A while back, Adobe and NVIDIA teamed up to offer consumers a chance to own free software. I was given a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, and I never looked back. Elements is not just a photo editing suite, it also helps you organize your photos in a pretty detailed manner. To be perfectly honest, I never use the organization options and instead just use Elements for the robust photo editing support. It’s never stopped me from keeping my eyes open for a free alternative. Despite the fact that the photo editing market is totally saturated, I have never been able to find one that I like. PhotoSun 14 is a free photo editing tool that has the potential to be a great Photoshop Elements alternative (at least regarding the editing tools anyway).
What is it and what does it do
PhotoSun 14 is a free image editing tool that actually offers quite an extensive list of features. Aside from the obvious editing features like exposure, brightness, crop and red-eye removal, PhotoSun 14 also includes social features, and GPS support.
- Incredibly easy to use and responsive UI
- Plenty of photos effects, filters, frames settings and more
- You can easily revert any changes that you’ve made to an image if it turns out you don’t like something
- Integrated Email and Facebook support (upload directly to wall, existing album, new album or set as profile picture)
- You can set an image as Windows wallpaper through the right click context menu (tiled, centered or stretched)
- Generate personalized photo slideshows with background effects and music
- No advertisements, bloatware or annoying pop-ups
- Uses 173,000K or about 168MB of RAM while running
- Would be nice to see other services supported like Twitter, Google+, Dropbox and more
- Not quite as extensive as premium photo editing suites
Right when you start up the application, after previewing a charming little splash screen, you’ll notice that all the necessary controls are displayed across a top menu. Instead of covering all the options and functions in paragraph style, I’ll make it a little easier to read. The PhotoSun 14 menu is laid out as follows:
- Open- opens an entire directory or folder of images for editing in PhotoSun
- Image- opens a single file for editing
- Save- save the current file
- Print- print the current file
- Rotate- rotate the canvas
- Resize- resize an image
- Crop- crop an image
- Red Eyes- automatically remove red eyes
- Adjust- adjust general settings like brightness, sharpness, contrast and more
- Effects- apply different photo effects like vignette, black and white, antique and more
- Slide- create a photo slideshow with the selected images
- Mail- email the image
- Facebook- upload the image to a connected Facebook account
- Help- pretty self-explanatory
What I really like about applications such as PhotoSun and Elements is that you can get in, edit the things you need to and get right out. PhotoSun in particular is quick, responsive and pretty convenient. The application takes just mere seconds to start up, as opposed to some other software out there which takes forever.
Once it’s up you can edit a single image file, or you can open an entire directory of files at once. When you’re finished editing you can save the image, print it, email it or even upload it to a connected Facebook account.
Before doing anything though, you can also edit a files Metadata. In case you’re not familiar with that term, it refers to all of the descriptional information of a file like the name, author, creation date, GPS location data and more. Unfortunately, you can’t change all of the Metadata like the GPS location info for example. That particular information is stored at the time the photo is taken, or not stored at all if the setting is disabled on your smartphone or camera. You can change the necessities though, like title, authors, subject, explanation and more. You can also add tags to the image, which allows you to organize content a little better in addition to rating each image through a five star rating system (five being the best).
There are nine different photo effects available to apply, nine different frames and nine different collage types. You can also adjust all the general settings like sharpness, brightness, saturation, exposure, contrast and more through the “adjust” menu.
When uploading images to Facebook, you can upload right to your wall, make an image your profile picture, and even store the image in a new album. Of course, when you login the application will also synchronize with Facebook and display your albums, so you can always upload images to an existing album, as well.
Admittedly, PhotoSun is not quite as comprehensive as Photoshop Elements but that’s okay, it’s also totally free. The necessary editing options are available, and that’s what matters most. With PhotoSun you can get in, edit your image and get right back out. The added features like the option to upload to a Facebook account and email from directly within the app are just a bonus.
For reference, PhotoSun 14 uses about 173,00KB or approximately 168MB of RAM while running. That’s actually typical of most photo editing suites, but there are some applications out there that use less system resources.
Conclusion and download link
If you don’t have the money to spend on software like Photoshop Elements, then PhotoSun 14 is definitely a worthy alternative. Even though it’s not as extensive in terms of photo editing options, there’s certainly enough offered to get the job done. You can edit all the basics of an image, apply photo filters and even make some distinctive collages. Admittedly, I’m not a big slideshow fan myself but if you wanted you can also create an attractive photo slideshow with background effects, music and more. The native Facebook and Email support is always a plus and saves you some time you would otherwise spend opening your browser to send out the newly edited images. It would be nice to see some other upload services supported like Twitter, Google+ and even Dropbox but that’s certainly far from necessary. Point being, if you’re looking for a great photo editing tool that doesn’t cost much yet offers a fairly robust selection of options, PhotoSun is a good choice. If you’re not comfortable with the amount of RAM it uses (168MB) then don’t fret, there are plenty of other photo editing options available on the market.
Version reviewed: 18.104.22.168
Supported OS: Windows (XP, Vista, Seven, Eight)
Download size: 48.1MB
VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46
Is it portable? No