Everyone loves to take photos. It’s a way to remember the events that happen throughout our lives, so we can go back years later and take in all the cool stuff we did. Managing the large amount of photos we take can seem like a full time job. We have to find a place to store them, edit anything that might be wrong with them, and if we want to be truly creative, actually do something interesting with them, besides just sharing them to social media.
This is where photo software comes into play, and today we are going to take a look at Ashampoo Photo Commander 12, a program that does everything you could ask of a piece of photo software. You can keep all of your pictures in one place, edit them for imperfections, apply Instagram-like effects and filters, and even turn them into slideshows, collages, and calendars.
Ashampoo Photo Commander 12 comes with a free evaluation period, and after that a license costs $49.99, which begs the question: is it worth it? That’s just what we are going to look at today.
Like any piece of software, you are going to need to install Photo Commander 12. The process is quick and painless, and once done, you will either get a trial period to evaluate the software, or you can enter in a license and activate it.
Once that is done, the software will guide you through a short setup wizard that will teach you some of the basics of navigating around the interface and using some of the features. It doesn’t show you everything, but it will give you a broad idea of the kinds of things you can do, and it will steer you in the right direction. Of course, you can also skip this if you prefer to just jump in and figure things out on your own.
Photo Management Features
When you launch the program for the first time it will let you associate different file types with it, so when you open a photo of the respective file type, it will go straight to Photo Commander 12 for you to tweak and adjust it as you see fit.
When browsing your files, it organizes everything in a way that makes it easy to take in. Folders are sorted in convenient columns that are grouped up by the date they were added. If you have a large amount of pictures stored on your computer, the way it’s all organized within the program is quite handy. Additionally, the software also has all kinds of filters that allow you to find specific photos. For example, you can filter all photos that were added after a certain date and those that are in PNG format. This is all designed to allow you to get access to the photos you need.
Before we get to fine-tuning your individual photos with filters and fixes, a great feature we need to mention is the ability to batch edit many aspect of photos, which is great for bloggers or anyone who needs to make basic tweaks to a bunch of photos.
You can batch process all kinds of aspects of images. Of course, you can change the size and rotate them, and you can even go a little deeper, adjusting color settings for a large group of images at one time. It has all of the features you’d expect from a program designed to just batch image editing, and that’s along with all of the other features this program offers that a dedicated batch image editor doesn’t have. Watermark? Mass rename? Yes, they are all included.
Individual Image Editing
No program is going to replace Photoshop in terms of pure image editing power, but for general fixes and photo tweaks, Photo Commander 12 does a very admirable job. Whether you want to fine-tune images yourself, or you prefer to use the automatic features to let the program process your images and make them look quite a bit better, this piece of software has you covered.
To edit an image, you simply double click on it from the main screen, and from there, you will have access to all of the tools. For basic, automatic editing, you simply click the “Optimize” button and choose how you want the software to process the image. You can choose smaller tweaks or very drastic ones that will change it a great deal. It really doesn’t get much easier than that, and in my experience, the program did a great job of improving the images and making them look quite a bit cleaner.
Of course, you are not going to want to automatically adjust your images all the time, and sometimes you are going to want to handle the tweaks yourself. There’s plenty of features that allow you to do that too. With the rise of Instagram, filters have become a very popular way of showing off your photos, and the “Effects” option has plenty to choose from. You can even use the effects pen to adjust small parts of the image. Outside of that, there are options to adjust the focus point and add blur, red eye removal, color accents, and so much more.
Using Your Images
Once you have your photos adjusted to look as beautiful as you desire, you can actually use this program to do some fun things with them. You can create slideshows, calendars, panoramas, greeting cards, and more. The process is as simple as choosing the photos you want to use, and letting the program process them. From there, you can tweak and fine-tune the output, but generally the results are quite good and you won’t need to do much adjusting.
The features we are specifically focusing on in this review are for the new premium Photo Commander 12, but there’s also a free version of the software that comes with many of the features you will find in the paid version, but of course, there are a few limitations.
One of the biggest things you will notice not present in the free version is the effects pen. Also, many of the scanning options are missing, so if you plan to bring your physical images into your library, you are definitely going to want to upgrade to the premium version. Many of the sharing features for sending your photos to others are also pulled out of the free version.
However, if you plan to do some basic editing (including many of the batch editing features we talked about earlier), the free version will definitely do the job. It’s worth downloading to see if it meets your needs, and if it does, save yourself a few bucks without upgrading to Photo Commander 12.
Unless you are a professional image editor who needs the layering and advanced features of Photoshop, the tools offered in Ashampoo Photo Commander 12 are quite effective. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of power in its editors. Given that it can organize your photos, create cool items with them, and batch edit, you are looking at a very complete piece of software that is definitely worth a look. If you are a photo junkie, you should really give Ashampoo Photo Commander 12 a try, especially since you can try it out for free!
Are you going to try Ashampoo Photo Commander 12? If not, what program do you use to edit your photos? Hit the comments section below and let us know!