It may be a lightweight app, but the Windows-only PhotoEQ application aims to be the app you reach for when you need some quick image editing tasks done.
Opening up in a simple, if somewhat dated-looking two-pane interface, PhotoEQ packs tools for colour correction, image editing and colour management.
Images are simply dragged over into a small window, which opens up to provide ‘before’ and ‘after’ views, with PhotoEQ using “non-destructive layer based processing” for editing operations. An ‘auto-correction’ button automates the process of tweaking images.
A row of seven buttons underneath provide further colour correction options, plus rotate/straighten, crop, resize, sharpen, de-noise, blur and red-eye fix tools and there’s also a secondary magnifier and eye dropper window.
What makes PhotoEQ stand out from the pack is the easy-to-use batch feature, which lets users process multiple images in one go.
This is great if you have a large folder of images that need a quick bit of a shine before being uploaded.
It seemed fairly quick in operation when run in auto correct’ mode – which corrects white balance, exposure and contrast problems in single step – and the results were pretty good overall.
Even though we were using the app on a large 24″ monitor, the interface made for a very cramped working environment.
When working on an image, half the screen would be permanently taken up with the unedited version, while non-moveable and non- resizeable tool bars hogged the bottom of the screen.
When working on portrait mode images, the problem became even worse, with the editing interface completely dominating the view – a full screen/no tool bar option and the ability to just view the edited image would have been most welcome for checking details.
Another annoyance was the way that it wasn’t possible to scroll within a zoomed-in image – instead we had to navigate around photos via the small (and non-resizeable) secondary window
We also became a little too familiar with the ‘processing image’ timer that popped up with alarming regularity during several editing operations.
Adding a 62 per cent blur effect to a single 4MB image took up to 17.3 seconds, and with no preview option available, any kind of experimentation was discouraged – and we were testing the app on a Windows 64 bit Intel i7 quad-core CPU machine.
The cramped and space-hogging interface meant that we can’t recommend this app for notebook users – surely the target audience for such a lightweight editing app – and although we liked the auto correcting feature, some other editing operations were unacceptably slow.
We really wanted to like this app, and if all you’re after is a simple, auto correcting, batch processing image app then it might be worth a look, but at $33 it’s hard to recommend for regular users.
Ease of use:
Value for money: