SDXL vs Midjourney: The AI Showdown of the Year

December 8


Gone are the days when creating detailed, artistic images out of simple text prompts seemed an impossible feat. In today’s day and time, artificial intelligence can perform all creative activities just as a human who has skill and intelligence. Today, artificial intelligence can create poetry, judge contests, and create beautiful images. There are several tools that help create images, but the most popular ones are Midjourney and SD. Usually, people find it difficult to choose between them. So here is a list of points that can help you decide between SDXL vs Midjourney as an image-creating tool.

Understanding Stable Diffusion XL (SDXL)

Before you start learning about the key differences between two of the most popular image-generating tools, you must know about the tools themselves. SD labs have created Stable Diffusion XL (SDXL) and other versions, which are an improvement over SD.  It is one of the pioneers in AI tools that create images from textual cues.

What Is Midjourney?

Midjourney, or MJ, is another tool that helps create striking images using text prompts. Compared to other tools, it is an older, readily accessible, and well-developed tool. It has widely been hailed as the pioneer in creating fast, high-quality AI images.

Difference Between SDXL and Midjourney

 Stable Diffusion XLMidjourney (MJ)
Ease Of UsageSDXL works well for shorter inputs/ cues for creating images.MJ works better with more well-defined and elaborate cues. So if you are well-trained at generating input cues, you should probably go for MJ.
Image QualityDecent Image quality, and that too quite quickly. SDXL, or stable diffusion, creates a sharper image. But the type of input given matters.MJ helps make an image more artistic. But the type of input given matters.
Accessibility Of The ToolIn terms of accessibility, SDXL is easy to access, and the basic features are easy to use. 

MJ is standalone software; you can access it through the Discord bot, and one must purchase it to use it. In terms of ease of use, Midjourney wins over SDXL.


Ability To Restore ImagesThe SDXL tool allows for restoration in a picture. So if you have an old and damaged photo, you should go for SDXL.MJ is not really great when it comes to the restoration of images.
In Terms Of Following Textual CuesSDXL is not particularly good when it comes to following the exact textual cue/ input.MJ is a better software when it comes to following the prompt closely. Hence, fine-tuning is easy.
Ability To CustomizeSDXL has more options for customization. MJ has fewer options for customization.
Learning Curve For Beginners

Only when one learns about all the customization-based features can one create a realistic image with SDXL. So the learning time for using SDXL is quite long.


It is easy to start using MJ, and the learning curve is pretty short.


Text Cues And The Resulting Images (SDXL Vs. Midjourney): Some Examples

Some experimenters tested the two tools for the types of images that they generated based on the genre and descriptiveness of the cue given. 

Textual Cues/Inputs (Some Examples)

Image Quality (Output)


Image Quality (Output)


Cue that requires depth and perception like:


“A vibrant sun that is setting over a busy cityscape, with a walking path in the foreground that is filled with people and pets.”

Less realistic, and one needs to master customization features to get a clear image.Better and more realistic output.

Cue that is a fact-based image like a historical event like:


“ The moment when Neil Armstrong landed on the surface of the rugged surface of the moon”



More realistic image.Very sharp image, so much so that the authenticity is lost.

Cue that is about a fictional or mythical character like:


“ A creature that resembles a horse and has multicolored wings and flowing manes.”


Adequately good imageAdequately good image

So depending on the prompt, the sharpness or the depth of the image may be a boon or a bane, and each tool has its distinct advantage. If you are confused between SDXL vs. Midjourney, it is best to try out both versions for yourself. And see which one suits your particular interests the best.

Restoration Capabilities: SDXL vs Midjourney 

When it comes to making old or damaged photos look new again, SDXL and Midjourney have different strengths.

SDXL: Think of SDXL as a skilled restorer who can fix up old photos. It's pretty good at this job. If you have an old family picture that's torn or faded, SDXL can help make it look better. It can clear up the blurry parts, fix the tears, and bring back colors that have faded away. This makes SDXL a great choice if you want to give new life to old memories.

Midjourney: On the other hand, Midjourney isn't really the go-to tool for fixing old photos. It's more like an artist who's great at making new, beautiful images from your ideas. But when it comes to repairing or enhancing old pictures, it doesn't have the same magic touch as SDXL. So, if you're looking to create something entirely new and artistic, Midjourney is great. But for restoring old photos, SDXL is your better bet.

In short, pick SDXL for photo restoration and enhancements, and choose Midjourney for creating fresh, artistic images from scratch.


To sum up, it can be said that SDXL is a newer tool, and people are still adapting to it. Midjorney produces sharper images, but in some cases, the over-saturation of the image is the problem. Many users feel that Midjourney tends to exaggerate the image a bit. This particular feature works well for mythical creatures, but when one is trying to use it for simple objects, it can be quite a mess. 

Also, a comparison of SDXL Vs. Midjourney can only be made if the prompts are identical when comparing the two tools. A slight difference in the textual prompt, even a single word, like the use of the word rugged versus rough when describing a surface, can make a lot of difference to the output image.

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