3 Great New Features of the Latest Major Update to Zoner Photo Studio X
When I first started photography, I remember balking at the price of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, but I “needed” them, so I dipped my hand in my pocket. Back then you could directly buy a version of the software that was better in many ways, but it also meant it was outdated as major updates were locked behind new versions. I thought this changed for the better when Adobe introduced a subscription model so you’ll always have the latest version, but unfortunately that turned out not to be the case. For Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom only, the “photography” package costs $19.99 per month (more outside the US) or $82.49 per month (yes, you read that right) for all Adobe software ( including Adobe Premiere Pro for video). .
For many beginners, that’s just too much for those two applications, and the $82.49 per month package is hard to justify for just about anyone. However, when I began my journey with a camera, the alternatives were bleak. I’ve experimented with a few and they looked and acted like software from the early ’90s. Now there are viable alternatives and one of them is Zoner Photo Studio X. Not only can it compete with what Photoshop and Lightroom offer, it does it into one fraction the price ($5.99 or $59 per year.)
If you search “Zoner” here on Fstoppers, you’ll see a few other articles about the software suite and some previous major updates. In this article, I’m going to highlight the best parts of the latest update, which includes the “biggest amount of improvements since version X released in 2016”.
Raw processing time halved
There are few things that piss me off faster than slow math, especially when it comes to work. When you first open raw files, it can be a slow and cumbersome task for the editing suite. What’s happening behind the scenes is a demosaicing algorithm that interprets and combines the color information captured by your camera’s sensor, which only records one color per pixel. Upon completion, the algorithm delivers the full-color image you see by guessing the missing colors per pixel. Although modern software has improved the speed and efficiency of this feature, it can still be slow. With the latest update, ZPS X has more or less halved the time it takes to open a raw file and generally improved import and export speeds.
Native support for 50% more bodies and over 1,200 lenses
An unprecedented number of different cameras have been released in the last 20 years. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not all that common anymore to meet someone with the exact same model you’re using. If, like me, you often like to hike off the beaten path with cameras, this can pose a problem. If your processing software has never refused to read your work, you might not appreciate the pain in the back of your mind. When reviewing unreleased cameras, I would say this is the worst part of the workflow. Well, since the fall 2022 update – just a few months ago – ZPS X has increased the number of supported camera bodies by a whopping 50%.
Arguably the bigger news, however, is native support for over 1,200 lenses. This means there are lens profiles for a huge range of lenses, allowing you to automatically correct for distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting. There is nothing extra to install, you can just turn on the automatic lens corrections, and the number of supported lenses continues to grow at a speed of knots.
Brand new features of the video module
In every article I write about ZPS X, I mention that it aims to be an all-in-one suite that can edit photos and videos and act as a file management tool. The video module started out relatively simple, but with each update it grows into a more comprehensive weapon for multimedia fans. The latest video module update consists of four main components:
- Transform clips: Footage can now be easily cropped, scaled and moved.
- key frames: Any take or animation can now be fully controlled across clips rather than as a whole.
- subpoena: Videos can now be preloaded from a folder for a smoother and faster workflow.
- Quick preview: Video previews are now smooth and high quality in full resolution even on weaker hardware.
Last year I said Zonerama was underrated and I still think so. In fact, the entire quote is true: “Zonerama is a free online gallery for your pictures, but it has a lot going for it: unlimited storage, custom privacy and sharing settings, and my personal favorite: no compression. This means you can upload as many of your photos as you want for free and they will keep their original quality.”
Zonerama has been further improved, with this update also adding 2K and 4K resolution videos. However, there was one thing I wasn’t aware of: Zonerama is free to use, whether you license the software or not. ZPS X is already ridiculously cheap, so I’m not sure why Zonerama is free, especially when it’s such a useful feature. There are not many – if any – free online galleries with unlimited storage that give you control over privacy and sharing and don’t compress your images. So it was worth putting a flag here!
And so much more…
When I say these three features stand out to me, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some fantastic additions and improvements in ZPS X’s latest update that I haven’t included. There are some general improvements, such as B. higher quality photo previews, interactive video thumbnails and countless changes to the user interface. There are then more targeted improvements such as artifact reduction for high-ISO images; This is particularly effective for cameras with Fuji X-Trans sensors.
There’s so much packed into this latest update to ZPS X that it’s hard to cover everything in one place, but I want to highlight one final shot that’s a brilliant quality-of-life addition: you can now customize the development module so that it You can move and rearrange panels and groups of settings however you want to position them.
ZPS X might not be the most famous editing suite out there, but the team working on it deserves way more credit than they get. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen software iterated so aggressively, rolling out gigantic update patches several times a year.
If this holistic software suite for a fraction Sounds interesting given the price of its famous competitors, why not use Zoner Photo Studio X’s 1-month free trial to test the waters?