BenVista PhotoZoom Pro 4 review

14 Jan 2011

Fast and efficient bitmap resizing, and at a higher quality than with Photoshop

BenVista PhotoZoom Pro 4
Price when reviewed 
149
4

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.

BenVista PhotoZoom Pro 4

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.

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Details

Price ex VAT £124
Price inc VAT £149
Overall rating 4
Ease of Use rating 5
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 4
Software subcategory Graphics/design software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Other operating system support Windows 2000