What's an album organizer, photo sharer, photo screen saver, photo finishing interface and basic image editor all in one? Ofoto's new and impressive OfotoNow 3.0 (Windows). In its third iteration OfotoNow has matured, has a clean and easy to understand interface and best of all works well. It can certainly give much of Windows XP's built-in digital photo functionality a run for its money, of course though you're tied to Ofoto for sharing and prints...
OfotoNow 3.0 - a quick preview
(All captures below have been reduced by 50%, click for a full size view)
This is the main OfotoNow 3 interface. On the left is the thumbnail index (this can't be changed to other size thumbnails or a list). You can 'tick' images for upload to the Ofoto site for sharing or printing, left or right (lossless) rotation, deletion or copy to another folder.
On the right is the image viewer, from here you can perform various single-image functions such as rotation (lossless, but destroys EXIF headers), magnification:
As well as crop & trim to select an area for printing, this can be aspect ratio locked and will automatically change orientation depending on which way you drag the cropping box:
There's also a fairly useful red-eye removal tool.
To get images 'into' OfotoNow 3 you simply click on the Get Photos button, select a directory on your local hard disk or click on 'Get Photos from Camera' if you have a valid TWAIN driver installed.
The preferences dialog allows you to control various defaults for program operation such as photo display, slideshow timing, confirmations, crop settings, internet and proxy settings, JPEG settings, camera transfer and even setup for 'Express Prints' which allows you pre-set your credit card details for quick print ordering.
Once you've selected a few images you'll want to share them with your friends. Just click on the 'Upload' button, enter your Ofoto login, choose or create an album and the software will begin uploading.
A short time later your images will be uploaded. From here you can choose to share them with your friends or buy prints.
The print ordering sequence (assuming you have "Express Prints" switched off) is simple enough, choose the type of print, the delivery address, shipping method and then enter your credit card details. Voila.
On top of everything else Ofoto has thrown in a screen saver application, this can be controlled from the OfotoNow application or Windows Control Panel. As you'd expect you can select from your own photo collection, choose the transition, display and timing options.
Overall I was happy to see Ofoto taking seriously what I feel is still the weakest link in online printing (getting the images to the finisher easily). The new software is easy to use, looks good, works quickly enough and does everything you'd need it to. On the other hand advanced users may find it too restrictive, it damages EXIF headers (if you rotate / modify the image) and can feel a little inflexible.
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