In the early 1990s, digital photography was just beginning to make waves, and few companies had caught onto the massive sea change on the horizon. In those years, digital cameras were available mostly to professionals, commanding high prices ranging from $1000 to $30,000. Many established brands continued to focus their energies on film.

Even back then, however, a man by the name of Doug Vandekerkhove knew something major was about to happen. In 1993, he founded ACD Systems International Inc., an independent image editing company for the digital generation. The next year, the first version of ACDSee gave users the ability to view and manage their digital files in a way that was previously inconceivable.

From there, the digital revolution overtook the industry like a tidal wave. By 1995, the first cameras with LCD screens on the back hit the market, and the first mobile phone camera arrived in 1997. That same year, the makers of the blockbuster film Titanic used ACDSee software to manage their image needs.

The history of photography and the heritage of ACD Systems International have always been entwined. In the last two decades, as the camera has continued to advance, so too have the powerful range of ACDSee products. Most recently, the historic company released ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2019, the editing software of the future. Here’s a look at just seven ways this new program can help photographers to reach new creative heights.

All-in-one capabilities.

This is the very first digital asset manager and RAW editor with layers to hit the market. It has tons of advanced tools for both organizing and manipulating your images–including a stellar new roster of brush tools for color, white balance, and vibrance–all under one roof. Gone are the days of moving your files from one app to another. With Photo Studio Ultimate, you can do everything in one place without the hassle (and the expense of multiple subscription plans).

High-speed processing.

Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 speeds up your workflow and helps you get off your computer and back in the field ASAP. Not only is it faster than all its competitors when it comes to RAW export, but it also supports HEIF files (which are used in the most recent iPhone models). Truly, the speed at which you can open, scroll, and zoom in and out of images using this program is astonishing.

Note: In addition to the default keyboard shortcuts, you can also make your own for even quicker processing.

Access to your hard drive.

That’s right, don’t have to import your files into Photo Studio Ultimate. Just open them up, and they’ll be added to your database for easy keywording and editing. Those minutes spent importing can add up over time, and this software saves us all the trouble. ACDSee has also rolled out Mobile Sync, a convenient (and free!) app that allows you to send photos straight from your phone to your computer for easy editing.

Facial recognition.

Portrait, fashion, and lifestyle photographers, this one’s for you. Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 comes with the ability to recognize people, so you can label and sort your photos easily based on subject and client. You can also geotag your images quickly and painlessly and search them later based on location. When it comes to organizing and keywording, this software will do the work for you, meaning you can spend your time on creative endeavors rather than tedious tasks.

“We thought it was important to provide our users with this personalized way of finding photos,” Frank Lin, the CTO of ACD Systems, said last year. “You may not remember when or where, but often you remember the people.” This feature is one step in the company’s ambitious plans to introduce a complete AI Digital Asset Management system.

Revolutionary actions.

Applying filters and actions to your images has never been easier. Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 lets you apply color lookup tables and pre-recorded actions to any and all photos of your choice. Editing your shoots in batches is as simple as the click of a button. Don’t worry: you can see all your edits in advance to make sure you want to apply them.

Plus, you can also share your actions with colleagues and followers as handy, compressed packages! These are especially useful for photographers who have a signature aesthetic or color palette. They’re also ideal for Instagram, where sophisticated presets reign supreme.

Black and white editing.

A few years ago, a well-known photographer told me that there was no use in editing a black and white image digitally. No matter what, she said, no software could replace the effects you can achieve manually in the darkroom. She was probably right at the time, but ACDSee has since changed all that by bringing black and white well and truly into the digital age.

Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 comes with a vast array of intuitive tools for manipulating contrast, tint, brightness, and more in your monochrome photos. The magic of the darkroom is finally available with the click of a button.

Light EQ technology

Light EQ is just one of several patented technologies developed by ACD Systems, but it warrants a special mention. With Photo Studio Ultimate, you can alter the light in specific, targeted areas without affecting the entire image.

What’s more, the software can automatically improve the lighting of your photo with 1-Step lighting. Use Auto EQ to correct the exposure of any image easily and without any fuss. You won’t be able to find this tool anywhere else.

The market for image editing software is evolving at breakneck speed, and ACDSee has emerged as the leader of the pack. Twenty years ago, this company introduced products that forever altered the way we create images, and today, they’re still pushing the envelope.

Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 is the smart (and affordable) choice for photographers of all genres, offering a diverse array of intuitive and easy-to-use tools to help your images stand out. For beginners, it’s easy to learn and convenient, but it also offers a wealth of advanced editing capabilities for the experienced retoucher. Try it today!

ACD Systems International is a Feature Shoot sponsor.

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