Nowadays Internet is abundant with various photo editing programs and free online photo editors. Hardware suppliers also want to have their slice of a pie in the software market. Thus, they ship digital cameras with related programs. For example, Sony provides digital camera buyers with its own photo editing tool – Picture Motion Browser.
In our previous articles we overviewed well-known photo editing applications such as PhotoScape, BeFunky, FastStone Image Viewer. They let you edit and tune up pictures, help you organize photos on a computer. Their photo editing features are very rich and vary from elimination of red-eye effect, black and white photo conversion up to slideshow making, drawing, etc. Let’s find out whether it makes sense to install Sony image editing software or it is better to use a third-party photo editor?
Picture Motion Browser (PMB) is a desktop application for organizing and editing photos from Sony. Sony ships this software with camcorders and digital cameras. Each device is supplied with a certain version of PMB. However you can upgrade to the latest version 5.8 with the help of PMB Updater. If you have lost your CD-ROM you can download PMB from the official website .
The main function of the application is to import photos and videos from a camcorder or a digital camera to a computer. Picture Motion Browser opens RAW images and photos in JPEG format. There are 3 ways to view pictures on the computer. You can switch between 2 modes: calendar and index, or view photos as a slideshow. In the calendar mode images are organized according to the date they have been taken. In the index mode photos are presented like thumbnails and can be sorted out in different ways, for example by file name, file size, rating, etc.
Everything is clear and simple in Picture Motion Browser. It can be used not only like a viewer. PMB has got some basic editing features such as photo cropping, resizing, auto-correction. Unfortunately the image tweaking set is rather primitive. It is limited to red-eye removal, brightness and saturation correction, tone curve and sharpness adjustment. There is face detection but you cannot group faces or add a name to them like in Picasa. It’s a real pity that no smart frames, no cool photo effects are available. Besides you cannot add any text except setting the date when an image was shot.
PMB sharing opportunities are vast. PMB lets you upload photos and videos to popular sharing sites (YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, etc.), email photos and clips to a friend, burn images to disc. Files are automatically compressed before they are sent via email.
Pictures and videos can be geotagged with Google Maps. This is convenient when you want to remember places visited during a trip or show friends where you shot your pictures.
Overall PMB is an easy user-friendly application. I’d use it more for organizing my photos than for image tuning because editing functionality is poor. Another shortcoming is that Apple users are outboard because MAC OS is not supported. And I wish that the update process were more speedy and didn’t take me almost half an hour.
Thus, Sony Picture Motion Browser shows that Sony loses in the battle between software providers. We advise you to weigh all pros and cons before you decide what photo editing tool to pick up. Not all that glitters is gold.