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Photostory Deluxe 2020 review

Photostory Deluxe 2020 is a very simple editor and slideshow maker, aimed at helping less technically savvy users create beautiful slideshows.

Photostory Deluxe 2020 review
(Image: © Magix)

Our Verdict

Photostory Deluxe is one of the top slideshow creation programs. It makes HD-quality slideshows and has one of the most extensive photo and music editing toolsets.

For

  • Easy to use
  • Good slideshow options

Against

  • Limited editing features

It feels like Photostory Deluxe 2020 is well behind the competition when it comes to full image editing. That's not too much of a disadvantage, as this software is clearly aimed at older users who don't want something as technically advanced as the likes of Photoshop CC, and just want to make slideshows instead. Indeed, the marketing blurb talks about 'making slideshows to show the family' and 'burning onto a DVD' as a gift. Whil Photostory Deluxe 2020 does not earn a spot on our guide to the best photo editing software, it places well on our list of the best photo slideshow software packages.

Photostory Deluxe 2020 review: Features

While Photostory Deluxe 2020 does have an array of editing tools, its main strength lies in organizing images and putting them into templates. In our testing, the program’s slideshow wizard made it easy to add all of the effects and looks we were going for. It walks you through each step of the creation process starting with importing images and music clips from your computer. Magix also provides a library of music clips for you to use, each with a different mood and tempo. We were able to play two audio clips at once – a music track and voice narration – to give our slideshows a unique and sentimental feel. The voice recording tools are easy to use and allow you to make basic edits to your audio, so you can add those crucial, intensely interesting facts even if you're not there in person to present your seven hour slideshow masterpiece to the whole family.

Photostory now lets you adjust brightness and contrast in photos and videos, so you can make them look just the way you want. It also made the customization process easier by extending the limit up to 64 tracks per project – that's more than double the number you could access in previous versions, and you can group and ungroup tracks to make editing simpler. Further, you no longer need to switch between Timeline and Storyboard mode when you want to add new content to your slideshow. While this may seem like a small improvement, it makes the workflow smoother.

We were also impressed with the new Travel Maps feature, which displays an Indiana Jones–style travel animation with a red arrow over a map of the world. This is a fun way to show friends and family where you’ve been and what stops you made along the way.

In our testing, we found this software has more customization features than most. For instance, the effects features allow you to choose exactly where and when your images appear, how they move, and how large or small they are. Photostory Deluxe  is pretty intuitive to use, but since there are so many tools at your disposal, it will likely take a while to learn how to use everything. 

Photostory Deluxe 2020 Review

(Image credit: Magix)

The program's editing tools are little confusing at first, but once you get the hang of them, you can create professional-looking enhancements, although nothing to rival the results you can get in Lightroom CC. The import wizard can help you prepare projects in just a few minutes and is an especially helpful tool for beginners since it simplifies the creation process.

This software includes a few helpful features that aren’t immediately apparent. For example, it comes with a small set of graphics, music tracks and transitions. To access the entire library, you need to click on the help menu and select Free Download. It could take several minutes to download all the content, but doing so puts hundreds of effects at your disposal. Should you want even more effects or music tracks in your library, you can purchase them in the software’s Store tab.

Photostory Deluxe 2020 has some of the most playful graphics of the programs we tested. You can put bunny ears and sunglasses on your loved ones’ faces as well as add animated decorations like balloons and fireworks. There are also audio tools you can use to record and place vocals wherever you'd like – useful tools to have if you like adding narration to your slideshows. This program also makes it easy to fade music in and out.

Further, MAGIX has developed Photostory Premium VR, a virtual reality slideshow software. This VR software has viewing room templates, including an outdoor movie theater and a cozy living room. The VR version is especially helpful when showing off photos taken in exotic locations with high quality cameras as well as 360-degree images. It’s also proven popular for displaying real estate.

When we published a slideshow with Photostory Deluxe, our images looked crisp and professional, even after adding filters and color-changing effects. This program lets you export your projects in a number of ways, including as common file formats such as AVI and MPEG-4. You can even create projects specifically for phone screens or HDTVs. Should you want to give a physical copy to friends or family, you can burn your slideshow to DVD or Blu-ray. If you prefer to simply post your creations to social media, the program can help you directly post to Facebook and YouTube.

When it comes to price, Photostory Deluxe 2020 is good value, especially if you want something simple and fun. Sure, you can get way more powerful editing programs for your money, but they may be too complicated for you to actually use. If you want more of a challenge, we'd recommend something like Corel PaintShop Pro 2021.

Unfortunately, you must purchase a support voucher if you want to contact technical support via telephone. However, you can get free telephone support from customer service if you have basic questions. In the past when we called customer service, we reached a friendly, knowledgeable representative who answered all our questions in full detail. When we attempted to call customer support this time around, we received an automated message that asked us to hold, but we were immediately hung up on. Whether this is a long-standing problem or a temporary one is uncertain. Should you need help with your projects, you can also reach out to the company’s official user forum or view online video tutorials.

Should you buy Photostory Deluxe 2020?

Photostory Deluxe is not as advanced as other software applications, despite being a similar price. It is, however, a very simple program that almost anyone can use. The intuitive interface and artistic freedom that this program provides makes it a good choice for inexperienced slideshow creators.