Very odd installation that makes me decide if I want to install “Graphics cards support”. There is nothing to tell me what this is or help me decide. They might as well be asking if I think their Marketing director would like bananas or plums best. Nothing in the 129-page user manual either. If I install on a PC with no graphics card and enable this option, will the program fail? Installer also has a choice for “Full Installation” or “Custom Installation”, yet both options give the same choices. Why do they clutter up even their installer with pointless stuff?
Program installed and registered after the multi-layer registration process (you have to create/authorize your account, authorize the installer, authorize the program). I loaded a test picture of a person hiking through a field and right away a settings box popped up that would scare away most people, with terms I don’t know and options that lead nowhere… I decided to ignore it and clicked what seemed like an arrow to continue. My picture showed up, presets on the left, manual adjusts on the right, and a magnifier that showed a before/after view of the area around the mouse. About 4 or 5 of the presets looked interesting and usable, dozens of others looked awful with exaggerated skin tones. Seemed like I was seeing the same presets over and over with different names. But… that’s probably just due to the picture I loaded. A mountain range or city skyline or harbor might behave very differently. But why is there no way to try the presets with something simple like a down arrow to move from one to the next, instead of click, scroll, click, scroll, click, scroll….. And a simple slider to adjust how much the preset affects the picture would be a welcome addition. Or better, up/down arrows to select preset, and right/left arrows to control intensity.
I tend to not use these “Projects” programs much. It takes too long to step through all the presets hoping to find one you want to apply, and too long to learn how to use all the adjustments. If the manual adjustments were easy, Franzis wouldn’t need to sell so many different packs of additional presets. That said, their “Projects” programs are all very similar. So if you learn one you should be able to figure out the rest more easily.
I tend to rely on Picassa and Paint.NET for most photo adjustments. HDR Projects does some things those others can’t. I’ve never figured out how to capture a series of similar pics with different lighting settings (“bracketing”) on my iPhone so I never really tested this program’s capability. Would like to hear opinions from pro (or advanced) photographers – can any of you join the discussion?