Enlarge photos without losing quality with a brilliant utility

How to enlarge images 2x, 4x or 8x keeping the quality

Camera: Enlarge small or old photos while maintaining quality

Enlarge a photo and it quickly becomes blurry as extra pixels are added. What if you could enlarge photos without losing quality? What if you could recreate the original? This tool does it!

If you have ever had a small photo and tried to enlarge it, you will know how bad it can get. It looks fuzzy, pixelated, and frankly terrible. The result is not something you would like to use anywhere or show anyone.

You may have photos taken a long time ago on phones or digital cameras with low resolutions. For example, the first digital camera I had took photos that were 320 x 256 pixels. These days I wouldn’t shoot at less than 10x the width and height and 8 million pixels more photo information.

You might not have digital photos that old, but you could have some low resolution images that you would like to print on paper, use on web pages or presentations that really don’t have enough pixels. Adding them by using a photo editor to increase the size just results in a blurry mess. Try it and see.

There are utilities and websites that specialise in enlarging images and they use a variety of techniques to try to minimise the loss of quality. Some web-based photo enlargers like Photo Enlarger and Image Enlarger are interesting, but the results are not a great deal better than what you can achieve using a photo editor and filters.

I tried both of these websites, but the results were a long way behind AI Image Enlarger. It uses “SRCNN (Super-Resolution Convolutional Neural Network) structure, an end-to-end trainable network.” Few people will know what that is, but basically, it means it uses artificial intelligence to enhance images when they are enlarged.

However, it works, it produces the best quality enlarged images I have seen. The results are impressive and it manages to recreate details in the image that simply weren’t there in the original. It has to be guessing at the pixels it inserts when it enlarges images, but those guesses are usually spot on and the results are fantastic.

Examples of enlarged photos

Here is a photo of a train that was originally 500 pixels wide (technically, I shrank it to 500 pixels first) and I enlarged it to 2000 pixels using GIMP. This is the best quality I could manage.

Steam train image enlarged with GIMP photo editor
Photo enlarged with GIMP

I then enlarged the same 500 pixel wide image to 2000 pixels with AI Image Enlarger and the results is an image that is not far off perfect.

Steam train photo enlarged with AI Image Enlarger
Photo enlarged with AI Image Enlarger

Here is a photo of a laptop computer that has been enlarged using GIMP.

Laptop computer photo enlarged with GIMP
Photo enlarged with GIMP

and the same image below was enlarged with AI Image Enlarger. The result is an order of magnitude better and the result is a useable image instead of a blurry jagged mess. Compare the screen edges.

Laptop computer photo enlarged with AI Image Enlarger
Photo enlarged with AI Image Enlarger

These images are just small sections of a larger photo and have been optimised for the web, but hopefully you can still see the difference. The quality difference is even greater when comparing the originals side by side on the computer screen.

Using AI Image Enlarger

AI Image Enlarger is an online service that can be accessed using a web browser, Windows PC, Apple, Mac, Android phone or iPhone. The PC, Mac and phone apps simply upload the image and then download it after it has been enlarged, so the results are exactly the same no matter how it is accessed.

AI Image Enlarger website enlarging an image

The website lets you drag an image from the computer’s disk and drop it on the web page to upload it. You choose the size from 2x, 4x or 8x, select the type from Artwork, Photo, Face or High-Grade, and then click Start. After a brief wait, the enlarged image can be downloaded.

The Windows PC and Apple Mac apps are very similar and here is the Mac app. Drag and drop a photo on it, select the options you want, submit it, wait, then download it.

AI Image Enlarger app for the Apple Mac

What it costs to enlarge images

You must register and create an account at the website to use the site or the software and a free account enables you to enlarge 19 images. There is a limit on the size of images that can be uploaded for free of 1200 x 1200 pixels. I used a free account.

A Premium account is $14.99 a month and allows 99 images per month up to 2000 x 2000 pixels to be uploaded. A Pro account allows up to 999 images a month to be enlarged for $39.99 a month.

The Mac, PC and mobile apps upload photos for processing online, so the image limits apply to them too.

I uploaded one image that it failed to enlarge. It was an extremely detailed and unusual one, but the the others I enlarged exceeded my expectations. I suggest you try it, but use your 19 free enlargements wisely.

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