We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Digital photo software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 review

£34 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Ashampoo

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 isn't much of an upgrade on the previous iteration, but Photo Commander was already a comprehensive photo organizer and editor.

Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 isn't much of an upgrade on the previous iteration, but Photo Commander was already a comprehensive photo organizer and editor.

The new Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 is a capable tool for quickly doing the kinds of minor adjustments most people will need - for example, automatic red-eye reduction and image rotation - I found a number of flaws that individually don't cause a great deal of trouble, but collectively could create a lot of frustration.

Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 aims to be a soup-to-nuts photo adjustment, creativity, and management tool. It's capable of organizing large collections; generating projects like calendars and panoramic composite shots; or editing, cropping, and adjusting the color and contrast of individual photos or entire directories full of images. Ashampoo supports virtually every common image and video file format, and also can organize MP3 audio files (though I'm not sure why you'd use a photo manager for that). All of the tool's features are organized under tabs labeled Common, Quick Fix, Edit, Create, and Organize.

The "Organize" menu gives you the options to search for images based on EXIF data; find and remove duplicate images; archive files to an external drive, CD, or DVD; and rename, optimize, or manipulate large groups of files as a batch. But Ashampoo Photo Commander 9's features always seem to fall a little short of what I'd expect.

For example, you can rotate a batch of imagesbut even if your camera records its orientation when the picture was taken and puts that into the photo's EXIF metadata, the program doesn't automatically choose the orientation. Instead, you have to manually choose which way to rotate the images. It's a minor annoyance, unless you have a huge directory of photos that need rotation in different directions. Then it's a big nuisance.

Ashampoo Photo Commander 9's "Create" menu lets you generate projects like photo wall calendars, collages, panoramas, an automatically-playing slideshow, Web site photo galleries, and greeting cards. And although it's cool that you can turn your photos into a calendar and add custom dates for holidays or family events, the program doesn't, for example, let you choose which month you want the calendar to start with. If you want to make a calendar to span from birthday to birthday or track a school year, you're out of luck.

The PhotoWizard feature, which gets called whenever Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 needs you to select more than one image on which to perform an action, also has odd quirks. By default, the wizard is supposed to sort files alphabetically by name, but even though the Sort By dropdown menu has "Name (Ascending)" selected every time you open the wizard, the program doesn't actually perform the sort until you go into that dropdown menu and choose a sort option. If you don't notice this, you might have to repeat your work when your batch creations are generated with the images in the wrong order.

It's also not clear how Ashampoo Photo Commander will attempt to stitch together a panoramic shot from two or more photos; the "panorama" turned out to be just one photo connected along one edge to the next photo in the sequence, with no ability to manually match up details or otherwise smooth out stitching together of the images. By contrast, programs like Stoik PanoramaMaker do a much better job of "finding" landmarks in photos that help stitch them together into a true panorama. I also ran into a problem while cancelling a calendar creation in-progress that caused the program to display an error message in Korean.

I had issues with the red-eye removal feature. To use the feature, you select it underneath the Quick Fix category, then you can use either an ‘automatic' mode or a ‘manual' mode. No matter which you choose, you use a tool that looks like a crop tool to select the eye which needs tweaking. Using the Automatic mode, the program was always able to fix one of the two red eyes in a sample photo perfectly, but it just couldn't detect the red in the other eye, which was slightly darker than the first. The manual mode was able to correct the color of the more troublesome eye. Of course, this is very photo-dependent; I found it amusing to tweak pictures of a five year old so he had different-colored, David Bowie eyes, but you might not.

One final note: During the course of installing the product, the wizard will prompt you to choose between the Express Installation and Custom Installation. I don't normally recommend that people choose the custom options unless they have specific needs, but in this case, the custom installation permits you to deselect the installation of something called the MyAshampoo toolbar, a Web browser plug-in that, in my opinion, didn't add a lot of value to the package. Antivirus vendors don't consider the toolbar adware or spyware, but a few consider it a "potentially unwanted app." I didn't find the browser toolbar a welcome addition at all, and the custom MyAshampoo Search that replaced my browser's home page was just not as useful as Google.

Download: Ashampoo Photo Commander 9

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 Expert Verdict »
Windows XP, Vista, 7
1024 x 768 resolution graphics
256MB RAM
160MB Hard Disk Space
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

If you're willing to provide Ashampoo with your email address, the company extends the trial period for an additional 30 days, so you can stave off the coach turning back into a pumpkin for an extra month. If you still like Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 enough to pay for it, £34 isn't a bad price, but the program needs some significant updates before I feel comfortable recommending it.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 review

    Adobe Photoshop Elements 9

    Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 is designed to make managing and editing your photos easier and more fun. Updated, 9 June 2011

  • Ashampoo Photo Converter review

    Ashampoo Photo Converter

    Ashampoo Photo Converter acts as a tool to perform bulk operations on large numbers of image files at once.

  • Ashampoo ImageFX review

    Ashampoo ImageFX

    Ashampoo's image-editor Windows 8 app, Ashampoo ImageFX lets you add effects to photos and videos in your gallery, though, you can't share the final result with your friends. Read our Ashampoo ImageFX Windows 8 app review to find out more.

  • Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 3 review

    Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 3

    Ashampoo Photo Optimizer is a simple, inexpensive photo editing program that does a decent, but not stellar, job correcting and enhancing pictures. Although its results will satisfy some home users, its tools are quite limited.

  • ArcSoft Panorama Maker 5 Pro review

    ArcSoft Panorama Maker 5 Pro

    ArcSoft Panorama Maker 5 Pro makes the photo-stitching process quite simple, with its auto-stitching, which works with both still images and video. However, the software lacks the tools to fix things when the auto-stitch doesn't quite work.


IDG UK Sites

The best iPhone 6 alternatives: Price and specs compared with the best smartphones

IDG UK Sites

The top 10 Apple products ranked by pixel density: Which Apple devices have the sharpest screens?

IDG UK Sites

SBTRKT's Look Away webcam-based interactive music video won't keep your gaze

IDG UK Sites

Retina MacBook Air release date rumours and specs: Gold 12in Retina MacBook Air almost 1cm thinner...