Review – Zoner Photo Studio X

I am not a photographer; I am an outdoors guy who takes a lot of photos.

I can’t wax poetic about F-stops, Japanese vs. German lenses, or take a deep dive into histograms.

Oh, I can discuss these topics with a broad overview, much as I discuss any gear.

But I don’t get into the nuances of photography any more than I get into the nuances of clothing material.

I think I have a knack for taking photos in the same way I have a talent for cooking – I do it by gut feel more than refined technique.

And I’m OK with that because, well, it fits me.

So, when the folks at Zoner Photo asked me if I want to review their photo software, I said: “Sure, why not?”

I just replaced my 2012 vintage Mac and ready to try some new software on my Windows machine.

So I tested the software for the past few months. What do I think about it?

The TL;DR – If you want an affordable Abode Lightroom alternative or better support and smoother operation than GIMP, get this software. I find the user interface a little too busy, though, overall.

. An Abobe lightroom subscription costs $10/mo.  The Zoner Photo software costs $26 until Dec 8th or $49 without the holiday sale. A bargain, indeed.

But I am not an Art-teest.  I like to keep it simple with my photos: Capture the landscape, make a few tweaks, and try to capture the view in a natural way as possible.

I rarely (ever?) use layers and much like everything else in life, try to Keep It, Super Simple.

Much as with Lightroom, or GIMP, for that matter, I find Zoner Photo Studio X to be a powerful tool, but not necessarily the one that serves my needs best. The interface looked clean at first, but a lot of sub-menus for me to wade through when I want to create photos for a website or microblogging on Instagram.

I’ll keep the tool for the occasional deep dive photo works, but I am more of a writer that happens to take a lot of pictures rather than a photographer that writes. And, of course, I need more outdoor time and less time for the computer. It is why I fired myself from IT afterall. 😉

However, if you want to do more artistic photos and willing to invest the time into learning the software, Zoner Photo Stuido X makes an excellent tool in the kit and less expensive alternative to Adobe Lightroom.

Are you looking for quick and dirty? I find Photoscape X to serve my needs for Mac and Windows platforms, with FastStone Photo Resizer to work well for taking my TIFF files and quickly turning them into a lower-res.JPG file with watermarks.

Disclosure: Zoner Photo provided the software for my review.

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