I’m a new photographer in terms of using a DSLR and post processing photographs. Today I want to review of Perfect Photo Suite 8 from onOne Software. I first discovered onOne Software after buying the Canon SX260 camera. Although I’ve used Photoshop for graphic design for several years, I rarely used it for photography. When I decided to jump into photography as a serious hobby, I began to search out what other photographers were using and found Perfect Photo Suite(PPS), a great alternative to Photoshop.
Let me begin by stating this is not a technical review, it’s my review as a beginning photographer and how I use the PPS software. So you know where I stand, I’ll add what my photography experience is. In early 2014 I bought my first DSLR, a Canon T3i. I still have a Canon SX260 and before that a Canon S2, both point and shoot cameras. Last year when exploring the possibilities of the SX260, I dived into more advanced options when I began using CHDK on the SX260. CHDK(Canon Hack Development Kit) is a firmware enhancement for Canon cameras. I won’t explore it here, but it helped me understand the power of shooting RAW. After that I began to use a combination of Lightroom and PPS7.
My work flow now consists of using Lightroom for Lens Correction module and then in Basic Module I’ll adjust Exposure, Highlights/Shadows and Whites and Blacks. From there I send the photograph to Perfect Photo Suite 8.5. I have the full standalone version(Premium Edition) of Perfect Photo Suite 8.5 but you can buy a Lightroom & Aperture Edition or Standard Edition versions.
The interface of Perfect Photo Suite(PPS) is pretty seamless with Lightroom:
Perfect Photo Suite has eight modules: Perfect Browse, Perfect Layers, Perfect Enhance, Perfect Portrait, Perfect Effects, Perfect B&W, Perfect Mask and Perfect Resize. What I love about PPS is the ability to work in layers like Photoshop. I use Perfect Effects on every photograph and have grown ever more fond of Perfect B&W. If I’m working on a photograph I want to my FFA Gallery, I use Perfect Resize to enlarge it.
In Perfect Effects I often use several filters or presets on a photograph. Filters and presets are in the left side pane and you have the ability to save favorites and create your own presets. On most photographs I use Dynamic Contrast, Sunshine(an awesome addition!) and finally add a Vignette. In between those three favorites, I tend to use detail and vibrance brushes on certain areas.
On the right side pane are group section, mostly dealing with manual options. Under the Navigator is your Filter Stack(layers) and Filter Options. It is in this area you can tweak a filter or preset you’ve added or add your own manually. You can use a masking bug or masking brush to add or subtract the desired effect from you layers. As a photographer that used PPS before Photoshop(for photography), I love the dramatic effects you can make in a short amount of time without having to know Photoshop which has a steep learning curve.
I couldn’t possibly cover all the capabilities of Perfect Photo Suite, so I’ll end with a few examples and say that I love the program that onOne Software has offered. I actually began using the free version of Perfect Effect and was so impressed I bought the entire suite! It’s part of my photo post processing workflow and highly recommended. The team at onOne offers buyers monthly loyalty rewards in forms of preset and texture packs(like from Photomorphis!). The one time i emailed tech support with a question I received a quick reply. If you have any doubts, download a trial version and test it out, I know you’ll love it!
Example of several filters at work here including dynamic contrast, sunshine and vibrance brush.
Multiple filters and a good example of masking with Perfect Photo Suite. In this photograph of Devils Tower I replaced the original and boring sky with one more colorful.
- Varies - FREE trial available!