Roxio PhotoSuite 5 platinum edition

For most of us, taking digital pictures is as far as it goes when capturing our treasured moments. For a few more there is the printing, and perhaps to the ones that get even further, the editing, correcting, and photo fixing that an artistic photo product offers.

While Adobe tries to woo us with PhotoShop Elements and Jasc with PhotoPaint, Roxio has decided to try and turn the whole situation on its head and offer a photo manipulation product that is both easy to use, and offers plenty.

Unlike most art packages that have numerous tool bars and a blank canvases with which to fill, PhotoSuite 5 Platinum Edition is aimed entirely at the photo user and more importantly entirely at the photo user who just wants to touch up their images, perhaps publish them on a CD and then store and archive them for viewing later.

Loading the software you are presented with four options and those familiar with any of Roxio's other products will be right at home. The choices laid out before you are; Transfer, Edit & Create, Print & Share and View, Organise & Archive.

The first; Transfer allows you to scan your removable drives for images, and the software happily detected the Zip drive and digital camera we had connected without any trouble at all.

Once you've got your image (you can of course choose it from the hard drive) you can then move on to the Edit & Create section. Here you are again presented with a number of options. You have the ability to edit images, create projects, add borders, photo stitch images or merely batch enhance a load of images to a set levels such as contrast and brightness.

The premise of this program is to offer ease of use and the edit section is all about auto fixing red-eye, wrinkles and blemishes, fixing damaged photos, removing dust from scans and auto fixing colour, brightness and contrast levels.

All the tools do exactly as they say on the tin and for the beginner wanting to spruce up their images it can make the world of difference without actually having to know how it all works underneath.

If you're not into fixing your images perhaps you'd prefer to turn them into a gift tag or maybe even a calendar, and with a few clicks of a button all this can be made possible.

Alternatively you could always opt to have your images stitched together and PhotoSuite 5 does a good job even if the images are of different subjects see the tree spliced into the London skyline (right).

So you've got you new and improved image album or panoramic image. Now what, I hear you cry? Well you can then move on to the next section. The Print and Share area. Here as you would imagine, the area is about giving you an end product to bore your Gran and there are plenty of options to do just that. Print/email, online photo services (although not available at the moment to non US-customers (nothing new there then)), slide show and transfer to Video CD are all available at your beck and call. Burning a CD is simple and Roxio understandably has utilised its burning software to make the process as easy as possible.

Once you've sent off the email to granny or posted a VCD to your mate the software has one final task available to you. Organising your images. Here Roxio offers a simple solution to organising everything as well as offering an archiving option, again to CD, and again using the same wizard as the VCD one before.

Verdict

To the beginner wanting to do something with their digital images this is a great place to start. It's easy to use, offers plenty of choice and achieves what it sets out to do. However, the program is limiting and if you want to do anything else outside of its parameters then you'll find little help. That said, this box professes to do nothing more that be the complete digital photo solution, from capture to burning and when marked on these merits, it does exactly that.