What's New in Version 5.0?

Improvements That Have Been Made

Another two and a half man-years of research and development has been put by our developers into creating Version 5 which is now available for Windows and the Mac.  The main differences are:-

1. The New Algorithm Sharpens More Accurately
Before
Version 4
Version 5

A woman’s eye

Before
Version 4
Version 5

Her ear ring

Before
Version 4
Version 5

Closeup of a tyre (tire) looks a bit grainy in version 4

Before
Version 4
Version 5

Version 4 sometimes produces unwanted black splodges

2. The New Algorithm Is Better at Removing Noise
Before
Version 4
Version 5

A side-effect of sharpening is that noisy images become even more noisy (as shown for Version 4).  Version 5 has been especially designed to deal with this side-effect (in this example, Noise Removal is set to Most)

3. The Thumbnail Is Now Shown Twice the Size (x2)

Screen resolutions have increased a lot over the last ten years where the screens have gotten bigger and the pixel sizes have gotten smaller.  As a result the thumbnail (preview image) is now too small to see the blur “Before” and “After” accurately.  As a result, the thumbnail is now shown “x2” or double the size.  You now compare the “Before” and “After” thumbnail “in-situ” by holding the mouse down on the thumbnail.  To get a better idea of how this works, you may want to watch the first minute of the video.

4. The "Image Source" Setting Has Been Replaced with "Remove Noise" and "Accuracy / Speed"

The “Image Source” control used typical values to adjust “Remove Noise” and “Accuracy / Speed” which were something like the values shown in the table below.

Old “Image Source”
New “Remove Noise”
New “Accuracy”
Digital Camera
Normal
Normal
Old Film Camera
More
Normal
Grainy Image
Much More
Normal
Forensic
Normal
Highest

The values for “Remove Noise” and “Accuracy / Speed” are now independently adjustable.

5. The "Remove Noise" Control Now Removes a Different Type of Noise

It used to remove “shot noise” which is quite an uncommon type of noise (about 1% of photos have it), but it now removes “random noise” which is much more common (about 50% have an excessive amount and it is more problematic for the sharpening process).  If your image has “shot noise” from scratches or dust, it would be better to remove it with Photoshop’s Clone tool (or stamper).

6. The "Amount" Control Has Been Removed

This is because people often asked which control they should adjust; “Blur Width” or “Amount”.  Our answer was always to leave the “Amount” at 100% and only adjust the “Blur Width”.  Because it caused too much confusion and we always told them to leave it at 100%, we thought it would be better to remove it.

7. The "Stand-Alone" User Interface Changes

In the stand-alone you can now:-

  • Undo or redo edits (multiple levels)
  • Rotate an image by 90 degrees (in either direction)
  • Drag an image onto Focus Magic to open it
  • Open multiple copies (so if an image is taking a while to process, you can start on another one by opening Focus Magic again)
8. The Mac Version Now Runs Faster By Using All the CPU Cores

With Version 4 of the Mac, the focusing was done in a single thread.  The Mac now uses all the cores just like the Windows version.

Several years ago I tested FocusMagic v4 against every other product I could find that claimed focus correction w/ noise reduction. At that time FM outperformed all the competition. From what I can see in this demo v5 has made major improvements! It looks now like it even could be used as a good basic noise reduction even if focus isn’t a major issue. It looks like v5 will again take on all the current competition! Great job! 🙂

Left as a YouTube comment by Peter

I absolutely love Focus Magic. I use it on almost every photo I take and now with Version 5.0 it just got even better. Thanks again for designing such a great program.

Larry

I do wildlife photography (mostly birds), and have taken about 700,000 photos. I’m not sure when I first got Focus Magic, but it was years ago, and since getting Focus Magic, all of my photos worth keeping have been processed using Focus Magic. I get lots of compliments on my photography, and when asked how I get such good photos, I always recommend Focus Magic.

Marshall Faintich