Alien Skin Exposure 4 Review

4.5
March 13, 2012 | Matt Grayson | Software Reviews |

As we mentioned previously, previews in Exposure 4 are in real time. If you want to preview anything on the main window, there's a few split screen options on the bottom of the window. The newspaper icon is for blog updates and takes you online. All of this is very fast.

Alien Skin Exposure 4 Alien Skin Exposure 4 Infra-red Screen

We had a few start up issues with Exposure 4 taking longer on some occasions. We thought maybe it was due to massive file sizes of the pictures so loaded in a small one and the same problem occurred.

Without actually having the film stock to compare, it's difficult to say whether the filters are accurate representations. The more fun ones are very good though, such as the dust and scratches filters. They look realistic which is very important although we felt that the Colour – Dust and Scratches filter looked like we were viewing the picture through a dirty window.

Alien Skin Exposure 4 Alien Skin Exposure 4 Age Screen

We like the cinema filters such as bleach bypass but they're not new. Bleach bypass has been available on VirtualPhotographer by OptikVerve for years, and it's free. The blur filter is easily recreated by duplicating a layer, adding a gaussian blur and decreasing the opacity to around 40%. That's a big chunk of the filters that can be recreated for free. The film filters have been done before in other film simulators but there's something about Exposure 4 that is easier to use. The filters are arranged in a much friendlier way and they seem to be faster to apply.

Filter Examples

Alien Skin Exposure 4 Alien Skin Exposure 4 Aged Filter

Alien Skin Exposure 4 Alien Skin Exposure 4 Cross Processed Filter

Alien Skin Exposure 4 Alien Skin Exposure 4 Dust and Scratches Filter

Alien Skin Exposure 4 Alien Skin Exposure 4 Hard Contrast Filter

Alien Skin Exposure 4 Alien Skin Exposure 4 Infra-red Filter

Conclusion

There are many filter programs available at various prices but Exposure 4 is by far the easiest we've worked with. It's also very fast except when it froze and we had to go and do something else for a few minutes while it sorted itself out.

We like the preview screen for the presets on the left and the fact that it doubles as a navigation window when you zoom into to the main preview image in the centre. The filtering system is very smart and the custom option is a good idea. We also like that you can make preset adjustments and then adjust those manually to your own tastes in such small and concise values.

Arguably the biggest hurdle that Alien Skin have to overcome is the price. Exposure 4 is between $50-100 more than it's rivals. That's a lot of cash and a big decision about whether to take the plunge. The bright side is that it's on free trial at the moment so if you're looking for a filter program you can consider this and initially it won't cost you anything. Overall we think that Exposure 4 is a very nice program that makes a great addition to your digital toolbox.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Value for money 3

Entry Tags

photoshop, lightroom, application, program, adobe, effects, filter, filters, effect, alien skin, expousre, exposure 4, Alien Skin Exposure 4, film. films

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Your Comments

4 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Andre Bogaert

A few days ago I downloaded the trial version to try on some photos I took in Miami. I wanted to compare the “real” thing, i.e film taken with my 39 year old Leica CL with shots taken at the same time with my M9 once I had used the plug-in. Well I am well impressed….I know which shots were film and which were tweaked in P-Shop but I am pretty sure others will not be able to spot any differences. I am about to buy the full product.

7:25 pm - Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#2 Dave

Which filter/preset is used for the top photo of the old man at the top of the page?

Thanks!

9:52 pm - Friday, July 6, 2012

#3 loonlydevil

these are awesome software. I am confuse which should use to edit photos.

11:11 am - Wednesday, August 1, 2012

#4 Edra C. Peak

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6:17 am - Thursday, June 5, 2014