ACDSee Video Studio 4 Review – An Intuitive, Easy-to-Use Video Editing Software

The post ACDSee Video Studio 4 Review – An Intuitive, Easy-to-Use Video Editing Software appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Carl Spring.

In this review, we take a look at the new video-editing software – ACDSee Video Studio 4.

Video is something that, as photographers, we seem to be delving into more and more. Whether that be capturing behind the scenes of photoshoots to create marketing material or simply a video of your photo adventures with friends, video is something many of us are either doing or may want to do. However, it’s not always as easy as that.

Image: Video Studio 4 is great for editing short clips for social media or uploading to YouTube. It...

Video Studio 4 is great for editing short clips for social media or uploading to YouTube. It will not, however, enhance your skills in front of the camera, as you will see later in this review!

The main problem with video content isn’t necessarily shooting the video, but the editing process. I am sure some of you have lots of video footage that you always intend to make into a video (as I have), but it never gets made. You start with good intentions, but the editing always seems to be the sticking point. For those who don’t edit very often or are new to video, editing can be hard and so much software lacks user-friendliness.

Video software usually comes with a steep learning curve too. Those that many consider the standard, Premiere and Final Cut, aren’t particularly user-friendly to the novice user. You will end up spending hours of your time watching YouTube videos to simply understand the basics of how to create a simple edit for either of those pieces of software.

ACDSee has set out to change that. With their latest software, Video Studio 4, you get powerful video editing built into a software that is intuitive and simple to use.

Opening it up

When you launch the software, the layout you see may resemble others. However, with ACDSee Video Studio 4, this layout is streamlined, and the most useful stuff is there, ready and waiting.

On the left side, there are 10 different options for you to work with. They are laid out in a way that guides you through the process of editing from start to finish.

Let’s go through them to see how you can use each one.

The left panel


Video Studio 4 accepts a wide variety of formats for audio, video, and images. These are:

  • Image formats: JPG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG, HEIC
  • Audio formats: WMA, MP3, AAC, WAV, AC3, OGG, M4A
  • Video formats: AVI, MP4, WMV, FLV, MOV, TS, MTS, M2TS, ASF, M4V, MPG, MPEG

As you can see, the software can handle pretty much any format you want to use. It is great to see such a wide range of options available. It means you don’t need to worry about converting files before editing.

Image: Here is a variety of a png, JPEGs and HEVC iPhone footage. ACDSee Video Studio 4 handled them...

Here is a variety of a png, JPEGs and HEVC iPhone footage. ACDSee Video Studio 4 handled them flawlessly.


Adding in titles and captions is simple and easy. A wide variety of fonts and placement options means you can create a title for your videos quickly.

Image: There are several different styles to work with when it comes to adding titles and captions.

There are several different styles to work with when it comes to adding titles and captions.

Audio Recorder

If you make videos, sooner or later you will find yourself in a situation where you need to record a voiceover. With ACDSee Video Studio 4, you can record audio directly into the software, thus, keeping everything together. This means you don’t have to move between programs to record extra audio. A really fantastic little tool that you may not think is useful – until you need it.


With 30 different transitions to choose from, you can easily apply transitions between video clips. Tweaking these to your desired length is simply a matter of dragging them onto the timeline. Some are cheesy, some are incredibly cheesy, but you have options. I am a simple “fade” guy, but if you want something different, you will definitely find it here.

Image: Whilst there are several to choose from, I rarely tend to look past a “fade” or...

Whilst there are several to choose from, I rarely tend to look past a “fade” or “fade to black” transition. If you do, there are several options.

Audio Effects

Adding fade in and outs to your audio tracks is simple and easy too. You can do it manually, but by using the presets and then tweaking to get the desired effect, you can really save some time. You’ll also get your content created much quicker and easier than ever.

Image: It is easy to add fade in and outs with audio in the program.

It is easy to add fade in and outs with audio in the program.


New in this version of ACDSee Video Studio 4 is the ability to use keyframes to make custom animations. This allows you to create bespoke animations for your clips, which is great when using a still image in your video.

There are also some great presets to use as starting points, which you can fine-tune to get your clips just how you want them.

Image: You can start with one of the inbuilt animations or start from scratch.

You can start with one of the inbuilt animations or start from scratch.


Behaviors are customizable entrance and exit effects. You can use these on a clip to really emphasize the clips’ start and end. Simply tweak each effect to customize it to your taste.

I really didn’t see where I would use this, and it feels a little gimmicky. This is a feature most people will not use too often, but in the right hands, I am sure you can do something cool with it.


ACDSee Video Studio 4 gives you many filter options to tweak the look of your clip. When applied, these filters tweak things like the clips color, and exposure. There are also several creative effects for quick and easy effects for your footage.

There are several options to explore here. Which ones you choose depends on your taste and preference, but there is something to please most people here. You will no doubt find your favorites when you have used the software a few times, and these will become your go-to filters.

You can add multiple filters should you need or want to. They stack on top of each other in the clip, and you can edit them individually.

Image: This shows the exposure filter in action. It worked well on a clip that was underexposed. The...

This shows the exposure filter in action. It worked well on a clip that was underexposed. There are many others – some good, some that you probably won’t use.


Overlays are effects that sit on top of your clips. Some of these, such as the animated hearts and bubbles, are an acquired taste and most of you probably won’t touch them (but will no doubt serve a great purpose for the young generation). However, light leaks and film scratches can give a great effect, depending on the look you are going for with your project.

Image: You can add filters to give your footage a certain look. Some are a little cheesy IMHO, but t...

You can add filters to give your footage a certain look. Some are a little cheesy IMHO, but there are some really nice ones, such as old film, which I used here.

Advanced Effects

This is where the software gets seriously impressive. Here you will find some features most commonly found in high-end editing software, yet they come with the ease and simplicity of use that makes Video Studio 4 so user-friendly.

Starting with one of the new features in Video Studio 4 is Remove Color. This is most commonly used for green screen work. This allows you to shoot against a green screen (or other color backgrounds) and remove it from the clip. You can then add in a background of your choice. This is great for YouTube videos, where you can buy a cheap green screen (or even use a green sheet) and then add in a background you created in Photoshop or similar. It can give you a host of creative options, is incredibly simple to use, and really powerful.

A new cool feature is Color LUTS. These allow you to add a variety of different color grade options to your footage to enhance their look.

Another new addition allows you to adjust the speed of your footage. You can create time effects such as slow-motion, or speed up the timing of your clip.

The last new addition is Mosaic, which is great to blur out items in clips, such as car number plates. This can then be sized and tweaked to match your clip. Again this is one of those tools that you probably won’t use very often, but when you do need it, you will be glad the software includes this handy tool.

Image: You can add LUTS to color your footage. Start with a preset or upload your own. For the short...

You can add LUTS to color your footage. Start with a preset or upload your own. For the short video I created, I used Tinsel.

Using ACDSEE Video Studio 4

It’s one thing to list all the features of a software, but it is another thing entirely to put it in practice. With this in mind, I put a few things together in ACDSee Video Studio 4.

The first project involved taking a couple of clips from a photoshoot on my iPhone and making them into a quick clip for Instagram. I also wanted to try out the screen recording software that comes with Video Studio 4 so I used this to make a quick tutorial on creating custom animations in the software.

Lastly, I wanted to test one of the key new features, Remove Color.

Green screen test

As this was one of the new features of the software, I was keen to test it out. However, rather than test this with a perfectly lit green screen, I tested it in a more common situation. At first, I tried against a blue block wall, not expecting it to work at all.

Then I used a green screen I borrowed from a friend. Now, this is by no means a high-end green screen. In fact, one of the stands fell to pieces when we were putting it up and had to be held together with tape! I also didn’t iron the green material (as you can see in the clip). It was a very cheap eBay purchase, but it is the type of setup the most people will use when starting with a green screen, so I wanted to see the results.

I used no specialist lighting in the setup either. Again, with the right type of equipment, this is super easy, both for the editor and the software. But, I wanted to push it a little…

Here are the results:

As you can see, the software worked pretty well on the green screen (just a slight issue with the reflection in my glasses) and surprisingly well on the blue wall, even if it didn’t manage to get it quite perfect. I think that a simple, smooth painted wall, with decent natural light, would work perfectly well for this type of work. Moreover, with an ideal studio lighting setup, it would work great.

The tutorial video

ACDSee Video Studio 4 also comes with software that allows you to record your screen, which I wanted to test to create a simple instructional video. As I am reviewing the software, I decided to make a quick tutorial on creating a logo animation. I simply selected the inbuilt Mic and Webcam and hit the record button.

When you have finished recording your footage, it drops it directly into Video Studio 4 ready to edit. Editing is then simple.

Here is the result:

If you are looking to get into creating tutorial videos for your photography, or tutorials for any software, Video Studio 4 is great. 

The Insta edit

What I see as the biggest possible use of this software is for quick, simple edits for Instagram. This software is perfect for that purpose –one of those situations where you just want to put a few clips together and make an edit as quickly as possible.

In this example, I had three phone clips I wanted to use. I also had my logo and background I created in Photoshop. With all I needed ready to go, I jumped into Video Studio 4 for the first time.

It is super simple to use, and within minutes I had a completed video.

The first thing I wanted to do was to create a quick intro using my logo. I saved my logo as a .png file so that I could keep the background transparent so it would work with layers. Then I placed both the background and the logo into the software. To add some animation, I used the custom animation feature in Video Studio 4. By dragging and dropping this onto the logo, I was able to quickly add two 360-degree motions to the logo to add interest.

It was easier than I imagined. Within 20 seconds, I had my animated logo.

Then I added transitions to the start and end of the clip as well as adding an old film overlay. That was it. One minute and I had a finished animated logo. If I wanted to, I could export this clip and use it in all future videos as an intro. That saves even more time when creating clips like this.

Next, I needed to insert my clips. Again, it was simply a matter of drag and dropping them to get them onto the timeline. To trim the clips to the required length, you have two options:

  • drag the ends of the clip to where you want them, or
  • split the clip where you want the edit and delete the part that you want to trim.

I found this splitting quicker, and this is what I did for the rest of the clip.

With my clips trimmed, I also needed to remove the audio. There are two ways you can do this: Method one is to adjust the sound level of the clip by right-clicking on it and selecting Edit Audio. This is great when you want to adjust the sound levels of a clip. In this case, however, I didn’t need the audio at all, so split the clip into separate audio and video tracks. This way, I was able to delete the audio from the clip quite simply.

Image: You can either edit the audio level of clips or split the audio, which is what I did here. As...

You can either edit the audio level of clips or split the audio, which is what I did here. As I didn’t need sound, I simply deleted the audio from the clips.

I then added transitions between clips. While there are loads to choose from, you will probably find yourself going back to a select few. In my case, I have always tended to use Fade to Black or Cross Fade (called Fade in Video Studio 4).

For the last stage, I easily added a LUT to the footage. There are several LUTs in Video Studio 4, or you can upload them into the software. I decided to use the Tinsel LUT, which adds a color grade to the footage.

Adding music

When I watched the footage back, I decided I wanted to add some music.  I used a track by A Himitsu, the details of which are as follows:

Adventures by A Himitsu, Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 

Music released by Argofox Music provided by Audio Library

Once I had the music in, I wanted to move my edits a little to match the music. Even though I had LUTs applied and fades in place, this was easy, and there was no lag when dragging clips around. The software felt speedy throughout using it, which was reassuring. With the music added, and clips altered, I just needed to add an audio transition to fade the music out, which I then tweaked until I was happy with it.

All complete, it was time to export my project. You can see the final edit below.


Exporting is quick and easy and helped by Video Studio 4 holding your hand through the process. You can export and save to a file, or you can upload directly to YouTube or Vimeo. Just log in to YouTube and follow the instructions. In terms of time, the software exported quickly, and I didn’t notice a difference in export times compared to using other editing software.

You can also export to an animated gif, which is ideal for things like action sports clips.

As you can probably guess, the theme of simple and easy continues here. Video Studio 4 guides you through things in the beginning while allowing you the ability to be more creative as your confidence grows.

Image: Video Studio 4 guides you through the export process. You can export to file or upload direct...

Video Studio 4 guides you through the export process. You can export to file or upload directly to YouTube, which is what I did. It was simple and worked perfectly.


ACDSee has some great training videos for their software on their website. For those of you new to video editing, these are well worth a watch to get you started with Video Studio 4. I am sure that more will be added over time, but they have everything you need to get started. There is also great technical support should you have any other issues.

Below is an example of their training videos with Director of Photography, Alex Watson. Before anyone says it in the comments, I know his delivery is a little better than mine.

Who is this software for?

If you use Premiere or Final Cut, you will have more than likely not even made it this far. It is not as fully featured as these programs and is in no way a replacement, but that is not the purpose of this software.

ACDSee Video Studio 4 is for those who are new to video editing or who just want to create quality content without having to spend large amounts of time learning to use software.

While Video Studio 4 is incredibly user-friendly for the beginner, it also contains many features for those wanting to delve deeper and use more advanced features such as the green screen.

In a nutshell, the aim of Video Studio 4 is to create professional videos quickly and easily for those new to video. It does this impressively well.
It is really competitively priced, and for those who are new to video and use PC, I can’t think of a better alternative.

Final thoughts

ACDSee Video Studio 4 is a simple to use, yet surprisingly powerful video editor. It is not a replacement for Premiere, nor is it intended to be. There are some really powerful features in here, but it also contains some stuff that I would personally never use. For example, some of the fades and overlays feel cheesy and overdone. Then again, as a teen starting out with video editing, these will more than likely be fun, and I am sure they will get used in creative ways. Maybe it’s more me being an old stick in the mud for the classics?

If you have been thinking about adding video to what you do, I would recommend you try Video Studio 4. This is simple to do as ACDSee have a free trial, allowing you to try before you buy. When it comes to purchasing, you also have options. You can purchase the software outright, or you can get it as part of the ACDSee 365 plan, which also includes ACDSee’s Photo Studio software for a simple monthly payment.

ACDSee is known for offering alternative software that is feature-packed, simple to use, with a great price tag. With Video Studio 4, ACDSee has definitely cemented that reputation.

ACDSee is a paid partner of dPS.

The post ACDSee Video Studio 4 Review – An Intuitive, Easy-to-Use Video Editing Software appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Carl Spring.

Catalog Photos Like a Pro: ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 Review

The post Catalog Photos Like a Pro: ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 Review appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Glenn Harper.

ACDSee software has been around since the earliest days of digital photography. For 20 years, it’s been competing with Adobe Photoshop. Today, with Adobe offering its top image-editing programs by subscription only, there’s more room than ever for alternatives. ACDSee offers a compelling subscription model of its own, but it also maintains a full suite of standalone products. Photo Studio Standard 2019 is among them, and I’ll review it here.

ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 - default layout

The default layout in Manage mode of ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019. You can move things around as you wish and close any panes you don’t need.

Aimed at keen photographers with growing photo collections, ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 is ideal for sorting, finding, and viewing photos. It also has a set of editing tools that will quickly make your pictures look good for the web or printing. We’ll look at all this in detail. To avoid wasting anyone’s time, this program recognizes and opens raw files but it’s not a raw editor or metadata editor – it’s a pixel editor. You have no control over how raw files are processed and can only save 8-bit files.

Embedding ACDSee metadata into DNG files

Preview of a DNG file. You can embed ACDSee metadata into DNG files, unlike other raw formats.

This review of ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 will include the following:

  • Starting up
  • Manage mode
  • Photos mode
  • View mode
  • Edit mode
  • Other features
  • Conclusion

Starting up

One thing that struck me immediately about ACDSee software was how quickly it opened. Sometimes I wait 2-3 minutes for Photoshop CC to start. There are technical reasons for that, like the plug-ins I have loaded into it and its sheer girth. Perhaps it connects to my Adobe account, too. Whatever. Photo Studio Standard 2019 opens in around 15-20 seconds every time.

Manage mode

Digital asset management (DAM) is the great strength of ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019. In Manage mode, the software offers all you need for sorting and locating your images. Like many people, you may already have your folders arranged chronologically. This is handy for sifting through them using the folder pane of ACDSee, but the software gives you lots of other ways to find pictures.

ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 - folder pane

Here, I’m using the folder pane in Manage mode to browse photos. I’m not the best organizer, but I do have most folders labeled chronologically.

Calendar pane

I latched onto the Calendar pane within minutes of opening ACDSee. Even if you have your folders arranged by date, it’s so quick to rifle through your photos month by month using the calendar. You can widen the search by choosing multiple months or use single days to narrow it. I used this feature straight away to dig out a few files I might’ve overlooked as potential stock photos.

Catalog pane

The ACDSee Catalog pane gives you several ways to find what you’re looking for: color labels, keywords, ratings, saved searches, categories, and auto categories. Of course, you have to add most of this info yourself to the images, but that’s easy using the software. Auto categories come from EXIF data, so you can filter results by the lens or aperture used, for instance.

cataloging photos with ACDSee software

There are various ways to filter photos in the Catalog pane, some of which rely on you having rated, keyworded, labeled, tagged, or categorized your photos already. In this screenshot, I’m looking at photos taken with a particular lens.[/

Map pane

ACDSee includes a Map pane. Drag your photo(s) onto the place where they were taken, hit Save, and the GPS coordinates are automatically embedded into the EXIF data. Cool! That wasn’t a feature I expected at this price point (Lightroom has it), but it does show how thorough this software is in what it does.

Embedding GPS coordinates into photos

Dragging a photo or several photos onto a spot on the map and hitting “Save” embeds GPS coordinates into the metadata.

Shortcuts pane

The Shortcuts pane offers a way of bookmarking files you know you’ll often need. It makes it that little bit quicker to find any special photos – perhaps a collection of your best-ever shots.

Image Basket

Another neat feature of Photo Studio Standard 2019 is the Image Basket. Normally, when I’m preparing a gallery for the web, I create a new folder on my desktop to work from. The Image Basket is a way of gathering original files together without having to copy them elsewhere.

Keywording in ACDSee

Keywords are an invaluable way of quickly finding what you’re looking for, but they can be time-consuming to add. ACDSee is ahead of Adobe in this respect. It’ll import any keywords you’ve added elsewhere to the IPTC data, but it has excellent keywording capability of its own.

Adding keywords to images

The ability to create large keyword sets of up to 250 is enough to satisfy any lexicologist. I wouldn’t normally need that many, but 40 or 50 isn’t uncommon. Adobe software is restrictive in this respect.

A welcome feature of the new ACDSee ‘Quick Keyword’ tool is the ability to use 25 rows by 10 columns of words (i.e., up to 250 keywords). In Lightroom, you can only have 9 keywords max per set – a source of frustration for many users. ACDSee has its own metadata field that is stored in the database rather than embedded in the file, but you can embed it into suitable file formats.

Photos mode

In Photos mode, ACDSee catalogs all images from the location(s) of your choice and puts them on display so you can scroll through them. Like the Calendar pane, it’s an easy way for you to search visually and find pictures. Hovering the cursor over a thumbnail brings up a larger preview with vital info such as image dimensions, file size, and folder location.

ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 - Photos mode

Photos mode on the daily setting. You can scroll through your whole database, but it’s still divided by daily, monthly or yearly headings.

View mode

Double-click on a photo in Manage or Photos mode and you’ll bring up a large view of the image in ACDSee’s View mode. Various viewing options are available as well as useful editing tools like Auto Light EQ™ and Auto Lens. You can rapidly scroll through files in this mode and tag images or add ratings, labels, keywords, and categories. It’s an extension of Manage mode if you want it to be. Clicking on Edit mode from here takes the open picture into editing.

ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 - View mode

View mode is the place to be if you want to browse large previews of your pictures. Double-clicking on any picture in Manage or Photos mode brings you here, too. You can also perform a few basic edits in this space or categorize photos.

Edit Mode

ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 has plenty to offer in terms of editing but something has to be sacrificed at this price point, and that’s parametric (non-destructive) editing. Photo Studio Standard is a pixel editor only, so you make physical changes to rendered images. You can still leave the original file untouched, but as soon as you finish editing and save a file, there’s no going back and tweaking your adjustments. This is more important if you’re in the habit of reworking pictures or if you edit extensively and want your work to be reversible.


There are a couple of tools under the “Repair” heading. The red-eye reduction tool is something I’d probably never have a need for, but I tested this with a public domain image. Works well – easy to use.

Correcting redeye in photos

With this close-up view, I found myself wishing the size of the adjustment would go slightly larger, as it barely covered the dilated pupil. But still, the red-eye has gone. Most portraits won’t be as near to the subject. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

One of the few glitches I encountered in ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 was a malfunction among the repair tools. I can get the Heal tool to work, and it does a nice job of blending the sampled pixels into a new area. But the Clone tool hasn’t worked for me even after a reinstall. I just get a blacked-out image. This appears to be a bug in the program, as it works flawlessly in other ACDSee software I have on my PC.


Under the “Add” heading you can insert text into your photos or a watermark (the Watermark feature is new in 2019). The default watermark is the ACDSee camera logo, but you can use your own graphic if you want. There are also borders, vignetting, special effects and tilt-shift choices here.

tilt-shift photo effect

The Tilt-Shift tool makes Manhattan look miniaturized.

Personally, I’d be most likely to use vignetting out of these, as it helps direct the viewer’s eye and is a useful photographic tool. It can be fun to add borders to your photos, too, which you can customize in this case with a wide selection of textures or any color you choose.

I counted 54 special effects in ACDSee’s collection, and each is modifiable in some way. Even the ones that don’t instantly appeal might work for you with some adjustment, so there’s a lot to go at. Among my favorites are Collage, Lomo, and Orton. The latter is great for creating a dreamy look.

ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 - Orton special effect

This is the Orton special effect, making a peaceful scene even dreamier.


Under “Geometry”, ACDSee provides rotate, flip, crop, and resize tools. There are some thoughtful touches among these tools, like the ability to control darkness outside the crop area. The Rotate tool also has a cropping feature, so you can level the picture up if necessary and correct wonky horizons.

When resizing, the default algorithm is Lanczos, but it’s worth experimenting, depending on what you do with your photos. Lanczos gives a sharp result when downsizing, for instance, but if you want to back off that a little and achieve smoother edges, try Bicubic.


ACDSee offers some powerful tools under “Exposure/Lighting,” not least its excellent Light EQ™ technology alongside traditional tools like levels and curves. Light EQ™ is similar to curves, only better in some respects since it treats highlights, mid-tones, and shadows separately. That’s only possible to a degree using curves without layers.

ACDSee Light EQ technology

Here, I’m using ACDSee Light EQ™ to adjust the tone of the image. By having the Exposure Warning switched on, I can ensure a good tonal range without losing detail in the shadows or highlights. As soon as pixels appear in red or green, I back off the adjustment slightly. I have the histogram showing the blue channel, as that’s the nearest to clipping at both ends.

The auto buttons in these exposure/lighting controls are also worth a hit every now and again. Personally, I find the auto setting in Light EQ™ tends to make things too bright, but it might provide a better starting point.

You can set your black and white points using eyedroppers in levels and also define the clipping limits under “tolerance.” (Don’t worry if this means nothing to you – it’s only one of several options.

I should mention, too, that ACDSee provides an Edit Brush and gradients with many of these controls, so you can apply edits to selected parts of the image.


Under “Color,” you’ll find White Balance, Color Balance, Convert to Black and White, and Color LUTs. The White Balance tool is excellent, though, like all white balance tools, it relies on neutral tones in the image to use as reference points.

You could also correct color using the Color Balance tool, especially in conjunction with the floating histogram. A good thing about the ACDSee histogram is you can stretch it out as far as you like for a detailed look at tonal distribution. There’s a hue/saturation tool alongside color balance.

Using the histogram - ACDSee software

You can make the floating histogram as compact or elongated as you wish.

“Convert to Black and White” is new to ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019. Based on the colors you know are in the image (e.g. blue sky), you can adjust their brightness to alter the contrast of the final result. This also lets you emphasize different areas of the photo. Good stuff! Contrast is also affected by the RGB percentages, which must always add up to 100. A high proportion of red usually creates more contrast in cloudy blue skies, for instance. Colorized monochrome images are possible, too, under Convert to Black and White.

ACDSee Convert to Black and White

Using the new “Convert to Black and white” feature, I’ve increased the brightness of cyan a fair bit to make the fire-escape steps stand out more. Then I’ve colorized the picture with sepia-like brown tones.

One of the best things in ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 Edit mode has to be Color LUTs. These let you alter the look of your photos (often drastically) via numerical color shifts. They’re like photo filters on steroids. ACDSee LUTs are good, but you can also download LUTs from the web and load them into the program.

Using color LUTs in photos

The lower half of this picture has the ACDSee “Turin” Color LUT applied to it. Look closely and you’ll see it’s darker with deeper blue windows and yet has a more cyan sky. You can use the Edit Brush or gradients on many edits.


Sharpen, blur, noise, and clarity all lie under the “Detail” heading. These are all pretty standard. The sharpen tool is like unsharp mask with amount, radius and threshold settings. Typically, you use a low radius for high-frequency photos with a lot of fine detail or a higher radius to bring out coarse detail across a wide area. A sharpening mask slider would be a nice bonus here if I were compiling a wants list. That would be quicker than selective sharpening with a brush.

Other Features

In case all the above isn’t enough, there’s more. For instance, the external editor feature in Manage mode lets you swiftly open images in other programs. Perhaps that will be Photoshop or it could be ACDSee Photo Editor 10, which would complement Photo Studio Standard well.

ACDSee also has a dashboard that gives you stats on equipment used, database size, and photo counts that show you how prolific you’ve been at various times.

ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 dashboard

The ACDSee Dashboard, indicating prolific use of a Sony RX100 in my case. There are numerous other stats available.

You can create PDFs, PowerPoint files, slideshow files, zip archives, contact sheets, and HTML albums straight out of ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019, too. There really isn’t a lot you can’t do.

More new stuff

ACDSee also introduced AutoSave and Auto Advance features in 2019. AutoSave does away with the “do you want to save changes?” dialog when you move onto another image. Auto Advance is good for rating, labeling, or categorizing photos, as it moves onto the next image automatically once you’ve clicked.

Also new in 2019 are customizable keyboard shortcuts, support for HEIF files (used on later iPhones), and print improvements that let you adjust for differences between what you see on screen and what your printer produces.


As much as I understand the benefits of SaaS and subscription software models, I think there will always be a market for standalone products that consumers can update when they want.

ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 is, first and foremost, a great photo organizer. I’ve never seen better. It’s quick as a browser – doesn’t hold you up – and it gives you workflow choices. There are lots of nice touches to make tasks easier. It’s not especially advanced as a photo editor, but you can achieve a lot without layers, 3rd-party plugins, and even Adobe’s unassailable repair tools.

If like me, you prefer taking photos to organizing them, ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 is the ideal way to get your collection under control. It drills into your database from several directions and helps you find any picture. Many people will want to supplement the editing capabilities with other programs, but you won’t find much better than this for photo management.

Disclaimer: ACDSee is a paid partner of dPS

The post Catalog Photos Like a Pro: ACDSee Photo Studio Standard 2019 Review appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Glenn Harper.