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Akvis - Enhancer
Reviewed by PSPUG staff

OVERVIEW: A very easy plug in to use for clarifying pictures, in particular clarifying details not easily seen in original picture. Will enhance photo's. Has three switches that allow adjustments that will lighten, sharpen detail, accentuate shadows so that outcome is a much better photo.

PROGRAM: A 10 day free trial with pdf tutorials provide ample time to evaluate the plugin. It will work with Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, NT; Mac OS X is compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Jasc Paint Shop Pro (all) and Corel PHOTO-PAINT.

PRICE: $69.00

WEBSITE: http://akvis.com/en/index.php

INSTALLATION: Easy installation into its own folder. The PDF tutorial file provides detailed information for installing and registering the plugin.

ADVANTAGES: One of the nice features of this plugin is that it is very easy to use, very effective in enhancing photographs quickly, often with just the default settings of the switches. The switches also provide various additional settings for clarifying and brightening photographs.

DISADVANTAGES: If photographs are also off color rather than just dark and needing enhancement in brightness and detail, this plugin will not alter the color distortions of the photograph. However, if one uses PSP to provide that color enhancement and then the Akvis enhancer very nice results are able to be obtained. I found that each time I used the plugin the switches began in their default setting which would be a mild disadvantage if one is enhancing a number of photographs.

REVIEWER COMMENTS: The plugin is very intuitive to use. The PDF tutorial is very helpful particularly in its examples for using the plugin for different effects. Dependent upon the quality of the photograph I used I found this plugin having advantages over the one fix enhancement in PSP. It is possible to achieve similar results using PSP though different effects often are needed to achieve a similar result from the Akvis plugin.

OTHER MEMBER REVIEWS: This plugin is a very strong enhancer. Even at the lowest it is still very strong. It does, however, sharpen only whatever you might have selected, even though the preview doesn't show it. I would have liked to see it also be able to go in the minus figures for better control on the brightening.

RECOMMENDATIONS: If one is doing a lot of similar photographs requiring brightening and sharpening of background detail, this plugin would quickly accomplish the task.

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