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Perfect Photo Suite 8



Price at time of review: £110.00
Product Type:
Design / Features



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256 total ratings


Plus Points

A suite of amazingly useful photo filters and effects

Minus Points

Some parts of the suite are more useful then others

Posted January 8, 2014 by

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Perfect Photo Suite 8 from onOne Software is a complete photo editing package in its own right but for the purposes of this review I’m looking at it as a plug-in that’s compatible with Photoshop, Lightroom and Elements. Now you might be asking yourself… what on earth is there that Photoshop and co, can’t already do that would require a whole suite of plug-in filters? Well, whilst it’s true that some parts of Perfect Suite 8 are a little superfluous for those of us who have mastered the basics of Photoshop editing there’s still a wealth of things that Perfect Photo Suite can do better then Photoshop and some things that are simply impossible to do in Photoshop.
To find out more, download a 30 day trial or buy visit the Perfect Photo Suite 8 web site

Once installed, Perfect Photo Suite 8 integrated seamlessly into all my Adobe photo editing software and moving an image from Photoshop (for example) into the plug in was painless and fast. Despite Perfect Photo Suite consisting of several products bundles together I found myself constantly return to Perfect Effects time after time.

Perfect Effects 8
Any time you run any part of Perfect Photo Suite for the first time you’re greeted with some quick hints to get you up and running. That’s backed up by a great range of video tutorials and recorded demos by onOne, so if you need it there’s lots of free help at hand. The Perfect Photo Suite interface is clean and intuitive, you simply click a filter from the left of the screen and then choose one of the preset effects. Look over to the other side of the interface and you’ll find a bunch of sliders to fine tune and finesse the filter to your personal taste.

Perfect Effects is the place to go if you like images with loads of texture, if you love photos with soft warm glows and if borders are your thing. Basically there’s something for everyone inside Photo Effects 8. Every filter effect has multiple presets for fast editing or you can take complete control and fine tune every aspect just the way you want it. You can paint in effects and paint them out too. There’s the sliders to adjust a filters overall opacity and some familiar blending modes such as Multiply and Overlay.

The only gotcha comes when you want to add multiple filter effects as each has to be added on it’s own layer and if like me you get carried away and forget to click the new layer button, the new filter simply replaces to old. One other thing to note is the image updates can be a little slow at times, meaning that effect of moving a slider or switching off a layer can take a second or two to fully appear on screen. But those minor niggles can easily be forgiven once you start to dive into some of the amazing effects that are possible.

In the video below I give you just a tiny taste of what’s possible in a Photoshop to Perfect Effects round trip.

Can’t see the video? Click here

Perfect BW 8
If you’re passionate about your black and white images the Perfect Photo Suite 8 has you covered with Perfect BW 8. The interface follows the same lines as Perfect Effects (and the rest of the suite for that matter) with a wide ranging bunch of presets on the left of the screen but for mono I found myself more drawn to the manual controls where I could set things up very quickly and save my own presets for future use.

Perfect Portrait 8
Years ago I brought a bit of software called Portrait Professional for extreme skin smoothing. Times moved on, as has fashions and the plastic skin look has thankfully all but gone. Launching Perfect Portrait 8 for the first time I got a weird feeling of daja vu as you have to tell the software where the eyes and lips are for it to work, just like good old Portrait Pro. Thankfully the skin smoothing, eye whitening and lip colouring effects are far more subtle then the effects I remember all too well and that’s a really good thing. In fact the end results were pretty darn good and I had to push the smoothing sliders really hard before the dreaded plastic skin appeared.

If you’re looking for Perfect Photo Suite 8 under filters, which would be the obvious place, you’ll be wasting your time as they’re in the File menu of Photoshop and Elements. Once you’ve learned that, there’s very little to dislike. Yes it can be a bit sluggish when editing large 16 bit files with lots of filter layers and I really REALLY wish I could jump from Perfect Effects to Perfect… anything else but I can’t.

With the old war horse that is Nik Software seemingly put out to grass by Google, the time is right for onOne to up their game and that’s exactly what they’ve done with Perfect Suite 8. There’s no doubt in my mind that Perfect Effects 8 is the star of the show and has become my plug in of choice for a lot more then just beautiful contrasty effects. The vast choice of frames, textures and presets has to be seen to be believed.

Whether you choose to buy Perfect Effects 8 on it’s own or go for the whole Perfect Photo Suite, I’m sure you’ll soon be doing what I do and thinking… I wonder what that image would look like if I run it through Perfect Photo.

Gavin Hoey



    Geoff Chalcraft

    Has NIK Software really been ‘put out to grass’? I know Google bought it and reduced the price drastically (which was nice), but I’ve been contemplating buying it for a couple of months now – I already use NIK Silver Efex and have seen most of the other components in use – and now I’m hesitant. NIK’s around the 100 pound mark, while Perfect Suite is cheaper for the basic version (which works with LR or Aperture only), or more expensive for the full version (which works with PS, PSE, LR). I assume it had to cut its price due to the NIK competition. OnOne doesn’t have an HDR module but it has Perfect Portrait. So it’s a case of ‘swings and roundabouts’, I suppose.


    Hi Gavin, Geoff beat me to it, is this your add-in of choice now that NIK is owned by Google?


    Thank you Gavin, a very clear and informative video. Like others i like to use plug ins for effects and have favoured Nik software.

    But after you demo, i would be prepared to give Perfect Photo suite8 a go.

      Gavin Hoey

      As I always say with software… get the free trial first and then decide if you want to stick or twist 🙂

        Geoff Chalcraft

        Thanks Gavin, I agree with having a go at a free trial, but it’s that suggestion you made that NIK had been “put out to grass”…… if I found it was just the job for me (and I think it probably is), would there be any point in buying it if there’d be no support or upgrades in the future?

        Anyway, I’ve been searching the net and can’t find any signs of Google dumping NIK – though some people think it may become part of their ‘Cloud’.

        In the meantime, I think I’ll buy NIK and hope it keeps up with Adobe with upgrades. Maybe I’ll have to think again in the future, but I think it will be fine for a few years.

        Thanks again, Gavin – I’m really enjoying your website and everything you offer to us!


    Im changing over to a mac from pc and as i cant afford to buy photoshop again for the mac as i have cs5 at the moment,would this software be a good alternative?

      Gavin Hoey

      It could be but I’d suggest going for either Elements 12 and Perfect Photo Suite or better still Lightroom 5, Elements 12 and Perfect Photo Suite. There’s free trials of all the software so try before you buy 🙂

        Stephen S

        Thats what I have, I cant afford full blown PS either and dont want to pay for the month $9 cloud service. I have full blown LR 5 and PS Elements 12 and the Perfect Effects 8 plugins.

      Stephen S

      Doesnt the PS disc work on both mac and windows platforms? At least the new ones are compatible on both.

    Barry Champion

    G’day Gavin.
    I have put in a previous comment about PPS8. Ihave been a user of PPS7 and now PPS 8 for a while now and have always found it very good. As a plug-in to Photoshop it is very convenient, in fact Photoshop is a good central point to start processing your images and having these top line programs as plug-ins so easily accessible from there is great. With the advent of Creative Cloud I, like so many I know have opted to lean more heavily on programs such as PPS, Portrait Professional and DXO. I would recommend Portrait Professional Suite 8 to anyone, particularly those just starting out. Also too, you can easily bring your own backgrounds into the library within the suite.

    Barry Champion.

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