Table of Content

SaaS* vs. Software

*Software as a Service (programs which run in the Web).

For a seemingly simple task like Image upscaling, SaaS seam like the better option first.

Simply because they are directly available on every device and often offer an easy and free start.

The Problem with SaaS programs is, that they can’t be free simply because processing and image takes up a lot of computing power which someone has to pay. Either you pay it directly by buying a Computer and paying the electricity bill, or by paying the Company which offers the service so that they can pay Amazon Web Services, on which most SaaS application run.

In most cases, they are more basic and more oriented towards beginners.

 

The most advanced one

AI Gigapixel was the first standalone Tool for the pure task of upscaling images.

Because of that, AI Gigapixel feels really refined and is extreme reliable. Personally, I never had a problem with crashes or bugs. And I also like the UI, it just feels finished.

It comes with 5 different algorithms, one specifically for Art & CGI which can be helpful if you are searching for an option to upscale AI generated images.

There are also settings, to remove common issues with images like noise removal or Gamma correction and a Face Recovery Option, to improve the upscaling of Faces.

Also, the before and after comparison works really well and is really quick.

Overall, it is my favorite Tool and the Tool I am using personally.

The only issue I see is, that it now costs $99 (one time purchase) which I think is a bit too much for a Software which only fulfills one task even if it fulfills it good. Which is the reason it only makes sense for people, who either use it really often or people who use it professionally and really want to get the best results. Or people who work in a Company and don’t have to pay it themselves.

Platform
Mac, Windows
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
User Interface
8/10
Price
$99 one time

overrated

With AVC AI AVCLabs offers a Tool, which allows you to do many popular photo actions like Upscaling, background removal, Denoising and so on.

The Image upscaler does not have a lot of options. Just the Option how of how much you want to increase the size of the Image and if you want to activate Face Refinement.

The Tool is relatively slow, and the Quality is compare to the other Tools not that great.

But the biggest problem which makes irrelevant in my opinion is the price. After logging in, You start with 13 credits. And through subscribing to AVCLabs on Facebook, X and YouTube you can get 60 credits which allows you to upscale up to total 193 Images before you need to pay anything which is great. If you want to upscale up a view images, but after that converting and Image costs you between $0.07 and $0.40 which in my opinion is too much for the Quality this tool delivers. The Upscaler is also available as a Desktop Software, but the perpetual license currently costs $169.90 which is way too much since AI Gigapixel is cheaper and better in any way. To sum it, up I can’t recommend AVC AI.

Platform
Mac, Windows, Web
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
User Interface
5/10
Price
$0.07-$0.40/ Image

Fast, Free, Okay Quality, but only 2000px*2000px

img.upscaler allows every unregistered user, to upscale images to a resolution of 2000px*2000px which is enough in some cases but for a Software which is supposed to upscale Images that is not a lot.

In the Premium Version which starts at $3.90 per month it is possible, to upscale images up to 4000px*4000px which is big enough for most use cases. Pricing here is also very reasonable.

Platform
Web
Performance
6/10
User Interface
4/10
Price
Mostly Free

What a dissapointment

Adobe was probably the first company that introduced Ai upscaling with the keep details upscaling algorithm in Photoshop and has now a newer algorithm which is also available in Lightroom called Super Zoom.

You can find it in Photoshop under Filter>Neura Filters….

The Filter is fast, but the Quality isn’t what you’ve would expect from a 250 billion dollar company. It adds in detail, but in a terrible an artificial looking way. In my opinion, it is the worst on this list.

Platform
Mac, Windows
Quality
2/10
Performance
10/10
User Interface
7/10
Price
Included in Photoshop and Lightroom

Open Source

Upscayl is Open Source which means it is free or as we say in Germany “Gratis” I think, it is the most beautiful word in the world.

It is available for every Platform, It is pretty easy to use, even do I don’t really like the UI Design.

There are not a lot of options, but for some reason there are about 20 different color themes to chose from. But the Image Quality it produces is the second best on this list.

Definetly recommendable.

Platform
Mac, Windows, Linux
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
User Interface
4/10
Price
Free

Upscaling Comparison

My recommendation

If you want the best Image Quality or if you are rich, AI Gigapixel is the Software of choice. Not only in Quality but also in usability.

For the rest I can only recommend Upscayl, it is free and creates the second-best output.

One Comment

  1. Magic Mark September 15, 2023 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Which Tool are you using?

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