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PC Reviews: Microsoft Digital Image Suite 10

 

Microsoft Digital Image Suite 10 Screenshots





 

The Final Say!

Value
8.8

Microsoft Digital Image Suite 10
 - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: October 2004
Review Score: 8.8/10 
Distributor: Microsoft

"Complete photo editing and organisation made easy"

With the age of digital photography so accessible to anyone, Microsoft have finally released the latest incarnation of their popular Digital Image series with Digital Image Suite 10 that promises users a one-stop program for all their digital photo needs. Unlike the previous edition, Digital Image Suite 10 offers users a plethora of useful tools and new improvements such as categorising your digital photo collection, removing unwanted images in your photos and also access to a variety of different filters for your precious memories.

Installation

The installation of Digital Image Suite 10 was extremely easy and auto-installed once the CD was inserted. The installation took only a few minutes and the beauty of this software package is that it only required Windows 98 or higher to run with only 400MB of hard drive space needed. If you have an older system and don't have Internet Explorer 6.0 installed than Digital Image Suite 10 will automatically upgrade it. Digital Image Suite 10 also automatically catalogued the "My Pictures" directory and there  is also an option to do this to your entire hard drive. This also allows you to then burn your photos to a variety of removable story devices such as CD, DVD's or zip disks.

Interface & Improvements

The user interface for Digital Image Suite 10 is extremely well designed to help minimise clutter on your workspace and basically uses the popular Windows XP interface to help keep things organised. When opening images in Digital image Suite 10, all the photos are seen as thumbnails (on the right working pane) that not only keeps things organised but also increases the speed of your computer.

The improved organiser of Digital Image Suite 10 is sometimes a little tricky to use, in particular when you are assigning keywords to your photo collection, especially if you have thousands of photos but I would recommend this to the novice photographer because this is the perfect way to organise and find your photos at a later date through the keyword photo finder.

Probably the most impressive feature of Digital Image Suite 10 is the Photo Story utility that allows you to turn your photos into a movie. For instance, you can group a collection of your photos together, add background music and even narration.

Although Digital Image Suite 10 isn't as powerful as Adobe Elements or JASC Photoshop, there are quite a few useful utilities that allow you to edit your photos. The most useful tool is the auto-fix utility that allows you to automatically fix your photos from contrast, red eye and a variety of other annoying things that sometimes plagues your digital photography.

Digital Image Suite 10 also supports a batch conversion utility that allows you to batch rename, batch save and various other options such as removing red eye or cropping images.

Panoramic photos is easily one of the most trickiest things to do with your digital camera and the software that comes with your camera is sometimes not the most easiest thing to use. With Digital Image Suite 10, it can automatically join your photos together using its intelligent panoramic stitching that joins your photos almost flawlessly. Probably one of the best algorithms I have seen that do this... nice work Microsoft!

Although Picture It! offers a freehand drawing tool, it's rather limited when it comes to the more professional drawing packages but then again this software was never designed to rival Adobe's Photoshop.

Features of Microsoft Digital Image Suite 10

  • Import your photos easily from various sources

  • Improved MiniLab that easily and quickly allows you to edit multiple photos

  • New! Toolsets gives you fast access to Auto Fixes and custom tools

  • Improved! Selection tools make precise edits easily

  • New! Intelligent Panoramic stitching combines multiple photos into one

  • Advanced smart erase tool removes unwanted objects quickly

  • New! Easily create a video from your photos with Photo Story 2.0

  • Includes thousands of project templates for albums, brochures and more!

  • User 200+ filters, including plug-in filters from Alien Skin Software and also support for Adobe plug-in filters.

  • Print Custom sizes, or use Auto Collage to put multiple sizes on one page

  • Easily resize photos for prints, Web or e-mail.

  • Improved! Organise your photos quickly by date, size, 5-star rating system, alphabetical list, action flags or key words

  • New! Library View allows you to enter keywords, dates and add flags while you  view your photos at full screen

  • User the Keyword painter to tag multiple photos with the same keyword for filing.

  • Safekeep, store and locate your photos with advanced archive tools

  • Quickly archive to CD, DVD, Zip Drive, memory cards or even floppy disks.

In conclusion Microsoft Digital Image Suite 10 is perfectly catered for the novice digital photographer as it allows them to organise their precious memories, adjust their photos and is probably the only program that they will ever need. Although never designed to replace programs such as PhotoShop Elements or JASC's PaintShop Pro, Digital Image Suite 10 is clearly a winner in both the price point and it's capabilities.

- Andrew B
 

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