Is Alien Skin Exposure X2 a Photoshop killer? Over the past few months I have tested a number of photo editing programs that promise to be a contender for the crown currently held by Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom. Alien Skin Exposure X2 is not only a genuine contender, I believe that it has a shot at the title! Will it replace the full range of editing/plugin power tools contained in Photoshop/Lightroom? No. If you are into heavy photo editing and compositing you will not be satisfied with Alien Exposure X2 alone. However, if you want the best color and resolution from your default raw camera files and a range of top quality film and color effect presets that will quickly give your photos a sumptuous look, look no further than Alien Skin Exposure.
The photo at the top of this page was quickly edited in Alien Skin Exposure X2 (shot with a Pentax K-x and vintage Tokina RMC 35-135mm F:4-4.5 lens). I used the Kodak Ektachrome preset in Alien Skin to quickly add sparkle and saturation to this photo. I easily added a light vignette effect and darkened the shadows slightly. Done. I love the results!
Of all the photo editors I have used for raw image editing, Alien Skin gives me the best default images. Color rendition is simply wonderful. I don’t need to do a lot of processing because the default results are so good to start with. If you use Fuji mirrorless or (vintage) DSLR cameras, then you will love Alien Skin Exposure. The default rendering of raw images from my Fujifilm FinePix S2 and S3 Pro DSLR cameras is the best I have seen from any raw photo editing software including Adobe Lightroom and Capture One Pro. From reviews I’ve read, owners of Fuji’s latest cameras are just as enthusiastic about Exposure. The photo below shows a jpeg made from a default raw image converted in Alien Skin Exposure X2 of a FujiFilm FinePix S2 Pro image. This image shows the default rendering settings in Exposure, no editing was done other than resizing the image.
If you care about color rendition and image quality above all and do not need extensive photo-compositing tools, Alien Skin Exposure will fit the bill. It also plays very nicely with Photoshop/Lightroom if you want to include it in your photo editing workflow. It is a very impressive tool that will help you to create the best looking photos with minimal effort.