If you need to quickly enlarge an image, try the Super Resolution feature in Lightroom.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to Lightroom’s Super Resolution, a feature that can solve your image resolution issues.
What Is Super Resolution?
Super Resolution is a Lightroom feature that doubles your image’s dimensions, effectively creating a 4x pixel DNG copy. It also improves color rendering and contrast so that the details are enhanced during enlargement.
This makes Super Resolution especially useful for situations when only low-resolution files are available and an extra boost is needed to perform additional post-processing or for printing.
Super Resolution is tucked away under Enhance. To access it, right-click on the image in Lightroom while in the Develop module, or press Ctrl + Alt + I.
System Requirements to Use Super Resolution in Lightroom
Like several of the features found in Adobe Lightroom and Lightroom Classic (Super Resolution works in both), Super Resolution requires a lot of GPU power to enlarge images. Below are the system requirements.
- Windows users: Windows 10 version 1903 or later.
- Mac users: macOS Mojave version 10.14 or later.
Using Super Resolution With a Large JPEG File
Let’s take a look at how effective Super Resolution is at doubling the dimension of a large JPEG file. In this example, we’ll enlarge a 3936×2624 image of a pyramid. You can follow along and download this picture from Pexels for free.
100% zoom on the original 3936×2624 file:
100% zoom on the 7872×5248 DNG copy:
Super Resolution does a decent job at enlarging a large JPEG file. But for images with high contrast like this one, you may notice a bit of distortion where the pyramid borders the sky. You can use the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop to quickly fix this minor issue.
Using Super Resolution With a Small JPEG File
We’ve already used the largest JPEG file available for download on Pexels in our first example. Now, let’s download the smallest one available of the pyramid, a 640×427 resolution file.
For these examples, we pressed Ctrl + 0 for each image to fill the screen in Lightroom in order to see the details up close. This lets us see how distorted a small image really is.
217% zoom on the original 640×427 file:
200% zoom on the 1280×854 DNG copy:
Once again, there’s some distortion around the edges of the pyramid where the sky borders it, but the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop will take care of this.
Enlarging Images Made Simple With Super Resolution
Adobe Lightroom and Lightroom Classic owners have a powerful tool at their disposal for image enlargement. It may not work for all users, since images with high contrast areas may require additional work in Photoshop, but if you’re looking to save money purchasing image enlargement software from a third party, give Super Resolution a try.
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