I'm a big fan of plug-ins too and have all the Topaz and Nik stuff, although Nik products seem to be more in my workflow lately.
Question - where does Topaz Detail fit in the workflow now that Clarity is out (and what with the Topaz Adjust possibilities too)?
I just got back from a trip in the eastern Sierra's and have a ton of images to work on, so I'm looking forward to trying Clarity out. It'd just be nice to have a better understanding of how it fits in with my other Topaz products, not to mention things like Nik's Tonal and Pro Contrast.
They address slightly different things in an image.
"Topaz Detail" targets multiple feature sizes
(Small, Medium, and Large) individually, in an image, and allows to change (boost or suppress) their visibility, and adjust the overall Tonality and Color which may have changed due to certain features becoming more prominent, and it uses deconvolution sharpening to really sharpen the finest details.
"Topaz Clarity" adjusts the contrasts that are present in the image, usually before the details are made more visible with "Detail" later.
Topaz Labs has posted a Blog entry
where they compare the 4 plugins that affect the appearance of sharpness of the image most. They also have a diagram where in the workflow each plugin is normally used.
P.S. Maybe an imaginary example to make the difference clearer would be a portrait retouch. "Clarity" could be used to sculpt the facial features and lighten dark hair and the shadows under the eyes, and reduce low and micro contrast in the skin while leaving the eyes and lashes out, then "Detail" could be used to enhance strands of hair and perhaps reduce micro-pores a bit, and sharpen the eye-lashes. Some of it can be done in a single run with the plug-ins, other things may require targeting specific areas, and combining them in layers.