PhotoStage Slideshow helps you easily and quickly create personalized slideshows to display your photos. This application is one of the easiest slideshow creators to use of those we tested, and it offers a very extensive set of input and output options. PhotoStage also provides a large set of editing tools to help you create a custom slideshow with images, transitions, effects and music. With its simplicity and all-around versatility, this photo slideshow software earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
PhotoStage Slideshow offers a fairly extensive feature set. This photo slideshow software contains most of the basic tools we look for in the best slideshow software, such as timing controls that allow you to choose the length of time each slide will be displayed. You can also choose from more than 30 transitions to add a little variety to your slideshow. In addition, there is no limit to the number of images you can place in the slideshow, which is a great advantage if you want to create lengthy memorial tributes or wedding videos.
This slideshow maker also includes slideshow embellishments (clip art), widescreen display and the ability to upload video clips to your presentation. It also provides tools to ensure that your slideshow is not only visually appealing, but audibly pleasing as well. You can add music throughout the length of the slideshow. You can edit and merge music clips using the built-in audio file mixer, which has audio syncing capabilities. You can also add voice recordings. The audio syncing feature is useful because it aligns any music and sounds you add to your slideshow with your pictures and transitions to give the presentation a cohesive, consistent feel.
PhotoStage has excellent photo editing capabilities. There is an extensive effects library packed with both standard editing functions, such as cropping and brightness control, and unique photo effects that allow you to completely optimize and even alter your photos. For instance, you can fine-tune the color saturation and brightness. You can also add an oil painting or an old film finish to a picture, and you can even pixilate your photos. These photo features are great because they give you unique options that allow you to create artistic projects that far surpass those that you could create with traditional picture slideshow creators.
This photo slideshow maker doesn't have text animations, which would give you the ability to create animated, dynamic text captions and slideshow backgrounds. The slideshow creator also lacks television optimization, a feature that would allow you to optimize the display size of your slideshow so that none of your photos or text captions would be inadvertently cut off when you play them on a television screen.
This software delivers exceptional output quality. During playback, the slideshows are sharp, smooth and high definition.
That being said, you should be aware there is a slight loss in quality during playback in the software's preview window. However, the noticeable difference in quality during the preview did not appear in the finished slideshow that we exported as a Windows Media video file.
PhotoStage offers comprehensive input and output support. This photo slideshow application supports all popular audio, image and video input formats, including BMP, GIF, JPG, JIF, JIFF, JPEG, and ICO for images.
This photo slideshow maker's supported output formats are likewise outstanding. You can burn your slideshows to a disc (i.e., CD, DVD or Blu-ray), upload them to YouTube and export them as a variety of video files. Moreover, you can save your picture slideshows in a video format that's compatible with iPods, iPhones and other popular mobile devices.
PhotoStage Slideshow offers a generous number of design features that are generally easy to use and take little time to learn. The software's smooth drag-and-drop functionality lets you pick and arrange photos with a simple click of the mouse. In addition, this software's ease of use is increased by its well-organized user interface. This application walks you through a logical series of steps while you create a photo slideshow. You can easily import pictures, edit them, add text captions and apply voice narration in a straightforward sequence.
With this software, you are dealing with a sleek and sophisticated user interface that functions more like a graphic design tool than a simple photo slideshow maker. The overall appearance of the interface and its helpful features make photo slideshow creation a pleasant experience for both highly skilled computer users and those who are considerably less tech savvy.
While most of what this software has to offer is rather impressive, its help and support options fall short. For direct technical assistance, the manufacturer provides email support via an online contact form on the PhotoStage website. However, to receive more comprehensive support, you must purchase one of three technical support plans. Be aware that each one is capped with an allotted number of email and phone consultations, and you must use your consultations within one to three months or they expire.
While the technical assistance is somewhat limited, the company does offer some useful online resources, including a FAQs section and discussion forums. The community forums are particularly beneficial because there are several topics and threads that you can browse for information and answers to your questions about the software.
While NCH Software's rigid support plans for PhotoStage Slideshow leave much to be desired, this photo slideshow software is still outstanding. The application provides prolific design features and a sophisticated yet intuitive user interface that is quite easy to navigate – so much that you won't likely feel the need for a support plan anyway. If you want photo slideshow software that is simple but still provides professional results, we recommend PhotoStage Slideshow.
Convenient drag-and-drop capabilities add to this product's ease of use.
You have to buy technical support plans to access email support.
PhotoStage Slideshow has excellent input and output capabilities for easy uploading and sharing of your photo slideshows.