Give Stunning Effects to Your Photos

very good
key review info
application features
  • Combine and layer any of the included effects to create the perfect looking image
  • (2 more, see all...)

Unless you are a vintage cameras aficionado who still likes to work on film, your day to day life includes a digital photo processor. FX Photo Studio Pro tries to make the task of editing images as fast, efficient, and intuitive as possible, while delivering amazing results.

Fast does not necessarily mean better, especially when creativity is involved: snapping the perfect photo is mainly a matter of luck (talent or skill, if you prefer), but you can make most photos look astonishing if you take the time to edit them.

MacPhun’s FX Photo Studio Pro comes with a suite of predefined image effects, cropping tools, and masking capabilities designed to help you process pictures without dealing with complex settings. FX Photo Studio Pro is great whenever you need to create remarkable effects within a short time span.

FX Photo Studio Pro is able to open image files of up to 64 megapixels, while the FX Photo Studio Standard Edition can work with pictures of up to 32 megapixels. Obviously, neither edition aims to replace high-end graphic editors, although FX Photo Studio Pro does have extensive adjusting capabilities (you can change the exposure, brightness, saturation, contrast, or hue).

The FX Photo Studio Pro’s stylish, intuitive interface and the quick and straightforward installation process will probably look very appealing to the more inexperienced users in search of a quick tool to give hip effects to their snapshots.

The Looks

The FX Photo Studio Pro black/grey and white interface design integrates perfectly within the Mac OS X look and feel, even though the color choice makes its overall appearance somewhat more dramatic than the average OS X app.

FX Photo Studio Pro offers all its features within the bounds of one very well organized main window: the center area is reserved for previewing the image, while top, bottom, and lateral toolbars include the editing tools.

Additionally, the FX Photo Studio Pro’s "Share Image" window enables you to share the images you're currently working on with your Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, or Twitter followers. You can also choose to forward the image to your email client, which will automatically create a new message.

The Works

FX Photo Studio Pro allows you to edit only one image at a time: import a photo through the initial panel and the app will automatically open it and generate effects thumbnails in the bottom toolbar.

FX Photo Studio Pro's tools are organized as follows: the effects, the cropping capabilities, and the image adjustment tools (sliders allow you to change the temperature, saturation, hue, exposure, brightness, contrast, shadows, highlights, sharpen, and the color balance levels). The app also enables you to work with masks, which is great if you want to apply a certain effect only to a specific area.

It also comes with two types of image "effects": the actual photo effects, organized into 20 different categories (213 in total at the last count) and over 40 frames, grouped by type: Art, Classic, Grunge&Analog, and Photo Border.

Moreover, FX Photo Studio Pro allows you to preview each effect and adjust its amount, contrast, brightness, saturation, color range, and more, on a case-to-case basis. To actually keep the effect, you must press the "Apply" button. When dealing with frames, all you can do is adjust the width.

Although FX Photo Studio Pro does not come with batch processing capabilities, it does offer you the possibility to create your own presets. This way, you can apply the same set of effects on different images with the press of a button. Additionally, you can share your presets with your friends or add new ones (from other users) to your collection, via FX Photo Studio Pro generated codes.

The FX Photo Studio Pro image comparison tools are also quite interesting. The "Compare" button places the original photo next to the processed images, while the "Quick Compare" button actually toggles the source and processed images (you must keep the button pressed to see the original).

All in all, using FX Photo Studio Pro does not raise any issues and, if you have questions, you can read the included Help (the "Import files" chapter is extremely relevant, since it mentions the supported input and output file types). The bad news is that the documentation does not cover all tools, but the developers are currently working on the support area of their website, so this situation will probably be remedied soon.

FX Photo Studio Pro does seem to ignore a basic image editing process, especially if you are looking to share your pictures on social networks: simple text and brush tools would be a most welcome addition. The absence of these tools means that you must use yet another application, which is a bit counterproductive.

The FX Photo Studio Pro application does not require too many resources when in standby: about 500MB of RAM and up to 10% of your processor. On the other hand, it can take up to 140% of a dual-core processor when browsing through the effects thumbnails.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that FX Photo Studio Pro uses your system set up accounts for Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Tumblr. This means that you cannot choose to use these accounts only with FX Photo Studio Pro, you must make them available for all installed apps that might require such an account. As a result, you should keep an eye on which other applications on your system might try to use them.

The Good

FX Photo Studio Pro offers you the necessary tools to process and adjust your images in a stylish, organized, and modern environment. The plethora of built-in effects that can be adjusted to match your own needs will considerably reduce the time you spend editing photos.

What's more, it also includes cropping and rotate tools, can import images directly from devices, allows you to preview and compare results, and much more. The app enables you to create your own presets or to quickly add the presets of your friends to your own collection.

On top of that, FX Photo Studio Pro will prove to be extremely useful whenever you need to create impressive effects without wasting too much time. Furthermore, you can easily share the results on different social networks.

The Bad

FX Photo Studio Pro does not include basic text or brush tools that would be extremely useful if you need to add a catchy remark on top of the image or underline a certain area. This means you will need yet another application, which is never good news.

FX Photo Studio Pro uses system-wide set up accounts to help you share your images on different social networks, which makes you slightly vulnerable: you will have to asses which other applications installed on your Mac might try to use them.

Although the app can save your presets, you cannot process or even load multiple images at the same time.

The Truth

FX Photo Studio Pro is an appealing solution for anyone looking to adjust and personalize images without having to deal with complex tools and complicated settings.

FX Photo Studio Pro’s continuously expanding effects collection and the possibility to apply and share presets will most likely greatly improve your workflow and reduce the overall editing time, even though it is not a complete image processing solution.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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user interface 5
features 3
ease of use 4
pricing / value 3

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good