PhotoImpact Pro is, as its name states, a photo-oriented software program that, nevertheless still holds its own in the very similar image editing software field. Though it’s interface could use a little work and the tools and features aren’t as expansive or precise as other programs, it still remains one of the most versatile image editing software programs around with an impressive array of filters, embellishments and other effects, as well as a breadth of available multimedia options like slideshow creation, scrapbook page design and others.
The quality of PhotoImpact Pro’s finished results aren’t the best available. That isn’t to say they are outright bad; rather, other programs measure better in that area. But, for its price and incredible range of functions, there are few other programs available that can do so much and yet cost so little.
PhotoImpact Pro offers the standard editing features available in most image editing software programs, including basic image enhancement and improvement features like red-eye removal and a blemish-reduction tools (the program can never quite remove blemishes outright, it seems). The program does have a wide variety of filters and effects, but these seem more oriented towards scrapbook design and lean heavily on the hobbyist/amateur side than the professional side.
As mentioned before, the editing features do, in fact, stand to improve greatly, with the exception of the SmartRemove feature, which does a fairly decent job of extracting and removing unwanted objects. Nevertheless, it seems PhotoImpact Pro is far more concerned with design features, which have seen more development than its editing features.
Though it has paint-like tools and features involving layering, color, text, etc, PhotoImpact Pro seems more oriented towards other design ends. It offers an expansive library of embellishments, graphics and other visual add-ons for scrapbook page creation and other design projects like greeting cards. It is here that PhotoImpact Pro actually stands out among its image editing software program peers. But, much of the attention is deserved more for its versatility than the actual quality that its multi-functionality renders.
The interface has been improved from previous versions, which should be commended. Nevertheless, many of the same issues with sub-bar navigation remain, making program navigation stodgy and difficult at times. The tools and features themselves are fairly straightforward and easy to execute in their own right, but, as with the interface, the icons and workflow could use another, well-needed overhaul.
PhotoImpact Pro is fairly standard in its methods of importing; namely: the computer hard drive itself. There is no camera tethering capability, which might be a deal-breaker for some. Then again, this program probably wouldn’t suit the needs of anyone that approaches an image editing software program with camera tethering and RAW-compatibility in mind.
With photo slideshow functionality, PhotoImpact Pro has a leg-up on export options on many other image editing features with VCD/DVD writing functionality. Unfortunately, this feature has some issues that are still being ironed out, particularly with the “Unlock Code,” which makes it impossible to write to any delivery-format other than VCD.
PhotoImpact Pro is, again, fairly standard in this area, remaining compatible with the gold standard file formats like JPEG, PNG, TIFF and others, including GIF.
Nova hosts a FAQ section with an advanced search engine, as well as a learning center with dozens of available tutorials. Between the two of these help/support options, PhotoImpact Pro does fairly well for itself. Additional support can be solicited by email; though, it seems that there is no product/program-specific email account, just a general Nova account.
PhotoImpact Pro inhabits a curious position among image editing software programs. It isn’t necessarily an image editing program, nor is it entirely a scrapbooking or photo slideshow program. It’s a bit of all of them, which makes it a solid choice for those interested in having a program that can perform those sorts of tasks. But, for those interested in a program that offers intuitive tools that deliver professional polishes to images and photos, you might want to look elsewhere.