The Alien Skin Exposure X4.5 update has brought support for LUTs and new Haze and Lens Flare updates, adding to its already impressive list of features. Exposure X4.5 is a powerful, effective and engaging all-in-one photo browsing, organising and editing tool that can product hauntingly beautiful analog-inspired images. It can help recapture the emotion in photography that’s so easily lost in a world of histograms, megapixels and lab charts.
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It’s hard to fault Aurora HDR 2019. It works as a standalone HDR application or as a plug-in. It can merge exposure brackets and it can tone map individual RAW files. It can product dense, wild and dramatic HDR effects or natural-looking images, with almost no sign of the ‘glow’ effects and other artefacts that normally make HDR so difficult to get right. It also goes way further than other HDR tools with comprehensive tone and colour controls, local adjustments and even image layers and masks.
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Lightroom has become a standard tool for a large number of photographers and it does streamline the organisation and editing of large numbers of photos. But while it’s powerful and effective, its raw processing is not the best and its organisational system can feel quite awkward. Worse, for many users it’s become very slow to use. But it is convenient and powerful, and Adobe’s Photography Plans are very good value and include a constant stream of free updates.
Continue reading Lightroom Classic CC review
Where is Adobe actually going with Lightroom CC? Its cloud-based storage is convenient, but locks you into Adobe’s expensive storage subscription, and it does a lot less than Lightroom Classic with little sign it’s going to catch up any time soon. It looked good at the start but hasn’t really gone anywhere.
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Capture One Pro’s editing tools and RAW processing are superb, it’s excellent for studio tethering and a sessions-based workflow but also has powerful cataloguing tools. You may still need an external editor like Photoshop or Affinity Photo, but only for complex composites.
Continue reading Phase One Capture One Pro 12 review
For value for money, features, power and the sheer innovation in its editing tools, Luminar 3 is brilliant, the new 3.0.2 update has fixed a couple of early frustrations in the Libraries feature and Luminar has come a long way in a short time.
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Verdict: 4 stars ★★★★ AI Gigapixel isn’t magic and isn’t perfect, but it does take a different approach to other blow-up apps that sometimes comes off. It’s perhaps the least worst solution for a situation you’d rather not be in. Continue reading Topaz Labs AI Gigapixel 2.1.1 review
Verdict: 4 stars ★★★★. PhotoLab’s RAW processing, lens corrections and local adjustments tools are just as spectacular as they ever were, but its new ‘PhotoLibrary’ feature feels unfinished and disappointing. Continue reading DxO PhotoLab 2.1 review
Verdict: 5 stars ★★★★★
Another photo-editor that gets a five-star rating? Yes indeed, this time for features, versatility, value and for finesse. ON1 has brought Photo RAW 2019 a long way, not just improving the tools it offers but also the whole user interface and workflow experience. Definitely try it before you make your mind up, but it really is a genuine Lightroom/Photoshop rival which adds in a huge library of ready-to-use effects.
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Verdict: 5 stars ★★★★★ Anyone who thinks all RAW converters are the same should spend a little time with Capture One. Its RAW processing is superb, its local adjustments are powerful and controllable, its cataloguing tools are terrific, and it’s … Continue reading Capture One Pro 11 review
Verdict: 5 stars ★★★★★ Exposure X3 is a great all-in-one image browsing, editing and enhancement tool. Its strong points are a no-nonsense workspace and a large library of preset image styles and treatments which reflect old-style analog photography as well … Continue reading Alien Skin Exposure X3 Complete Workflow Update review
ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is the Swiss Army Knife of image editors, but can it really be good at everything? Continue reading ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 review