For some photographers, the need to enlarge an image comes before uploading to a stock library. For others, it’s before a large print is made of the image. But sure enough, for whatever reason, all photographers at some point need to play around with digital image sizing. Photoshop is often used, mostly due to its already prominent place in most photographers’ workflows, whilst hardcore upscalers invest in Genuine Fractals (now known as Perfect Resize). BenaVista hopes that some may turn to their own contender in this market, PhotoZoom Pro, which (as a package) can be used both as a standalone app and photoshop plug-in resizer.
PhotoZoom Pro 4 claims to beat all of the standard resizing methods mentioned above, aided by its “patented S-Spline algorithm” – no, I don’t know what that means either (anyone brave enough can view the basics on Wikipedia). First impressions suggest that whatever S-Spline may be, it helps – this app certainly holds its own compared to other resizers. Small enlargements seem to have no discernible effect on image quality, whilst the results when an image is enlarged to 150% are respectable; stock library standard? Maybe.
Large print of your Grandmother’s dog for her
wall standard? Certainly.
Surprisingly, even at 200%, the image looks okay. If you squint a little. I wouldn’t recommend printing the image at the official print size (not that I ever do…), not least because at this enlargement, some detail is lost when viewed at 100%. If you have a DSLR and you shoot in Raw, however, this kind of enlargement shouldn’t be necessary, unless you have designs on covering an entire outside wall of your property with the image.
PhotoZoom Pro 4 produces impressive results, is easy to use, and the plug-in/app option is a bonus. In terms of the app’s operation, there is nothing I can complain about. At £149/$219, however, this is a Pro-aimed app, and those wanting to make their phone snaps bigger should look elsewhere. In comparison to Photoshop’s inbuilt upscaling (remembering that Elements can be bought for around £45/$70), PhotoZoom’s capabilities are mostly theoretical – if you need to put your image on the side of the Chrysler Building (PhotoZoom Pro can enlarge images “up to 1 million by 1 million pixels”) then PhotoZoom looks like a good investment. But sadly I don’t, and anyone else who doesn’t would be better advised to spend their money on either PhotoZoom Pro’s little brother, PhotoZoom Classic, or Photoshop Elements (thereby getting a great image editor also).
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