Great Spot Retouching in “Photo Editor+” by Axiem
EDITOR'S NOTE: During the evolution from “ApertureExpert” to “The Photos Expert”, I said that we'd discuss 3rd party apps only if they connected via Extensions into Photos. Since the Extensions market is minimal, and frankly I don't think most of you really care, we're going to start talking about photo apps even if they don't connect to Photos via extensions. There may be more changes coming to the site… stay tuned. And as you can see, I'm playing with some new tools in this post ;-)
Ever since we lost iPhoto for iOS, one of the most missing features for me personally was the retouch tool. It's often enough that I want to remove a little blemish, a stray power line, an ugly branch, or any little spot from a scene. I'd been on the lookout for something to replace it, and recently discovered the 99¢ “Photo Editor+” by Axiem Systems. This is actually a robust editing tool, with a ton of features, but the one I want to focus on is the retouching brush.
Just touch to retouch
It's quite simple… all you have to do is touch to retouch, using the Blemish tool. You get three tool sizes (I won't call it a brush because you can't brush, just tap), however you do most of your control by pinching in and out of the image. If you want to be more precise, zoom in first.
Some larger or more complicated blemishes may take a few taps, but it works quite well.
Video in action
Check out this little video of it in action. As you can see, it's quite simple. As you can also see, it only works in portrait mode. D'oh!
And here's a little before/after slider (fun new tool; be sure to let me know in the comments if it isn't working or causes any issues on your system). I wasn't super careful when editing this but you can see the definite improvement.
Low-res on screen
One curiosity is that the image in the app appears to be lower resolution than it is. When editing, the image is a little soft, almost as if it's not retina, yet the app is optimized for iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 Plus, so I'm not sure what's happening there. Maybe it's just because the image has been down sampled and now I'm pinching too far into it? Which leads us to…
Even “high-res” output down samples
There's a “high-res images” toggle in the preferences, which you absolutely want to turn on. Even with it on though, there's considerable downsampling happening. The image you see in the screenshot, before import, was 3868×2705 (10.4MP, cropped from a higher res original), yet the saved output, even with “high-res” enabled, was only 2070×1448 (3MP). That's perfectly fine for sharing on the socials, but of course not enough for anything bigger.
Limited, and flawed, but quite good at retouching
I haven't dug into the rest of the features in the app, and boy are they packing a ton of features in. Personally I'd prefer to see the developer work on things like landscape orientation and full resolution output rather than add more frames and stickers and memes, oh my… but if you're looking for a blemish repair tool, you can't go wrong for just 99¢.
Check it out on the app store; “Photo Editor+” by Axiem Systems.
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