|App Name||Helicon Filter|
|App Version Reviewed||4.88|
|Test System Specs||xphome, 2.33Ghz Duo, 2gb Ram|
|Supported OSes||Compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Vista x64.|
|Support Methods||forum, email|
|Upgrade Policy||Number of options, 1year, lifetime see web site|
|Trial Version Available?||30 day trial, reverts to free version|
|Pricing Scheme||Free version, Pro $75(plugin&multiprocessor), Home $60, v4xx options, 1year option|
|Reviewer Donation Link||Donate to Brett, the Review Writer|
|Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product||REVIEWER: No relationship with Helicon other then a registered Pro user|
Helicon Filter is a complete image editing solution for the digital photographer.
Pro Version used in review, but there is only minor difference for most users.
Who is this app designed for:
Originally I thought this was a fantastic easy to use program for the average photo taker that wants to perform some improvements to their photo's.
But after using for a while you will find that there are some unique and Power user options, tools that Photoshop find difficult if not impossible are a breeze in Helicon Filter.
Fast, Fast, Fast. If you need to improve some photos quickly, turn out some work that is presentable, this is it. Make some adjustments, save the adjustments and apply them to other images or batch process a whole folder.
Simple, even your mother could use this. (my mum could not use Photoshop)
Powerful, there are some features that are unique, but you have to poke around to find them (especially in Pro)
Easy frame tool, reduce noise by colour, side by side comparisons, noise and sharpening maps, blur/sharpen brush, eyedropper white balance, Image stacking HDR, etc.
The needs improvement section
Programmers probably take for granted what a new user does not understand, the tutorial/help section is good, but you need to read it over and over.
Some buttons and sliders are available, and you will need to dig to learn what they perform.
No layers or masks.
Why I think you should use this product
Cant afford Photoshop, PSP, etc. The free version has more then enough, and the Pro version adds a few power tools.
How does it compare to similar apps
It is hard to compare because Helicon
I originally found Helicon Filter in a post here at DC. Since then I have become a fan of its simplistic design and layout, its ability to perform some very powerful features, and its editing workflow.
So how does it differ from other photo editors, best put by other comments elsewhere on the web.
Helicon Filter is Task based, and other editors are Tool based.
Photoshop might have 100's of tools, but does not lead you in what to use first or how.
Helicon Filter lays out a series of tasks, with tools for each task.
The advantage is that your workflow becomes fast. I have both PS elements 6 and Helicon Filter (also Lightroom2) and if time is a factor, I reach for Helicon Filter.
Quick example (reduced size 800w 100%jpg)
I was happy with the original photos composition, but the photo feels flat and washed out.
A quick run along the tabs adjusting
contrast, highlights, shadows for sand highlights
Dull and Bright colors, add some richness.
reduce a little noise
Sharpening, heaps of edge sharpening
Add a frame for presentation
(workflow time from start to finish, around 4mins)
I still use PS elements and Lightroom, just not very much.
This is not a full replacement for high end photo editing as it does not support layers or masks.
But if you have never used Layers or masks, then Helicon Filter will be more then you will ever need.
(The pro version has a PS plugin )
and if you need speed, its stunning.
Overall, free version is great, that great I paid for the Pro.