The world of software development is extremely competitive, and nowhere more so than in the realm of photo editing software. Digital cameras and cell phone-based cameras have popularized photography like never before. No longer do you have to think about the amount of film left in the camera or the cost of taking large numbers of pictures. However, superb software applications like Serif PhotoPlus X6 make it easy for anyone to take not just lots of pictures, but ones that reach quality levels that were previously reserved for the pros.
Serif PhotoPlus makes many noteworthy improvements over previous editions of the already excellent application to make it a true contender among the very best photo editing products in this category. Those upgrades, the application's ease of use and the quality of its results have earned it our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award for photo editing software.
In a software category such as this, with great rivalries among the top contenders, it can be challenging to differentiate one application from another. All the best products have numerous features and capabilities in common. Its integrated help features are among the things that distinguish Serif PhotoPlus from the other applications. Every function is accompanied by tips right on screen. For many of them, even the most inexperienced user has the option to simply tell the application to perform a given action and it will be done automatically. That's great for new photo artists, but seasoned users will also appreciate the total customization features throughout the software.
You can edit photos using PhotoPlus in any way you can imagine. If fact, there are so many options that your imagination need not even be a limitation. Among the most versatile editing features is the PhotoFix tool. With it, you can quickly and easily apply filters to correct lighting problems such as exposure, brightness and contrast. With it, you can also change the lighting of the photo either automatically or by manually modifying color temperature, saturation and tint. The section allows you to apply numerous lighting and creative effects to give your photos special looks. It can even modify or correct the degree of lens distortion.
Within the Adjusting Images section, you can crop and straighten images or sharpen them and adjust their clarity. One of the great features is that this photo editing software allows you to adjust color vibrancy in an entire photo or just a section of it. It allows you to create more eye-popping color while being intelligent enough to leave natural colors like hair and skin tone untouched. You also have the option to edit or mask curves in layers allowing for a better viewing experience.
You can remove defects in photos in a number of ways. You can easily remove red eye and blemishes, and you can even remove dust and scratches that may appear on your photos from the camera lens. You can restore old, bent or scratched photographs to their original condition with the Clone tool. In order to get into the tight areas that need changes, use the zoom tool for better accuracy.
You can enhance photos of people in any number of ways, such as by adding a sun tan or whitening teeth and eyes. The Makeover Tool can even be used to remove dark circles from under the eyes and to even out skin tone. The Deform tool allows you to slim down bodies that might be a bit plumper than desired. This version also offers a depth of field tool that allows you to change blue, saturation and other items to get the best look for your photo.
Included with PhotoPlus is Serif's PhotoPlus Organizer. This application lets you manage your entire photo library intelligently and easily. When installed on your computer, it imports all of your stored photos. You can create smart albums that update automatically. With PhotoPlus Organizer, you can tag and rate images for more efficient sorting and searching. You can also arrange similar images into stacks to make managing them easier.
The organizer includes Google's Map of the World so you can see where the shots were taken. With a single click, you can upload photos from the organizer to Flickr or Facebook.
This software allows you to share your pictures directly on social media sites such as Facebook and Flikr with a single click. This is a great feature and it is nice to not have to open a web browser to upload photos.
Serif PhotoPlus X6 can import 27 different file types, including the standard JPG, TIF, GIF and PNG formats. It can also import Photoshop PSD project files and RAW files from your cameras.
PhotoPlus allows you to save your photos to your hard drive or a disc. This newest release of the software also lets you upload photos to Facebook and Flickr with a single mouse click.
You can print your photo creations and easily share them in emails and other web-based avenues. Beyond that, however, PhotoPlus includes a separate application called PhotoProjects that gives you the ability to create special presentations of your favorite work. It offers a broad selection of layouts and graphics that you can use to enhance your photos. You can use it to make photobooks, collages and cards that you can be proud of.
Included with PhotoPlus is Serif's PhotoPlus Organizer. This application lets you manage your entire photo library intelligently and easily. When installed on your computer, it imports all of your stored photos. You can create smart albums that update automatically. With PhotoPlus Organizer, you can tag and rate images for more efficient sorting and searching. You can also arrange similar images into stacks to make managing them easier.The organizer includes Google's Map of the World so you can see where the shots were taken. With a single click, you can upload photos from the organizer to Flickr or Facebook.
This software includes video guides for all of the popular features you're likely looking for in a photo editing product, and they're organized in a logical way so that you can add to your knowledge.
For example, the Key Adjustments category contains instructions about straightening photos, making color enhancements and adjusting brightness and contrast, among many other functions. Other video categories teach you how to resize and crop images, retouch photos and use the virtual digital darkroom to work with RAW images. The list goes on and on.
Beyond the videos, PhotoPlus provides an invaluable how-to tab, which can be expanded or collapsed as needed. The tab contains detailed instructions related to using the application's many functions. Categories of instruction include adjusting and retouching images, creative effects, photo finishing and a guide to PhotoPlus tools. You can even take advantage of an automated "Do this for Me" feature that allows you to tell the application to take the desired actions if you're not confident of your own skills.
Serif PhotoPlus has taken a giant leap forward with the release of this version of the software. We particularly like the application's integrated tutorials and how-to features. Users who aren't yet confident in their photo editing abilities can even have the product take desired actions for them. Whether you're an experienced user who wants to be able to customize processes or are just beginning your foray into photo editing, this product has all the features you're likely to want.
This application features extensive video tutorials and instructions that make it easy to use, regardless of your experience level.
It can take a while to learn enough to take advantage of all of this application's potential.
Among the best photo editing applications available, this product is perfect for experienced photo editors or those who are just getting started.