Photo Explosion Deluxe 2.0 is designed to provide all the tools you will need to store, organise, edit and manipulate your digital images. The three installation discs contain a broad range of software that will help out in all of these areas - it's just a shame that it's let down by presentation and execution.

For a start, most of the extra tools are discrete from the main Photo Deluxe interface. So if you want to access added features such as Cool 360 (pictured), which comes with the Deluxe version and allows you to stitch together 360-degree or wide-angle panoramas, you will have to fire up this Ulead application separately. The same applies to the photo-morphing tool, Morpheus, the Serif Montage Plus collage package, and Picture-to-TV, which creates slideshows you can play back on a consumer DVD player.

This method makes for a flaky interface and, we found, slows down PC operation. This is to be expected with photo-editing software, but it was particularly marked with this package.

The main Photo Deluxe software allows you to carry out all the simple tasks such as editing images, browsing your collection of photos and creating projects. Again, this part of the software worked very slowly. We also thought the interface was extremely basic, but perhaps this reflects the target market.

As this is version 2.0, there are several new features to be found. These include the extras mentioned above, but there are also editing options, including a stamping tool, which allows you to apply stamps of clip art-style images to jazz up designs. There is also a Beautify Skin Filter, which allows you to add instant effects to skin tones, such as a tan.

Nova Photo Explosion Deluxe: Specs

  • 300MHz Pentium Processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 64MB RAM
  • 300MHz Pentium Processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 64MB RAM

OUR VERDICT

Photo Deluxe 2.0 is comprehensive, but it isn't put together well enough. The extras seem to have been an afterthought and aren't as easy to use as the main package. It's also painfully slow and the Photo Deluxe element is prone to crashes.

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