Serif PhotoPlus X4
Serif's PhotoPlus photo editing software gets more powerful
- Better handling of non-destructive editing, improved support for 16-bit images
- Lacks pre-conversion custom colour adjustments
Serif PhotoPlus X4 offers significant improvements in nondestructive editing and 16-bit support, but it still needs better control over RAW conversion for its photo enthusiast market.
Price$ 98.53 (AUD)
Serif PhotoPlus is designed for photo enthusiasts who seek more creative control and functionality than what novice programs offer, but who aren't ready to graduate to the depth, complexity, and expense of Adobe Photoshop. The latest iteration, PhotoPlus X4 offers significant improvements through the addition of nondestructive editing, greater support of 16-bit images, and interface changes that help smooth workflow.
One of the strengths of PhotoPlus is the quality of its help and guidance. From the opening splash screen, you can access useful, online video tutorials. In addition, when you hover your mouse over the list of recent files, a thumbnail preview now pops up. The How To help panel in the main screen still provides intelligent advice, as well as step-by-step instructions, with links to commands rather than just descriptions of them.
The redesigned PhotoPlus Organizer is now integrated with the main program, which makes it easier to organise and use your photos. But getting a photo into the Organizer is a two-step process, rather than a simple double-click. The Organizer will watch folders for changes; however, it failed to be able to connect to our external or network drives and watched only those hard drives that are installed in the local computer. On the other hand, it was able to access and work with image files on network and external drives. Organizer can now use geotag metadata from your camera or phone to place your photos on an integrated Google Map, or you can manually drag and drop a series of photos onto the zoomable world map. The Organizer also now has direct export of photos to Flickr and Facebook. Unfortunately, the Organizer can be sluggish, especially when tagging or geotagging groups of pictures. For instance, after selecting about 15 photos of our cat Rascal and dragging to tag them with his name, the program became inaccessible, not allowing us to tag an additional dozen photos of our other cat Teddy.
The customisable interface of the PhotoPlus main screen is highly accessible, with the default workspace docking How To on the left and the edit panels to the right. Some of the most significant changes with X4 are the changes in those edit panel. For instance, the new adjustments panel (for exposure, color and similar edits) is more accessible and versatile than the old menu dialog, and the new Filter layers function like Photoshop's Smart Filters, as part of X4's greater commitment to nondestructive editing.
Leveraging existing Serif technologies, PhotoPlus X4 now includes the Cutout Studio (for masking), and the full Panorama Plus X4 program for stitching photos together from the Organizer (or as a standalone).
The one area that hasn't been improved but should be for the photo enthusiast market is the RAW Studio. While PhotoPlus supports a wide range of RAW file formats, it sometimes automatically adjust the colour temperature of the image (often related to the export colour model chosen), and doesn't provide colour tools before the RAW conversion for controlling the image colours.
Under the hood, PhotoPlus X4 now supports multi-thread processing, such as with the new dual, quad- and six-core systems. It also finally retains and exports all EXIF image metadata, rather than throwing it away. More obvious is its much better support of 16-bit images, with a larger number of its tools and filters now enabled for 16-bit editing. In addition, screen rendering of your images is improved, using a new pixel sampling.
While the improvements in PhotoPlus X4 tend to be catch-ups rather than innovations, this version marks a clear step up in power, accessibility, and enabling features. PhotoPlus X4 makes it possible for photo hobbyists to do sophisticated editing without the expense of Photoshop.
Join the newsletter!
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Sport AT
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Apple iMac Pro
Toys for Boys
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Tivoli PAL BT
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
ESET Smart Security Premium
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Internet Security
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Office 365 Business Premium isn’t one-size fits all but if you’re the right sized business for it to make sense, there’s a good amount of value to be found in the package’s comprehensive software offering.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 3 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 4 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- 5 Huawei Nova 3i review: All Sell, No Soul
Latest News Articles
- Intel unveils the Intel Neural Compute Stick 2
- Fetch TV expands with Aussie Broadband
- Adobe announces next generation of Creative Cloud
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
- Access thousands of movies for free thanks to Telstra TV Kanopy App
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?