On1 releases Photoshop alternative Perfect Photo Suite 9.5

On1 Perfect Photo Suite 9.5

Perfect Photo Suite 9.5 is actually seven apps in one, combining Effects, Portrait, Resize, Layers, B&W, Enhance and Browse modules.

The main changes in version 9.5 are aimed at improving performance and usability in photo browsing, portrait retouching and effects, but there are also some new features and enhancements.

On1's most interesting recent additions has been the Browse module, which elevates the whole suite beyond a collection of plug-ins into an all-round photo management tool. With version 9.5, On1 has improved the speed at which images can be viewed by up to 50%, which could prove especially useful for displaying raw files.

On1 Perfect Photo Suite 9.5

The Effects module offers a myriad of presets for creating editable layered images.

The Browse module isn't solely for use within Perfect Photo Suite – On1 says you can also use it as an organizational front end to Photoshop (as an alternative to Adobe Bridge), or even Lightroom. Lightroom is itself an organizing/cataloguing tool, of course, but you could use the On1 Browse module as a quick image sorting, selection and rating tool before importing your photos into Lightroom.

More than that, though, On1 has added an Albums feature, so you can create your own 'virtual' collections of photos outside of the folder structure.

Faster and better

On1 says speed and performance have been improved in its Perfect Portrait module, with faster face and feature detection and easier adjustments. Many of the filters in the Perfect Effects module have been updated too, so that they can now use the computer's GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) where available, to speed up the processing.

On1 Perfect Photo Suite 9.5

On1 Perfect Photo Suite 9.5

The improved Perfect Portrait module is better at identifying facial features and offers easier adjustments.

A new Line Mask tool makes it easier to select straight edges for masking, and new Luminosity Masks make it possible to edit areas of images selectively according to their brightness values.

Price and availability

If you already have Perfect Photo Suite 9, this is a free upgrade. If you have an older version, the upgrade price is US$79.95 (about £55/AU$106) and if you're buying for the first time, Perfect Photo Suite 9.5 costs US£129.95 (about £89/AU$172).

This compares favourably with the Google Nik Collection, which lacks On1's browsing and layering tools but has just about the best set of effects filters there is.

Perfect Photo Suite 9.5 works on both Mac and PC and you can download a trial version from the On1 website – there's also a basic US$79.99 version on the Mac App Store.