Are You Using the Best Photo Software?

November 6, 2017

By Theano Nikitas

ON1 Photo
Editor’s Choice

ON1 has been extremely busy this year and its latest iteration—Photo Raw 2017.6—proves that this company is dedicated to delivering the functions and features photographers want and need. The latest update offers improved performance and browsing, catalogued folders and a number of other features and enhancements. Earlier this year, ON1 added a compare mode, the ability to stack presets, a lens correction pane and a flurry of other features that caught our eye. With lens corrections, for example, profiles can be applied automatically, but there’s a manual option to override the lens profile and use sliders to make your own adjustments (combined with Transform panel, this is a pretty powerful option to correct perspective). There are even two CA sliders—one for purple fringing and one for green fringing. Upgrade and Plus Pro options are also available.
Price: $120+

Anthropics LandscapePro 2

You can control a lot of things, but you can’t control the weather…though the newly released LandscapePro 2 can make dull, gray skies sunny and bright, tweak lighting and much, much more. This highly intuitive and intelligent software’s tools make short work of complex selections. In version 2, you’ll find new lighting brushes, 100 additional skies to choose from as well as a Sky Reflections in Water option that expertly reflects your chosen sky on a body of water. The Studio Max version is highly recommended.
Price: $80+

Phase One Capture One Styles Packs

New for Capture One users, Phase One is offering five themed packs with either 15 or 18 styles. They’re one-click simple to apply, with options to apply further adjustments. Choose from Cinematic, Seasonal, B&W, Matte and Essentials. Download a sample pack of five styles to try them out.
Price: $69

Adobe Lightroom for iOS and Android

Adobe released updates to its iOS Lightroom app, which includes a Selective Brush to apply enhancements and adjustments locally. iPhones with 3D Touch and iPad Pro users with an Apple Pencil get pressure sensitivity to vary the enhancement’s strength. There’s also global control over sharpening and noise reduction. Android users get a redesigned Lightroom, built from the ground up with better performance.
Price: Free

AlbumExposure Design

AlbumExposure offers an excellent album proofing solution and, now, a full-featured album design software for pro photographers. It’s equipped with a long list of features including auto design, umbrella and split view, in-spread image editing and lots more. Combined with AlbumExposure’s proofing options, it’s a win-win for everyone, including your clients.
Price: $149+

Fundy Designer

There’s always lots of action over at Fundy, and this year is no exception. You’ll find new sales tools that make your sessions more efficient and flexible. There are also new Pro Enhancements, including one-click skin retouching and Fundy Design Proofer, to further boost efficiency. And there’s a new pricing structure with a trio of choices that limit or expand wall art and album options.
Price: $199+

Alien Skin Exposure X3

True to their word, Alien Skin has been busy with updates to its ever-popular Exposure RAW Photo Editor software. With the release of X3, the company has improved organizational capabilities with features like advanced collection tools. Users will also benefit from side-by-side viewing for comparing up to four images or, better yet, assessing multiple presets on a single image. New linear and radial brush shapes, enhanced overlays, watermarks and more are part of this new release.
Price: $149

Macphun Aurora HDR

Big news from Macphun—Aurora HDR is now available for Windows, as well as Mac. Aurora HDR 2018 also offers a new lens correction filter, a designed-from-scratch user interface and huge speed improvements. You’ll get five user licenses for the price, 200 percent faster merging and masking performance and 4x improvement in RAW image processing.
Price: $99

Corel PaintShop Pro 2018

Corel’s been on a roll this summer, releasing the new Painter, Pinnacle Studio 21 and the 2018 version of its image-editing software PaintShop Pro. This you-buy-it-you-own-it (no subscription necessary) Windows application combines simplicity and ease of use with some pretty powerful tools. The latest version features a streamlined Essentials workspace for a quick and easy workflow; switch to the Complete workspace for more options. PSP 2018 is faster than version 9 and more touch-, pen- and 4K-monitor-friendly. New palettes, brushes gradients and textures provide even more creative options. Go for the Ultimate version with AfterShot 3.
Price: $80+