Why Images become Blurry?
Before we dive into the list of best upscalers, let’s discuss why images lose quality or become blurry when you resize manually.
Digital images are made up of pixels. For example, a 25-megapixel camera creates images that are created using 25 million megapixels. In fact, if you zoom in on an image, you can actually see those pixels identified as squares.
However, when you increase the size of an image, the squares (or the pixels) become enlarged, making the image appear blurry or pixelated. Something like this:
But thanks to artificial intelligence, you can prevent your photos from turning into a blur and produce a much better result. This is because these tools compensate for each lost pixel and match its properties to the nearest pixel. As a result, your picture appears of better quality and more presentable for showcasing on digital and physical platforms.
In this guide, let’s take a look at some tools that can help you achieve the perfect image results.
Our first pick is the Upscaler by StockPhotos. Why? Because it’s completely free with no signup or download required.
The tool can enhance photos up to 8x their actual size. It takes care of all details and, as a result, provides you with a professional-looking shot.
Another cool feature is that it creates ‘ready’ photos for social media networks, including Facebook and Instagram. Simply select the cutouts for the preferred social media channel and download the image according to the size required on the said network.
Upscaler by StockPhotos has a user-friendly interface and is very easy to use due to the drag-and-drop module. It supports a maximum image size of 2000 X 2000 pixels or 5MB. You can use it for all image formats, including JPG, PNG, WEBP, and BMP files,
Deep Image is another upscaler tool that uses machine learning or artificial intelligence to make the images appear better.
It comes with a mobile app, which is definitely a plus for the upscaler. The app is available on both – Android and iOS, along with a web-based version that is compatible with Windows and macOS.
When it comes to upscaling, the app can upscale images up to 4x with the help of Generative Adversarial Networks. Along with upscaling, the tool can remove visual noise and JPG artifacts to make the images stand out while maintaining the quality.
For Deep Image, the maximum upscaling size is 5000 X 5000 pixels and supports all major file formats, including JPG and PNG.
The only drawback of the upscaler is that it offers a trial of up to five images. However, various premium plans are available with prices starting from $0.40/ per image.
The Photo Refiner is an AI-based tool that can upscale images to a whopping 16x. And that too in just 10 seconds. While conventional means increase the size of images 1.1 times, the Photo Refiner uses a Deep Learning module and makes it possible to increase the resolution of any given image four times the actual size. That too, without degrading the quality.
Along with upscaling, the Photo Refiner tool removes various disruptions and noises from your images. Instead of focusing on increasing the size only, the tool looks at the picture as a whole and works to make the print high quality – that is great for showcasing on the digital platform and printing both.
The Image Refiner has a user-friendly interface and is easy to use. It can also batch process images saving you loads of time. To use the tool, you need to register an account with the service. It’s not free to use also and requires a one-time payment of $4.99. Other premium plans are also available for the more professional upscaling requirements.
The Vance AI Image Enlarger offers both – online and software solutions that you can install easily on your Windows-powered device. The user-interface is pretty intuitive and allows easy upscaling with a single click of a button.
Besides upscaling, the enlarger also fills in the lost details to make the picture appear more professional looking for exhibitions, printing, and more.
It’s a powerful resource that allows upscaling to 2x, 4x, and even 40x with image upscaling software.
However, do note that image upscaling of five images up to 4x the actual size is free, and you will need to pay a small fee for the more advanced features.
The Icons8 is an AI-driven image upscaler that lets you upscale image by 2x or 4x without losing quality. It uses a fully automated process to analyze pictures and, as a result, gives users images that are sharper with complete reduction of noise and distortion while increasing the overall size.
It has also been trained on large datasets, allowing the tool to accurately clear up images without losing on the quality.
Icons8 boasts a user-friendly interface with drag-and-drop capabilities. You can use any type of image, including JPG and PNG, on the upscaler. The maximum size it supports is 5MB and 3000 X 3000 pixels.
When it comes to pricing, the image upscaler is not free and allows users to enhance three images online for free. To enlarge more images, you need to subscribe to their premium plans that start at $0.20/per image. You can also choose to use an API integration to upload and upscale large batches of images.
Photoshop does not require any introduction in the field of photography. It’s a popular image processing software that is renowned with professionals. Now it can be used as an image upscaler as well.
However, unlike the other tools listed in this review, Photoshop does not use any advanced features to compensate for the lost pixels. Instead, it uses traditional image processing technology and upscales the image resolution and size according to an analysis of current existing pixels and information.
The most significant disadvantage of Photoshop is that it’s not the easiest to use and requires professional training to excel. It’s not free as well and requires a one-time payment for download.
Blow Up 3 is an image-enhancing software that runs on both – Windows and Mac. However, similar to Photoshop, it uses traditional techniques to improve image definition and enlarge photos without impacting quality.
But unlike Photoshop, it’s relatively easy to use with a user-friendly interface. Simply set the paper size you wish to print on and have the tool blow up the image automatically. With support from Lightroom and CMYK, the Blow Up 3 is a professional’s delight.
Currently, Blow Up 3 has a 30-day trial that you can take advantage of, along with paid features you can avail for a nominal fee.
Wrapping it up
These were just some tools to get you started on the image upscaling journey. Let us know what you think about the tools and your experience with them in the comments section below!