Serif PhotoPlus X2 Review

December 26, 2008 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 5 Comments |

Serif PhotoPlus X2Serif PhotoPlus X2 is a full-featured image editing application at an entry-level price. Taking on the likes of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Corel Paint Shop Pro, PhotoPlus X2 allows you to organise and open RAW files, correct common camera flaws and photo problems, makeover portrait photos, apply powerful artistic effects, print a range of layouts, create web graphics, and share photos digitally. Serif PhotoPlus X2 Digital Studio retails for £59.99 / $79.99. Jon Canfield discovers if PhotoPlus X2 is a realistic alternative to the market leaders.

Website: Serif PhotoPlus X2 Review



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#1 Fun4Geek

Great review! Thanks!

8:41 pm - Friday, December 26, 2008

#2 lutz

One more nice thing about Serif Photo Plus are the documentation and the guide; both are very well made and inspiring.

9:25 pm - Saturday, December 27, 2008

#3 Greg Lorriman

The problem with Photoplus is usability and that it has been been riddled with longstanding bugs (ie. select all->contract does nothing since version 7, and people always mention it in their Serif's forums: bah!), rendering the program absolutely infuriating. Some of the niggles: arbitrary limits (ie. feather/contraction size, forget using it with large images), mouse-only where fine-adjustments need the keyboard, no 'defaults' button in some complex adjustments, 'cancel' avoids applying the change but the dialog settings themselves are not reset. Actions/Macros but no language (Paintshop pro has Python) that allow plugins but without using the settings you use on the plugin rendering it completely useless, and with source folder and destination folder that must be navigated from "My computer" each and every time and the input box is greyed so that you cannot paste a path in (WTF!). As a programmer I know that whatever excuse there is for that last one is going to be seriously poor. And the program loses your exif info at the drop of a hat.

And that is just to mention a few problems that come to mind. As a result I mostly use the free Irfanview and the smartcurves plugin instead.

It has all these advanced photshop features, like nested layers, but the frustrations of trying to use them aren't worth the trouble.

Serif has serious quality control issues.

X2 even has some new bugs : crop tool bug when holding ctrl to resize crop area proportionally. And the new "healing" feature is a con: its nothing like photoshop and mostly gets it wrong.

If they could just concentrate on the bugs and presumptuous limitations this program would be stellar. And I can't see it taking long to do. As it is it is a steaming pile of stuff. They obviously don't follow the the maxim of "eat your own dog food". Their own website's graphics was probably done with Photoshop, and yet this program has the potential to easily do the job.

The best thing about Photoplus is that you can register yourself with the site and eventually they offer you it for £10 when the next version has been out for a while. At that price its worth it. They do this by post, so make sure your address is real.

6:26 pm - Monday, December 29, 2008

#4 Bob Seidman

I ask for a new layer and then try paint, redeye, cloan, and more. None of them work. What am I missing?

3:09 pm - Monday, September 28, 2009

#5 Greg Lorriman

Serif has a forum dedicated to this product.

3:17 pm - Monday, September 28, 2009