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5 Best Image Sharpeners in 2022 [Windows, Mac]

Last Updated on Jul. 22, 2022 – by David Morgan
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5 Best Image Sharpeners

It happens to everyone - you take a great picture, but when you look at it before posting it online or printing it out, the image is not as sharp as you would like. It’s absolutely frustrating.

In moments like this, you need an image sharpener.

Sharpening is usually prescribed to fix motion blur, murky images, and camera shake. Various factors can impact image sharpness, including positioning errors, objectionable image noise, and the type of device you use. Image sharpening software lets you remove blur, boost details, and remove a hazy or muddled appearance.

To sharpen your image to look captivating, you need to explore and use the latest software to enhance your image.

This article focuses on the five best image sharpeners for Windows and Mac. It also evaluates image enhancement tools and provides a step-by-step guide to sharpen and enhance your images.

Top 3 Image Sharpeners Snapshot

PhotoDirector Logo

1. PhotoDirector – Best Overall

If you're looking for the most effective way to sharpen your images, PhotoDirector is the software for you. With its simple and easy-to-use interface, you can quickly get your pictures looking their best. Plus, with its wide range of sharpening tools, you can customize your results to get the perfect look. Detailed Review >

Unshake Logo

2. Unshake – Best for Deblurring Only

Don't worry about blurry photos and haze. Unshake is a great deblurring tool, and it's free! With just a few clicks, you can have your images looking sharp and clear again. Detailed Review >

SmartDeblur Logo

3. SmartDeblur – Best for Gaussian Blur

Restore clarity to your images with SmartDeblur. This image sharpening tool is incredibly easy to use and can help to reduce or eliminate Gaussian blur from your photos. Detailed Review >

What is an Image Sharpener?

An image sharpening tool is a software application that allows you to make your images appear sharper and clearer. This can be useful for improving the quality of photos or for making text and objects in your photos stand out more.

Sharpening intensifies the definition of edges. As a result, most images can benefit from sharpening, even if your pictures come from digital cameras or scanners. Image sharpening encircles any intensification technique that highlights an image's edges and fine details.

5 Best Image Sharpener 2022

1. PhotoDirector – Best Overall

PhotoDirector Interface - Deblur

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 10 / 10

Image Sharpening Rating: 10 / 10

Key Features

  • Powerful sharpening tools
  • Touch-up and content-aware editing
  • Advanced color controls and intuitive photo effects

PhotoDirector is a photo enhancement program that provides a complete set of adjustment features and an efficient and easy-to-use workspace for organizing your digital photos. It has many tools for sharpening images. These include a sharpness enhancer, noise reduction, dehaze, and AI-powered deblurring

PhotoDirector is designed to make your photos shine by helping you edit them until they are perfect. Then, you can quickly process them to share them as images, slideshows, animations, prints, and on social media. There is even a layer editing mode to make Photoshop-like edits.

If you need a photo editor to improve your pictures, there isn’t a better tool with as many capabilities as PhotoDirector. It is truly a one-stop shop. Plus, it is free to download. So try it now to see how amazing your photos can look.

Reasons to Recommend

  • Friendly and powerful configuration
  • Support extensive layering
  • Body shaper and other impressive touch-up tools

2. Unshake – Best for Deblurring Only

RawTherapee Interface

Image from Linux.com

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 9 / 10

Image Sharpening Rating: 9 / 10

Key Features

  • Deblur
  • Quality settings

If all you have to do is unblur a photo, then Unshake is an excellent option. It is simple and free. One of the best things about it is you can customize your blur removal with it.

To get rid of blur with Unshake, you have to pick the size of the blur and the quality expected in your edited image. Following this, Unshake will evaluate and fix your blurry image.

Unshake is good but only free for private use. It's Java-based, so it can be slow and take a lot of time to process the image.

  • Great for pinpointing and removing blur
  • You can single out the amount of prevailing blur to get better results
  • Can be tricky to install
  • Feels a bit outdated

3. SmartDeblur – Best for Gaussian Blur

SmartDeblur Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 9 / 10

Image Sharpening Rating: 9 / 10

Key Features

  • Restore motion blur
  • Easily undo Gaussian Blur
  • Make a blurred image legible

SmartDeblur is an exclusive photo sharpener. It can remove blurriness and fix pictures with camera shake. SmartDeblur applies automatic shake pattern scanning to determine the nature of motion blur and then alter it. It is best utilized to solve Gaussian blur.

As it provides automatic tools, SmartDeblur permits you to tweak the sharpening process. It also underpins RAW files, which makes it delightful for professional photographers.

Overall, SmartDeblur is a reliable tool for making your images sharp. However, it offers very little beyond fixing blur, so if you want to do more edits, you will need to download additional software.

  • Simple image sharpening software
  • Easy-to-use software
  • Executive processing is available only with the command-line confluence.

4. Luminar – Best for Experienced Designers

Luminar Interface

Image from Skylum.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 8 / 10

Image Sharpening Rating: 9 / 10

Key Features

  • Dozens of photo filters to edit, enhance and fix your photos.
  • Workspaces that give quick access to the editing tools you need.
  • Batch processing and photos extension support.

Luminar is a photo editing software application developed by Skylum.

Luminar allows you to create compelling and sharpened images with the help of advanced tools. The sharpening tools improve edges but require knowledge and time to use.

The application has many filters, which can be used to edit images. Its effects can be combined using layers and masks. You can use Luminar to work directly with raw file formats.

Even though Luminar has more options than some competitors on this list, it's not as easy to use. You will need to spend time learning how to edit using the software.

  • Lots of tools
  • Can be difficult to use

5. Adobe Photoshop – Best for Professionals

Adobe Photoshop Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 8 / 10

Image Sharpening Rating: 9 / 10

Key Features

  • Edit images using multiple layers
  • Sharpen and deblur
  • Image wrapping tools

Adobe Photoshop is not only an industrial standard in raster graphics editing but also a great image sharpener. It is used to retouch digital photographs and graphic design.

Adobe Photoshop can automatically reduce image blurriness caused by camera motion. The camera shake reduction feature works excellently. If needed, you can also adjust the settings to sharpen the image further.

When sharpening your photo further, you can use Unsharp Mask (USM) or the Smart Sharpen filter for better-controlled results. Overall, Photoshop is an excellent choice for those with photo editing experience, but if you are new to it, the software can be complicated to learn.

  • Works seamlessly with other Creative Cloud software
  • Professional printing capabilities
  • Expensive
  • Beginners might find it very challenging to learn

Best Image Sharpeners Comparison Chart

Software PhotoDirector Unshake Smart Deblur Luminar Adobe Photoshop
OS Windows, Mac Windows, Mac Windows, Mac Windows, Mac Windows, Mac
Beginner-friendly Yes Yes Yes No No
Sharpening Tool Best sharpening tools Overall Best for deblurring only Best for Gaussian Blur Best for experienced designers Best for professionals
AI Tools Yes No No Yes Yes
Add Blur Yes No No Yes Yes
Free Download
Free Download
Secure Download
Download Download Download Download

PhotoDirector vs


Windows, Mac





Sharpening Tool

Best sharpening tools Overall


AI Tools



Add Blur



How to Sharpen an Image

Let’s look how easy it is to deblur photos with PhotoDirector.

Download it for free and install it on your computer then follow these steps.

  1. Import an image into PhotoDirector by dragging and dropping it into the UI.
  2. Open the Guided tab, then Improve/Remove.
  3. PhotoDirector - Improve/Remove
  4. Click Deblur, then Apply.
  5. Adjust the Strength of the deblur.
  6. PhotoDirector - Deblur Strength
  7. Click Save As to name the image and determine where you want to save it.

Download the Best Image Sharpener for Free

If you are looking for the best way to sharpen your images, look no further than PhotoDirector. This powerful image editing tool offers a wide range of sharpening options so that you can achieve the perfect level of clarity for your images.

So if you want to give your visuals that extra bit of polish, be sure to download it for free.

Image Sharpeners FAQ

1. What Tool Is Used to Sharpen Images?

Several image sharpening tools are available to help sharpen images. However, PhotoDirector is the most reliable, efficient, beginner-friendly tool that helps edit blurry pictures in a snap.

2. How Do You Increase the Clarity of an Image?

There are many ways to increase the clarity of an image. One way is to use a photo editor like PhotoDirector to sharpen the image. Another way is to resize the image to be smaller than the original.

You can also try using a different file format for the image. For example, you can save your image as a JPG instead of a PNG file. Or try saving your image at a higher resolution.

3. What Features Should I Look For in an Image Sharpener?

The top five features you should look for are

  1. Beginner-friendly user interface
  2. Easy-to-use image sharpening tools
  3. Support for major file formats
  4. Powerful editing tools
  5. Intuitive layer editing

If you’re looking for an image sharpener that checks all of these boxes, we recommend PhotoDirector.

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