Software Reviews

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Howard Millard  |  Mar 01, 2010  |  0 comments

For portrait, wedding, landscape, and fine art photographers, Corel’s new Painter 11 excels when you want to emulate traditional art media from your images, including oil paint on canvas, pastels on textured art paper, woodcut, silkscreen, watercolor, and more.

Jon Canfield  |  May 26, 2015  |  0 comments

Sometimes a straight photograph isn’t the goal when we capture images. Thanks to a number of programs, you can take your photograph beyond the ordinary and turn it into a work of art with a few clicks of the mouse. One such program is Topaz Simplify (www.topazlabs.com, $39.99). Running standalone or as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom or Apple’s Aperture, Simplify has a number of presets ranging from cartoon look to wood carvings to help you get started. Additionally, if you create your own look, you can save it as a preset and share those presets with other users.

George Schaub  |  Sep 05, 2012  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2012  |  0 comments

The question is—does anybody really know what a given image would look like if they shot it on Kodachrome 25, or Fuji Acros, or some obscure color negative film that even in film’s heyday was little used or appreciated? Perhaps the more pertinent question is—how many people have made photographs using film? But film references are what a number of so-called film emulation software programs use for describing presets that can be applied to a digital image. Half academic and half nostalgic, the programs use film brand names to describe saturation, contrast, color nuance, and grain structure variations that are then applied to an image. Perhaps using film names is better than poetic fantasy terms, like “misty blue dawn,” but then again entirely subjective descriptors, rather than supposedly clinical ones used in these software programs, might be just as handy for today’s photography crowd. In any case, I recently tested one such program, DxO’s FilmPack 3.1, to see if it offered up creative variations that could be used as is or as foundation images when interpreting subjects and scenes.

 

Jack Neubart  |  Jul 19, 2012  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2012  |  3 comments

DxO Optics Pro Version 7 is a Raw converter for Mac and Microsoft Windows with some nifty tricks up its sleeve. It offers its own brand of nondestructive image editing, with tonal, exposure, geometric, and optical corrections that make it stand apart from the crowd. As was true of Version 6.6, Optics Pro 7 supports the company’s new FilmPack 3 film emulator plug-in (see sidebar below). We will have a more complete review of the film emulator in a future issue.

 

Optics Pro Version 7 is a dramatic departure from earlier releases. The Select pane is gone, so you no longer have to deal with tedious Projects (unless you want to). Now you go straight to work after opening a folder. Double-click on an image and that takes you right to the nondestructive editing phase, in Customize. Beyond this point the Mac and Windows versions part ways in one key respect: the Windows version runs faster than the Mac version, which continues to be laborious.

Jack Neubart  |  Dec 12, 2014  |  0 comments

I’ve worked with DxO's OpticsPro imaging software for several years and have watched this program evolve and make great strides as a Raw image converter. What the new DxO OpticsPro 10 version of the software brings to the table is a cadre of new features and improvements. But are these enough to catapult this software into the top tier, or is it still playing catch-up?

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Oct 23, 2020  |  0 comments

DxO just released PhotoLab 4, a major update of their innovative photo-editing software. This latest version features DxO DeepPRIME, a game-changing technology you’re going to be hearing about over and over from now on. DxO DeepPRIME is a groundbreaking demosaicing and denoising engine based on artificial intelligence and trained with deep learning. And I'm not kidding when I say it will make old Raw files from your 10+ years old camera look like they were shot with the best and latest camera model on the market.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Sep 25, 2014  |  0 comments

Adobe announced Photoshop Elements 13 and Premiere Elements 13. Both have cool new features. If you’re a user of version 12, should you upgrade? The answer is: it all depends. Here’s the advice I give my friends.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Feb 05, 2015  |  0 comments

Wouldn’t it be great if you could resize a batch of images simply by right-clicking them and selecting their new dimensions from a menu? Windows users now can—even on 64-bit machines running Windows 8.1.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Aug 05, 2016  |  0 comments

Adobe Photoshop Elements is a budget-friendly image editing package that’s designed for casual users and amateurs. Under the hood, however, there are dozens of advanced features and hidden capabilities that are accessible via plug-ins. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could unlock, say, 130 of those features with one add-on product that costs less than fifty bucks? Then here’s good news: you can. 

George Schaub  |  Nov 09, 2017  |  0 comments

I have been using Epson’s Advanced B&W Photo printing mode for many years in a series of the company’s desktop printers but always wished the print software offered a way to see my image adjustments in real time. So, when Epson announced their new Print Layout software, which offers a “live preview” (among other controls) in Advanced B&W Photo mode, I contacted them to give it a whirl. 

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Oct 06, 2016  |  1 comments

The monochrome mode on most digital cameras is a convenience that is best avoided. Conventional wisdom says that it’s far, far better to shoot Raw and convert to monochrome—or at least to start with a color JPEG. But Fujifilm suggests that their ACROS film simulation mode might even top the best Raw converters. Does it? 

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Oct 29, 2015  |  0 comments

Adobe has released version 14 of Photoshop Elements and Premier Elements. Both are exciting and easy-to-use, and offer enough editing horsepower for most photo and video enthusiasts. Although Premier 14 is chock full of improvements, including some cool new things you can do with 4K video, I found the enhancements in Photoshop Elements to be more groundbreaking and fun. So that’s what we’ll focus on today. 

Jack Neubart  |  May 30, 2014  |  First Published: May 01, 2014  |  0 comments

DxO Optics Pro is a Raw converter that keeps pace with the ever-growing, ever-changing world of digital photography. The newest version—DxO Optics Pro 9 (for Mac or Windows)—focuses on one of digital imaging’s most troubling artifacts: digital noise. Whether you’re shooting at high ISOs or bringing out blocked shadow detail in a seriously underexposed image or an HDR photo, digital noise (luminance and chrominance) can rear its ugly head. And now we can finally deliver a knockout punch to this culprit. But before you get in the ring, there are a few things you should know.

George Schaub  |  Feb 24, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2014  |  0 comments

I have always had mixed feelings about so-called “film simulation” software, programs that offer one-click presets that add effects and options for manipulating digital images. On one side, I am unsure why the designers use visual references to types of film for their preset IDs. It strikes me that an increasingly small proportion of folks relate to them. On the other side, I admire their offering programs that open up a raft of image expressions in easy to attain fashion. I will not revisit that discussion here, although the near concomitant release of two such programs, Alien Skin’s Exposure 5 and DxO’s FilmPack 4, makes it tempting to do so.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Sep 17, 2021  |  0 comments

Free to all Olympus users, Olympus Workspace has SECRET super powers starting with the ability to apply ANY Olympus Art Filter to ANY image file captured by ANY camera, scanner or screen grabber.

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