Serif PhotoPlus X3 Review

4.5
October 6, 2009 | Jon Canfield | Software Reviews |

Introduction

Serif PhotoPlus X3 is a brand new photo editing application that gives Photoshop a real run for its money. With the addition of raw image processing, HDR, support for 48-bit colour photographs, new effects such as realistic metal and glass effects, and Microsoft HD Photo support, Photo Plus X3 offers most of Photoshop's features at a fraction of the price, retailing for just $79.99 / £59.99. Jon Canfield takes a look at the new features to find out if Serif PhotoPlus X3 really is a viable alternative to Adobe...

Back in December of 2008, I took a look at PhotoPlus X2, an image editing application from Serif. As an affordable alternative to Adobe Photoshop, this Windows only editor offered a lot of power for a very low price. Since then, both Adobe and Serif have introduced new versions of their software - Adobe with CS4 and the new Elements 8, and Serif with PhotoPlus X3 Digital Studio.

While the main features of PhotoPlus X3 are carried over from the previous release, Serif has added some new features that make X3 worth taking a look at. In this review, I'll focus on these new features. For reference, the review of PhotoPlus X2 can be found here at Photography Blog by following this link: http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews_serif_photoplus_x2.php

Ease of Use

PhotoPlus has long excelled at making it easier to get good results with your image editing needs. X3 carries that tradition forward with the How To option (Figure 1). This simple panel, that can be opened or closed as needed, gives you the option of following a step-by-step guide to making the selected corrections, or you can have PhotoPlus do some of the work for you by clicking on the “Do this for me” links. Most of the major editing features of the application have How To help available. This approach makes it easier to learn how to make these adjustments than the Adobe offerings do.

Serif PhotoPlus X3 Figure 1

For more in-depth information on how to perform various tasks, select Help > View PhotoPlus Tutorials (Figure 2) for a very complete set of tutorials in PDF format.

Serif PhotoPlus X3 Figure 2

Entry Tags

software, photoshop, image editing, serif, Serif PhotoPlus X3 Review, alternative, digital studio, photo plus, x3

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Your Comments

6 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 handy akku

Hi,
  I like the previous version for its good features.I think as concerning this review that this one is also be great application.

10:08 am - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#2 Chris

It would have been nice to have known that this was Windows-only somewhere in the first page.

4:16 pm - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#3 Chris

Thanks for this reviewer. I have this software and can appreciate a lot of the comments first hand. Whilst not a pro photographer, I can easily see that Photoplus give you way more functionality than Elements and nearly that of the main product.
One that could be missed by the reviewer is that under the File menu is ‘Colour Management’. It is there that you seleect to use Colour managed printing profiles set up (papger types and ICC profiles etc etc) as well as the Screen profile.

I have several profiles for Fotospeed and Ilford papers and I just wondered if this is what the reviewer meant in the conclusion.

2:36 pm - Friday, May 7, 2010

#4 Colin Harris

I have Serif PhotoPlusX3 but cannot determine how the size of the clone tool can be changed. When clicking on the ‘clone tool icon’ a circle appears which is much too big for intricate areas that need to be cloned.

Can anyone out there help me please ?

Colin Harris

1:19 am - Saturday, January 22, 2011

#5 Chris Wynne

Hi Colin,

The selection tool works like many others in this package and uses the size given on the context toolbar - the brush size is what you look for. Click in the box and either type a new pixel size value or drag the slider left or right to suit the circle size for the pickup point you want.
On X3 you can also do this with the mouse scroll wheel which I found great but X4 does not do that (why??). Alternatively I think you will be able to use up and down arrows on the keyboard as I can with X4.

Hope it helps!!

Chris

2:00 pm - Saturday, January 22, 2011

#6 sameer

no thing

9:04 pm - Monday, February 7, 2011