"PhotoStage Pro Edition"
Do you want to create amazing slideshows of pictures with your friends, relatives and basically all your loved ones? You could say yes, but if you don’t know how to do that then the first thought that comes to mind is letting a professional do this job, which not only costs, but isn’t very reliable either. However, if you have a few basic computer skills, then you can easily do an equally good job by using PhotoStage, a software with the help of which you can create slideshows from pictures and videos, as well as apply several artistic effects on them.
Basically there’s no installation in this product. Once you launch the installer, the only thing you’ll have to do is accept the License Agreement; afterwards, the program’s main window will open and you can begin working in it. What’s the downside to this? Once you click “Accept”, apart from PhotoStage, many other apps closely related to NCH (PhotoStage’s developer company) will appear in the start menu, which ask to be installed if you try to run them. That’s not a very polite move, actually.
Anyways, fortunately there isn’t anything malicious in the setup package.
Supported operating systems are Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. There are versions for Mac, Android and iOS users as well.
The appearance of the program is average, as it doesn’t have anything that catches the eye, but it doesn’t have anything ugly in it either. It looks a lot like Windows Movie Maker, basically.
It has a toolbar with many buttons at the top, and the timeline at the bottom, where you can insert the media files (audio, video, photos) you want to use for the slideshow. In the middle of the window there are 5 tabs: Edit, Effects, Animation, Text and Transitions. When you click on clip from the timeline, you can edit it in these tabs. On the right side there’s a preview screen for watching your project.
In order to create a slideshow t’s not required that you have advanced technical knowledge, but you have to know the basic stuff from the Windows environment(copy, paste, drag and drop, etc.).
The timeline is used for adding videos, music and photos which you want to use in the whole slideshow. Once you import them, you can move them to appear at specific times as well as resize them to change their duration on the slideshow.
If you want to narrate throughout the slideshow, you can click the “Narrate” button in the toolbar and start recording your voice, which will then be added to the timeline.
Many effects can be applied to the slideshows’ contents: panning, zooming, fade, black/white, border, cartoon, etc. In addition, you can edit clips by adjusting brightness, cropping parts of the clips, rotating them, adding exposure, and performing other operations on them. Similarly, you can add transition effects, animations and text.
There is a lot of bloatware that comes with this application.
The GUI is a bit buggy, and the graphics could use some improvement.
Some alternatives are Ashampoo Slideshow Studio HD 3 (paid), Freemake Video Converter (free), Bolide Slideshow Creator (free) and Aqua SlideShow (paid). Out of those, the best one is Ashampoo Slideshow Studio HD 3.
PhotoStage has some good features, such as the many effects that can be applied to clips, and has an overall average functionality, however it is a horrible idea to install download shortcuts for so many applications in the Start menu. This definitely drops it to 4 stars.
Requirements: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
What's new in this version: Major Update
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