- Wide range of features
- Smart cutting tool
- Clean, well-designed interface
- Custom presets
- Deep, professional editing tools
- Destructive results with certain tools
- Flawed interactions between different programs
- Limited customer support options
Is there ever such thing as too much? With software, cramming in every possible feature is naturally beneficial for the user, but it can sometimes leave the end result feeling bloated and cumbersome to use. InPixio has come across a solution to this: provide that same package, but split it up into different parts. The Parisian developer’s Photo Clip is an amalgamation of just some of its wide range of photo editing software, stuffed with every necessary feature but divided across separate image editing, error removal, and erasing programs – with direct access to additional InPixio products for an extra fee. With a package as complete as this, the lowest price of $49.99 is certainly a tempting offer, but the five-day free trial means you’ll easily have enough time to get a handle on every feature and function that Photo Clip has available.
With Photo Clip you’ll need to decide your reason for using it each time it is booted up. The three individual tools – Editor, Cutter, and Eraser – are strictly separated programs, yet each familiar in layout and design and all connected as part of an initial launch splash screen.
The interface is immediately impressive, with clear text and space between sliders, a pleasantly large workspace, and minimizable menus to really get a good look at your work. It makes editing with the software more comfortable since there’s no squinting to read tiny UI text or struggling to pick out the required tool from a difficult to read screen.
Using icons to categorize the different available selections – at least in Photo Clip Editor – helps keep things condensed and compact, though admittedly it does take some learning to remember where particular effects or tools are stored.
There are a number of subtle but important functions, too, that don’t necessarily sell the software but certainly make its use all the more pleasant an experience. The ability to make finite adjustments by typing in a number, for instance, is incredibly useful, as are the options to favorite particular tools, toggle effect visibility, or view a side-by-side comparison with the original image.
Tools and Effects
But it’s the use of presets that dominates Photo Clip’s. The software’s own presets are typically strong effects, purposefully harsh in their look and style but with no function to adjust just how intensely any given effect is applied. Each preset is a saved set of controls, however, which does mean it is possible to go in and manually readjust the settings that have been changed. It can be tricky to know where to begin with this, especially since using a preset likely means you’re not looking to do much of the intricate editing yourself.
This adds more work, admittedly, but a helpful workaround is in the possibility to create and save your own presets. This means spending some time editing an existing preset or saving the settings of an image that you’re happy with will ultimately minimize the time spent on applying that same look next time.
This is especially important for small businesses that might want to create simple social media images but don’t have the resources to hire someone especially for this task. Photo Clip Editor seems particularly well-suited to this purpose thanks to the array of rather specialized overlays – with the sort of colorful geometric styles you’ll regularly see on Facebook header images – that aren’t customizable beyond how heavily they are applied.
There’s a lot of emphasis placed on dehazing and noise reduction, adding together with clarity adjustments to round out a decent trio of enhancement tools. While the results are always going to be a challenge and will rarely ever produce perfect results – especially when attempting noise reduction on photos taken with particularly high ISOs – they will at least make the overall image appear better, even if the close-up results end up quite damaged.
Meanwhile, the functions of Photo Clip Eraser and Cutter are at once intriguing and limiting. Separating them off into individual programs adds more hassle, especially when considering that the results of both programs first need to be exported and then imported separately into Photo Clip Editor if you want to further enhance the results.
The cutting itself is quite smart, however, able to cleverly pick out what it needs to remove with only a single brushstroke, though it needs a lot of finessing for proper results. On the other hand, the erasing – which is to say removal of unwanted items – can be a bit spotty, the AI not able to properly figure out the correct adjustments based on the context of the image. However, when combined with cloning it can make for a fairly quick – if imprecise – manner of image improvement.
Import & Export
Adding an image to the workspace is a smartly considered process. After selecting it from its location on the computer, the contents of that folder will then also appear running along the bottom of the screen. Though this can be minimized to allow a larger area for editing, this allows you to quickly see (and select) any other images that might also be stored in the same folder. It’s a small thing, but very helpful.
Photo Clip supports the most common file types, as well as a few untypical types like .DIB, .JXR, and so on. As such you can be sure that your photography will be supported, though .RAW files aren’t compatible with the software.
There is a lot of control over the exporting process, allowing for the manipulation of compression, file size, and even the ICC profile to be used – especially notable for high-level users. However, the software exports as .JPG by default, with the only other option being .TIFF. They’re both solid standards, but a bit more adaptability here would be appreciated.
While it’s worth remembering that downloadable photo editing software doesn’t typically offer many options when it comes to sharing a creation online, Photo Clip is one of the more limited suites with only two options for social sharing – Facebook and Flickr. This streamlines the process of uploading to two of the more important options, but for everything else you’ll need to export the image and upload it manually. There is the added benefit of being able to directly send an image via email, which is a helpful addition.
To highlight the compatibility across InPixio’s suite of editing tools, the share section also allows for direct transfers over to other programs available from the developer. However, crashes and Photo Cutter editing results failing to transfer over mean that this is not a perfect system, and certainly not more effective than simply exporting the images and importing them directly into the software you need to use. This function is also available for Photo Focus and Photo Maximizer, should these products also be owned.
As downloadable software, Photo Clip is obviously limited to the operating systems that InPixio supports. While the PC and Mac versions are kept separate in terms of their versioning, either side of the desktop computer market is catered for. However, there is also an equivalent mobile app available only for iOS.
With the app, many of the filters, effects, and even some tools are restricted only to those who pay, yet even premium members will find that – when compared to the bigger, desktop version – there aren’t so many possibilities with the app. Rotating, as just one example, is limited to only 90-degree rotations, with no option to finitely adjust angles for better positioning and perspectives.
Photo Clip’s mobile app is well-designed with a familiar Instagram-style layout and is simple to use, but doesn’t offer quite enough functions to make it worth downloading – whether you choose to pay the low $2.49 premium fee or not. While it is by no means a bad app, there are better, more feature-filled equivalents already available.
As is common with downloadable editing software, Photo Clip works on a license-based system and has two packages available. The standard costs $49.99 and unlocks the majority of the available tools with the exception of new functions like noise or haze reduction. The “Professional” license comes in at $79.99 and is naturally the most complete version, with all features available in addition to a large number of extra presets, frames, and overlays to apply to your images.
The confusion surrounding what is and isn’t available in the two packages isn’t helped much by the means of testing the software. The five-day free trial has everything unlocked and can be used without restrictions for the period, the only issue being the watermark that is applied to all exported images.
Then there’s the forever free version of Photo Editor, which has the core feature set available – meaning adjustments to colors, brightness, saturation and the like – alongside a selection of presets and all frames and overlays. However, more complex tools like the useful gradients or noise/haze reduction are blocked and will also apply a watermark when used. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee available, though, which means the suite can be fully tested without risk.
The option to call InPixio is a prominent option, clearly seen from the bottom of any page. This is reserved for sales and billing, however, so you’ll need to log into an account to post a question, report a bug, or troubleshoot an issue with the software. This can be searched quite easily to find the answer you’re looking for, but of course this is dependent not only on the issue having already been discussed but that an answer has been provided by the support team, which isn’t always the case. Tutorials can be found on the blog – which cannot be searched – and while there are social media channels, the assistance they provide are limited to the point of uselessness.
As a suite, Photo Clip is about as complete as they come. While it is a bother to have to switch between different software – rather than having everything packaged neatly into a single program – the ability to cut, clone, and customize your photos to such an extent will be appreciated by any level of user.
There’s a great number of overlays and effects, too, useful for creative photographers and small businesses looking to put together compelling social media imagery. But it’s not quite as intuitive as it could be. The interface is slick and comes with some smart ideas but, conversely, the software can be awkward to use in other areas – such as with presets. The fact that it can crash on occasion and that some of its tools can be destructive to the end result are also disappointing for what could otherwise have been a thoroughly worthwhile package.