Aug 6, 2007

Head2Head – PhotoNova+PhotoWings vs. PhotoRite SP vs. Nokia Image Editor

I had written this post a couple of weeks ago and thought I posted it, turns out I didn't, so here it is, a couple of weeks late, but still as good.

When it comes to editing pictures on your phone, on-the-go, you usually expect a fast, simple solution, that is well integrated with your photo gallery, but that also allows the basic modifications. No need to go professional on the phone, right?
Right now, 3 solutions have hit the s60 3rd platform: first one was Nokia’s original Image Editor, second was Zensis’ PhotoRite SP, and just recently Sunios’ PhotoNova and PhotoWings.

Nokia Image EditorPhotoRite SPPhotoNova + PhotoWings
Image adjusting
Adjusting BrightnessYesNoYes
Adjusting ContrastYesNoYes
Adjusting SharpnessYesNoNo
Auto AdjustingNoYesYes
Image Color Editing
Any color toneNoNoYes
Image Effects
CartooniseYes: one preinstalled effectNoYes: preinstalled effects with degrees to each one. Custom-made effects can be added
Magic MirrorNoYesNo
Slim up / Blow upNoYesNo
Red-eye reductionYesNoNo
Image add-ons
Frames and bordersYes, only built-in photo framesYes (photo frames that are borders)Yes, borders colors can be chosen too
Easy frame shifting on the same pictureYesYesYes
Inserting faces in another pictureNoYes (photo frames that are people’s pictures)Yes, automatic detection of the face
Editing Options
Rotate imageYesNoNo
Crop imageYesNoNo
Image size modificationYesYesNo
UndoYesYesNo, since every effect has to be saved before applying another one
Allows multiple modifications before savingYesYesNo
RotateYesYesAutomatic rotation of images only when in fullscreen
Easy switching between imagesNo, only the image selected to be edited is openYesYes
Integration with built-in image gallery shortcutsYesNoNo
Slide ShowNoYesNo
Menu and others
Number of images in menuNo menu, phone’s gallery is used to choose a picture99
Editing ShortcutsNoYesNo
Editing of pictures before taking themNoYesNo
Set as wallpaperYes*NoYes
Send via bluetoothYes*YesNo
Send via multimediaYes*YesYes
Send via emailYes*NoYes
Deleting picturesYes*YesYes
Saves the edited image as a new oneYes, original image can not be overwrittenYes, but original image can be overwritten if chosenYes, original image can not be overwritten
View image detailsYes*YesYes
Support for real foldersNoYesNo, all images inside the Gallery are shown

In Words
Nokia Image Editor offers a very well integrated solution, not too sophisticated, but simple and easy to use, from the first time. It is based on the image gallery, hence no main menu is used, since the basic menu operations can be performed from within the phone’s gallery (that’s why the “Yes” in the table has a * next to it). It also offers clip-arts and text adding, which combined can be used for writing captions. It is the only one amongst all 3 to offer image cropping and red-eye reduction. Yet, the lack of effects and customization (borders and frames can not be added) and the impossibility to insert faces in another picture are quite frustrating.
Zensis’ PhotoRite SP offers more effects : the slim-up and blow-up options are quite hilarious when they work out well. It also supports shortcuts, allows overwriting of original image, image size modification, can modify a picture from the camera, before taking it. That last option is most useful for frames, when you want to insert the face of the person in the right place of the image frame. Plus, custom-made frames can be added. Still, PhotoRite lacks adjusting options, and using frames for an already taken image can be quite challenging, if the face is not in the exact right spot, it’s basically impossible to obtain a decent image. Plus it is not free!
Sunios’ PhotoNova+PhotoWings offer simply the most complete list of editing options, whether it’s adjusting, color changing, frames and borders, effects… Most effects can be customized to different degrees or looks, which makes the editing possibilities endless. The cartoonize option is funny, but the blockbuster must be the automatic face detection option, which makes it a blast to edit taken pictures. Yes, it doesn’t allow editing of a picture before taking it, but that is completely arranged by the automatic face detection. It does a decent job at putting the face in the right place and in the right angle, but you can still move it a bit if it’s not 100% what you want, plus it changes the face’s colors to suit the frame’s ones. That’s awesome! What you get is a final picture and it’s hard to say whether it’s been edited or not. Yet, it lacks some basic effects like image rotation, cropping, text adding and clip-arts => proof that nothing is perfect in this world.

Nokia’s Image Editor: 8/10
PhotoRite: 8/10 (would’ve gotten more if it was free)
PhotoNova + PhotoWings: 9/10

It’s hard to say which one of these 3 I would chose if I had to pick one. The fact that both Nokia’s Image Editor and PhotoWings+PhotoNova are free makes them both a must-have and an easy-to-have.
On my phone, you’ll find all 3 applications because I like to play pranks with pictures and, well, sometimes I need to insert a caption, sometimes a frame, sometimes a blow-up will do ;)

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