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Edit and Enhance
iPhoto does all the photo adjustment you'd expect or need from an entry-level photo app and then some. The auto-enhance button mostly worked well, though I usually preferred to go in and adjust the exposure in the Adjust tab of the Edit mode. There, I could use sliders to tweak the exposure, contrast, and saturation up or down, but only increase highlights and shadows—Windows Live Photo Gallery let me both increase and decrease those. Increasing the exposure removes detail from bright areas, and the Highlights adjustment isn't able to bring much of it back, compared with what's possible in higher-end apps like Lightroom.
I liked how iPhoto let me actually move its histogram edges and center to change the white, black, and midpoints, which made up for those slider limitations. Picasa's histogram can't be adjusted, while Windows Live Photo Gallery let me adjust just the two sides of the histogram. So iPhoto scores top marks for having the most detailed exposure adjustments.
iPhoto's red-eye correction works well and, like Picasa's, finds and corrects all eyes automatically. I got slightly better results with iPhoto's blemish retouch tool than Picasa's or Windows', but Picasa has you choose a neighboring area to match the color and texture of the area you want to fix, which can be helpful in some cases. iPhoto does let you grab neighboring texture by holding down the Option key, but it's not a built in part of the process as it is in Picasa, and isn't likely to be discovered by a user in a hurry.
For fun effects iPhoto was on par with Picasa, adding matte and vignette effects to the usual black-and-white, sepia, and saturation. But Picasa adds the very cool 'Focal B&W' effect which puts all but a target object in the image in B&W.
Create and Share
One of iPhoto's strengths is the wealth of ways it lets you output your imagery—whether to slideshows, e-mails, online galleries, cards, calendars, or even books. The new photo e-mails offer ten attractive layouts, and you can either attach the full-size photos or just send the themed e-mail.
Integration with Facebook and Flickr photo galleries is excellent. If you enter a login, you can view your albums directly in iPhoto and download them. You'll even see comments: It's a stunning example of Internet-plus-installed-app integration. Plenty of other photo apps let you upload to Facebook, but bringing all the albums into a local app is clever trick. Live Photo Gallery, too has a built-in button for uploading to Facebook, and like iPhoto (but unlike Picasa) it preserves name tags on the social site. Unfortunately, you can't edit or share photos that only exist in your online account unless you explicity download them.
For slideshows, the tried-and-trun Ken Burns effect is joined by 12 well-designed themes with canned music options. Of particular note is the map slideshow, which starts with a rotating globe and then zooms in on a closer map of where your photos were geotagged, displaying the state and city. Another wow feature, but I wished for more control over slide layout—like where to show two up or one up.
Professional output options like cards and photo books are a strong point for iPhoto. Eighteen different themes were available in hardcover, soft cover, and wire-bound. Each offer a few color choices, but only limited to what will tastefully go together. Pictures flow into the book layouts, automatically choosing those you've given higher star ratings for bigger treatment or the cover. Finally, new high-quality letterpress card choices are available for $2.99 each; these are suitable for birth announcements or special Christmas cards.
I'm not sure why a couple of things in iOS version of iPhoto don't make it into the big, Mac app. I already mentioned the Journals website feature, but there's also the ability to add Photo Sharing galleries, and the effect filters that have made their way into iOS 7.
The Best Entry Level Mac Photo SoftwareWith its excellent full screen view, sharing capabilities, and tie in with iCloud Photo Stream, Apple's beautifully designed iPhoto now bests Picasa as PCMag's Editors' Choice for Mac users who want a simple way to work with digital photos. It offers all the adjustment and enhancement tools they could want, with top-notch output to local printing, websites, and even beautifully produced books and cards. For those looking for even more photo effects and adjustment tools, check out our enthusiast-level Editors' Choice, Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Stunning photographs is something you can expect as a given from your Nokia Lumia – from the entry-level Nokia Lumia 520 to the range-topping Lumia 1020 – and there’s an application for Apple Mac owners that makes it super easy to transfer photos between your Mac and your smartphone.
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With the Nokia Photo Transfer for Mac app, you can also transfer Cinemagraphs and images you’ve captured with Smart Shoot, Nokia Smart Camera and Nokia Pro Camera. And as an added bonus for Lumia 1020 owners, this app will also transfer your high-resolution images to your Mac and back.
To get started, download Nokia Photo Transfer for Mac.
Then connect your Nokia Lumia using a USB cable, and the photographs stored on your phone will automatically appear in Nokia Photo Transfer. The interface is made up of two sections: Preview tiles for your photographs, and a couple of icons at the bottom for different options.
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You can select an individual photograph to transfer – you’ll see a big tick appear in the centre of a photograph when you select it, or you can also select multiple images. If you want to transfer several, press the ‘cmd’ button on your Mac’s keyboard, and tap the photographs you want to transfer.
You can also transfer all of the photographs from your Lumia straight to your Mac: Simply press ‘cmd’ and ‘A’ simultaneously to select all. Once you’ve selected the photographs, it’s time to transfer them to your computer.
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There’s a drop-down menu on the bottom right – tap it and select the destination for your photographs. The images will be transferred to Pictures as a default, but you can also tap ‘other’ and then pick a different location.
There are two buttons in the middle – Import and Export – and when you’re ready to go all you need to do is press ‘Import’. That’s it – your photographs will all be transferred to the folder or destination you selected.
You can also use Nokia Photo Transfer to move your photos back to your Lumia.
Simply press the ‘Export’ button, select the files you want to transfer, and press ‘Open’. As soon as you press the button, your photographs will be copied over to your Nokia Lumia.
The beauty of the app is that it does not only store your finalized images, but also the “background material” associated with the image files. This means that you’re able to edit and play with your Cinemagraphs or images taken with Smart Shoot, Smart Camera or Pro Camera once you’ve restored them.
Important note: To be able to access the full resolution editing capabilities of pictures taken with Pro Camera on the Lumia 1020, you need to transfer both the 5MP jpg-file (named WP_XXXXXXXX_XX_XX_XX_Pro.jpg) and the corresponding high-res-file (named WP_XXXXXXXX_XX_XX_XX_Pro__highres.jpg) to your phone. You also need to re-associate the files with Pro Camera by clicking “find” inside the Pro Camera Settings. The find command can take a few minutes to run if you have a lot of images on your phone, but be patient, and don’t exit the application.
Have you used Nokia Photo Transfer already? Let us know in the comments below.