Snapfire Plus - Corel’s Image Editor
by Robert Du Vernay
Snapfire Plus is a new digital image processor based on Paint Shop Pro. It is a Windows XP product and you must have SP2 installed and be current, or you may have problems installing DirectX 9.0c, which is a necessary component. Also, Quick Time 7 or greater, use 1024 x 768 minimum and IE 6 or higher. It will also run on Win 2K. There are two flavors: Snapfire (lite and free) and Snapfire Plus. My install went flawlessly after updating.
Snapfire Plus has some very handsome, interesting and easy to use tools:
- Blemish removal tool, much like the clone tool of PaintShop Pro, only a bit easier for the average person who wants to fix a teenage problem once in a blue moon; and
- Red Eye tool, which is virtually fool proof, but you must know the color of the eye; and
- Teeth Whitener, you can save someone a lot of money and time at the dentist; and
- Suntan Brush, again you got to know something of the subject!
Very impressed with the engineering of these toys, clean, clear and simple in their application. Please don’t misunderstand, this is not the Paint Shop Pro application, but for basic photo clean, crop and fix it; Yes, it is impressive!
You can Re-Size and you can Straighten a photo! If your digital camera supports and codes your photos correctly, Snapfile Plus will automatically rotate to Portrait from Landscape orientation. Quick Print allows you to choose form a variety of automatic layouts.
Picture Organization is weak. But exhibiting the EXIF & IPTC standards is very nice. There is a Picture Finder option, which appears to be an unfinished work! If I want to paint a series of photos, I have to manually search all the folders presented! Not good.
Snapfile Plus does a very nice SlideShow thing, which you can very easily couple with a MP3 selection. It provides transition effects, controllable duration, and Motion effect for the SlideShow project and it Synchronizes with the push of a button, and saves just an easily to FILE but not directly to a CD-R, which I found disappointing. There is an option to save your SlideShow project to a VIDEO (AVI format), but that did not work for me. If you want to send this file; remember that the recipient needs to download and install Snapfire to play the slide show. Referring to the first paragraph on the requirements…Aunt Tilly may not be able to see your slide show, unless she is current.
There are many other features, like Collages, Picture frames and effects, Ordering Photo copies on-line. E-mail your photos or slide show. Please remember most people do not have broadband connection.
Customer support is limited to one free 800 call to a real person There is a Corel Knowledge Base www.corel.com/knowledgebase unlimited. The Help functions in the program are limited.
All this being said, the product does do what it purports to do, with the exception of the AVI video. There are areas where it can be improved. The other thing is the lack of a native and lossless format, especially since this product is based on PaintShop Pro, which has it own. Snapfile Plus.
Robert Du Vernay is a HAL-PC member and chief instructor for CD Burning for Everyone and the DVD Burning for Everyone classes and ditto for the Digital Imaging class. He can be reached at email@example.com.