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ACDSee Pro Photo Manager 3 review

Ben Pitt
16 Dec 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
86
inc VAT

An accomplished set of management, colour correction, printing and online sharing tools and a sensible price.

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Specifications

Photo-management software is extremely useful for cataloguing photo libraries, optimising colours, printing and sharing online.

Google Picasa dominates for home users while Adobe Lightroom is perfect for enthusiasts but is expensive at around £200. ACDSee Pro nestles between the two both for price and features.

The interface is much improved, with four tabs guiding you to key features. The Manage tab includes some excellent tools inherited from the previous version, including the ability to view a monthly calendar with highlights for days containing photos. You can filter photos by a vast range of criteria, and the software is extremely responsive.

The Process tab is home to the best new features. Non-destructive colour-correction was previously available only for RAW formats, but now it can be applied to JPEGs and other formats. These tools include the ability to click and drag parts of a photo to alter the saturation, brightness or hue of a specific range of colours. It's a blatant copy of a feature in Lightroom, but that's fine by us.

The Online tab accesses 2GB of gallery space at www.acdseeonline.com. To upload, you simply drag photos to the online folders. The hosting website looks smart, but it's less sophisticated than Flickr or Picasa Web Albums. Tagging facilities are basic and online viewing is limited to images of around 640x420 pixels, regardless of the upload resolution. We like the ability to invite people to view custom sets of photos as well as simply setting folders as public. Still, it's disappointing that the Flickr upload feature, carried over from version 2, is buried in the File menu and not under the Online tab.

ACDSee Pro 3's colour-optimisation features aren't as capable as Lightroom's, but they go way beyond Picasa's simple controls. With a price that's technically nearer Picasa's than Lightroom's, it's an attractive proposition for keen photographers who don't have hundreds of pounds to spend.

Details

Price£86
Detailswww.acdsee.com
Rating****

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