Thursday, July 11, 2013

REVIEW: onOne Software Perfect Resize 7.5

onOne Software Perfect Resize 7.5
onOne Software Perfect Resize 7.5

One product that I use often, but don’t talk much about on the blog is onOne Software’s Perfect Resize. However, it’s funny when I talk to people about resizing images because they immediately wonder why I don’t just use Photoshop or Lightroom?

In this article, I’ll show you why. This was a recommendation in my Printing 101 eBook, and it still remains a product that I use regularly when printing.

Perfect Effects 7.5 vs Photoshop CS6

For this test, I took an image that I had exported out of Lightroom at 1800x1200 pixels. I did some minor edits using Perfect Effects and then I resized it. The resize on the top was done in Photoshop CS6 with 16x24” @ 360 ppi (8640x5760) using Bicubic Automatic. For the naysayers, yes I did try Bicubic Sharper and Bicubic Smoother as well as the other modes. The best choice was Bicubic Smoother which seemed to match what Bicubic Automatic had done.

Click on the photo to view this at 100%
Photoshop CS6 (top) & Perfect Resize 7.5 (bottom)
Click on the photo to view this at 100%

On the bottom was the Epson Resin Coated 16x24 preset with sharpening turned OFF. The reason why I turned off sharpening is because I knew that this would be used on the web so the extra sharpening required to make a print look its best makes online images look way over sharpened. It also provides an apples to apples comparison since Adobe doesn’t do any sharpening after resizing either.

Now you don’t really even need to click on the photo to tell that Perfect Resize won this battle hands down.

Perfect Resize 7.5 vs Lightroom 4.4

Click on the photo to view this at 100%
Lightroom (top) & Perfect Resize 7.5 (bottom)
Click on the photo to view this at 100%

Lightroom was actually worse than Photoshop which really surprised me as I expected it would be the same as Bicubic Automatic. However, it appears that Lightroom uses the Bicubic Sharper algorithm which resulted in an even softer resized image. 

Perfect Resize 7.5 vs Alien Skin Blowup 3

Click on the photo to view this at 100%
Alien Skin Blow Up 3 (top) & Perfect Resize 7.5 (bottom)
Click on the photo to view this at 100%

Long-time readers of my blog know that I used to be a huge fan of Alien Skin Blowup because it used to beat older versions of Genuine Fractals (the predecessor to Perfect Resize). However, in 2013 the latest version of both products – with sharpening and grain enhancements turned off – proves that Perfect Resize 7.5 is the king of resizing. When you look at the images above there’s no comparison – Perfect Resize is the hands down winner.

But wait, did you try…

Any time I do this type of article, I immediately get people who freak out and say but you didn’t do X that’s why you say the results that you did. For example, some Photoshop purists suggest that resizing must be done in increments rather than directly from one size to the next. However, my sources at Adobe have told me that is exactly what Photoshop does under the covers for the last several releases, so that won’t yield better results. Sure enough, when I tried that myself I didn’t notice any improvement.

With respect to Mac versus Windows – I did not observe any benefit to one operating system over the other.

I know I’ll get questions like “but you should try Lightroom 5, or Adobe Photoshop CC”. However, I encourage you to try your own images using the methodology I’ve applied and see if it makes a difference. To my eyes, Perfect Resize always comes out ahead when upscaling images. Downscaling sometimes favors Photoshop, but not always.

Don’t believe me? Download the free trial of any of the products mentioned and do your own comparisons on your own images. For the best results, downsize your image using Lightroom or Photoshop to something manageable (like 1920 x 1200) then upscale to something like 16x24” @ 360ppi. This gives you a better idea of how good the resizing algorithm really is!

Keep in mind that not all images are created equally so some easy to resize images might produce identical results, and some complex images may produce slightly different results. I chose the image I did for my testing because it’s pretty much as hard as it gets for resizing real-world photography images.

It should also be noted that I did use a variety of images in my testing and got similar results. For time reasons, I have only included one example image to illustrate the summary of my findings. If you would like the actual resized images then contact me and I’m happy to provide a link.


If you care about the quality of how your images are resized (and you should if you print), then Perfect Resize is the way to go. When scaling images down to web resolution it’s less important what you use because pixels are lost. However, when upscaling pixels have to be added so the quality of the software makes a huge difference, and Perfect Resize is still the king!

If I could only own one onOne Software product, this would have to be it. I highly recommend it!

For those coming from older versions you’ll find this version is significantly faster, more robust (i.e., I’ve had no crashes), and it scales up to 400% very nicely (i.e., usable in printing when images are viewed at appropriate viewing distance).

My only gripe about this product is that you have to pre-crop your image to the desired aspect ratio before using Perfect Resize because it will only remove pixels on cropping – it won’t add bars (excluding the Gallery Wrap feature which is pretty awesome if you do wraps).

More Information

Click here to learn more or order the latest version of Perfect Resize. This page provides more info on product features and versions available. This product can run stand alone, so Adobe products are not required.

I don’t have any special discounts for them anymore because onOne Software stopped doing that due to coupon abuse. However, I do have this special deal for those who decide they want to get the whole suite:

Nik Software Owners: Get onOne Perfect Photo Suite 7 for 50% off

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Anonymous said...

Ron, Have you ever used PhotoZoom Pro 5?
If yes, then I just wanted to know if it's better than
Perfect Resize 7.5. Thanks. said...

I wasn't aware of PhotoZoom Pro 5 - thanks for the heads up. I played around with it today to see how it compared.

With the S-Spline Max and Generic preset the results were near identical with PhotoZoom Pro 5 having a slight advantage because it had sharpening turned on whereas I turned sharpening off for Perfect Resize. In an apples to apples comparison with sharpening turned off I found them to be darn near equal with PhotoZoom being just a touch softer but with less artifacts. It seems that Perfect Resize is probably using the same algorithm and despite turning sharpening off, it might have a minimal amount that it always applies.

File save is painfully slow in PZ and overall Perfect Resize performs much faster. The presets in Perfect Resize help speed up the workflow too, but PZ's UI isn't bad for those who know what parameters they want to enter.

Perfect Resize is much cheaper and I think the better overall product, so I don't see the point in paying more than the cost of the entire onOne Suite or Nik Collection for just a resizing app.

Here's my comparison image:

Yangchen said...

Some people (e.g. me) might feel that the Photoshop resize, although blurrer, looks realer than the Perfect Resize, at least on screen. The Perfect Resize looks more like a watercolour drawing than a photograph. It might be different in print, of course. said...


In that case Photoshop is probably the right product for you.

In print Perfect Size has a clear advantage to my eyes.


Unknown said...

have you use the new resize method-preserve detail-in pts CC? is it better? said...

Yes I have and I still prefer the latest version of Perfect Resize for big resize jobs. Photoshop is sufficient for basic work.