Save 20% On All Serif Software With Code: EPZ-KYX0BHPEGRD8 (UK-only)

Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review

Zoner Photo Studio X is a photo management and image editing platform that's recently received an update so we're putting it to the test, once again, to find out what the new features bring to the software.

| Zoner Photo Studio X in Other Software
BUY NOW ZONER Photo Studio X

Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review: Untitled 12 |

Quick Verdict

Zoner Photo Studio X is a reasonably priced, comprehensive photo management and photo editing tool for photographers of all levels. Personalisation really is the focus of the latest update along with speed improvements and a better-organised user interface. It's quick in use, has plenty of new customisable options and won't break the bank.

+ Pros

  • Easy to use 
  • Customisation 
  • Good photo management options
  • Clean UI
  • Reasonable Price

- Cons

  • No Mac version
  • Subscription-based (some still aren't fans)


Zoner Photo Studio X is an inexpensive all-in-one solution for photo processing that is steadily growing an increasing number of fans and after taking a look at the software last year, it's easy to see why as you get a lot of performance for a very reasonable price. Now the creators of Zoner Photo Studio X have released an update to make the software even more personalisable so we're retesting the software to find out if the new features make it something we can praise even more. 


Zoner Photo Studio X Features

Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review: Untitled 6 |

Zoner Photo Studio X is a comprehensive tool a photographer can use to organise and edit photos with the added bonus of offering tools for building galleries, creating photo books, editing RAW files and more. We can't really just call it a photo editor as it does so much more than that, giving users a wide variety of tools and features they might need to organise their photo collections and then edit individual photos with. 

Those who regularly edit and organise photos will become very familiar with Zoner Photo Studio X rather quickly as the User Interface (UI) is similar to those built into other software with a column for browsing images on the left, the main preview of the image/images sat in the middle and tools specific for the module you are in to the right. Across the bottom, when not in the Browser mode, you'll find a filmstrip showing the images available in the folder you are working from.

Digital asset management couldn't be easier and the customisable options available are available in abundance. The software can also organise the images you import into folders by date and it will also automatically add any information that's available. 

Just as useful is the Develop module where you have access to various tools for editing your images such as colour adjustment sliders, a gradient tool and a tool for adjusting perspective. From here, you can jump to the Editor module where you can use layers to create images with multiple files as well as add graphics/text and make other basic edits. Those who have used Photoshop may find this module a bit basic but the tools that are there are useful. The Print module is where you can create various photo products including photo books and the new Video tab is specifically designed for video editing. 

What's on offer in Zoner Photo Studio X is so vast, we can't really discuss every single feature as we'll be doing so until they release a new update so instead, we'll be taking a look at what's new and how it improves the user experience. You can also learn more about the software in our previous review and we also have a guide to the Manager and Develop modules which the creators of Zoner Photo Studio X are particularly proud of. 

In the new update, personalisation is key with a focus on the user being able to adapt the program to their needs, previews have been sped-up and a little bit of tidying up has been done inside the modules of which there are now 5 available: Manager, Develop, Editor, Print (name change from 'Create') and Video (new to this release). 


New features of Zoner Photo Studio X

  • Customise thumbnails
  • New separate video module with new features
  • 'Create' module is now named 'Print'
  • Improved Viewer for showcasing images
  • Fast workflow thanks to quicker preview loading
  • More adjustments for photos taken with fisheye lenses
  • New data center in North America means Zonerama online galleries load faster 


Zoner Photo Studio X Ease Of Use & Performance

Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review: Untitled 2 |


If you have used Zoner Photo Studio X previously, the user interface has had some tweaks but the overall look/way it works is the same. For those who are new to the software, it's split into separate modules which keeps workflow streamlined as you only have tools specific to the module you're working in rather than being inundated with options. 

This time around, there are 5 modules instead of 4 as the old 'Create' module is now known as 'Print' and the video options that were available under 'Create' are now in their own 'Video' section. This makes sense as video is something more creatives are dabbling in now so having a dedicated area for working on video with tools specifically designed for video editing is a great idea. Video isn't something we really look at but you do get the same popular functions seen previously along with the ability to create video thumbnails/export images from 4K videos. There's also a new 'fit to fill' tool which you can quickly use to replace a clip and the software automatically takes the length of the new clip into account when adding it into your video timeline. The start/end of adjacent clips are preserved, too, when carrying out this action. 


Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review: Untitled 11 |

As we're all individuals, Zoner Photo Studio X is now even more customisable so if you like having image information open you can or if you prefer a clean user interface, you can close options down. 

Similar to Lightroom, you can now add colour labels and star ratings directly to thumbnails when previewing your images which helps speed workflow up and there's a new section for configuring the thumbnail preview which has options for showing more/less info below thumbnails, just info, thumbnails as tiles and options for sorting the thumbnails. Click the cog in this window and even more options are given to you for adjusting thumbnail options, including how they appear in the filmstrip which runs along the bottom of the user interface.


Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review: Untitled 3 |

Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review: Untitled 4 |

There are a lot of functions to choose from, some may say too many for those just getting into photo editing, but for those who like to control every last detail of their workflow, you'll probably find this new addition useful. We actually liked having the option to turn everything off so all we could see were the images as this gave it an almost gallery feel where you could really just focus on the images rather than all of the data that comes with them.

Switch to the preview mode and you suddenly get a much cleaner, simpler UI where you can now show/hide preview information and also customise what's shown. These changes can be applied to the multiple-image view as well as when previewing single images and to different modules. Options are aplenty with various background colour choices available as well as a detailed list showing what information can be added to the preview. You can easily spend quite a bit of time playing around with these settings as there are so many available to add/remove. 


Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review: Untitled 7 |


Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review: Untitled 8 |

As well as adding new settings, the load speed of previews is quicker thanks to a Fast Preview option that's now available which reduces the resolution and compresses the image but you can click to change this so you see the full quality image. 

The viewer, which you can access by pressing F3, has also had these options applied to it to speed up workflow and to give you access to more customisable options. In this section, there's a Slideshow option so you can cycle through various images which can be useful for previewing images either just for you or to friends, family or even those who may be purchasing your work. This area has also had a couple of tweaks so you can now choose if to navigate it manually or automatically and you can choose which mouse button to click when you want to move onto the next image so you have access to a quick navigation tool.


Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review: Untitled 9 |

Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review: Untitled 10 |

Other speed improvements come in the shape of the software storing pre-loaded thumbnails more efficiently. We didn't really notice any lag before this was improved but anything to prevent lag is always welcome. 

Away from the Manage module, there's a new Fisheye lens correction option available in the Development tab that works when you upload the profile of the lens you used into Zoner Photo Studio X. When the image is loaded, it will flatten out and then you can control the warp and vignetting of the final image. 

Those who use Zoner Photo Studio X can access Zonerama - a free online photo gallery and those who are based in the USA will notice photos load faster when using this service as a second data centre has been built. This isn't something that will affect those who are based in the UK but it was worth a quick mention.

Overall, if you're someone who really likes to dial in customisation when using photo editing and photo management software, you'll really appreciate all of the latest add-ons but for the casual user, you may not see the full benefit. Having said that, there are a few new features that all users will benefit from no matter their level of expertise and speed improvements and tweaks to make the user interface better will be welcomed by all.  


Value For Money

Zoner Photo Studio X is currently priced on their website at $4.99 per month or $49 annually, which is around half the cost of Adobe Creative Cloud for photographers. We know not everyone is a fan of the subscription model you do get the reassurance that updates will be frequently delivered so your software will always remain up-to-date. There's also a one-month free trial available of the full version of the software so you can 'try before you buy' and for a limited time, ePHOTOzine member can save 25% when purchasing the software. 

Please Note: The pricing of Zoner Photo Studio X is going to change on 27 of April 2022 from $49 to $59 (yearly subscription) or, if you pay monthly, from $4.99 a month to $5.99 a month. So to take advantage of the less expensive price, we'd recommend making your purchase sooner rather than later. When the price does increase, it still offers excellent value for money, though. 

For those who prefer a one-off payment so you can purchase software outright, you could have a look at Affinity Photo (£47.99) or DxO PhotoLab 5 Essential and Elite editions for £129 and £199, respectively. There's also inPixio Photo Studio 11 priced at £49.99.


Zoner Photo Studio X Verdict

Zoner Photo Studio X is a comprehensive photo management and photo editing tool that now offers a separate module for video editing and comes with RAW photo adjustment tools, too. You get a lot of performance for a very reasonable price and the latest upgrade just shows that the team behind it are prepared to continuously improve the software so it remains a tool that's useful for all photographers. It's quick in use, has plenty of new customisable options and won't break the bank. Are all the new additions something photographers of all levels/abilities will use? Probably not but they are there for those who really like to dial in the controls and could become options someone who's not quite as advanced at photo editing may use further down the line. Speed improvements are always welcome, too, and the Zoner Photo Studio X team has worked hard to bring these to various areas of the software. 

With all of this in mind, Zoner Photo Studio X still comes 'Highly Recommended'. 

Zoner Photo Studio X Pros

  • Easy to use 
  • Customisation 
  • Good photo management options
  • Clean UI
  • Reasonable Price

Zoner Photo Studio X Cons

  • No Mac version
  • Subscription-based (some still aren't fans)



Overall Verdict

Zoner Photo Studio X Specifications

Software Features
Required Ram4000MB
Trial Download AvailableYes

View Full Product Details

Buy Now

We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.

Zoner Photo Studio X SEARCH

We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.

Zoner Photo Studio X SEARCH

We transform the way that people buy, sell and trade in photo and video kit.


Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, MPB. It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.


Other articles you might find interesting...

Luminar Neo Software Review
Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review (Autumn Update 2022)
inPixio Photo Studio 12 Pro Software Review
Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review
Zoner Photo Studio X Software Review (Spring Update 2023)
The Affinity Creative Suite Gets A Major Update
Zoner Photo Studio X Software Spring 2023 Update
Introducing Calibrite PROFILER Software


27 Apr 2022 10:33AM
I do not like the subscription model, it is just an excuse to produce mediocre upgrades as an alleged benefit. Having got that out of the way I have tried this software 2 or 3 times since it was first issued as Photo studio X and it continually fails to retain indexes even to this day on various different systems over the several years. Zoner have been unable to explain it and unable to fix it.

I have large RAID drives attached to my network to store my photos, and cataloguing one takes literally days. then maybe two or three restarts later the index just disappears and requires to be catalogued again.

I only ever use the software for its tagging and location facilities which are amongst the best

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.