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|Product:||Shortcut PhotoStudio 9 Professional|
Shortcut PhotoStudio 9 Professional - Matt Grayson investigates PhotoStudio 9 Professional from Shortcut Software. An All-In-One editing and tagging program
Despite being a newly formed company, Shortcut software are already on the ninth version of PhotoStudio. This feature packed edition boasts advanced editing and organising as well as Panorama maker, 3D photo maker and Web Galleries.
- Operating System: Windows 98/Me/2000/Xp, MSIE 5.0
- Processor: Intel-compatible 300+ MHz processor
- Memory: 128Mb RAM
- Hard drive: 80Mb Free space
- Resolution: 800 x 600 High colour
For advanced work, the manual warns that more memory should be available and allowing 512Mb of RAM along with a fast processor with MMX and SSE support will give comfortable results. Also, whilst PhotoStudio 9 is Vista compatible, the manual warns that when batch working it's better to use XP as it supports that type of work more.
Shortcut PhotoStudio 9 Professional Installation
Download time from the Shortcut Software website took just under 20 minutes which, in my experience, is a long time to download a program. Once download had completed the installation took only a few seconds, which is a stark contrast to the download time.
Shortcut PhotoStudio 9 Professional What's new
Unlike a bad horror film franchise PhotoStudio has improved on the original concept and hosts a number of new features. These include floating windows for information or preview, Tutorial windows and customisable keyboard shortcuts on the main page.
A Paste image tool and selection tools have been added to the editing section. The Batch window has been replaced with a Batch filter, editing of the histogram is possible with fields available to enter input/output levels, Sharpen filters have been added and a histogram display that shows under and over exposure.
The Organisational area of the program has also had many new features added, most notably a search and replace function for text stored in an image, GPS assignment, thumbnails of videos in the browser and renaming of files in the browser including an automatic suggestion based on analysis of the folder and its contents.
The Home version excludes a few of the niftier features such as Canon RAW import, 16bit per colour channel suppport, selection tools, Noise removal, Channel mixing, Sharpen filters and Web image spidering.
Shortcut PhotoStudio 9 Professional In Use
The main workspace is split into four areas. The Navigator in the top left is for finding your way around your computer which is similar to a MyComputer feature. Below that is a preview pane for showing a larger version of the picture you may highlight once a folder has been located and files found.
The editing system is basic but offers some nice features. The Iron tool for instance will effectively remove spots and creases in the image.
Using features such as the Enhance Colour and Enhance Exposure will pop-up in a different window, allowing manipulation to be performed with a handy before and after preview. Interestingly, the Enhance colour box gives loads of variations for the user whilst the manual overrides on the Enhance exposure does very little.
File, Edit, Selection and View tabs are available at the top of the page. The File tab gives access to the usual suspects of Open, Save, Move and Delete as well as accessing the Ratings and GPS options.
The Edit tab gives more in depth options for manipulation including Noise reduction, Barrel and Pincushion distortion, Levels & Curves and Sharpen. There are a number of effects available such as Oil painting, Grain, Negative and Old photograph.
The Selection tab is another way to access the Selection tools whilst the View tab allows changes to be made to the page you're viewing.
Interestingly, two blue arrows can be found in the top left corner of the page and these are for flicking through the images in the folder which is a nice feature. Just be careful you don't get mixed up with the Undo button or you could effectively lose a lot of work.
The GPS system can assign satellite information to your images which will then work on Google Maps. Images that currently have GPS information will be showing a small globe in the top right corner.
Images with no GPS data will need to have it assigned and this can be inputted manually or from a GPS unit such as the Sony GPS CS1KA.
The petals are scratched and worn.
The iron tool smooths them out but doesn't work so good on edges.
Shortcut PhotoStudio 9 Professional Verdict
Compared to other editing and tagging systems such as StudioLine Photo Classic 3, PhotoStudio 9 is feature rich in the editing department and also offers accessories such as GPS assigning and Canon RAW direct import.
The more I used this program, the more I liked it. If you're in the market for an all-in-one editing and tagging suite, this is a serious contender.
Shortcut PhotoStudio 9 Professional Plus points
Excellent editing features
Shortcut PhotoStudio 9 Professional Minus points
Long download time
Shortcut PhotoStudio 9 Professional costs $79 which is just under £40 using the Reuters currency converter and can be purchased from the Shortcut Software site here.