Each of these tools have a different technology specifically designed for certain tasks. The program to use depends on what you are trying to do with your image. The best way to learn the differences between the programs is to test them out for yourself.
Clarity – Topaz Clarity intelligently enhances contrast and clarity using a proprietary technology which eliminates the common problem of artifacts and halos. With Clarity, you can quickly manipulate your micro, midrange and overall contrast without halos or noise, all while maintaining a natural feeling and tonality in your image.
There is also an HSL tool for Hue, Saturation and Luminosity adjustments. The technology behind this program is different in that you can push the sliders over more without receiving halos or artifacts (just don’t push them too far!). There is also a masking feature which is more advanced than the masking features found in Detail.
Detail – The most accurate detail enhancement tool that we have. It uses a unique size based technology to separate your images into multiple detail levels, then individually enhances a particular detail size. This program is best used for Creative and Output Sharpening.
Topaz Detail affects small, medium and large amounts of detail in the overall, shadow and highlight areas of the image. There is also a tone section that works on exposure, whites, blacks, contrast, highlights and shadows, along with color adjustments (Cyan-Red, Magenta-Green, Yellow-Blue), and the ability to add grain. The contrast tool in Detail only affects one variation of contrast in the image, however Clarity allows for multiple selective contrast enhancements.
You might ask, what’s the difference between the ‘Micro Contrast Enhancement’ preset in Detail and the ‘Micro Contrast’ adjustment in Topaz Clarity?
The ‘Micro Contrast Enhancement’ preset affects the small details in your image. The ‘Micro Contrast’ adjustment affects a low variation of contrast in the blacks and whites of your image.
Micro Contrast Enhancement in Topaz Detail:
Adjust – Topaz Adjust is a comprehensive program for color images…it works on exposure, color, detail and more. Topaz Adjust can be used to achieve more stylized and pseudo-HDR effects as well. The core technology behind adjust is best used for adaptive exposure. Adjust makes many overall enhancements from exposure to detail to noise. There is also the capability to dodge, burn, brush out and smooth as well as add vignettes, borders, diffusion, grain and many other edits.
InFocus – InFocus is an incredible capture sharpener, that improve overall image quality by reversing slight blur while restoring, refining and sharpening image detail.
As always, the best way to understand the differences is to test out the programs yourself. Get a free 30-day trial here: topazlabs.com/trials