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Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2 Review

Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2 Review - After using Photodex's Proshow Producer, will Gary Wolstenholme resign his old Kodak slide reels to the scrapheap in favour of shiny DVDs and Blu-Ray discs? We'll take a look in this review.

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Category : Other Software
Product : Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2
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Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2: System requirements
Minimum

  • PC with 1GHz or higher processor
  • 512Mb system memory
  • DirectX 8.0 or better
  • CD/DVD writer for disc authoring
  • SVGA (1024x768) or higher video adapter and display
  • Available USB port
  • Windows 2000 or higher operating system
  • 70Mb hard disk space for installation
Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2
A new show is created by pressing the show reel icon in the top left.

Recommended

  • PC with 2GHz or higher processor
  • 1Gb system memory
  • Accelerated 3D graphics card with 64Mb memory
  • DirectX 9.0 or better
  • DVR R/RW/ -R/RW or Blu Ray writer for disc authoring
  • Available USB port
  • SVGA (1024x768) or higher video adapter and display
  • Windows XP or Vista operating system
  • 70Mb hard drive space for installation

Proshow Producer is a slide show creation tool designed for professional use. Whether it's a high-quality Blu-Ray disc for a client, or a slide show for your website, this software aims to make the process quick and simple, leaving you more time to concentrate on taking the photos to put in the presentations.

Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2: In Use
Proshow Producer's interface will be very straight forward for anyone who has used even basic video editing software previously, and very easy to get to grips with for those who haven't. The main window is split into three sections, one for your image and audio files, one for previewing your slideshow as you work on it and a timeline along the bottom, which displays each image, transition and the audio soundtrack in a clear and concise manner.

Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2
The process for creating your slide show is a simple drag and drop design.
Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2
Outputting the slideshow to the preferred format before rendering to the final cut.

To make a basic slideshow you can simply drag and drop the images from the files window onto the timeline, specify how long each image will show for and export it in the format of your choosing. For more advanced users is a wide array of options available to customise your slide show including captioning, layers, motion (including zooming) plus a soundtrack for the entire slide show can be added, or alternatively a sound for each individual slide. Those who like to fiddle with filters and special effects are also catered for with over 280 transitions available, ranging from simple fades and wipes to swirly patterns and animated jigsaw pieces (I'd recommend exercising caution with how many you use per slide show though, as a different transition each time rarely looks good).

Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2
Rendering the slide show before burning to media.

Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2
The final stage is to burn your DVD if that's what you selected.

I found the process of selecting and positioning files in the program very easy indeed. The time each slide is displayed for can be adjusted by simply typing a value in seconds on each frame, and the same applies for each transition.

The next and final step is to select how your slide show will be viewed. Proshow Producers includes many preset options for output, including DVD, Blu Ray, VCD, An executable file to run on a PC, mobile phones, iPods, YouTube, Flash Video, various video formats, a CD that will Autorun when inserted in a PC, and a screen saver.

Each loads a wizard to guide you through the process of getting the correct settings with the minimum of fuss. The DVD wizard works extremely well, allowing you to create menus for different slide shows on the same disc, images do look a little soft when viewed on a standard TV set though. Another cautionary note would be that some of the video compression settings can leave your images looking like courtroom drawings. If size is limited, it may be worth reducing the length of the slide show, rather than increasing the compression.

All of the other wizards I tried are extremely straightforward. I actually have a screen saver of my images on my PC now and it looks great. A sample .mpg video slide show made with this software can be downloaded from here: Photodex Proshow Producer slideshow  

Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2: Verdict
Slide shows can be a great way to present your work to potential clients and customers and this software appears to have pretty much every base covered. The simple, straightforward approach to constructing your presentation is suited to technophobes and technophiles alike, giving both groups (and all those in-between) plenty of options for creating slick presentations.

Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2: Plus points:
Simple, straight forward interface
Uncluttered layout
Plenty of output options
Plenty of blends and other editing options

Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2: Minus points:
Care needs to be taken when outputting as a video, as the results can look quite ropey
DVDs output can look quite soft on a standard TV

FEATURES

EASE OF USE

PERFORMANCE

OVERALL

Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2 costs around £170 for the full version or £60 for the upgrade. Got to thePhotodex website for more information:

Photodex Proshow Producer 3.2

Now take a look at the slide show I created at ePHOTOzine.tv by clicking the link:

Photodex Proshow producer 3.2 slide show

 

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