PhotoZoom Pro 5 Review

September 26, 2013 | Matt Grayson | Software Reviews | |

Introduction

PhotoZoom Pro 5 is an image enlargement software program for use with Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paint Shop Pro. New to the fifth generation model is revised GPU acceleration, profile creation, precision colour previewing and speedy cropping of pictures. Priced at £144.99, PhotoZoom Pro 5 is available as a download from the Avanquest website or as a hard CD.

Installation and Use

The amount of times we've come home from a day shooting and found that we didn't quite get close enough to the subject, or we didn't frame it precisely enough. Cropping usually means getting rid of a lot of pixels, which then makes the pictures smaller and therefore, more difficult to enlarge. In this review, we're going to test PhotoZoom Pro 5, a program that enlarges pictures. We'll also compare it against the Bicubic Smoother in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

We installed PhotoZoom Pro 5 from a CD which is an easy affair. Our only gripe is that Avanquest seem to want to put a toolbar and browser on your computer as well as change the default page. It's annoying enough when freeware does this, but we didn't expect it from a paid program.

Still, installation takes around 5 minutes in total. We were already registered, so missed that out, but if you need to do it, you'll be prompted at the end of installation.

Topaz ClarityLaunching PhotoZoom Pro 5

PhotoZoom Pro 5 is a stand-alone program, so you don't have to open any pictures in Photoshop or PSP (Paint Shop Pro) if you use it this way. You can use it as a plug-in if you wish, though.

Launching PhotoZoom Pro 5 opens the main page. All options are set to the left with a large display pane to the right. An example image is pre-loaded in to let you play with and get the hang of it. Being male, though, we got stuck straight in and opened an image. In all seriousness, it's important to know how easy a program is to use straight out of the box without reading any guides or tutorials.

Topaz ClarityPhoto Optimizer

The main options are listed in big icons, so they're easy to find. You can still access them via the traditional means at the top. Load an image in and it pops up in the main window as well as a smaller preview image to the left. Below the large icons, the options are split into cascade tabs. There are three sections: Original image, New size and Resize method. The preview image is found under Original image and the rest of the section simply tells you details of the picture, such as image size, file size, printable size in inches and a ppi (pixels per inch) value.

Topaz ClarityIncreasing the Resolution

Arguably, the coolest part comes next. You have to decide how big you want to take the picture to. If you want to take a methodical approach, you can adjust the dimensions pixel by pixel if you want. The more haphazard ones out there will prefer the slider. Now, the cool bit is once you've moved the slider or input the dimension sizes. A black line slides down the image and updates it with the additional pixels. It does it very quickly and we're impressed. Bicubic smoother also does it quickly, but it doesn't have a dramatic sliding bar, like PhotoZoom Pro 5 does.

Topaz ClarityBatch Processing

There are several resizing methods available in PhotoZoom Pro 5 which you should really do before you mess around with the slider above. Avanquest are particularly proud of the S-Spline system. According to the website, it enlarges images while reducing the chances of JPEG artefacts and noise. You can enlarge up to 1million x 1million pixels and supports batch processing. The alternative resizing methods have been included for use, but Avanquest only intend you to compare the “poor” quality with their “superior” S-Spline resizing. They recommend always trying the S-Spline Max setting first, but to use the alternative S-Spline options if Max isn't up to scratch. The differences in them are how the program handles artificial grain, sharpness and edge detail to give the picture a more realistic look.

Entry Tags

review, test, photo, software, photoshop, editing, processing, editor, application, post-processing, image editor, paint shop pro, photoshop elements, resize, PhotoZoom, avanquest, benvista, PhotoZoom Pro 5, interpolate, s-spline

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Your Comments

5 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Elliott Landy

Although of interest, this is of VERY LIMITED practical use to help anyone decide how to enlarger images, without comparing it to the leader in the field, Genuine Fractals. I beleive you can get a test version of Genuine Fractals and could have used that to compare. Personally, for my needs, this falls far short. I hope you do better with your others.

6:40 pm - Wednesday, January 1, 2014

#2 David

Not AMOUNT of times or AMOUNT of options, please. NUMBER of times/options. You don’t get times or options by the shovelful!

10:22 am - Friday, July 31, 2015

#3 FARESADDINE

PhotoZoom is designed for all those that want to preserve the original quality as much as possible while increasing the size of the image at the same time. According to the developers,

9:44 pm - Tuesday, October 27, 2015

#4 Richard

The program refuses to save an enlarged image that resembles the previewed image. The crop tool is greyed out. The user instructions are. . . useless. You’re told to use the Select Tool. Well, er, yes. But to select what? The hand icon waves around but does nothing. You’re told there’s a Crop Tool. But it remains greyed out. You can enlarge the image to the size you want but you;re still not going to get it saved at that size so you have to back to Photoshop where you could’ve stayed in the first place. Other than that, and wasting hours of your time on this software, this stuff from BenVista is probably OK.

3:56 pm - Friday, January 15, 2016

#5 Elliott Landy

As I see there has been no additional test results added to this discussion, here is my experience. I make fine art prints that I exhibit and also sell in galleries. I am very exacting in my printmaking, and my prints go up to about 6 feet wide sometimes.  We tested several apps to enlarge images for fine art printing, increasing the pixel depth and dimensions of the image. We found that Genuine Fractals was the best. I did not test PhotoZoom, but did test at least 2 or 3 others, and also tried using Photoshop by enlarging 10 or 15% at a time, which is supposed to give you a better result than doing the enlargement in Photoshop all at once. Genuine Fractals was better than the other dedicated up resing apps I test and better and easier than using Photoshop to upres a file. Genuine Fractals is now part of another app.
https://www.on1.com/apps/resize9/
Which Uses Genuine Fractals powered algorithms”

12:21 am - Monday, January 18, 2016