images. Then use the improved masking, blending and cropping tools to retouch and reframe your composition.”

While the program works standalone, it can also be used as a plugin for those who prefer to work in Photoshop or Lightroom. I’ve yet to try it with other software, as Affinity Photo, which already accepts Topaz Labs plugins, but for this first “hand-on” of the program I explored the potential of the standalone options.

Topaz Studio: a new photo editor for 2017

The interface is easy to grasp, and the tools most needed/used are directly accessible from the panel on the right side. Everything you need is there, but once you start to go deeper into the menus you understand this is more than a simple tool: blurs, vignettes, curves, precision sharpening, duotones, dehaze, bloom, color correction, masks, everything seems to be there, all the way to the special effects you can get from some of the plugins created by Topaz Labs. There is a whole collection of effects included in Topaz Studio, but as I mentioned, you can use the program as the central hub to access your Topaz Labs plugins.

The way adjustments are implemented is not only seamless, but completely transparent to you: the panel on the right side shows each “layer”, perfectly named, so you know the adjustment used. A simple click and the info expands, allowing for further adjustment of each “layer” introduced. You can stack, add, rearrange, duplicate, delete or hide adjustments all within Topaz Studio. That means no more jumping in and out of Photoshop to apply each specific adjustments. In fact, I believe many users might be happy with the tools Topaz Studio has to offer.

Topaz Studio: a new photo editor for 2017

The program is associated with the launch of new adjustments by Topaz Labs, specific for Topaz Studio, some free, others paid. An expanding library of One-Click Effects, perfect for quick edits, or inspiring your creativity, will be available after launch. Effects can be downloaded, applied, then customized further to get exactly the look you want.

While I am still exploring the software, which was just released, I am quite amazed with the things it has to offer. From a brief contact with Topaz Labs I understood that the developers are quite excited with the product and the feedback from users is helping them to shape the final program that will reach the market. But the core of something that may become the photo editor for many users is already present on the version I am playing with. Give it a try, downloading the beta version from Topaz Labs webpage.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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MichaelAnjuElaine RountreeHeath Y'arr RobinsonKelli Stiles-Wolf Recent comment authors
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Marilyn
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Marilyn

I wrote a brief review of this (slightly later) product yesterday. While there is more that needs to be added, it has come a long way and has great potential. I’m still looking for a way to extract myself from renting software from Photoshop and I am hoping, down the line, this might be it. It’s not yet. But it wouldn’t take much to get it there! enjoyed the review. You have a slightly earlier version and interesting how the graphics have changed.

Jose Antunes
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Jose Antunes

Thanks for your comment. I believe this was the first version of the software that came out. I know there is a new one, but I’ve not yet had time to try it. I am curious, though, especially because there are so many paths to explore now, with Luminar and Aurora HDR – see my notes published here – coming to Windows, and Affinity Photo moving fast to version 1.6. I am also waiting for the new beta version from ON 1 Photo RAW, which represents an update with new features, as suggested by the road map from ON1.

Marilyn
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Marilyn

I’m just hoping that one of these represents a reasonable alternative to Adobe. I have a very strong aversion to “leasing software,” especially on a fixed income that doesn’t ever give “raises.” I will have to give ON 1 another try. It made my previous computer go a bit bonkers — something on it was deeply incompatible with it and eventually, we all gave up on trying to make it work. I have to also try Affinity and there are a couple of others. I’m very careful about what I download. This computer is sufficiently “upgraded” to make it a… Read more »

Jose Antunes
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Jose Antunes

I’ve settled for Affinity for my workflow, since it came out, and I am quite happy with it. The fact that it was ported from Mac to Windows means that it was already stable – as stable as these things can be – when it was launched for Windows. As for ON1, it’s an ambitious solution and that means, I believe, it is complex to get it running. But they are trying a lot of new things and if it gets to work as promised, it’s a powerful tool, as the videos available show. These things are complex to build.… Read more »

Marilyn
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Marilyn

I’ve gotten surprisingly dependent on some of the Topaz filters. Clarity and Detail are my top two, but Simplify and Clean also strong. Not thrilled with all of them, but I finally broke down and got their black & white filter which gives some nice, subtle tonalities. I like using them in their own framework. I just wish is included a few other things too. I had an awful lot of trouble with ON 1. I worked with their engineers to see if we could make it work properly, but the ON 1 filters made other parts of my system… Read more »

Kelli Stiles-Wolf
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Kelli Stiles-Wolf

I attempted to purchase this on May 27, it is now June 8 and I have not been able to receive/download the pro product. Due to a webpage issue that they are blaming on a third party a lot of purchases have not been recorded, yet they did receive my money through PayPal. I opened a ticket with them a week ago and I am still awaiting a reply, any reply. I have opened a dispute on PayPal regarding this transaction. Oh well, lesson learned. I currently own their entire collection, but after this experience I will no longer be… Read more »

Heath Y'arr Robinson
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Heath Y'arr Robinson

Kelly theres no need to download a pro version, purchasing the pro version simply allows you to control all of the sliders for the pro adjustments. There are no keys either, its all synced through your account. This article might help.

https://help.topazlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004587527-How-do-I-buy-Topaz-Studio-

Heath Y'arr Robinson
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Heath Y'arr Robinson

Also, I work for Topaz Labs, we’ve got the whole company answering support as we have received a huge influx of tickets with questions about the new program. But there are only 10 of us, as we don’t outsource our support, even our CEO is responding :D. I couldn’t find a support ticket under your name. If you respond with the ticket number, i can locate it and get this problem solved for you.

Elaine Rountree
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Elaine Rountree

I had the same issue, but Got in touch with Customer Service and it was fixed within 2 days. I am now a happy camper. I hope by the time you read this you are too.

Anju
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Thanks for the suggestions. We currently use Snapseed, but I’d love to look into some of these others and give them a try!

Michael
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I loved the old plug-ins. Easy to use and fast. The new Studio is way more complex. I don’t find anything about it easy to grasp. This includes installation and processing. I would say it takes many times longer to perform an adjustment as the old plug-ins. It is trying to be a complete photo editor which is a whole different direction from using plug-ins. Since I am happy using Photoship as a photo editor, Topaz Studio is way overkill. I know I can keep using the old plug-ins in Photoshop, and I will, but , unfortunately there will be… Read more »