There are many low-end scanners and digital cameras on the market now that allow people to capture images to put on Web pages. Their resolution is limited, but that doesn't matter too much, the end result is only going to be displayed at 72 pixels per inch.
But, apart from compromising on the resolution, these 'affordable' solutions are also somewhat lacking in colour accuracy. Very few of them give any kind of calibration facilities and the results can be washed out or lacking in contrast.
On the other hand, I have also bought many photo library disks where the images are far from optimal and have needed considerable adjustments to make them usable.
Someone skilled in using Photoshop can usually improve a poor quality image by adjusting the levels, colour balance and adding a degree of sharpening but there are people who don't have these skills, or the time to mess about.
So, AutoF/X have introduced AutoEye, which works as a Photoshop filter or a stand alone application to rescue those dull pictures.
It has two modes - Automatic and Manual.
In Automatic mode, the picture is analysed by the software and subjected to a range of enhancements with a single mouse click. Dull pictures are brought to life by increasing contrast, colour saturation and improving shadow detail. The program recognises color casts and corrects them automatically. It also crispens the image by applying some sharpening.
In most instances, an image can be improved considerably by just letting AutoEye do its own thing but, intelligent as it is, it can't handle every situation in Automatic mode and that's why there is also a manual override.
In Manual mode, the user is presented with a handy set of sliders and can make adjustments to color, saturation, contrast and sharpness in a single window. They can also save those settings for processing similar images in a drag and drop batch mode.
You could get similar results in Photoshop, yes, but it would mean many visits to different menus and dialog boxes - AutoEye is about convenience and ease-of-use. It takes the core technologies required for image enhancement and packages them up in a single, neat unit. Remember, it also works as a stand alone application so you don't actually need Photoshop to run it.
If you are already highly proficient with image manipulation in Photoshop, you probably won't need AutoEye, but if you simply want to improve photographs, not change them, and could do without yet another learning curve, AutoEye is well worth considering.
|Ease of Use||95%|
|Value for Money||90%|
|'Must Have' Factor||80%|
|Price||$99 for Windows (Mac due shortly)|
|Summary||The 'one click' image enhancement solution.|