Zoner Photo Studio Free is a multi-faceted free photo editing and management tool. It offers users three working environments, namely the Manager, Viewer and Editor windows. The purpose of each aspect of Zoner Photo Studio Free is quite self explanatory and breaking down the interface into this tabbed environment is quite effective in use. There is also some cross-over between the three parts, such as the ability to make some quick image adjustments within the Manager window, which helps promote a more efficient work flow.
Highlights of Zoner Photo Studio Free
The integrated user interface of Zoner Photo Studio Free offers a range of attractive features.
- Image manager offers control over a collection of images with advanced naming and search options
- One click upload of photos to your default email client for sending to friends
- Image browser with some integrated image adjustment tools
- Viewer window allows quick and easy viewing of a folder of images, including RAW files
- Upload images directly to Facebook and Flickr
- Most commonly used image editing tools available
- Red eye reduction feature
- Reasonable selection of adjustment features and effects included
Why Use Zoner Photo Studio Free
Zoner Photo Studio Free is a well specified all round photo management and adjustment tool that would be well suited for enthusiastic photographers who don't require the power of some of the more advanced image editors, such as Adobe Photoshop and GIMP.
The integrated image management and viewing features are a very attractive feature, allowing users to carry out a range of operations from a single user interface. The Manager should encourage users to keep their photo collections better organized and the ability to email images directly from there or upload to Facebook and Flickr are nice touches.
The Editor aspect of Zoner Photo Studio Free should offer most less advanced users all the tools and features that they will need. The lack of layers may put some off, but there is plenty of power for correcting and rescuing poorly exposed photos, including a simple to use tool for correcting a poorly set white balance, which can be a common problem with digital photos. Users can also directly manipulate pixels, with a Clone Stamp or move and distort specific parts of an image using the Morphing Mesh.
Some Limitations of Zoner Photo Studio Free
As mentioned above, Zoner Photo Studio Free doesn't include layer support and this could be a significant problem for more advanced users who are used to combining layers. It will obviously reduce the creative results that can be produced, but combining identical layers with different blending modes can also be a useful quick way to enhance photos.
The toolbox contains a text tool to allow a basic degree of control over adding text to an image. However, in common with several free pixel-based image editors, once text has been applied to a photo, it can no longer be edited and, as it isn't applied to a separate layer, it may be difficult to remove it later.
Help and Support
Within the Zoner Photo Studio Free user interface, there is easy access to the comprehensive Help documentation. The documentation has been written for the full Professional version of the application and so some referenced tools and features may not be available in the free edition.
On the website there is a Support page with a few FAQs, but it also includes a contact form for getting in touch with the developers. There is also a community page, but this appears to be a work in progress, though there seems to be a currently active blog with a range of tips.
You can try out Zoner Photo Studio 12 Free for yourself by downloading it from the Zoner website.