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Wondershare Fotophire Photo Editing Toolkit Software Review

Wondershare Fotophire Photo Editing Toolkit Software Review  - Fotophire is an all-in-one photo editor, background eraser and clone tool that's designed to help you perfect your photos in just a few clicks. We put it to the test.

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Wondershare Fotophire in Other Software

Fotophire

Photo Editor
 

With Adobe going subscription based, many amateur photographers are looking for photo-editing alternatives which are reasonably priced but still allow them to produce images which aren't too shabby. A few well-known names spring to mind, but one alternative you may not have thought of is Fotophire from a company called Wondershare. 

Fotophire is billed as a 'complete photo editing toolkit' that features easy-to-use tools so we thought it was only right we put it to the test to see if it's a tool that photographers will be happy to use. 

Currently, Fotophire is only available for PC users and it's usually priced at £51.59, including VAT, but during February, you can purchase the software for $49.99 which is around £36. It too is subscription based, which may put some people off, but as it works out at just over £4 a month, it's not overly expensive (there's also a free trial available). 
 

Fotophire Features 

Currently, Fotophire contains 3 different tools: Photo Editor, Photo Cutter and Photo Eraser. The company are also planning on adding Photo Maximizer (a tool for enlarging photos) and Photo Focus (a tool for fixing and refocusing blurry photos) to the mix at some point in the future but for now, you just get the three tools first mentioned under the Fotophire umbrella. 

As the name suggests, Photo Editor gives you the tools you need to edit your photos. This includes cropping, adding vignettes, adjusting colours, playing around with filters and adding creative effects. Photo Cutter gives you the tools you need to easily remove subjects from backgrounds and Photo Eraser fixes scratches or it can be used to remove unwanted objects from photos. 

Photo Cutter

 

Photo Editing Features:

  • Drag & Drop Interface
  • Cut & Crop
  • Filters & Effects
  • 20+ Blend Modes
  • Wide Format Support
  • Before and After Views
  • Straighten Line
  • Texture
  • Save Presets
  • Tone Curve

 

Photo Cutter Features:

  • Customised Brush Sizes
  • Background Templates
  • Drag & Drop Interface
  • Straighten Line
  • Edge Blur
  • Cut & Crop
  • Wide Format Support
  • Built-In Tutorial

 

Photo Eraser Features:

  • 4 Selection Methods
  • Customised Brush Size
  • Align Mode
  • Drag & Drop Interface
  • Formats Widely Supported
  • Lasso Tool
  • Clone Stamp
  • Built-In Tutorial
  • Straighten Line


With Fotophire offering three tools in one, we'll be taking a look at each one individually below. 

 

Fotophire Performance 

Download and installation are straightforward and once installed, the first thing you see is a welcome screen that has buttons you can press to access the individual tools. This is also where your return to when you exit one of the applications. 


 

Photo Editor is first on the list so this is where we will start. When you first launch the application you're greeted by options to open a new file, open a file you have recently edited in Fotophire, a help section and a few sample photos you can play around with should you not want to use your own images straight away. 

Once you launch an image, the workspace is pretty self-explanatory with your main image to the left and the tools you can use to the right. There are also tools at the bottom of the window for zooming in/out, rotating and comparing edits you've made with an unedited version of your image. All edits are non-destructive as you can undo all steps you have made and the usual 'share to facebook' and save options are available. Shortcuts you'll have used in other editing software such as Cntrl + Z to undo an action can also be used which is a bonus. 

As for the tools on offer themselves, they are pretty basic and aren't something those who use Photoshop on a regular basis will find too useful. However. Elements fans will appreciate the simplicity. There are sliders to edit the brightness, contrast, saturation, colour balance etc. as well as a Tone Curve graph but you can't use layers or layer masks and other more advanced tools found in other pieces of software.


Photo Editor
 

Creative Blur is a cool tool that makes it easy to apply fake out of focus areas to shots and vignettes are also easily applied with a tool that's specifically designed for the job. Cropping is also a doddle thanks to several auto options being built in or you can create custom crop factors should you so wish. 

For those who want to get a little more creative with effects, there are several built-in which you can just click on to apply. You can also see a small preview of how each effect will be applied to the specific image you have open in the right-hand column. The software actually includes over 200 filters, overlays and frames you can add to your photos but you can't preview the frames and textures, you have to apply these individually to see how they look. You can, of course, tweak the image adjustments once an effect is applied to tone it up or down or you can reduce/increase the opacity of the effect you have applied to make it weaker/stronger. Blend Modes are also built in, something Photoshop users will be familiar with and you can save adjustment settings to create your own collection of effects, too. 

As with all things, if you like the filters and frames on offer is down to individual taste but there is plenty of choices and they make the photo editing process for those who aren't master photo editors much easier, quicker and fun to do. It's a shame you can't overlay several of the auto filters, though, as this would have been a nice thing to be able to do. 

Performance wise, we didn't experience any lag and you're not waiting around while the software processes changes. You can also save time by batch processing images - a nice little bonus option and images can be exported as Jpeg, TIFF (8-bit or 16-bit), PNG, BMP, Jxr or Jiff but RAW editing is not supported. 

 

Photo Editor Sample Photos 


Bokeh added

 

Frame and effect applied
 

Photo Cutter is a tool designed to make it easy for you to cut out people or objects from backgrounds so you can add them to a different background or simply save them with a transparent background. 

Instead of using mask tools and layers or selection tools, you just have to select the area you want removing and the algorithms, pretty much, do the rest and unlike the background erase tool in Photoshop, you don't have to be that accurate.

For those, who like a bit of technical jargon, Photo Cutter uses colour detection technology to detect the edges of objects so you don't have to cut them out pixel-by-pixel. 

Photo Cutter
 

When you open your image in Photo Cutter, the layout is the same as the one you see in the Photo Editor with your image to the left, main tools to the right then a toolbar to the top and bottom. 

To erase the background, you have a few tools you can use but the main one if the brush which allows you to paint the areas you want to remove. At first, we thought we'd have to paint the entire background but actually, you can just draw a few lines and the software does the rest. 

 

The auto mask applied after drawing a few lines 

 

If you find the algorithm selects part of your subject along with the background, you can use the 'paint areas to keep' brush to tell the software that you want specific areas to be left out of the selection. You can also remove areas you have 'painted' with the 'erase painting' tool but this isn't something we used very much. All edits are also non-destructive with the undo tool available at all times. 

How quickly the software does its calculations depends on how many lines you have drawn (areas selected) and the quality at which you want the software to perform the task. Even though it takes a little longer to process, we recommend you select 'better' on the quality slider as the final results were, well, better. You can also feather the edges to blur the transition between the selection and surrounding pixels that aren't part of the selection. 

Also available are crop tools and the option to put your cut-out onto a built-in background (photomontage) but we'll be honest and says this isn't a feature most photographers will be using as there are not many options and you can't edit the cut-out and background so the tones, light etc. balance better. You can, also, use your own images as backgrounds but again, you'd be better off doing this in software that gives you the tools you need to balance both shots. 

Images can be exported as Jpeg, TIFF (8-bit or 16-bit), PNG, BMP, Jxr or Jiff, shared to facebook or printed directly from the software. 

Photomontage
 

As for the performance of the cut-out tools, they're actually really good, quick to use and they make removing objects from the background a really easy process. Yes, we had to tweak most of the selections but it wasn't a laborious task. If you do get stuck, there's a step-by-step tutorial you can follow. 

Photo Cutter Sample Photos 

Left: Image with selection lines drawn, Right: The image after background removal.

 

Left: Image before, Right: The image after background removal.

 

 

 

The final piece of the Wondershare trio is Photo Eraser which can help you remove unwanted items from images or repair scratches in old photos. Basically, you can remove anything that spoils your photo.

The main bulk of the process is done by automated algorithms that analyse the surroundings and automatically fill in the area with matched textures. It sounds great, and for the most part, it is, but the software did struggle on occasion (something we'll talk about in more detail shortly). 

Photo Eraser
 

We won't go into detail on the layout of the workspace as it's the same as the previous tools we've discussed, making it easy to suss out. You also have the crop tool built in again as well as the familiar save, share and export options. 

To make a selection you can either draw a selection with one of three selection tools (rectangle, lasso and polygon) or use a paintbrush to paint over the areas you want removing. The brush size can be altered and you can undo any selections you've applied should you need to. The paintbrush is the easiest way to make selections as you simply draw over what you want removing, click 'erase' and the algorithms go to work. 

How successful the software was accurately removing and adding new detail was a little hit and miss with it sometimes working spectacularly and other times it failing badly (see below image). 

Photo Eraser not doing so well.

 

However, to make adjustments to areas that haven't quite blended so well, there is a clone tool you can use to fix the software's errors. How long this takes depends on the image but anyone who has used a clone tool before will be familiar with how it operates. You just need to select a source you want to copy the detail from and then brush over the areas that need fixing. Brush size and edge blur can be adjusted so you can be more accurate with your cloning. 

Even though the clone tool is pretty good, it's a shame the software doesn't always succeed in its 'remove and replace'. Although, it is easy to use and you can fix errors quite easily with the clone tool should you not mind a little bit of extra work. 

 

Photo Eraser Sample Photos 

Left: Original, Centre: People in background removed, Right: Person removed from the foreground as well. 

 

Left: Original, Right: Lines removed from the sky.

 

Top: Original image, Bottom: After two hot-air balloons removed. 
 

 

 

Value for Money

Fotophire is priced at £51.59 (including VAT), which works out at just over £4 a month as this is a 1-year subscription price. There is a free trial available so you can 'try before you buy' and do check your shopping cart before you hit 'buy' as there's an optional 'download insurance' added, which costs just over £4, you can remove should you not need it. If you purchase the software in February (2018), you can actually save yourself a bit of money as the software is currently available for $49.99 which is around £36.

Alternatives include Corel PaintShop Pro 2018 (standard version) available for £69.99 without a subscription and Adobe Photoshop Elements which can still be accessed without a Creative Cloud membership for around £90. There's also Xara Photo & Graphic Designer or OnOne Perfect Photo Suite, both of which scored well in our reviews but are much more expensive. 

As for Adobe, there are different levels of subscription plans Adobe Photoshop CC is part of which includes the 'Photography Plan'. This option is available for £9.98 (without VAT) a month and includes Lightroom CC, Photoshop CC, and 20GB of cloud storage. This makes it more expensive than Fotophire but if you need more advanced editing tools, you could find Photoshop more applicable. 

There are also free options available but you won't find anywhere near as many features, options and controls built in. 

 

Fotophire Verdict

With Fotophire, you're getting three pieces of software in one which is a nice little bonus considering its reasonable price. Will the Photo Editor be useful to everyone? Probably not as it is very basic and relies a lot on preset filters but those who are new to photo editing or just make basic edits will find it more than adequate. 

As for the erase and photo cutter tools, these are actually something more people will find useful. The background removal is really good with only a few adjustments needed to get a background-free image you are happy with and for the most part, the Photo Eraser tool performed as it should. Although, there were a few times when it replaced objects with a selection that didn't make any sense and quite a bit of work with the clone tool was needed to fix it. 

Some may also be annoyed that it's another subscription-based piece of software but perhaps it's just something we all just have to get used to as many companies are going this way with their payment options. 

Overall, Fotophire is easy to use, produces results quickly and saves you time - recommended. 

 

Fotophire Pros

  • Inexpensive 
  • Easy to use
  • Quick processing 
  • Plenty of creative presets

Fotophire Cons

  • Erase tool isn't always that successful 
  • Photo editing options are very basic 

 

Features & Performance4/5
Ease of use4.5/5
Value4/5
Overall Verdict

Wondershare Software Fotophire Specifications

Software Features
LayersNo
PathsNo
CloningYes
Required Ram1000mb
Trial Download AvailableYes

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Comments


Good review and from that I bought a lifetime licence. Pity that you didn't check out the print facility. This program doesn't allow you to access your own printer set up!! You cannot choose the paper type, any print enhancements, which paper tray to use etc etc. In fact the whole photo editing suite is let down with this poor print set up.
Also if you go to Wondershare's web you will find that Fotophire is not represented in any of their FAQ's and it is exceptionally hard to find how to contact them. Pity, pity, pity.

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