capsule review

BenVista PhotoMagic

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder BenVista PhotoMagic

PhotoZoom (dubbed "Enlarge Photos" in the Welcome screen) works well and is easy to use. It offers ten resize methods, including bell, bilinear, S-spline and more. In my test it upconverted a tiny 2-by-1.5-inch image to a 6-by-4-inch snapshot with only minimal blurring.

PhotoClean Express ("Repair Photos") lets you choose from ten filters that affect the entire image at once, including Color Correction, Gamma, Sharpen, and so on. Some of the filters allow very basic customization. Nonetheless, PhotoClean Express did improve the blurred and underexposed images I threw at it.

PhotoArtist Express ("Artistic Photos") is a slimmed-down version of the stand-alone
BenVista PhotoArtist. It's missing the more wild effects like metal surface, and the interface is more difficult to use since some functions are relegated to tiny buttons. You can apply effects to the entire image, or selectively using a customizable brush.

PhotoEffect Express ("Creative Photos") is home to the filters that weren't included in PhotoArtist Express. Its interface is very limited, but not as difficult to use as its sibling. And unlike PhotoArtist, PhotoEffect applies its filters to the entire image only.

PhotoPrint ("Print photos") lets you put together "albums" and print them in full-page, two-up, or four-up formats.

The PhotoMagic suite is clearly designed for those who are new to photo editing. Home users may find it useful, but professionals should look elsewhere.

The program is free to try, but it adds watermarks to the edited photos until you pay the $49 license fee.

--Kim Saccio-Kent

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder BenVista PhotoMagic

  
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