Software So Smooth You’ll Think You’re Dreaming

October 26, 2015

By Theano Nikitas

EDITOR’S CHOICE: Affinity Photo

One of the most talked about software releases of the year, Affinity Photo is a new image-editing application with tools, features and functions that mirror those you’ll find in Adobe Photoshop. You can even use the same keyboard shortcuts. For $50, you get solid retouching capabilities and more. Software developer Serif’s consumer-oriented applications have been around for a while and the company began its foray into pro-level offerings last year with Affinity Designer, followed by the new Affinity Photo, with plans to launch Affinity Publisher. Definitely add Affinity to your “one to watch” list.

Price: $50

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015

Thanks to the addition of the Lumetri color panel, color grading just got a whole lot easier in Premiere Pro CC 2015 and you no longer have to depend on SpeedGrade alone to create and apply your own custom looks. New and improved features are found throughout the program and include the addition of Morph Cut, which creates smooth transitions and is designed for editing talking head videos. You’ll find new curves, hue and saturation controls as well as other improvements.


Macphun Tonality

Macphun’s Tonality conversion and film emulation software delivers the tools you need for creating beautiful black-and-white images. The latest version adds new presets, a Luminosity Mask, compatibility with Apple Photos for Mac and are optimized for Force Touch trackpads. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, adds a RAW file transfer from Lightroom and an updated RAW library with additional new camera support.

PRICES: $18 (STANDARD), $70 (PRO), $52 (UPGRADE) 

Photodex ProShow 7 

Version 7 of ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer, Photodex’s video slideshow software, now feature a built-in library of royalty-free music that’s licensed for commercial and personal use. Other important updates include enhanced video options with support for 4K and longer clips, and enhanced encoding for smaller file sizes but with higher quality and more diverse output options. Check out free trials of both of these Windows-only applications to see which best fits your needs.


Fundy Gallery Designer

Gallery Designer is a multi-function sales tool with features that allow you to organize images and much more. Create template-free wall art with drag-and-drop simplicity, using the room images provided by Fundy or your clients' snapshots of their home. A particularly aspect is the way the wall art resizes as you click through different rooms. Ordering is easy and you get $600 in free music from Triple Scoop Music for presentation slideshows. Slated for late October availability.

PRICE: $249

Alien Skin Exposure 7 

If you’re not familiar with Alien Skin Exposure, it’s a film emulation and creative effects software that is probably one of the best applications of its kind on the market today—and certainly ranks as one of my personal favorites. While Exposure can be used as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, it also functions as a standalone app and that’s where the latest updates reside, including non-destructive RAW editing and new film presets.

PRICES: $149 ($89 UPGRADE)

Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 12 

Version 12 of Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve non-linear editor and color-grading software has received more than 80 new features. The free software offers almost all the same features as its $1,000 counterpart. To better reflect the free version’s depth and breadth of features, the version formerly known as DaVinci Resolve Lite is now, simply, DaVinci Resolve. The paid option is now called DaVinci Resolve Studio, an apt descriptor for this version’s more advanced features and group collaboration support.


Corel PaintShop Pro X8

Corel’s latest version of PaintShop Pro X8 adds a content-aware Magic Move for replacing backgrounds, text wrapping, lens corrections and 4K monitor support. Look for an improved batch mode, better camera RAW processing and speedier performance, to name just a few enhancements. It’s available in two versions, Standard and Ultimate, the latter includes AfterShot 2, on1 Perfect Effects 9.5 and Perfectly Clear 2 SE—a nice little bundle of extras


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