It's no secret that we're big fans and big users of ProShow Gold and the higher end ProShow Producer for creating excellent slideshows and DVDs on Windows. That's why we added them as a site sponsor and are always excited when they come up with a new release. This week Photodex announced and shipped ProShow 4.5 a solid upgrade to both its flagship products. Read on to learn about our first experiences with it...ProShow caters both to photographers creating relatively simple "photo-only" shows and to users looking for much fancier output including Wedding and Event DVDs, shows with lots of video and complex audio soundtracks and exotic slide effects and transitions. Whereever you fit on that spectrum ProShow delivers. The Gold version is a solid offering for those who do straight ahead shows and Producer supports far more types of output and much more complex shows. ProShow 4.5 upgrades both of them with a new set of Wizards for "one-click" slideshow creation, many new transitions and effects, and a variety of more subtle workflow enhancements.
I used ProShow Producer 4.5 to begin working on a show for a talk I'm doing to the Wildlife Photographers of Silicon Valley next month. One of the first upgrades I noticed was more built-in caption styles for convenience in text formating and more slide transition and effects options. Since I wanted to layout the show myself I didn't use the new wizard show creation but I'm looking forward to using it on the "ad hoc" shows I do of participant images at the end of each of my workshops. It should be a big time saver for putting together casual shows that still come off as professional products.
The increased number of slide styles will also be welcome to pros creating DVDs or mobile videos looking for a fresh appearance, although many users will never use a lot of them since for most shows simple transitions (like simple fonts) are often the best choice. One of the nicest features of ProShow, which sets it apart from almost all its competitors, is that it is fully color managed--so you can add images in their native colorspace and it will create output that will display correctly on a variety of devices. Coupled with its native support for many Raw file formats it is an excellent power tool for photographers looking to strut their stuff or showcase their clients' events. My only disappointment in this area with the 4.5 version is that it still doesn't support compressed NEFs from my D700 directly although it is only a couple clicks in DigitalPro to convert them.
If you've got any questions about the best way to create a show or to use either version of ProShow there is a great new book out, Secrets of ProShow Experts, by the original author of ProShow which is packed with great tips and techniques. The book's only drawback is some questionable photographic advice (like only shoot in landscape mode), but the slideshow coaching is worth way more than the $26 buying the book on Amazon will set you back.
I'll be posting more of my results with ProShow 4.5 as I get more time to work with it, but if you're curious you can download a free trial or upgrade or purchase ProShow 4.5 directly from Photodex. As always let us know your thoughts here or in our Forums.