Ease of Use
At first glance, Zoner Photo Studio 12 seems very similar to ACDSee Pro 3. The functions of the software are divided into four categories – Manager, Viewer, Editor, and RAW – and each category has its own tab in the user interface. This makes it quite easy to pass back and forth among the various areas so, for example, you can edit a photo in one tab and still browse through your digital library in another tab.
The Manager tab contains several tools to help acquire, organize, and share your photos. This tab also includes many extras, such as a quick calendar creation wizard that lets you select a group of digital photos to use as a basis for a photo calendar and a slideshow creator.
Just as its name implies, the Viewer tab lets you view individual photos and information about those images. You can select exactly which panels to show by toggling them on or off, and you can even choose to enter a name and description for each photo in your collection to help you further manage your library.
Despite the general category breakdown and workflow being somewhat similar to ACDSee Pro 3, the Editor in Zoner Photo Studio 12 is quite a bit different. In fact, the layout of the Editor tab has much more in common with applications like Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro. So, if you've used those products in the past, you should feel right at home.
If you're new to photo editing in general, it may take some time before you're completely comfortable with the advanced tools found in Zoner Photo Studio 12. The software does come with a built-in help system, and a few additional tutorials can be found at the Zoner web site. Even with these resources, there are some gaps and you'll probably have to play around with the software for awhile before you realize its full potential.
The RAW tab contains tools that let you non-destructively process raw images either individually or in a batch. To make this process more efficient, Zoner Photo Studio 12 allows you to place the RAW files you want to convert in a queue so you can wait and start the conversion process after making adjustments to several files, and then let the software process these images while you go on to other tasks.