Topaz Black and White Effects 2 Review

As mentioned in a previous post, Topaz Labs has a version 2 of their Black and White Effects. It is currently in beta but due to be released any day now, but I've had a chance to test drive it and thought I would share my thought on the product with this review. This post will be updated once the software is released, in the event that a few tweaks or changes has occurred in the version 2 final product. Personally, I've been a big fan of Topaz Labs products and their ease of use. They also stay in touch with their client base and are continually improving upon their products.

First Impressions

When you first open the software you can immediately see that the interface is different, if you are a current user.

Topaz Labs Black and White Effects Interface
Topaz Labs Black and White Effects Interface

Pros

  • As seen above, the interface in greatly improved with it's neat and clean look, which makes everything easier to find and navigate.
  • A large hover-activated Floating Preview Window shows you the effect of any selected preset, giving you a more accurate view of the results. The preview window is a huge improvement over it's smaller predecessor.
  • There is an extensive library of presets to experiment with and use as starting points for creating your own custom library.
  • The Quick Tools Menu provides several color filters and allows you to adjust the adaptive exposure, contrast, color intensity and more, all without having to fully engage the adjustment panel.
  •  A pop-up grid shows you all of the presets in a selected group at once. No need to hover from one to the next, see them all in a full screen view. Truly a great feature!
  • To obtain a clean and clear look at your results, you can change your viewing options by removing the side panel tools and controls and change the background color.

Cons

  • For the sake of a balanced review I certainly attempted to find something to place on the less-than-desirable side of the ledger, but to be honest, nothing has jumped out thus far. Inevitably, something will show up but so far, so good.

Let's have a closer look at a couple of the goodies.

Photograph: Topaz Black and White Effects 2 Preview Window
Photograph: Topaz Black and White Effects 2 Preview Window

I really like this larger preview window, and so will you.

Quick Tools Menu
Quick Tools Menu

Again, the Quick Tools Menu allows for a number of adjustments without accessing the full panel. Exposure, adaptive exposure, dodge and burn brushes, all just a click away.

In summary, I would have to say that Topaz Labs'Black and White Effects 2 is an outstanding improvement over an already decent product. No doubt, I will be upgrading as soon as it is released.

Below we have a one-click conversion using the "Classic" preset from the Traditional Collection.

Winter in the Park
Winter in the Park

Would you like to have an opportunity to see it live, BEFORE it's released to the masses? If you can find yourself 30 minutes for one of the following webinars, you're in. Just register from one of the links below.

Friday February 15, 10:00 to 10:30 AM CST

Friday February 15, 3:00 to 3:30 PM CST

Monday February 18, 1:00 to 1:30 PM CST

 Join Nichole Paschal as she demonstrates this new and improved Topaz product.

Thanks for visiting!

4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM