After Shot Premium Edition review:

After Shot Premium Edition

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MSRP: $49.00
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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Makes it extremely easy to manage and present photos; integrates smartly with Shutterfly's online photo service for Internet sharing and print processing.

The Bad Applies image edits to entire photo only; anti-red-eye tool works sporadically; most functions support only one level of undo.

The Bottom Line Jasc After Shot is a multipurpose, straightforward photo-management system that's best for amateur digital shutterbugs who need to import, store, organize, and share digital pics.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall

So you went a little camera-crazy on your vacation last month, and now your memory card is bursting at the seams. It's time to download, organize, and store your photos. Then, of course, you'll want to share them with friends and family. Jasc's new multipurpose photo utility, After Shot Premium Edition, lets you categorize, enhance, upload, and present your digital masterworks from within one convenient interface. And although graphic artists and experienced digital-editing buffs will scoff at After Shot's rudimentary photo-editing tools, this efficient image manager does what it promises to do, all for $45. However, Apple iPhoto, a Mac-only app, impressed us just as much as After Shot, and it's absolutely free. So you went a little camera-crazy on your vacation last month, and now your memory card is bursting at the seams. It's time to download, organize, and store your photos. Then, of course, you'll want to share them with friends and family. Jasc's new multipurpose photo utility, After Shot Premium Edition, lets you categorize, enhance, upload, and present your digital masterworks from within one convenient interface. And although graphic artists and experienced digital-editing buffs will scoff at After Shot's rudimentary photo-editing tools, this efficient image manager does what it promises to do, all for $45. However, Apple iPhoto, a Mac-only app, impressed us just as much as After Shot, and it's absolutely free.

Smooth sailing
Whether you download After Shot from the Jasc site (for $45) or buy the boxed CD (for $49), the game's the same: After Shot's quick setup and rookie-friendly navigation shouldn't cause you any problems. What's more, the program's familiar, uncluttered Windows Explorer-like interface will put Windows users at ease. Within minutes, you'll be ready to retrieve or delete images from your camera or card reader; simply access the Camera icon at the top of the screen, then choose the relevant command.

From that point, it's a snap to give your images custom titles and add descriptions to make your collection easy to search later. Suppose you upload 30 tons of pictures one day and later can't remember where or what they are. If you've given your photos descriptions, say, "Baby's first step," you can search After Shot's photo database for keywords. If you haven't entered descriptions, you can search via automated information such as date, file size, or flash setting.

Basic, lackluster editing tools
If you want to correct photographic flaws before you share your pics, After Shot's reasonably large assortment of image enhancement tools can help. For extrafast editing, the one-click Quick Fix tool scans your image for obvious contrast and color balance flaws and repairs them automatically. To fine-tune hue, color, brightness, and sharpness or to rotate or crop an image, the Image Menu option will let you access the corresponding sliders or commands. Many tools, including some that control the aspects mentioned above, even display a preview of your image before you apply the changes. Unfortunately, the program's red-eye-removal tool doesn't always get the red out, and its undo function allows you to reverse only your most recent edit, so you'd better not make more than one mistake in a row. Worse, there's no way to adjust one section of a photo, for example, to lighten a shadowy corner, without altering the entire shot.

Show and tell
Although After Shot is primarily an organizational tool, it also lets you display images and share them with others. With After Shot, you can store the finished products in virtual albums of your own creation, or with just a little experimentation, you can turn your favorite photos into continuous slide shows and stop-action mini movies, add voice-overs or music to individual shots, or even "stitch" several images together to form stunning, elongated panoramas. And, like other photo managers, After Shot lets you easily create an Internet-based album; AfterShot's convenient, one-click upload tool transfers your shots to Shutterfly's no-charge Internet photo service. There you can assemble online galleries and invite friends and family to sample your photographic expertise. For a small fee, Shutterfly will also process your images into lab-quality hard-copy prints and enlargements. Currently, After Shot runs on Windows only. We doubt that Mac users will mind, however, since top-rated iPhoto is free.

Although After Shot is easy enough to use, the Jasc site offers numerous, basic FAQs and an e-mail link to the After Shot support team. You can reach Jasc's customer telephone support team from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., CT, Monday through Friday.

Not recommended for pros
If you're satisfied with the digital camera tools Windows XP offers or feel the need to move on to more advanced image-editing techniques, After Shot is not the app for you. However, amateurs and hobbyists who want to edit, store, and share pictures in a flash will appreciate After Shot's friendly and versatile photo management system.

Even if you open four photo albums at once, After Shot's interface still looks uncluttered.

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