Software that can fill in missing details in photos is a reality. You can buy it online and start using it right now.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983


'Miracle' software recreates detail in photos

Jan. 17, 2009

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2010, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2010, The Post-Standard

   If you're a fan of the TV show "CSI" like I am, you've undoubtedly marveled at the way a lab technician can zoom in on a badly pixelated image and instantly turn it into a detailed view of a suspect's face.
   That's all just make-believe, right?
   Maybe not so right. Software that can fill in missing details in photos is a reality. You can buy it online and start using it right now.
   This software is so good I consider it a miracle. But before you reach for your credit card, let me explain what this software is and what it can do.
   The software is PhotoZoom Pro 3 from BenVista, at www.benvista.com. It's available in Windows and Mac versions and works with Photoshop as an export plugin or as a stand-alone program. You don't need Photoshop to run the stand-alone version.
   PhotoZoom Pro 3 costs $219. That probably seems like a lot, but no other software can do what PhotoZoom Pro 3 does.
   Put simply, PhotoZoom Pro 3 restores details to digital photos and scans. By "details," I mean the tiny parts of a photo that are present in real life but somehow got lost in translation into a photograph.
   Ordinarily, details that get lost are gone forever. If your camera simply can't supply enough resolution (fine details) to show anything more than a smudgy-looking blot where Uncle Mike's nose is in that family photo of 65 picnickers, you're never going to see Uncle Mike's nose -- unless you massage the photo with PhotoZoom Pro 3.
   I became a believer in Photo Zoom Pro when I used the previous version to restore hundreds of Vietnam photos from tiny contact prints a few years ago. The ultimate praise for Photo Zoom Pro's capabilities came from exhibitions of huge blowups of those prints; most viewers at these exhibitions had no idea the original photos were thumbnail-size contact prints in which the missing details were restored by software.
   PhotoZoom Pro 3 works faster and has a few more helpful options than the version I used for those Vietnam photos. There's no "CSI" option in the software -- instant blowups of fuzzy surveillance shots shown with immense detail are still a few miracles away -- but the improvements you'll get, especially when printing poster-size photos, have to be seen to be believed.
   You can even try PhotoZoom Pro 3 without paying a cent. Details are on the Web site.