Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site April 23, 2014, 01:54:36 AM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
Check out and download the GOE 2007 Freeware Challenge productivity tools.
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: Qimage, "Professional Photographic Printing Software" - a second look  (Read 11349 times)
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,066



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« on: October 17, 2007, 05:37:55 PM »

Qimage
basically helps you print your photos,
but, it has to be said: it helps a lot,
which it would want to for its price(s)...  Wink

http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage/
Qimage is our world renowned batch printing and processing software.

    * Optimal print quality regardless of size [see first image below]
    * Optimal arrangement of prints on page
    * Mix and match different size prints on each page
    * Print cropping tool remembers all your crops
    * User controllable final print "smart sharpening"
    * Fully ICC aware color management
    * View slide shows, send photos via e-mail
    * Batch convert, create files for photo labs, etc.
    * Automated job log, save and recall jobs/settings!
    * 30 day trial available: see demo link on left
    * Free lifetime upgrades!
    * More...

Qimage is now available in Lite, Professional, and Studio Editions.
Only pay for the features you need!  Click for feature comparison.

    * Lite Edition: $34.95
    * Professional Edition: $49.95
    * Studio Edition: $89.95
You can upgrade from one version to next for the cost difference
Compare Features Link

Support Forum
Qimage Support Forum (@ Steves-digicams.com Forums)

Animated gif from Qimage website:

I just downloaded the trial today -
I have tried it before but was too busy last trial around to get to know it well -
I still dont know it atall well but was taking some screenshots & wanted to propose it
for a discount attempt so thought I'd make a post about it.

Trial is valid for 30 days -
same as Pro version but second and further images have a grid superimposed -
if you print one image & restart, you're okay - but if you want to print more than one image on a page, you're not!


Main Window:




Context Menu from Layout Page on the right in main window




Here you can place & crop very exactly:




This is the batch filter from context menu above.
You can reduce noise - preview window in centre has noise reduction applied on right hand side only
Also adjust colours/levels/etc quite comprehensively.
You can save all settings to new file or as a filter file with gets saved with the original -
Qimage will pick up on when you revisit folder




I chose this foto cause it's iso400 which is fairly noisy in this camera.
I haven't used noise reduction software much so cant say how this compares -
noise reduction looks good but does make image "softer" which is the norm I think.
There's an iso noise reduction filter & a shadow noise reduction filter.
Calls it's sharpening smart


this doesnt show much but I liked the look of it tongue

again right hand side has noise reduction


It does make really nice prints, easily!
Probably super if you want to print lots of images - me, I'm so fussy I print one image ten times instead of ten once  smiley
You can add profiles - printer, monitor.. I'm getting out of my depth here already ...check your printers ppi resolution (not ink dpi) which helps Qimage to resize/interpolate the image in better way http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage/quality/#quality.
I think I'm only getting to know this programme but in spite of gui struggles (see below) it really works quite simply, cleanly, & well out of the box

With enlargements it is very impressive

Layout is very flexible too but every time I go back to it I struggle with finding an easy way to fit more than one image to a page
Lets just say theres a steep learning curve in spots & it's probably worth printing the manual & taking it off to bed with you...

Really to do a proper "review" of this you'd have to compare prints from this & other apps -
previously I've used Canon's Easy-PhotoPrint which comes with their printers but can also
be downloaded (free) from their website (I found it under printers[you have to follow up a particular printer -
try one of the pixma ones]/downloads but I dont have link anymore...)
It makes a lovely print (well on my canon printer at any rate) but isn't very flexible layoutwise nor for editing


Keeping in mind that I really want this software, I'm going to get my gripes out of the way too.

I find charging almost double price for Studio edition,
whose main advantage is it can read RAW files a bit, well, rich undecided especially
in this day an age where everyone & their mother can use raw images

The gui I'm finding very difficult to get to know - stuff seems to be all over the place,
often in very unexpected places. Stuff one would expect a button for hidden in context menus.
In fairness there's many different aspects covered but GUI could still be a lot more intuitive.
Also, space is wasted, unnecessary toolbars cant be turned off, preview of layout doesnt fill available space..

And I'm sorry to have to say it:
out of the box it is ugly tongue -
I had to change a few settings & skin (new since last trial, thank you!) to get it more usable
(they have this autosetting for "closed panels" enabled by default which makes them twitch nervously &
disappear unexpectedly..), and so that I could bear looking at it - (am I really superficial  undecided )
« Last Edit: January 04, 2008, 01:13:26 PM by tomos » Logged

Tom
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,066



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2007, 05:54:03 PM »

dont know does that qualify as a review -
more of a second look as I say in the title, but with screenshots.

Mouser - move as you see fit  cheesy
Tom
Logged

Tom
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 32,690



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007, 06:07:24 PM »

definitely a mini-review and belongs here.  thumbs up
Logged
Darwin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 6,979



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2007, 06:43:38 PM »

Nice job, tomos  Thmbsup I must say that the little animation that you include, showing the differneces in pixelation in a picture of a car's wheel when processed with a photo editor and with Qimage is compelling. You've made me want to take a look!
Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
Beth UK
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 81


View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2007, 07:09:55 PM »

I have been using Qimage for a long time now and agree it is a good, mature program. The Studio version does also have an extra algorithm or two as well as RAW reading.

The GUI has always been a little... quirky - at least to my way of thinking but you do get used to it over time. It's worth remembering also that Qimage will only ever be as good as your printer - it will maximise the quality of your printers output but, obviously, will always be limited by that.

I know one or two people who just use Qimage for image re-sizing and not for printing at all!

Updates are regular - several throughout the year - with changes and verson history always given on the web site.

Logged
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,066



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2007, 02:06:54 AM »

Beth -
if you think there's anything I should add - or remove smiley let me know!
Logged

Tom
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,066



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2007, 03:14:34 AM »

I have been using Qimage for a long time now and agree it is a good, mature program. The Studio version does also have an extra algorithm or two as well as RAW reading.

I was curious as well! -
which capabilities of Qimage you use a lot/most,  and/or
what other programmes you might use in conjunction with it,
e.g. re noise reduction -
I know it's not so big a theme as it used to be, but do you use the noise reduction filters etc
of course then there all the editing capabilities..

I'm still using Photoshop 5.5 (+ plugins) [but it works well!] & I have my workflow-routine
so probably I'll be slow to edit colour/levels/etc in Qimage
Logged

Tom
Fedorov
Participant
*
Posts: 49


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2007, 03:29:03 AM »

I've been a registered Qimage user for as long as I can remember - I use it purely for printing.

Image Resizing I do in Photoshop and noise removal I have various plugins in Photoshop for that as Noise removal is supposed to be the FIRST thing you do to your images before tweaking them further.
Logged
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,066



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2007, 03:56:44 AM »

..noise removal I have various plugins in Photoshop for that as Noise removal is supposed to be the FIRST thing you do to your images before tweaking them further.

veering slightly off topic - could you recommend noise reduction plugins
(I know Zaine Ridling recommends one - NoiseWare - but I think it's round the 100$ mark as a Pshop plugin)

Yeah,
I think the biggest editing mistake it to sharpen a noisy photo  smiley
Logged

Tom
Beth UK
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 81


View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2007, 09:42:51 AM »

I was curious as well! -
which capabilities of Qimage you use a lot/most,  and/or
what other programmes you might use in conjunction with it,
e.g. re noise reduction -
I know it's not so big a theme as it used to be, but do you use the noise reduction filters etc
of course then there all the editing capabilities..

I'm still using Photoshop 5.5 (+ plugins) [but it works well!] & I have my workflow-routine
so probably I'll be slow to edit colour/levels/etc in Qimage

With the evolution of Photoshop and various noise reduction plug-ins I probably don't use Qimage as much as I used to though I always have it installed. Additionally, many of my prints are now 30" or more and so I have to use professional printing services. Qimage is pretty useful for contact or proof sheets where I want to have a good deal of control over the print quality to a locally connected printer.

Quote
veering slightly off topic - could you recommend noise reduction plugins
(I know Zaine Ridling recommends one - NoiseWare - but I think it's round the 100$ mark as a Pshop plugin)

Noiseware is very good. Also Noise Ninja from Picture Code. I mostly (always) now do any noise removal within Photoshop.

Actually, writing all his makes me realise how little I use my own printers now!!
Logged
CWuestefeld
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 911



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2007, 01:02:48 PM »

I'm a long-time user of Qimage. To me, the important features are image scaling and managing color profiles. I have to agree that beyond very basic operations, the UI really takes time to learn.

Image scaling in Qimage is definitely superior to that in Paint Shop Pro (even the bloated version 11  Wink ). However, with the latest crop of digicams (mine is 7.1 megapixel, 3000 x something images) there's not very much scaling required anymore.

Proper color management is a topic that few people are even aware of, and their print images definitely suffer as a result. The image that comes out of your printer differs from what you see on the screen, and if you want the best output you need to account for this difference. Unfortunately this is easier said than done, as the process is rather confusing. Qimage makes it as streamlined as I've ever seen it. And in fact, you should consider also buying DDI's product "Profile Prism" (http://www.ddisoftware.com/prism/) in order to generate accurate color profiles for your camera and printer (and, in fact, various combinations of paper and ink). The difference you see may be subtle, but once you've seen it done right, it's hard to go back (we were all satisfied with VHS before DVD came along, right?).

There a number of strange things in the UI, and unfortunately it takes a fair amount of wasted paper and ink before you really get a handle on them. Things like the two levels of margins, and the fact that each can be an interior or exterior measurement, took a while to get through my thick head. And I wish they'd never added the skinning support. It doesn't serve any purpose, and the development time could have been better spent on other things.

As other posters have noted, this software should be used for image output (and possible for scaling). I wouldn't even consider it for actual image editing (noise removal, sharpening, color balance, etc.). IMHO, these features are unnecessary bells & whistles here, which just clutter a UI that's already overflowing.

Still, I do think this is part of any serious photographer's tool chest. I personally own the Professional Edition, the mid-level version of the program.
Logged



tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,066



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2007, 04:34:24 PM »

thanks All for the comments & direction  thumbs up
nice to hear what others using

Proper color management is a topic that few people are even aware of, and their print images definitely suffer as a result. The image that comes out of your printer differs from what you see on the screen, and if you want the best output you need to account for this difference. Unfortunately this is easier said than done, as the process is rather confusing. Qimage makes it as streamlined as I've ever seen it. And in fact, you should consider also buying DDI's product "Profile Prism" (http://www.ddisoftware.com/prism/) in order to generate accurate color profiles for your camera and printer (and, in fact, various combinations of paper and ink). The difference you see may be subtle, but once you've seen it done right, it's hard to go back (we were all satisfied with VHS before DVD came along, right?).

hmm, true -
especially about Qimage making that aspect of things very easy!
I wonder then how the monitor fits into the scheme of things..

I calibrate monitor, but by eye (& using my ancient photoshop) - not using any expensive software
Calibration stuff seems very expensive but I guess if you need it
My version of colour profiles has been to try get the monitor to match the printer - am I putting the cart before the horse?
I think it isn't a bad idea/approach but, especially if I'm just printing photos for myself -
could be trouble though if I wanted a photo published for example..

Again curious/interested in comments on that aspect of things
Logged

Tom
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,066



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2007, 04:42:10 PM »

from Qimage help "Device Profiles"
It is best to use a monitor colorimeter (small device that attaches to your monitor with suction cups) to actually measure the response of your monitor. Although there are visual calibration utilities available that walk you through a visual inspection/calibration process, these programs provide nothing better than an educated guess for calibration and can often result in images not being accurately displayed. Also note that if you do not use a hardware colorimeter to create a profile specific for your particular monitor and use a generic color profile like sRGB, you may see too much red in your images, shifts of some colors, other color casts, etc
money, money, money...   smiley
Logged

Tom
CWuestefeld
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 911



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2007, 05:04:42 PM »

Yes, lots of money  Sad

I'm cheap, so here's what I use: Monitor Calibration Wizard 1.0 http://www.majorgeeks.com/download3912.html

Just matching the monitor to the printer isn't sufficient, depending on how much of a purist you are. For example, it may be that both are too dark, so your output doesn't match the original photograph (even if it matches what you see on the monitor).

IMHO, this is more important for the printer, since in my experience printers can be off far more significantly.

Using DDI's Profile Prism, you get a card with known, well-defined colors on it. You print out another card on your printer, using your desired ink and paper. Put both papers through your scanner, and put the result into PP. By comparing the two, PP can "factor out" the inaccuracies of your scanner, and arrive at an absolute color profile to allow your printer to precisely match what's defined in the image file (or at least as close as is possible). You can then put this profile into Qimage so that it automatically corrects for the "errors" that are expected from the printer.

You can also take a photograph of the provided card and analyze it to get a profile to correct your camera. I don't think this is worth the time, because I think that the profile will vary depending on the ambient light level, shutter speed, ISO speed, etc. There are too many variables to be able to generate an accurate profile, unless you're working in tightly-controlled studio conditions.
Logged



tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,066



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2007, 05:49:06 PM »

Using DDI's Profile Prism, you get a card with known, well-defined colors on it. You print out another card on your printer, using your desired ink and paper. Put both papers through your scanner, and put the result into PP. By comparing the two, PP can "factor out" the inaccuracies of your scanner, and arrive at an absolute color profile to allow your printer to precisely match what's defined in the image file (or at least as close as is possible). You can then put this profile into Qimage so that it automatically corrects for the "errors" that are expected from the printer.

does sound very good  undecided

re cameras,
I noticed somewhere in the help file that Profile Prism was only suitable for doing a camera profile when using RAW images

BTW:
I'm cheap...
no you're not smiley - Profile Prism costs 79$
Logged

Tom
gwynevans
Charter Member
***
Posts: 14

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2007, 03:18:51 AM »

I've also had QImage for years, but the thing that I found most useful was the layout options - I'd often want to print 4 images on an A4 page so just had to set width & height to "x2" (or "x4" for a 16-images contact sheet). 
Logged
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,066



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2008, 01:14:30 PM »

added to post one:-

Logged

Tom
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.048s | Server load: 0.14 ]