August 13, 2012

How a free piece of software can turn you into a photo wizard.

Well, colour me pleasantly surprised.

As a professional photographer, I tend to process my work with the big editing software packages out there – big editing software that can be expensive and needs to be upgraded every year or two.

My friends at Intel recently asked me to take a look at the ASUS Zenbook, which comes with a bundle of free multimedia software for video, photos and webcamming. It’s the same deal they’re carrying at most Best Buys right now.

I know. You’ve been down that “free” softrware route too. When I popped open the copy of the photo editing “PhotoDirector3,” I was expecting the same sort of “light” (read: hobbled) software I’ve seen so many time times before. I mean, there was no way that PhotoDirector3 could possibly keep up with the big boys of photo processing. Right?

I also wasn’t sure about the system itself. Holding the Zenbook in your hands makes you look cool – it’s crazy thin and light. How would something this small deal with some big time photo editing?

This is where the surprise part happens. Short story – PhotoDirector3 is more than capable and the ASUS Zenbook not only looks good, it works fast.

I started my testing by snapping a bunch of photos of our month old kitten (still unnamed) with a Canon 5D Mark III. The photos were in RAW format on a camera that’s reasonably new to the market. I expected that I’d have to upgrade the drivers to import the photos, the same way I did with the other software I use.

First surprise – no need to update. I downloaded the software and was importing photos from my Compact Flash Card in just a few minutes.

Second surprise? The software felt familiar and natural. It had all the bells and whistles of the apps I typically use, organized in a way that anyone could understand. I sliced through the imported photos in no time using methods familiar to any photographer. I was really impressed at how easy and how powerful this program worked.

And PhotoDirector3 wasn’t done. After importing (easy) and processing (straightforward) the shots I took, I grabbed a peek at the “Edit” menu and found pre-developed commands for all sorts of things. I used the “eyes” setting to focus on the – you guessed it – eyes of the cat. With two clicks of the trackpad, my image looked even better.

Great interface. Wonderful colour correction.

Overall – impressed. The Zenbook is a capable machine for photographers on the go. Your shoulder will appreciate the light weight, your professional self will love the performance.

PhotoDirector proves that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on software to get photos that look like you spent hundreds of dollars on software. PhotoDirector makes a great companion for starting photos and pros alike.

Want to learn more about Intel’s® ASUS Zenbook dealio that comes with PhotoDirector and a bunch more great software? Check it out here

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