MAGIX Photo Manager MX Deluxe: Now with panoramas and map routes

Multimedia specialist MAGIX has released Photo Manager MX Deluxe, the latest edition of its photo workflow package, extending the program’s already ridiculously lengthy feature list with some worthwhile new additions.

If you’re looking to create a panorama, for instance, the new montage tool will automatically combine, position and crossfade up to eight individual images, variously correcting for lens distortions, perspective and other issues to produce the best possible panorama. That’s the idea, anyway; our initial tests weren’t always successful, but did show the tool is capable of some impressive results.

The new travel route tool makes it easy to create an animated map to accompany your latest holiday photos. Point and click key locations on the map, choose the mode of transport (plane, ship, car and so on) for each leg of the journey, and the program will then produce and export an impressive-looking video of the results.

Photo Manager MX Deluxe now also includes Slideshow Maker 2, a powerful tool for converting your chosen photos into a professional video slideshow, complete with pans, zooms, effects, background music, opening and closing credits, and more.

A new Online Album Mobile feature enables you to upload pictures directly from your iPhone, smartphone or other Android mobile device to your own online album.

And of course there’s still all the functionality that was available in previous editions. So you get support for importing RAW files from more than 270 camera models; there are plenty of photo correction and editing features; the ability to place your photos into albums or assign them to categories helps keep everything organised; and there’s a powerful search tool, face tagging, EXIF data editing, batch operations, image archiving to CD or DVD, direct upload to Facebook, Flickr or YouTube, and a whole lot more.

One problem that remains from those previous editions is that it’s sometimes hard to find the feature you need. There are menus and right-click options, toolbars and task panes, and their layout isn’t always intuitive: in some cases we found ourselves exploring five or six of these before we discovered the particular function we were looking for.

And while that does get easier as you begin to find your way around, the functionality here isn’t quite as polished as in some of the high-end competition. We’d prefer Adobe Lightroom for its editing and optimization features, for instance.

That’s no great surprise when you consider that Photo Manager MX Deluxe is around 20 percent of the Lightroom price, though, at $59.99. And while it’s not always as well laid out as we’d like, there’s a vast amount of functionality here: the program really is great value for money. If your photo collection needs organising, or you’d like a photo workflow tool that doesn’t come with the customary high price tag, then Photo Manager MX Deluxe could be a good choice. Just be prepared for a fairly steep initial learning curve until you’ve figured out where everything is.

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