65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good First Experience ...
Published on September 21, 2009 by Alex S
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't recommend this, sorry
1st things first -I loaded the software: no problem. But when I attempted for the 1st time to actually open the program to start running it, I couldn't get any further. Seems I have to call the company to get a "product key" or unlock code before you can do ANYTHING with this. The screen says this is a very "quick call" so I was thinking maybe a minute or two, automated...
Published on October 15, 2009 by Phasedin
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good First Experience ...,
This is a fully-functional, highly professional Photo Editor. I have attached a short video with some of the photos I have edited during my learning process.
For those who have never used a photo-editing software before, all of the choices can actually be quite intimidating. Since I had been away from working with Photo-editing for awhile, I chose to go through the tutorials, which were very helpful in getting me back up to speed. Even so, I found myself picking up the manual to look up things.
Since I will be using the software mostly for photos, I focused on that aspect, however it includes animations, panoramas, and a very nice photo file called "Serif Album Plus."
There is one thing you should know (which marked down the software a bit in stars) - getting your software installed and registered is a two-step process. After you install, you have to either go out to the web site or call an 800 number in order to finish. At that time you will be given a registration code.
The registration process says to call the 800 number, but I was aware that Serif could be registered online.
I chose to register online, and it worked, but was a bit clunky (I had to write down information to type into the registration - then do the reverse to get the number into the program). It might have gone better on the 800 number.
There was a document in the box offering a MontagePlus for free if you registered. When I did not see it in the online registration process, I contacted Customer support via the WebSite. They were prompt and courteous in their response and stated they were mailing me the software ... however it never arrived. I believe that you had to register using the 800 number in order to qualify.
During the installation process, I was asked which types of photos I wanted to open in PhotoPlusX3. I chose some that I was unable to open in other editors (including Kodak Raw Images). When I export a file as a jpg - it automatically reopens in the software I have designated for jpgs. Saving a file in PhotoPlusX3 automatically saves it as a SPP file. In order to save a new file into a jpg, you need to export, rather than save the file.
I also encountered a problem when the program stopped working while I was creating a new file. Windows notified me that there was a patch available (which I installed), but I was disappointed I wasn't notified of the patch automatically when I installed the product. (I am used to software checking for updates as a part of the installation process) The patch worked, and I was able to create the file I needed to create.
I rated the software 4 stars for the reasons that follow:
3 stars for the extra steps required for installation/registration
3 stars because I wasn't notified of the patch
3 stars because this isn't as intuitive as some of the competitors
5 stars for the tutorials - really well done and comprehensive
5 stars for the number of features
5 stars for customer service - even on a weekend!!!
If you are a beginner who just wants a few touch-ups on your pictures, you might want to go with some simpler software. However, this is really a very nice product, and can do a great deal. I do recommend it for those who are experienced or those who wish to do more with their photo projects than just simple adjustments.
EDIT ON REVIEW:
*** Since I registered with Serif, I have received a significant number of e-mails concerning offerings on other software. It appears that Serif is more interested in generating sales than in being perceived as customer oriented. The software is great, but I continue to find the aspects of dealing with the company difficult.
Since the price of many of its competitors is similar, you may wish to consider whether to go that route. I stand behind the 4 stars because of the features inside of the program, BUT wanted to alert future users as to the continued issues related to the company itself.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good alternative to Elements,
Although I don't consider myself a "power user" of Photoshop CS4, I do use it often for semi-commercial purposes and I am very comfortable with it's features and applications and have it installed on my desktop computer for major projects. However I use my laptop for more casual photo editing and use Photoshop Elements on it. When I got the opportunity to get PhotoPlus X3 I decided to give it a try for at least a month before I reviewed it since you are always more likely to prefer the program that you are the most familiar with. The more I used it the more impressed I was. Here are some of my thoughts:
Installation was easy and I was able to register it on the phone right away. I must say that I did not enjoy the effort to sell me other products by the phone rep. He was professional, friendly and had an English accent right out of central casting but he was REALLY try to sell me something else when all I wanted to do was register what I had. I was put on hold several times and for what I don't know. I understand that they are going to make the phone registration optional and that would be an improvement.
Once installed I found the program easy to use. Many of the applications are similar to PhotoShop and this programs fill the gap between the two PS products that I own. I mostly shoot photos of wild birds but I also do portraits (the field that I was trained for and worked in for many years) for family and friends. X3 has some great, quick applications for portraits that I really like.
One thing that I should point out is that really like the fact that a very nice (although not exhaustive) instruction book is included. Over 200 pages, all in English, that explains the basics of almost all of the features of PhotoPlus X3. This is something that is seen so seldom now that I was very impressed. There is also a more detailed instruction book on the disc if you need it.
This program is a really good value for what you get. Still, it won't replace my professional version of PhotoShop on my desktop computer, however I took Elements off of my laptop and will be using PhotoPlus instead. All in all a very good product and a great value. I would give it 4 1/2 stars if I could (no half stars on Amazon) so 4 stars it is.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like the new version. X3 is excellent.,
I've been using Serif Photoplus since the first version many years ago, and I downloaded the free version sometime ago, when I got a call from Serif, telling me I could upgrade to X2 for about $40. I did and was very impressed with it. I have been using Photoshop 6 for years, and the transition to Photoplus X2 was smooth, much smoother than I had anticipated. Then, I got a call from Serif again, extolling the virtues of the new X3 version, so I bought the upgrade. Even though it's an upgrade, it's a full-blown version.
I'm not sure what the two other reviewers are talking about. My installation was effortless, and registration was without incident. All they are talking about is the problems with software installation, which I am perplexed at. I installed it, and entered the appropriate information, and it was up and running in no time.
I like the ease of use, especially if you have used Photoshop (any version) in the past. In fact, Photoplus will use Photoshop plugins, which the amount is almost limitless. I really like the RAW photo import and editor. It allows you to do some major pre-editing of RAW photos.
I also like the HDR Photo Merge editor. You don't need RAW photos only. But also, if you don't have three photos at EV-2, EV0, and EV+2, you can use the Photography Macro to do the same thing as if you have three photos at different exposures. I have done that with some success.
I love the feel of the program, especially after using Photoshop for years. You can even use the books on Photoshop to do much the same things as Photoshop with some minor differences (Like Photoshop calls reverese photos invert, where Photoplus used Negative Image.) Of course, Photoplus X3 does not have everything Photoshop does, but instead of paying $115.00 for Photoshop Elements, and $650.00 for Photoshop C4, you pay less than $80 for a great program that both the amateur and professional will find use for.
I am delighted with the program. I would also recommend the Resource guide, which gives you some great examples of how to use the various features as well as the Studios extras set, which includes some awesome royalty-free photos, but also goes far beyond the tutorials included on the installation disk.
I will be purchasing upgrades from now on. If you have any doubts, download the free version, use it for a bit, then buy the full and latest version. I can almost guarantee you'll enjoy it.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't recommend this, sorry,
1st things first -I loaded the software: no problem. But when I attempted for the 1st time to actually open the program to start running it, I couldn't get any further. Seems I have to call the company to get a "product key" or unlock code before you can do ANYTHING with this. The screen says this is a very "quick call" so I was thinking maybe a minute or two, automated call-just enter my registration number and maybe the automated system would knock out my unlock code..Not quite...
So I called the supplied number-Sorry nobody's in the house, call back later. Next day i called and DID get somebody. This person then spent the next 40 minutes trying to sell me ad-ons to this very program-a program, by the way, that I was unable to run without the product unlock key, so I had no idea what it even LOOKED like at this point. Why would you buy an ad on to a product you haven't even seen a DEMO of yet? This guy went on and on for 40 minutes before I got my product key. At one point he asked "well how do you like the program so far, do you think it will suit your needs", and I told him "I haven't seen it yet-I can't do anything without the unlock key", to which he replied "Oh, oh yeah" and then proceeded to try to sell me more stuff before giving me the unlock code.. Honestly I was being as kind as I could be, but I pretty much in the end had to hang up, he would just not let me go...Oh and i'm glad I didn't buy the ad ons...
Maybe, perhaps if you've worked with Phototshop or one of the similar, involved photo suites this MAY not be troublesome to you. But if you-like me-we're hoping for something you can use that intuitive and just has more options than those freebie programs that come with your PC, or camera, whatever, forget about it. I couldn't perform the simplest blemish remover without having to click on "Help"-and then when I saw the numerous steps it takes to accomplish this, I simply gave up, shut down the program and simply forgot about it.
It may have great options-especially for the price-but honestly I'LL never discover them..
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible registration proceedure,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I read the reviews for this product and was wary of the complaints about customers having difficulty registering this product. Hey, gang, guess what-ALL of the complaints were true! I tried to register over the internet to no avail and had to call Serif and all they wanted to do was sell more software. I tried to explain how cumbersome their registration proceedure was and the sales pitches continued. I talked to a "supervisor" and told him of the complaints listed on Amazon regarding their registration proceedures and his attitude was complete indifference. I would hope someone in the Amazon marketing division will contact Serif and ask them if a more streamlined registration proceedure might be in order, because I will never buy anything from these arrogant idiots again. Oh, and the software is quite good. I had no problem loading and as a former Photoshop user it was easy to pick up. Suggestion, when registering via phone, get rude, stay rude and then when the "supervisor" gets on the line, get really, really rude, then you'll get your registration number right away, but don't suggest they ought to make the proceedure simpler because the Brits think it's "veddy, veddy good." Ay, whot, pip, pip and all that rot!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value for this price and the functions,
After installing, you need to register the software in order to get a code for running the software. The registration process says to call the 800 number. But, it's faster to reguster it online. As you can skip the sales pitch :-)
Saving files in PhotoPlusX3 automatically put them into SPP format. In order to save a new file into a jpg, you need to export, rather than save the file.
Photoplus X3 will use Photoshop plugins. I like the RAW photo import and editor. It allows you to do some major pre-editing of RAW photos.
Also, if you don't have 3 photos at EV-2, EV0, and EV+2, you can use the Photography Macro to do the same thing as if you have three photos at different exposures.
In general, from a functionality standpoint, I find this software to be reasonably easy to use and powerful. The basic structure is pretty intuitive and it doesn't take too long to achieve good results. If you have no experience with photo software, I think this item might be a little too complicated as a starter, but it certainly matches and exceeds Photoshop from a technical standpoint. After all, the learning curve is quite manageable.
Comparing with Adoboe's photoshot, the Photoplus X3 does not have everything Photoshop does, but instead of paying $115.00 for Photoshop Elements, and $650.00 for Photoshop C4, you pay less than $80 for a great program that both the amateur and professional will find use for. If you are a beginner who just needs a few touch-ups on your pictures, you might want to get some simpler software. But PhotoPlus X3 is a very nice product, and can do a great deal. I do recommend it for those who are experienced or those who wish to do more with their photo projects than just simple adjustments.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Installation issues aside, good program.,
I was initially taken aback by the software's friendly interface. The box made it seem it was going to be arduous to learn how to use even the basic options available in this software. The installation did not exactly go smoothly (I acknowledge it may just be my computer) and you have to make a phone call to Australia to register - with a human no less. - I'm assuming it was Austrailia since I was speaking to an Australian man, who was quite nice.
I love the makeover studio. I was able to repair some really good pictures made horrible by facial breakouts and yellowish teeth. The hotspots removal option was especially handy and I was able to salvage some really awful pictures using it. I also liked being able to fake a suntan on overexposed faces, usually my own. There's just a lot you can do with this software to make you feel better about your photos, and about portraits in particular.
I still don't do well with the paintbrushes, but I'm sure that's just my mouse. I recently tried to fix a photo of a football player posing with a small group. He quite obviously had his eyes closed and I managed to fix it by cutting and pasting his open eyes from another photo. The lighting was vastly different in the two photos, but I managed to blend the skin tones quite easily. No one ever noticed the repair.
Overall, I recommend this software to people who are familiar with photo editing options. The learning curve is quite manageable. I think I still have a lot to learn, but I'm very happy with what I've been able to do so far. Well worth the money.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value - Runs Great on Both Old & New Computers,
PhotoPlus X3 Digital Studio
For photo editing, Adobe Photoshop is the gold standard (with a price to match!). I've been using Photoshop for a long time and it is a great product. But there's one problem with it... you need a lot of computing power or you wait and wait for processes to finish. While this is not a problem with newer computers, it can drive you crazy on older ones. I have an old laptop I take on vacation. If it's stolen or damaged, it's no big deal. So I've been looking for a program that will do a lot of what Photoshop does but runs fairly well on older PCs. This software seems to be a good solution.
If you know Photoshop, you'll feel right at home with this software. The menus are very similar. Workflow is pretty much the same. It also includes some nice features that automate some processes such as QuickFix Studio (fixes common problems with only a few mouse clicks),one click red eye and scratch removal, skin tone fixing, object removal, etc. It also includes modules for working with RAW files and making HDR images.
As far as performance is concerned, it runs fast on older Pentium 4 or Centrino based computers. Run it on a new dual core system and it flies. Output quality is very high, on par with Photoshop.
If you're looking for image editing software to run on an older machine or looking to move up to software with more capabilities than the software that came with your camera, give this a try. At less than $75.00, it's a deal!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressed,
I was excited when I got this product despite the negative reviews. It appears they have fixed the problems with the registration process, according to the comments on the other reviews, no longer requiring the user to register before using the product . . . or so I thought.
I never like registering my products. It's a pain in the rear. Nevertheless, I did receive the registration command when launching the program. It wouldn't let me continue unless I register the product. Only a phone number is provided and the call center was closed. No website information is given, but there is a registration site online and I was able to register there.
This is a powerful program. Like many powerful programs, they can get a bit overwhelming with buttons everywhere and tabs all over. Where to find anything? Photoplus makes it easy with a how-to box right there onscreen. Lots of programs have help boxes, but this one is actually easy to navigate. I got myself started and editing right away. Whenever I needed help, I just looked in the how-to box. It's organized logically so that I found what I needed quickly. The tabs and icons that the help box explained I needed to click were linked within the box so I didn't need to search for them.
Within minutes, I was able to get a photo, extract my daughter out of it and add text to make a new photo. I was also able to merge two photos of children and make one set of children look like ghosts. There tools to erase objects, add texture and paint. If I don't like what I did, I can go back in history to the point I want and not have undo my work step by step.
The software allows me to work in layers, adding and removing layers without changing my original.
There is a quick fix tab where I can click one box to automatically edit for white balance and brightness and contrast. And yes, I could fix red eye.
If you are in the market for something simple to fix red eye, this is more software than you'll need. If you want to do more than that but don't have much experience with photo editing software, this one is easy to learn. If you are an expert and find all the help boxes annoying, you can turn them off.
+ powerful program with all the standard features to fix red eye, color, lighting
+ includes numerous painting and special effects tools
+ compatible with all major image file types
+ easy to navigate help box onscreen
- must register product before using. Only phone number provided, and it's not available 24 hrs. Must Google website if you want to register online.
UPDATE: It's been about two years and I've had plenty of time to learn the ins and outs of this program. I don't use this product much to touch up my photos nowadays. For quick photo fixes, I use Photoscape.
I have found PhotoPlus X3 extremely useful for cutting and pasting parts of different photos, altering them to something completely different. It's great for designing t-shirts and signs, and creating a visual image of imaginary objects.
There's definitely a learning curve. It was frustrating at first, but now it's a breeze.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely idiotic registration process.,
How long has it been now that we could register and unlock software online, on our schedule? Why in the world would any rational person produce software that cannot be used at all until it is unlocked by making a phone call during limited office hours? I am not interested in talking to a salesman and I will not be cajoled into buying software over the phone. Just allow me to use the software I obtained legally. After reading some of the other reviews here, I guarantee that I would have been extremely angry by the time I was permitted to use my software.
It appears that it uninstalled properly and I did a system restore without apparent problems. I am writing this only a few minutes after the system restore, so I hope nothing bad turns up in the future.
As a Paint Shop Pro user for many years, I was willing to see if Serif had something special to offer. They did: A completely insane registration process. Go away, Serif.
I think I've already wasted too much time on this thing.
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