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Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition Review

Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition review

| Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition in Other Software
Since Photo Suite reinvented itself a few years ago it has offered one of the best interfaces for the beginner to get to grips with digital image editing. It takes all the common options and hides their complexities behind a highly graphical and easy to navigate interface. The problem with this, in the past, was that the program was very sluggish to use, but this latest incarnation appears to have an improved speed performance and several new features. Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition  Review: Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition
When you first install the program it automatically guides you through the stages and once installed you are asked if you want to add photos to the Photo Suite albums. You select the folder that contains photos on your computer and let PhotoSuite fly into action. I have one folder that contains dozens of folders each with a selection of pictures. The program can either pull all these out to make one album or make and album of each folder, which is the option I chose. My images vary between 1Mb and 100Mb and it whistled through at around 600 per minute.

Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition  Review: Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition
PhotoSuite's album interface makes it very easy to locate photos. Photos are stored in electronic albums using Exif (Meta data) captured with photo. You can tag photos with keywords for easy retrieval and add titles and personal comments.

The interface has four graphics down the left that split the program into four logical stages, each one opens up a range of options:

This is where you upload photos from a digital camera or scanner.

Edit & Create
The heart of the program offering enhancement tools, filter & effects, project templates, borders, stitching and batch processing.

Print & Share
Where you print, email, create slide shows and DVDs

View, Organise & Archive
The storage section where the albums are and the place to go when all the work's done

Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition  Review: Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition
The starting point (home page) interface. Clicking on the left graphics brings up a range in the middle. When you click on one of these a step by step guide appears on the left and you follow the instructions. This program does not need a manual!

The basic editing tools include automated fixes to hands-on tweaks
The new PhotoDoctor mode cures common photo problems, such as exposure and saturation with one click. And for beginners there are easy methods to restore torn or faded family snaps, fix red eye and remove dust & scratches.
Like most of the more advanced editing programs there's a clone tool (often called rubber stamp) and many special effects filters.


Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition  Review: Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition
There are hundreds of editing options split into categories each with simple step-by-step progress or advanced control if necessary.

Although PhotoDoctor makes life easy I found it over compensated for some photos and made them look unnatural. It's here where more proficient users can click on advanced options to give full slider control, so as you become more familiar with the program you can go far beyond the basics. This is also useful if you want to follow a technique in on ePHOTOzine or one of the photo magazines that has used an advanced editor such as Photoshop.

Photo Suite was one of the first programs to incorporate a Photo Stitch mode that lets you shoot several photos in a panorama and then merge them to make an elongated shot. This is ideal for landscapes, but can also be used in vertical format for shooting tall buildings that won't fit in the frame using your normal camera lens. It is however no longer a unique feature as even Adobe in their Photoshop Elements program have now included the option.

Once the editing is done you move to the print option. As well as the standard picture print options you can also print multiple photos and sizes on a single page or produce contact sheets of all your photos. In this example I selected the "multiple photos per page" option which calls up a wide range of pre-formatted layouts to chose from.
You'll also notice from the photo that I have added text. This is created on a layer that you can edit and position just where you want.

Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition  Review: Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum edition

PhotoSuite has always been good for project creation and new templates are supplied to let you create cards, calendars and more. There's also a new CollageCreator that provides auto generation of photos, clip art and background.

Since Photo Suite was taken over by Roxio, the company has integrated Easy CD Creator technology and you can now burn photos to CD from the program and create labels. Other ways to share your photos includes a photo slide show option that lets you produce a slide show and add background music. You can then burn the show to Video CD to play back on most DVD players.

Minimum System requirement
Pentium III 500MHz
ME, XP, 2000
64Mb RAM
800x600 screen display
200Mb Hard disk space
16-Bit colour
CD ROM Drive

Recommended System requirement
Pentium III 500MHz
ME, XP, 2000
128Mb RAM
800x600 screen display
200Mb Hard disk space
24-Bit colour
CD ROM Drive

If you are new to digital photography and image editing this program will make your transition painless. The auto interface is as easy as it gets to use and the graphics are fun-looking. When you become more advanced it's easy to progress into the more manual controls. The price is good and the features excellent. Highly recommended, especially if you want to create projects. If however you are considering an eventual progression to the much used Photoshop you may be wiser choosing Photoshop Elements which has the same functionality as its big brother at a fraction of the price. You will need help using Elements though as PhotoSuite is much more user-friendly to begin with.

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