PROS / There are multiple ways to organize your photos: by keywords, title, rating, color code and description.
CONS / Zoner Photo Studio doesn't offer a user forum.
VERDICT / This program is a smart choice for consumers of any experience level. It's simple enough for beginners to use and packed with tools that advanced photographers will find useful.
Whether you're an experienced photographer or a beginner, finding the best way to organize your images can be difficult. Photo organizing software can help you find your images quickly, but the best software can also help you edit and share your photos. Zoner Photo Studio X provides multiple organizing options so that you can find a way to categorize your photos in the way that you prefer. It also allows you to access advanced editing tools and share your finished pieces via Facebook, Twitter and email. We have awarded Zoner Photo Studio X our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for its mix of user-friendly organizing options and advanced editing tools.
In testing, we found Zoner Photo Studio X's organizational tools intuitive and easy to use. The program conveniently splits up its many tools into four different tabs: Manager, Develop, Editor and Create so you can find the tools you need based on what you want to do. Zoner allows you to search your computer to find images as well as importing them from your phone, camera and even Facebook. Once you import files into the program, you can choose between several different organizing tools to categorize them. Organization tools include keywords, calendar date, rating, color labeling, title and location taken. You can use all of these organizing tools at once or simply stick to the kind you like best. Either way, this ability gives you the option to search through your photos quickly regardless of how many you have.
More and more photo editing companies are changing their programs from one-time payment versions to online monthly subscriptions, and Zoner Photo Studio X is no different. When you first purchase this software, the license lasts for a full year. Once the year is completed you will need to pay monthly to continue using the program. This may or may not be a drawback for you. On the plus side, you will always have the most updated version of the software. Fortunately, Zoner Photo Studio isn't that expensive and it comes packed with several organizing, editing and creative features.
Whenever you select a photo, a menu appears and allows you to add keywords, titles, color labels and ratings to your photo. Once your photos are marked with Zoner's organizational tools, you will be able to search all of your photos using the data you entered. In order to help you stay further organized, the program helps you remember which organization features you have used on a photo by making a corresponding icon appear over your image.
You can sort your photos in various ways with this software. File View allows you to look through the various files you have created to find the photos you want. Calendar View takes your images and sorts them into files by year. Keyword View brings up a file for each keyword you used to tag your photos; any pictures with that keyword will be found within the file. Location View allows you to tag your photos with a specific GPS location and then allows you to search by those locations to find your photos. As a unique feature, this program allows you to share your image map showing off where you've been and what photos you took there.
Photos can be searched by the number of stars they were given and searches can even exclude a specific star rating, which is helpful when you're trying to find specific photos. Metadata, including EXIF data, can also be viewed and edited within the program. This information is helpful when you want to know specifics about your photos, like when they were taken and what camera settings allowed you to capture a specific look.
Zoner Photo Studio X provides a way for you to manually back up your photos, which helps ensure that your photos won't be lost if something should happen to your computer. Unfortunately, you cannot set up an automatic backup within this program, so keeping on top of backups will be important to remember. When there are hundreds or thousands of pictures to go through, it can be easy to accidentally create duplicates. To help you keep everything organized, this program can search for duplicates so you don't upload the same image multiple times.
Zoner works with over 50 image file formats including RAW, JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF and PSD files. In addition, you can access flash drives, smartphones, external hard drives and cameras directly from the program. When a flash drive is inserted into the computer, Zoner automatically opens it and displays the photos it contains. This makes organizing your photos easier since you don't have to go searching around for the flash drive's files on your computer. The program also has the ability to access your Facebook profile and pull photos from your Facebook photo albums.
In addition to providing an excellent organizer, Photo Studio X provides several standard editing tools such as red eye removal, cropping, over 35 special effects filters and the ability to rotate and resize images. It also features more advanced tools like color correction, lens distortion correction and the ability to work with layers. Though these tools may seem daunting to the beginner, Zoner's user interface is simple to use and will satisfy photographers of any experience level.
Zoner offers much more than the average photo organizer software when it comes to printing templates. Aside from the regular page printouts, this program provides templates for photobooks, calendars, canvas prints, postcards, collages and can even help you put together a video or slideshow of your photos. A more intriguing aspect is Zoner's postcard printing service. If you create a postcard with your photos, you can pay a fee to have Zoner print out and mail it to your intended recipient.
With all of these templates available, it's likely you will want to share your creations. Among its other social tools, it can share directly to Facebook and Twitter and can even send emails from within the program. Zoner also offers a free online photo gallery entitled Zonerama. Many photo organizing companies will ask you to pay to use their online storage space but Zonerama is completely free. Using this storage space you can back up and save your photos online, so should anything happen to your computer, your online photos would be safe.
If you have any questions about how to use the software there are many sources available to you. Zoner Photo Studio has its own YouTube channel with several video tutorials to help teach you how to use the program's features. Its website also includes a knowledgebase complete with a FAQs page. The one thing Zoner lacks is a user forum, but customer service representatives can be reached via email and telephone. Our own interactions with company reps were quick, helpful and courteous. Zoner Photo Studio X works with Windows 10, 8 and 7 but does not work with Mac.
With its many advanced editing tools, creative abilities and organizational tools, Zoner Photo Studio X stands apart from other picture organizers. The program is simple enough that a beginner will feel comfortable using it, but it also has the tools and design that an advanced photographer can appreciate. Though lacking a user forum, there are plenty of other ways to interact with and learn from Zoner, which will help any newcomers to quickly become comfortable with the software.