BenVista PhotoZoom Pro 4 review
Fast and efficient bitmap resizing, and at a higher quality than with Photoshop
Review Date: 14 Jan 2011
Reviewed By: Tom Arah
Price when reviewed: £124 (£149 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Ultimately, the quality of your photos depends on their resolution. This isn’t a problem if you’re producing regular photo prints from a modern digital camera, but many users need to create larger output and are often dealing with low-resolution originals. This is where PhotoZoom Pro 4 comes in.
PhotoZoom Pro is a dedicated standalone application with just one aim: to resize your images while maintaining maximum quality. Load your original image and it appears in a large preview screen with a control panel running down the left.
This allows you to resize your image up to a massive one million by one million pixels, either by entering dimensions, by choosing from an extended range of common screen and print presets, or by interactively dragging on sliders.
To keep the quality high, PhotoZoom Pro offers all the most popular resizing methods (bilinear, bicubic and so on), but the main appeal comes from its proprietary algorithms: S-Spline, S-Spline XL and a new enhanced version of its most powerful option, S-Spline Max.
With huge magnifications the results can end up looking slightly plasticky, but generally you can produce output that remains sharp while managing to avoid pixellation, blurriness and artifacts. Crucially, the results are clearly superior to what you can achieve in Photoshop.
Once you’ve selected your resizing method, you can choose from a range of presets for dealing with different types of image or you can open up a panel to take custom control. Here, you can manage parameters such as sharpness, artificial detail, and edge quality and photo grain.
PhotoZoom Pro 4 adds an important new option in the form of Artifact Reduction, which helps remove the blocky artifacts associated with JPEG compression. This means that PhotoZoom Pro 4 can work wonders with the low resolution and highly compressed images you typically find on the web.
And as a bonus, the program also works as a plug-in for all versions of Photoshop as well as Photoshop-compatible editors such as Paint Shop Pro, and the latest release now also supports 64-bit environments. The integration with Photoshop is particularly tight, with the ability to resize complex layered images as well as HDR images with up to 32 bits per channel.
All in all, it’s an excellent tool. It’s a little pricey, but if your work requires you to regularly enlarge bitmap artwork to huge sizes, PhotoZoom Pro 4 is the best way to do it.
Author: Tom Arah
How does this compare to what was called 'Genuine Fractals' now i think called Perfect Resize 7?
By benzas on 17 Jan 2011
They do very similar things and Perfect Resize does offer some advantages such as its superior cropping. However I think it makes a bit of a meal of the job compared to PhotoZoom and I prefer the latter's choice of algorithm and, most importantly, the quality of the results especially with its new JPEG artifact reduction.
Having said that, they both offer free trials so you can choose the one that suits you best.
By TomArah on 17 Jan 2011
I have tried both and fully agree with Tom. I found PhotoZoom Pro 4's interface easier to use, and more importantly the enlargement results where definitely superior.
It's a good thing though they can both be used in Photoshop as well as Stand Alone.
By R_Fergusson on 18 Jan 2011
What about PhotoZoom Classic 4? While it only enlarges to 300K pixels it is much less pricey.
By smcilree on 27 Jan 2011
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