In this Vivid-Pix review we tested the software on pictures that needed a little help both from our collection and from some of our readers.
What is Vivid-Pix? It's a super easy to use software that fixes some of the most common problems with underwater pictures. You can either select an automatic fix and save it, or you can continue to make a few adjustments before saving. It improves the same basic things that we routinely do in Photoshop, without all the extra complexity and learning curve. It can help to bring back color lost from shooting in deeper water, improve contrast, reduce haze, increase sharpness, rotate and crop images.
So how did it do? Very good. It's not perfect, and we share some of our issues with it below. But it is so easy to use that for many people it is a very useful software.
Vivid-Pix now has two versions of the software available. The diving version (Picture Fix For Scuba) at $50 with 30 day free trial available, and the snorkeling version (Land & Sea) at $25 with free trial available that does not allow you to save images.
What are the differences? The snorkel version's auto adjustment algorithm is more tuned to snorkeling depths and it also has a land setting that is for improving your topsides pictures. It is simpler. The advanced preferences options are gone, although some simple settings have been moved to the main screen. Also you cannot save your adjustment settings.
Here is how it works. First, you select an image from your computer you want to fix. The software immediately gives you 9 options of automatic improvements in contrast and color. You select the one that you like. Shown below is one of our pictures from Belize.
Step 1 - Select 1 of the 9 automatic improvements.
In the Land & Sea version of the software in the 9 up screen there is an option in the upper right to select either Land or Sea.
Next, your original image is shown at left, and the automatically improved one is on the right. In this case it was so good I just hit save. That was it. All done. It took about 10 seconds. I could have adjusted a few settings to improve the image a bit more. That is also quick and easy.
Step 2 - Save it, or adjust it a little (Scuba Version)
Here is the original picture. It is lacking color and contrast.
Here is the fix that took about three mouse clicks. It now looks more like I saw it, with more natural color.
Some Pictures From Our Readers Fixed
Here is a picture provided by one of our readers to test the software on. The color is not great (too green), and the contrast is low. The fix below is better, with more natural color. This one took a few more adjustments after the automatic option was selected.
The picture below was taken with a disposable film camera by one of our readers. Light is reflecting off particles in the water creating a very washed out picture. This is a common problem. The software quickly improved this, adding contrast and a bit of color. A small crop also got rid of a black edge on the left side.
Vivid-Pix is not miracle software. If your picture is really bad to begin with, i.e. very out of focus, subject too small in the frame, or has an extreme lack of color, no software is going to save it. The software has to have good bones to work with. We asked our readers to send in their "worst snorkeling pictures" to test. We probably should have said "send in your pretty good pictures that could use a little help."
It's unfair to compare Vivid-Pix to Photoshop. But we did, because that is what we primarily use. For sure, Photoshop can do a better job. But it takes much more time and experience (not to mention money). If you are serious about your photography Photoshop is much more capable. But for the non-tech-savvy casual user Vivid-Pix just makes it so simple.
There are many other software options that are cheap to free, like Paint.net. And they can also do a good job. But again, the standout feature of Vivid-Pix is that it is so simple to use, without all the extra features that are not used as often.
We understand that a simple software must make compromises on features to remain easy to use. But there were a few things we would like to see improved.
Although not perfect, this software is very useful and as mentioned very easy to use. Its primary benefit over other software is that it does not include any extra confusing features.
For the non-tech-savvy person, who wants to improve their pictures, this is a nice choice. And it's also a good option for travelers who want a lightweight option for quick edits on their laptop (minimum screen resolution 1270x720).
Scuba Version - Free Trial For 30 Days
There is a free 30 day trial of the full edition of the Scuba version, and then it costs $50. The Land & Sea version free trial cannot save images, but the complete software costs $25. The prices seem reasonable for what you get.
Check them out at Vivid-Pix.
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