Ashampoo Photo Commander 10 Review

very good
key review info
application features
  • Display different image formats from various sources
  • (8 more, see all...)

Ashampoo recently released version 10 of their photo organization and touch-up software, Photo Commander. The product comes with new features that expand its functionality and let you reach better results faster when optimizing the images.

New tools are available in this release of the suite, for repairing images or changing the focus of the picture, as well as a flood fill instrument. Spreading your photos on Facebook is also on the list of novelties in this build, as well as support for Google WebP format.

The price of the bundle remains unchanged, at $49.99/€39, just like the installation routine that features an express method and a custom one. The difference between the two is that the former comes with some code and changes you may not want: MyAshampoo Toolbar, setting MyAshampoo web search as homepage and as default search option. The trial period is set at 40 days, with no limitation whatsoever.

As soon as installation completes, a brief wizard pops up guiding you through configuring the application. It lets you pick the file types you want to be associated with the program, the working language, and a visual layout.

The modifications to the interface are not extraordinary, but they are essential in that they make the image you’re working on stand out more. Options for each of the available menus (Common, Quick-Fix, Objects, Create or Organize) are present in the toolbar, which is more obvious in this release.

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Viewing the photos on your disk can be done in three ways: by location (Folders), by the date they were taken (Calendar) and by albums. The most comfortable ones are the first two because for the third you have to first add content to create the albums.

We found this process to be a little cumbersome, despite the fact that it should be a simple drag-and-drop operation, because moving too quickly would cause the action to fail most of the times.

Ashampoo Photo Commander displays an exhaustive array of possibilities when it comes to finding a particular image. You can filter them based on parameters such as file type, rating, recency, or file name. More advanced users can look for specific files in a location that share the same metadata (IPTC or EXIF).

Touch-up options are also impressive; possibilities range from simply applying effects (over 20 of them) to automatically or manually optimizing colors and contrast and cropping to adjusting horizontal disalignment (great for straightening crooked pictures), cloning parts of the image, erasing them or modifying the focus.

The entire collection of tools bundled in the Quick-Fix menu may not be worthy of professionals, but the average user can achieve great results with it. Some of the effects present in the application are blur, grayscale, sepia, pencil drawing, edge detection, solarize, miniature and emboss. All the modifications you make can be previewed before applying them.

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Further altering of the pictures can be done by inserting various objects. The choices include drawing callouts or shapes (rectangles, ellipses, lines), adding other images or text. The elements can be layered on top of each other and you can tamper with their opacity level. Clipart is also readily available.

Our share of trouble during the tests involved the preview area, which would behave quirky at times. In some cases it failed to refresh and display the selected pictures, although the metadata section underneath would reflect our pick.

On the same note, resizing the interface by snapping it to the edges of the screen in Windows 7 caused the preview area to scramble up and display parts of other interface elements.

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Making HTML albums ready to post on a website is nothing short of versatility for Ashampoo Photo Commander as the suite automatically generates the necessary code. Additionally, it can be used to create personalized calendars and slideshows, complete with music playing in the background (MP3 and WMA).

Creating panoramas is a feature present in the package since version seven and it preserves the ease of use. The entire procedure is automatic and all you have to do is carefully pick the items that go together. After stitching them up you can flip or rotate them as well as set their size, but that’s about it.

Processing multiple items to have the same values in terms of (gamma, brightness, temperature hue or saturation can be achieved under the “Organize” menu. The screen is richer than this and it also allows you to apply effects, resize images, change color depth or RGB order. Additionally, it can be used for converting the files to a different format.

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Renaming options are separate and include options for removing characters from the file name, adding prefixes/suffixes or replacing text string. All modifications can be previewed before starting the operation.

Ashampoo Photo Commander is a comprehensive suite that offers complete management for your photo collection, from organizing and optimizing to personalizing, creating presentations or sharing them online. HTML albums are not the only option for sharing as the latest version brings to the table options for upload pictures or photo albums to Facebook, YouTube or Picasa.

You can also use the application to detect duplicate images. The Photo Commander can look for doubles by performing a binary search, which is fast, or by analyzing and comparing the pictures, which renders the results slower and can find similar photos as well. However, the wait time is short in both cases and during our tests both proved to be highly accurate in their findings.


The Good

It is a powerful photo management solution that can not only organize images into albums, but it can also show the items sharing the same parameter (be it metadata element or rating) in a folder.

Moreover, the touch-up options are more numerous in this release and include important tools such as Focus-Effect, which lets you change the focus of the picture. Modifying the contrast and colors are also important helpers that do a great job.

Additional instruments include a duplicate finder, sharing a powerful search tool, creating slideshows as well as batch processing and renaming.

The Bad

Most of the trouble came from the preview area, which would not render the selected item or get scrambled up when snapped to the edge of the screen on Windows 7.

Filtering the images by rating does not work in this release and you still need a pretty big screen to view the entire interface of the application.

The Truth

Ashampoo Photo Commander is a complete workflow bundle designed to offer all the options you need, from importing an image from the camera to optimizing and presenting or saving it in the final form.

It comes at a very good price considering the package it brings to the table, but some aspects still need to be revised in order to appeal to a larger audience.

Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 Review

NOTE: We have 16 Photo Commander 10 licenses to give away. In order to win one of the licenses on the line, you are expected to come up with a smart comment, positive or negative, about the application.

The comments should be posted in the section below, by May 20. The winners will be notified by the end of the next week; needless to say that we need valid email addresses.


NOTE
[April 20, 2014]
: Softpedia and Ashampoo are giving away unlimited license keys for Ashampoo Photo Commander 10. One key works on unlimited PCs, has a lifetime availability, and does not have an expiration date for activation. All you have to do is access this landing page. The Easter promo expires on Monday, April 21 at 15:00 UTC (8:00 a.m. PDT/PST), so make sure to claim it by then.

UPDATE: Giveaway over.
user interface 4
features 5
ease of use 4
pricing / value 5


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 

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