BenVista PhotoZoom Pro 2

BenVista PhotoZoom Pro 2

PhotoZoom Pro 2 gives superb results for a relatively inexpensive application.


Why is that when you enlarge a photo, it looks great on your computer screen, but then when you print the enlargement, it’s a big old mess? The edges become saw-toothed lines, and JPEG artifacts - those big square blocks that make up color in low-resolution images - mar your once-beautiful photo almost beyond recognition.


When you enlarge an image, the number of pixels doesn’t change, and so the pixels themselves must become bigger. But photo-enlargement applications, such as PhotoZoom Pro 2, use interpolation algorithms that generate new pixels by analyzing the existing pixels and smartly filling in the blanks. PhotoZoom Pro 2 uses developer BenVista’s S-Spline XL interpolation algorithm, and it’s a humdinger. We conducted our test by pulling tiny, mediocre images off of the Web, and then having PhotoZoom expand them to A4 paper size (8.27 by 11.7 inches). The results were impressive. Of course, when you use interpolation, you may end up with a photo that doesn’t exactly match the original, but PhotoZoom produced exceptional results.


Enlargement is a breeze. Just drop an image (or a batch of images) onto the application’s Dock icon, or you can access PhotoZoom Pro 2 from within Photoshop (CS2 or later) as a filter. You then choose a template size or create a custom size, and apply one of the smart presets, including Photo Detailed, Photo Soft, and Graphics. You then watch the software go to work, in real time. After you tweak the settings - edge detail, crispness, and even artificial detail such as applying a little noise to stop things from getting too soft - you can export your image, which handily creates a whole new file rather than overwriting your original. Easy as pie.


The bottom line. PhotoZoom Pro 2 creates great photo enlargements with minimal image noise. The interface could use a refresh, but you can’t argue with the app’s results.



PRICE: $149

REQUIREMENTS: G4 or later or Intel processor, Mac OS 10.3 or later, 128MB RAM, 20MB free disk space, Adobe Photoshop CS2 or later for plug-in functionality
Fast, flexible, and easy to use. Offers several views of your projects and at-a-glance reports. Universal binary.
Panther-ish interface.





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