On1 Perfect Photo Suite 9.5 Review
Perfect Photo Suite is an all-in-one photo editing suite from OnOne that incorporates Effects, Resize, Layers, Enhance, Browse, B&W and Portraits into one package. The program works with Lightroom, Photoshop and Aperture or as a standalone program. With a regular price of $149.95, seven programs in one seems a good price. In our full test we'll find out if that's the case.
Perfect Photo Suite 9 is a large program. It takes up 1.5Gb of space and it took us a few hours to download the relevant files to our computer with our cripplingly slow internet speed. After the program was downloaded, installation was painless and took only a few minutes (excluding reading through the terms and conditions). Once installed, we launched the standalone desktop icon, input the Licence code and Perfect Photo Suite 9 started up.
OnOne already have separate programs for the seven main features found in PPS9. They retail at around $60 so if you were to just have three, it makes financial sense to get the full suite and get seven.
First appearances, the program seems very slick. When you launch PPS9 for the first time, it will give some pointers on what to do to get you started. If you need those again, you can access them via the Getting Started button in the Help tab.
The layout of PPS9 isn't too dissimilar to Lightroom. They both have the import areas to the left of a main preview screen, though PPS9 is arguably easier as you don't have to go through the tedious Import exercise. Lightroom doesn't show JPEG by default either, whereas PPS9 does.
To open an image, simply click on the Source area to the left and choose the drive you'd like to access. From there you can follow the root and locate the image as they preview as thumbnails in the centre window. Selecting an image will bring up the metadata on the right side of the screen. You can add copyright and additional other metadata at this point if you wish. Clicking on EXIF presents the EXIF data below. While doing this, you're actually using one of the seven suites that you purchased called Browse. You can see the list of all the suites in the top right corner in the same place that the Lightroom modules are located.
All the suites have a selection of presets – called “Favourite looks” - that you can simply apply to the picture and save it as a PSD file. On top of that, you can flick over to Presets and get a number of filters and effects that have been established before moving your attention to the right side of the window to manipulate the image further. Because all the suites have these options, it means that even though there are seven very different programs in one bundle, they have a uniformity that keeps things familiar and eases your work-flow.
The main focus for PPS9 is speed. OnOne have improved on all aspects of the program in order to make it faster than the rivals. Particular areas that have been focused on include loading preview images, viewing Raw files and applying presets.
Black and White
If it's not speed of the processing power, it's about reducing the amount of time that you're stuck behind the computer. For example, portrait retouching uses facial feature detection technology to make it easier to apply effects without affecting the eyes or mouth.