PhotoSuite III, Platinum Edition
Digital photo manipulation
for "just plain folks"
MGI software has been
positively tearing up the affordable digital photo manipulation software
market over the past few years, and with its latest PhotoSuite product
it gives the "ordinary consumer" more power, flexibilty, and fun, than
MGI says the application
is aimed at novices and experts alike, but it's newcomers (or people who
can't be bothered learning the likes of PhotoPaint or PhotoShop) who'll
most benefit from its streamlined interface and wealth of easy to use
Sure, you can do familiar
things like easily take redeye out of photos (we need something that'll
do this in real life, too!), remove scratches and mess around with the
colors and brightness, but PhotoSuite III Platinum also lets you do neat
stuff like stitch photos together, which is a nifty way to create your
own panoramic images - or just fix up torn originals you've scanned into
There's also a new
"PhotoTapestry" feature with which you can tile up to 1500 images, matching
them by texture, shape, color, or whatever. The final result of such playing
about can be quite neat, though I doubt this is why most people will buy
The PhotoSuite interface
is straightforward and very easy to use. Besides the usual "File, Edit,
etc." menus you get a series of buttons that let you load (from hard disk,
digital camera, or wherever), prepare (rotate and crop, touch up, add
effects, etc.), compose (create a project like a layout, calendar, etc.),
organize (sort your masterpieces into easy to find albums), share (send
via e-mail, as web page, etc.), print and browse (related web links).
When you click on
one of the above choices, a series of big, secondary buttons appears down
the left side of the screen, offering you access to the various "subfeatures"
where you wreak your virtual havoc (or work your virtual magic!) on your
images. Another series of icons include undo/redo, zooms, pans, touchups,
In all, it's well
thought out and works very well.
"Extras" include a
second CD that includes 1200 templates as well as hundreds of "props"
and fonts. You can use these to create such mundane things as business
cards and stationery, or more fun stuff like family newsletters or what
MGI got into this
market at just the right time, before digital photography took off like
it has over the past few years. This gave the company a chance to build
its name and work out many "marriages of convenience" with hardware and
software vendors that see versions of MGI applications bundled with other
Now the market has
caught up, and MGI finds itself at the front of the wave, "virtually hanging
ten" as it grows.
MGI is also trying
to help spur the "digital VCR" market of tapeless TV recorders with its
Smart company, making
what appear to be smart moves. It should be an interesting ride.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think