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Tech Thursday: A Look At MacPhun Intensify Pro Editing Software

By // January 16, 2014 // Posted in Software, Tech Tuesday

When MacPhun‘s Intensify Pro software was released in October, I put it on the back burner for a couple of reason—one of which was the name MacPhun. To me, it sounded pretty amateurish and since the company (which is based in the Ukraine and has been around for a while) has done a lot of apps, so I figured this was a consumer-oriented software rather than one appropriate for pros.

But we all know about assumptions and mine was a bit off base. First, I learned that some of the guys from Nik software were on board at MacPhun and helped the company open its U.S. base. That alone was incentive enough to give Intensify Pro a whirl. When I took a closer look at the application, I was intrigued.

Intensify Pro is a powerful application with an intuitive user interface.

Intensify Pro is a powerful application with an intuitive user interface.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a full review but merely a quick look, and my first impressions are pretty positive. From what I’ve seen so far, Intensify Pro should make a good addition to most photographers’ workflow—including wedding, portrait and fine art pros—with its myriad of retouching tools and presets.

At the core are the adjustment options you’d expect—temperature and tint, all the basic exposure sliders (including, contrast, shadows, vibrance, saturation), a separate set of contrast  tools for highlights, midtones and shadows with offset adjustments for each. Fine details and sharpness can be tweaked and there’s a special micro sharpness option with radius, Dehalo and masking, as well as the ability to apply vignettes. Importantly, Intensify Pro can handle 16-bit RAW files, layers, masking and gradients.

Naturally, the software has a histogram, with options for the Pro version (there’s a somewhat more basic, less expensive standalone version called “Intensify”) you can view the image’s tonal range, clipping, pixel saturation and more. Also exclusive to the Pro version, among others, is PSD support.

A long list of presets is available ranging from image adjustments, black and white conversions and creative options. The intensity of each preset can be adjusted and, better yet, fine-tuned with the application’s full set of controls. You can mark your favorites as well as create and save your own presets. I’m not fond of all the presets and would rather use the manual tools to make adjustments but other presets do a good job for a quick fix or a jumping off point to apply your own esthetics.

Also exclusive to the Pro version is the ability to use the application not only as a standalone program but also as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom and Apple Aperture. As the name implies, the software is Mac only. The basic version of Intensify is available via the app store for $30 , while Intensify Pro can be downloaded from the MacPhun site or purchased at retailers (on an SD card) for $60. Free trials are available and it’s worth checking out the software—we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the depth and breadth of its features.

System & Software

  • Mac OS 10.7 and above
  • Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor
  • 4GB RAM and more
  • Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS6 or CC; Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, 5 or later; Apple Aperture 3.2 or later, Photoshop Elements 10 -12 (App Store version is not supported due to Apple Sandboxing)

Image formats

  • RAW images 8-bit, 16-bit (Including .NEF for Nikon and .CRW2 for Canon)
  • PSD (Intensify Pro)
  • TIFF 8-bit, 16-bit
  • PNG
  • JPEG
  • Possibility to save progress (.MPI)
  • RGB 8- and 16-bit

Language Support

  • English
  • More languages coming soon with free updates

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Theano Nikitas

Theano Nikitas

Theano Nikitas, a full-time freelance writer and photographer, has been writing about photography for 18 years. Although she loves digital, Theano still has a darkroom and a fridge filled with film thanks to her long-time passion for alternative processes and toy cameras.

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