Topaz Gigapixel AI Vs Canon EF x2 Extender

by | May 3, 2019 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

I have tested Topaz Gigapixel AI before and concluded that it is the best image resize software. I now wanted to give it quite a stern challenge. How would it fare going up against a  top-rated teleconverter such as the Canon EF 2x Extender, Mark 3?

The extender

Canon’s 2x extended attaches to some of their high end lenses and effectively doubles their focal length. This extender has been tested quite extensively on the Web, with the consensus being that it is very good. It’s not as good as buying a bigger lens but it offers far superior quality to cropping and upsizing an image. It is also much cheaper than buying a bigger lens.

The extender has a few disadvantages:

  • The extender lowers image quality a little
  • It ‘loses’ two stops of light
  • Extenders and teleconverters can affect autofocus speed

I used the excellent Canon ef 200mm f/2.8L lens on an EOS RP. The RP’s autofocus seemed untroubled by the extender- Canon’s mirrorless autofocus technology is different to DSLR’s.

The camera was tripod mounted, and I used a remote release. This was an indoor shot. Here are small versions of the two images. The version with the extended is on the right:

EF 200mm and 2x Extender

EF 200mm and 2x Extender

Obviously, the version with the extender looks like a cropped version of the image taken without it. That’s what the extender does – it doubles the focal length and narrows the field of view. What is the quality like of both images? Here’s a 100% view:

EF 200mm plus extended 100%

EF 200mm plus extended 100%

I have applied no sharpening or post processing to these images.

The test – Gigapixel AI vs the Extender

First, I took the image from the 200mm lens and enlarged it to 200% using Affinity Photo and compared it to the version with the extender:

Affinity vs the Extender

Affinity (right) vs the Extender (left)

Affinity’s enlargement is not as sharp or as detailed as the version taken with the Canon extender.

Now I enlarged the native 200mm picture using Gigapixel AI. Here is how Gigapixel AI compares to Affinity:


Affinity (left) vs Gigapixel AI (right)

Gigapixel AI is the winner here. It is much sharper.

But now for the crunch – how does Gigapixel AI compare to the Canon 2x Extender:

Extender (left) vs Gigapixel AI (right)

Extender (left) vs Gigapixel AI (right)

Colour differences aside (caused by the auto white balance being influenced by the background in the wider picture) I would say that there’s not a lot in it between the two! Maybe Gigapixel AI is a little sharper in places. But it adds sharpening to the resize process.

I now gave both results some identical post processing:

Post-processing applied. Gigapixel AI (left) vs Extender (right)

After post processing, the Canon Extender image has similar sharpness to Gigapixel AI’s and is a little cleaner. You can see a few artefacts around the leaf edges in the Gigapixel AI version, although they are nothing to worry about. Viewing this image at 100% on screen is the same as viewing a 48 inch print close up. These flaws are meaningless when the image is viewed normally.


Gigapixel AI can produce results almost on a par with one of the best teleconverters/extenders available today. That is no mean feat. Compared to the extender, Gigapixel AI’s advantages are:

  • Cost – Gigapixel AI is currently $99 USD. The Extender costs $429.
  • Gigapixel AI works with every image you take. This Extender only works with certain high end lenses. Cheaper, 3rd party teleconverters are available that work with every lens but they are not as good quality.
  • Gigapixel AI does not crop your images, the Extender does (in the sense it narrows the field of view)
  • Gigapixel AI’s quality is almost as good as this very expensive extender. It will beat lower quality teleconverters
  • You can apply Gigapixel AI later, if you forget to take the Extender you cannot apply it later
  • Gigapixel AI weighs nothing, does not require using a tripod, does not affect autofocus and so on

The Extender’s advantages are:

  • Slightly better image quality
  • No need to spend time in a resizing program later
  • You can use Gigapixel AI on its images, enlarging them still further

I don’t think Gigapixel AI makes the Extender redundant – wildlife photographers and bird photographers use them to gain extra reach without too much loss of image quality. The point of this test was to see how well Gigapixel AI could do against one – pitting a computer enlargement with an optical one. On paper, the optical enlargement should be a clear winner and against ‘regular’ image resizing methods it is. Against Gigapixel AI its advantage is minimal.

Gigapixel AI has done really well here, proving it to be an incredibly high quality image resize program.


Please Support Us

This site supports me and my family.

Please use our links to visit the vendor’s pages. It helps us at no extra cost to you.

Please contribute or send a gift, because that will help me to keep this site active.

All content is Copyright Andy Bell 2024

1 Comment

  1. Régis Couture

    You maybe forgot one thing that is important for wildlife or bird photographers. They need somme reach … but the do not have enough light to lose 2-2.5 stops (or some autofocus speed). While Gigapixel AI don’y lose them. And matched with Sharpen AI, you, maybe, are able to shot hand held.



  1. Topaz Studio V2 Released - Andy Bell Photography - […] AI: Simply the best image enlargement software. See my reviews here and […]
  2. ai image extender - AI Toolzs - […] Topaz Gigapixel AI Vs Canon EF x2 Extender – Andy Bell Photography […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related posts

Photo Software Reviews, Topaz Labs

Topaz Photo AI 3 – Quick Review

Topaz Photo AI 3 Hands-on Review Topaz Photo AI 3 is the newest version of Topaz Labs' robust photo enhancement software. This update promises more sophisticated AI-driven tools for noise reduction, sharpening, and upscaling. In this hands-on review, I'll explore the new features and overall user experience to determine if it meets expectations. In my [...]

|Jun 3, 2024

Focus stacking, Luminar NEO, Photo Software Reviews, Photography techniques

Focus Like a Pro: Luminar NEO for Photographers

Focus Like A Pro with Focus Stacking - Luminar NEO tested Focus stacking is a technique used by photographers to achieve a greater depth of field in their images. This method involves taking multiple photos of the same scene, each with a different focus point, and then combining them into a single image with sharpness [...]

|Feb 21, 2024

Luminar NEO, Photo Software Reviews

Unleash Your Imagination: Exploring the Power of Luminar Neo AI for Photographers

Introduction to Luminar NEO AI for Photographers Luminar NEO AI is an impressive photo editing software that incorporates advanced artificial intelligence features. It takes photo editing to a whole new level with its intuitive AI-powered tools. With Luminar NEO AI, editing becomes a breeze as it automatically enhances images, corrects imperfections, and optimizes colors with [...]

|Jan 19, 2024

DXO Photo Lab, DXO Pure RAW
DXO Photo Lab 7

DXO Photo Lab 7 Review

DXO Photo Lab 7 Review This is a look at DXO Photo Lab, a review of its features. This time, I am not comparing it to anything else, although I will refer to comparisons I have made previously, when appropriate. Introduction to DXO Photo Lab 7 DXO Photo Lab 7, which I will simply refer [...]

|Jan 6, 2024

DXO Photo Lab, DXO Pure RAW, Luminar NEO, Photo Software Reviews, RAW Conversion, Skylum Luminar, Software Reviews, Topaz Labs, Topaz Photo AI

The ‘Holy Trinity’ of Photography Software

This blog post looks at the 'holy trinity' of photography software. Three products that, when combined, provide everything you need to develop your RAW images and edit your photos. There is some overlap between the three, as each continues to add to and refine their capabilities. Yet I don't view them as competing with each [...]

|Dec 5, 2023

A.I. Gigapixel, DeNoise AI, DXO Photo Lab, Gigapixel AI, Photo Ninja

Noise Wars – Who Is Winning? DXO Photo Lab 6 vs Topaz Photo AI

Introduction There are only two contenders in the noise wars (IMHO) – DXO Photo Lab and Topaz DeNoise/Photo AI. These two have class leading image noise reduction and I have reviewed them numerous times. Towards the end of 2022, both DXO and Topaz issued new versions of their products. DXO released Photo Lab 6 with [...]

|Jan 21, 2023

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner