Zoner Photo Studio X (ZPSX) Review

Zoner Photo Studio (ZPS) stands out in a competitive image management software market due to its wide array of features. From downloading and organizing pictures off a memory card all the way through to designing prints, books or calendars – ZPS does it all!

Subscription-based, the program offers monthly or annual rates with 20GB of online storage capacity and access to Zonerama photo galleries for subscribers.

Photo management

Zoner Photo Studio provides photographers with an expansive set of asset management, image development, and editing features in one convenient package. Its visually appealing interface includes tabbed layout for efficient workflow that closely resembles web browsing; additionally it offers advanced functions for retouching and layering images as well as more than 600 functions to choose from; but with so many features it may prove daunting for beginners.

As with most photo editing programs, the first thing you’ll do with Zoner is upload photos into its catalog. You can import them from an SD card or directly access files on your computer using an easy button. After doing that, you will have access to organizing and previewing photos in full-screen view mode – plus have the program autotag/name your photos upon import!

Once you’ve become adept with Zoner Photo Studio X’s manager, its Develop module offers an expansive suite of image adjustment tools aimed at color enhancement. There are eight sections (White Balance, Exposure, Color Tone Curves Color Shift Split Toning Clarity Vignetting Single Shot HDR and Single-shot HDR), offering access to them. In particular, Zoner offers an impressive set of sharpening tools which work alongside its Smart Sharpen feature.

The 2021 Autumn update to Zoner saw significant improvements to its noise reduction capabilities, significantly improving high-ISO conversions and making them look much better. Furthermore, Zoner Photo Studio now provides more effective tools for straightening images as well as comprehensive cropping features.

Zoner’s developer is an industry veteran with a solid track record in customer support in English and German. Based in the Czech Republic with offices throughout Europe, its company offers educational resources as well as professional resources for photography enthusiasts and professionals alike. A subscription includes 10 hours of phone or email support per year; additional hours can be purchased as needed.

Raw processing

Zoner Photo Studio X (ZPSX) claims to be that software, promising file management, RAW processing and even video module capabilities. But does its promise live up to reality?

The Spring 2023 update brings significant advances for raw processing. Images now load at roughly half the usual processing time due to a new method for demosaicing; this calculates missing color values from camera sensors pixel by pixel on both JPEG and RAW images.

Notable improvements include faster RAW previews in the Develop module and preloading raw and jpg files when working with them, making the whole experience faster and more responsive. Finally, multiple monitor support has been introduced so photographers can use an extra screen while editing, viewing a full-size preview while working, or comparing images against a reference photo or working with maps.

Zoner Photo Studio X now natively supports RAW formats from numerous popular cameras, eliminating the need for third-party add-ons and simplifying editing workflow. In addition, new display options and enhanced metadata presentation have also been implemented within this software package.

Photographers who shoot in both RAW and JPG formats now have the flexibility of customizing RAW/jpg grouping settings for every catalogue folder, providing greater editing freedom with RAW files while still being able to take advantage of JPG support for editing JPGs separately from edits made in their RAW files. Furthermore, new lens support enables easier correction of lens issues like vignetting and distortion issues.

ZPSX doesn’t match Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop in terms of depth, but offers better value at an significantly reduced cost. Subscription costs $5.99 monthly or $59 annually and comes with two major upgrades each spring and autumn – compatible with both Windows 10 and 11. Alternatives such as RawTherapee or Affinity Photo don’t offer integrated image cataloging and cloud storage like ZPSX does.

Video editing

Zoner offers several modules for photo editing: there’s a browser module for browsing images; another creates print projects such as photo books, canvas prints and refrigerator magnets; an Editor module handles layer photo edit adjustments while its Video module allows users to make videos from source material like photos.

The Spring 2023 update adds many exciting new features to the app, starting with enhanced default raw processing that makes images punchier and more vibrant from day one, which will please those who found earlier processing to be too neutral for their taste. Furthermore, an upgraded Dynamic Range Control now allows users to set highlight and shadow recovery points for greater tone mapping flexibility.

Create now offers various photo printing options, from panoramic canvas prints and photo books to web galleries that can be shared through an obscure URL and be made public or private – perfect for photographers needing to present work without the burden of creating their own website from scratch.

One of the more intriguing new features is the capability of adding text title overlays to images and video clips in the Video module, while colorization offers another creative solution for revitalizing old photos from your collection.

Photographers looking to test out Zoner Photo Studio can access a free trial version on its website. Alternatively, subscription prices start from $59 annually or $5.99 monthly and each plan comes with free photo printing (postage costs will apply). Zoner has been well received since it launched over 10 years ago with regular updates, even after cancellation; in fact it continues functioning normally for 30 days before ceasing altogether! ePHOTOzine readers can save 25% by entering our exclusive discount code “PHOTOZONER25”.

Web design

Zoner Photo Studio is an all-inclusive image management, raw processing and editing program with additional tools for building galleries and creating photo books, along with an impressive video editing module and wide array of printing services for prints, posters and canvases. With such comprehensive capabilities in one tool, Zoner Photo Studio makes an excellent option for photographers and videographers wanting an integrated workflow from start to finish.

While most users will find the Development module sufficient for basic adjustments, those looking to be more creative with their photos will find themselves coming back to the Editor often. Here you can use layers and masks to alter one aspect of a photo by layering text over it or completely changing its background; or get even more involved and add or delete objects from photos – something usually only found in more expensive and complex programs but that comes standard here!

Zoner stands out in another aspect with its HDR image processing, which allows for greater dynamic range in photographs. The Create module stands out as being particularly unique; you can design calendars, photo books and canvas prints directly within this program!

The latest release of the program also brings with it some interesting new features, such as monitoring folders and storing all information related to each photo in a catalog database called the Catalog, so when opening the program it can load images faster from recent shoots than if accessing them directly from hard drives. Furthermore, with its new algorithm to prevent any sort of lag when using its interface as well as more efficient thumbnail storage capabilities – saving preloaded thumbnails more efficiently is now also part of its repertoire.

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