Topaz Labs Adjust Version 5 Review

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Topaz Labs Adjust version 5 recently came out and I finally got around to upgrading.  I am so glad I did as it is completely amazing and blows version 4 (which was already great) out of the water!  After having a great time post processing a few of my HDR images from a recent photo adventure.  I decided to write this review of the software.  Here is one of my images, taken at Mare Island, post-processed in Topaz Adjust 5 after initial processing in Photomatix:

 All images in this review can be viewed at 100% by clicking on them.

Mare Island HDR Topaz Labs Adjust

Mare Island HDR Topaz Labs Adjust

Topaz Labs Adjust Version 5 Review

Version 5 has a ton more presets than version 4.  Here are screen-shots of both version 4 and version 5.  You can see that the presets on the left are now organized into categories, and each category has many presets to choose from.

Topaz Adjust 4

Topaz Adjust 4 Screen-shot

Topaz Adjust 5

Topaz Adjust 5 Screen-shot

Since I wanted to show the full capabilities of Topaz Adjust 5, I went on a hunt for the “perfect” images to use in my review.  In actuality, just about any image can be improved and/or changed in interesting ways in this plugin, but it seemed like a good idea to showcase a variety.

I found the first image on iStockphoto.  Here is the original:



Here is the original ship image processed in Topaz Adjust 5 using various presets:


Vibrant Collection-Spicify


Vibrant Collection-Detail Strong


Toned Collection-Cerulean


Toned Collection-Black Rose


Stylized Collection-Faded Glory


Stylized Collection-Dark Night


HDR Collection-Dynamic Brightness


Film Collection-Vintage Grunge-4


Film Collection-Tungsten Film in Daylight-2


Film Collection-Lomo-2


Film Collection-Cross Process-3

Classic Collection-Brilliant Cold

Classic Collection-Brilliant Cold


Enhance Contrast


After finishing up processing all of the ship images, I went in search of a few more images to process in Topaz Adjust 5.  Here is an image I found on Flickr.  I couldn’t decide which processed result I preferred, so I chose to include them both:

Topaz Labs Adjust 5 Seascape

Before and After Oceanfront Photo Processed


The next image of the Indian bride was also found on Flickr.  I used a preset called “Smooth and Flat” which made her skin nearly flawless but kept all of the important detail in the rest of the photo:

Indian Bride Topaz Labs Adjust 5 Before After

Indian Bride Before and After


This next photo, also found on Flickr, was processed using a preset called “Sketch Dark Charcoal”.  I also went a step further and tweaked some of the sliders on the right to bring out some extra detail in her face.

Old Lady Topaz Adjust 4 Before After

Old Lady Before and After

2 Responses to Topaz Labs Adjust Version 5 Review

  1. Chris says:

    I am a long time user of Adjust 4. I find Adjust 5 has smoother results but the workflow is much slower. The slider panels close automatically everytime you change presets. The nested panels are slow to move through. The number and organization of the presets is somewhat laborious. And the automatic layer creation was removed from the demo software. I find Nik’s Color Efex 4 more straightforward right now.

  2. I haven’t really noticed the issues you referred to in your comment.

    Personally, I love having all of the presets available. I know that all of the various effects can ultimately be created by moving the sliders around. However, many of the presets had results that were surprisingly attractive and that I wouldn’t have thought of myself.

    Besides that…they are fun!

    Thanks for your comment Chris.

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