With digital photography being such a hot topic, especially here in pocket-lint.co.uk, you’ll obviously be seeking a simple method to maintain your photo collection and get the best out of the pictures you have. There are plenty of options out there, and Photo Album 4 carries the holy mark of Paint Shop in its title. But does it live up to the name?
The first thing to realise is that this is not a graphics package. It is basically a photo album as the title suggests, and the photo editing functions are sadly lacking when compared to it contemporaries. You can make minor edits - change the colour balance, and other such things to make the overall photo better. The red eye correction seemed to be more like a ‘black eye giver’, and gave the feeling of being somewhat unsatisfactory.
Other features are the standard effects that change your photo from a bad picture into a mash of pixellated rubbish. Myself, I can’t see the appeal of putting ripples all over a picture, or making it look like a load of glass blocks in a retro toilet. A useful tool would be a spot corrector, to remove skin problems from photos. People are amazingly vain. One feature it does have, is a Thinify mod. You can clearly see that Jasc are aiming this at a fashion conscious market. Basically this is a stretch function which works very well - you can make the wife taller and slimmer (a function that she’d apply to herself, but if she knew that you did it to her, it would be messy). Of course, it can not perform miracles, and if you are short and fat, this feature will probably make you look like a wrestler.
Whilst Photo Album makes it easy to browse your image files and arrange them, there is no more functionality here than in Windows itself - it’s basically a glorified explorer window. The package also links into Photo Shop if you have it, but I get the feeling that if you were a Photo Shop user, you’d avoid the Photo Album.
Overall there is little more to say. It basically does what it says on the box - it arranges and suggests simple solutions to your digital photography problems, but I feel this is aimed at the beginner market, at those who don’t have so much experience with digital cameras or computers. The ‘enhancing’ functions seem to be limited, most likely, to avoid stepping on the toes of Paint Shop proper.