PhotoDemon is a feature-packed portable photo editor.
The program's interface won't appeal to everyone. Toolbars are basic, and you have to delve into a complex menu system to find out what you can do. But once you start to do that, PhotoDemon's power quickly becomes apparent.
Capable Selection options enable you to select rectangles, ellipses or lines, in interior, exterior or border modes. Selections can be antialiased, feathered or sharpened in a click or two, and saved for reuse later.
There are plenty of adjustments available, with tools to tweak brightness, contrast, colour balance, vibrance, white balance and more. Some of these deliver far more functionality than you'd expect ("Photo Filters" has 50 filters, each of which can correct a specific issue with a click). Better still, you can create and save presets for any tool, which should speed up the editing process later.
The Effects menu has 65 separate options, many of which can be customised in various ways. Their quality varies considerably, but live previews help you produce the best results (choose "Oil Painting", drag a slider, and a thumbnail updates immediately to show the effect). PhotoDemon also has a lot of effective distortion tools, and some of these - "Perspective", "Pan and Zoom" - might justify installing the program, all on their own.
The package is completed with a batch processing tool, a versatile metadata browser with wide standards support (JFIF, EXIF, PrintIM, XMP, IPTC, Photoshop), and a complete macro recording and playback system.
Version 6.4, despite the apparently minor version change, is a massive update which will introduce a host of major features.
- Layers (hide/ show/ reorder/ merge up/ merge down/ duplicate/ 24 blend modes/ resize, rotate, mirror or flip without flattening the image)
- New non-destructive editing "Quick Fix" tools: Exposure, Contrast, Clarity, Vibrance, Temperature, Tint)
- New automatic adjustments for colour, contrast, lighting
- New Straighten tool with an on-screen grid
- Many new effects, including split toning, HDR, coloured pencil, glass tiles, stained glass, fragment, Lens Flare, Sunshine, Remove Noise
- Curves and Levels dialogs now offer per-channel support
- New options with many filters. For example, "Relief" doesn't just deliver a single canned effect: you get to tweak angle, thickness and relief depth.
- A new Undo History dialog means you can jump back to any point in an image's history
- And many smaller tweaks and enhancements
It's also a beta, so be careful if you're using the program for serious work, but otherwise this is looking like a vast improvement.