Software Reviews

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John Brandon  |  Jun 28, 2011  |  First Published: May 01, 2011  |  1 comments

For years, anyone serious about photography has viewed Corel Paint Shop Pro (PSP) as the low cost alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Originally developed by a tiny company in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Paint Shop has grown up into a full-featured photo workflow tool with a built-in photo organizer that includes tagging options and fast previewing, an advanced image editor, and handy integration with Flickr and Facebook.


For $70, PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate is a smart addition to a virtual photo toolbox. A few performance problems and some slightly questionable editing capabilities puts PSP in the uncomfortable position of still being in the tall shadow of Adobe. That said, if you want to skip the $700 purchase price, PSP is on the right track.

John Brandon  |  Jun 20, 2011  |  First Published: May 01, 2011  |  1 comments

For serious photographers, the software you choose for a photographic workflow falls into good, better, and best buckets. The “good” bucket includes fairly mundane tools for basic image management, while “better” goes the extra step of providing image correction options and filters. The “best” tools provide tethered-shot features and robust metadata editing functions. At these upper ranks, the best software seems to predict your every move, mostly because the software developers are photo enthusiasts and understand real photographic needs.


Phase One’s Capture One Pro 6 falls into this “best” category. In many ways, it even beats out Adobe Photoshop CS5 in that there seems to be a professional-grade feature under every drop-down menu and in every dialog box. The editing functions pale in comparison to Photoshop, but as we’ve all learned, if you set up the shot perfectly on location you might not need to do a lot of editing later.

Sally Wiener Grotta and Daniel Grotta  |  Jun 16, 2011  |  First Published: May 01, 2011  |  2 comments

No question about it, the iPad was one of the coolest products launched in 2010, or any other year. The truth of that statement lies in the gazillions of units Apple has sold (over one million a month). But is the iPad a must-have for photographers, or just another tech gizmo?

Jack Neubart  |  Jun 07, 2011  |  First Published: May 01, 2011  |  1 comments

We’re all familiar with image-editing software, but we may be a stranger to asset management, that is, organizing and managing your stock photo library so that image files are readily accessible. Bibble 5 Pro’s asset management begins with pooling data from all the images you’ve shot on any given day, occasion, event, trip, or job into individual databases that Bibble defines as “catalogs.” The process also entails assigning keywords and labels, which along with other criteria, can be used to search through all of Bibble’s catalogs, whether the images or the catalogs are stored on your computer’s hard drive or on external drives.

John Brandon  |  Apr 01, 2011  |  1 comments

Exceptional photographic software reveals its true nature over time. In the case of Photo Mechanic—which is a pro-level image organizing tool from Camera Bits—there are seemingly insignificant features that provide a smooth workflow, especially for photo journalists working with IPTC data.

Howard Millard  |  Mar 01, 2011  |  1 comments

Whether you’re starting with a portrait, a landscape, a wedding photo, or a still life, it’s easy to use the hundreds of effects in onOne Software’s new PhotoFrame 4.5 (PF 4.5) to enliven your images and give them a distinctive look and unique appeal.

Joe Farace  |  Mar 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Everybody knows the basic concept and conceit of High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging but first let’s get rid of yet another unnecessary acronym. What does HDRI—High Dynamic Range Imaging—add to the discussion other than just another letter?

George Schaub  |  Mar 01, 2011  |  0 comments

At first glance you might think that Alien Skin’s Exposure 3 ($249 at or $99 upgrade from Exposure 1 or 2; a free trial is available on their website as well) is a push-button solution to image manipulation.

John Brandon  |  Dec 01, 2010  |  0 comments

A smooth workflow makes the job of photography feel more like a passion. You release the shutter button and next thing you know you’re holding a framed comp for a client.

Jon Canfield  |  Nov 01, 2010  |  0 comments

The latest version of Lightroom is coming into full use as more and more plug-ins and export options come into play. This month Jon Canfield takes a look at the essential ingredients; next month we have another opinion about the latest version of Lightroom that takes a different point of view.

Howard Millard  |  Oct 01, 2010  |  0 comments

The onOne FocalPoint 2 plug-in software offers you a powerful option to speed and simplify the process of controlling focus “post exposure.”...

Howard Millard  |  Oct 01, 2010  |  0 comments

Whether you work in Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, or Aperture, V2 enables you to quickly select the areas you want to change by pointing, clicking, and dragging without the need to create time-consuming selections and masks.

George Schaub  |  Oct 01, 2010  |  0 comments

The idea of loading an image and pushing a button and seeing what happens may be anathema to some photographers, but for certain images where you might want an extra-special touch done easy it might just do the trick.

Anthony L. Celeste  |  Oct 01, 2010  |  1 comments

Mystical Focus builds on the success of the Auto FX “Mystical” series of plug-ins, which includes Mystical Lighting and Mystical Tint, Tone, and Color.

John Brandon  |  Sep 01, 2010  |  0 comments

If a computer is part of your photographic workflow, then you’re probably already using Adobe’s Photoshop. The program has become standard for serious pros, erstwhile amateurs, and even those who just want to add some flair to their Facebook profile.