Previous versions of Ulead PhotoImpact have sold well and been well received by the press, to see if they have kept up the high standard we took a look at PhotoImpact 7. Ulead make claim on their website that 'PhotoImpact 7 is everything you need for digital photography, creative design and Web graphics. No other image editor delivers professional results so easily and affordably.' Uleads main competition in this sector of the market is the excellent Jasc Paintshop Pro software which can be bought for almost half the price of PhotoImpact now.
To see what's new in PhotoImpact 7 you can go to the official Ulead site here, or examine the list below of its main features:
- Photo album management
- Auto photo enhancement
- Batch photo enhancement
- Retouch tools
- Add impact with a variety of professional camera filters. PhotoImpact 7 brings two exclusive camera filters: Zoom Blur and Correct Lens Distortion.
- Easy Photo Sharing
- Print multiple photos, stickers and labels on one sheet of paper on standard templates
- Automatic e-mail compression
- Create instant HTML presentations as Web albums or slide show
- Free Web sharing on iMira.com
- Design powerful visuals with seamless blending of raster images and vector illustration.
- Extensive Paint, Retouch and Cloning tools with professional control of brush attributes
- Edit nodes for precise customization
- Wrap, bend and distort text to freehand paths
- Make path objects with a robust set of shape and freehand drawing tools
- Exclusive 3D Composition
- Make 3D graphics in one click
- Pick-and-Apply color, texture, gradient, bevel, reflection and more. Apply EasyPalette Gel, Glass, Plastic and dozens of other 3D styles to path and text objects
- New 3D Z-Merge fuses objects together for sophisticated results
- PhotoImpact includes an awesome range of special effects applied to image or text.
- Particle Effects add Bubbles, Rain, Clouds and more. Lighting Effects add Fireworks, Comets, Lens Flares and more. Effects also provide key frame control to create stunning GIF animation
- Painting Effects make photos look classical, abstract or like contemporary art
- Complete Web Toolkit
- PhotoImpact can be used to make Web components for both beginning and advanced Web projects.
- Image mapping & slicing
- Dynamic image rollovers
- Includes Ulead GIF Animator 5
- Efficient image optimization
- Pop-up menus
- Remote rollovers
- Mouse-over text effects
- Text scrolling
- Lay out Web pages directly in your workspace - no HTML knowledge needed. Slice images, draw hotspots, and insert embedded media, like video and Flash. Then, output in one click.
- WYSIWYG Web page layout
- HTML text object support
- Flash & video object linking
- Cascading Style Sheets support
- One-click Web page output
- 2600 Web Components
- 2000 Photos
- 1000 Items of clip art
- 700 textures
- 1700 Easy Palette Presets/Samples
Ulead have managed to add a lot more functionality to this application without bloating it and reducing its ease of use. Like any program with this many features it takes a while to learn where everything is, and what it does, but there are no major user interface flaws to get in the way of productivity. All three programs show a good level of integration merging to make a very good digital imaging suite. Usability is of course subjective so we'd suggest you follow the trial download link in the verdict section and judge for yourself how usable this is.
To gain a feel of the program without having to download the large trial program there are some screenshots of the three different programs shown below.
PhotoImpact - This offers so many features and options it is a little bewildering at first. However in time, and through the well written manual you can soon be using the more advanced features with ease.
PhotoImpact Album - This provides some quite advanced image management facilities, such as a search tool and fast thumbnailing.
GIF Animator 5 - This is quite a lot more advanced than some of the competing products available. It includes a large amount of functionality considering the overall price of the package.
PhotoImpact 7 is one of the more interesting image editing programs available. It combines serious tools for professionals as well as fun features for less serious scenarios. The package is good value for money, containing two extra applications that normally sell separately for almost as much as PhotoImpact itself.
Yet despite being good value the quality of some of the features lags behind more refined products like Adobe Elements. This program is best suited as a stepping stone for beginners upgrading from more basic programs, though many will find it serves all their needs. Those of you using Paintshop Pro, or one of the Photoshop packages could still gain a lot from this program, but you may find it's user interface a little idiosyncratic to begin with.
Perhaps the best thing about image editors like this is that the developers are kind enough to provide trial versions. Having downloaded this you can evaluate the user interface and available features yourself. Then buy it and gain the manual and extra features should you want to use it for longer than the trial period. For the Ulead PhotoImpact 7 trial download page click here. Be warned however the file is quite large at 31 megabytes.
You can buy the full version of PhotoImpact 7 for the reduced price of 44.49 here. PhotoImpact provides a good value for money introduction to digital-imaging. It includes several advanced features and functions that the other applications don't, and we can highly recommend it.
Intel Pentium compatible processors
Microsoft Windows 98, NT 4.0, 2000, Me, XP
64Mb of Ram
350Mb of available hard drive space