Digital photography has changed the way we consume images. Lets get personal for a moment, at one time I’d buy a 24 or 36 exposure film for a holiday and that would be it.
Now, I have a 1GB SD in my camera, so what do I do, I snap away at all and sundry. I bet I’m not alone, so what we need is a tool that manages those pictures and even puts them in some sort of order.
Magix is a software company that is better known in mainland Europe than it is here in the UK but is hoping to lure you away from more established brands to Magix Photo Manager 2006 Deluxe (called Digital Foto Maker 2006 in Europe) thanks to its bargain price of £30. But what do you get for your money? First up, it’s not one tool but three separate tools: Photo Manager, Photo Clinic and the oddly placed Music Manager.
Photo Manager is the main tool and as the name suggests is here to put your images in order so you can search for them by name, date or any other criteria you choose to build into your collection. Collections are built around the idea of Albums, which can then be cross-referenced. For example, if you create a Holidays Album, you’ll find previous holidays in there. To be fair, there is nothing new about this approach and is the same as with rival tools but the interface is clear and precise and it’s easy to use.
As you would expect from a managing tool, Photo Clinic is the application you’ll turn to when you want to edit or clean up your photos. After all, with 1GB of holiday snaps there are bound to be a few poor snaps. Sadly, Clinic resides in the Manager but isn’t actually a part of it. So, you’ll find yourself clicking the edit buttons in Manager only to find you need to press another one to launch Clinic, where the edit features actually reside.
This is where the problems start, as the interface for Clinic isn’t exactly the most sympathetic and you’ll quickly find yourself getting confused and turning to the Help menus. That’s not to say Clinic isn’t useful, or powerful, as there is plenty here to recommend.
Aside from the staples of cleaning up images and altering brightness, you can add effects, such as adding text, to a whole host of filters. If you can get to grips with how each feature works, you’ll find this a powerful tool that gives some genuinely stunning results, just don’t approach it expecting it to handle everything for you.
We were mildly impressed with Magix Photo Manager. It’s not going to set the digital world alight and it may not lure you away from your current choice of editing software but at this price, if you’re on the lookout for an editing tool, it won’t disappoint.