Pixelmator for iOS is a photo editing App available for iPhone, iPad and iPad Pro, with professional aptitudes and capable of handling burned images (Jpeg, Png or Tiff) as well as non-rasterized ones (Raw and Dng).
The product is the brother of the more famous Pixelmator and Pixelmator Pro, both available for Mac even if substantially in this version for iOS it is a conversion and simplification of many functions, although the Pro attitudes remain confirmed, waiting for the developers to release Pixelmator Photo for iOS, currently in beta and which shouldn't make you regret the Mac versions.
Pixelmator for iOS, the review
The proof of RAW
We tried Pixelmator for iOS at the beginning on an iPad Pro 2018 with brilliant results and then also on an iPad 2018 with the same luck, in both cases with DNG RAW files coming from both a Nikon D90 and a Fujifilm X-T1 equipped with XF 16–55mm ƒ2.8 lens, again thanks to the collaboration of Michele Discardi, author of the shots.
The choice to work with RAW files is not accidental, since this type of documents is certainly more complex than normal JPEG and TIFF files, whose compatibility is certain.
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The App costs quite little, a few Euros, but offers a powerful development environment but just a basic interface: the impression you get from the beginning is that the App is scalable towards users, starting from the tools up to preset.
What we did not like, from the beginning, was the File Manager, which allows you to interact with the space available to manage the shots: in the version we tested it is possible to create a new image, take it from iCloud Drive, from the Photos library or directly from the camera. Not enough for an App with professional claims, for which there is no advanced manager that includes at least the most common clouds such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and the ability to take shots from a Mac or PC on the network.
We therefore opted to start everything from the excellent Readdle Documents, which allows what is mentioned above and even more: Pixelmator for iOS in fact offers itself among the Apps for sharing in the standard iOS window.
The main window once you open an image puts this in the center and a series of commands at the top: the positive note is that the commands do not differentiate between RAW or JPEG, for example, and that it is possible to intervene in the same way in both cases.
The photos lend themselves to a retouching of light and color, using cursors and curves, although from time to time the reduced excursion of the cursors offers some difficulties from the point of view of accuracy.
In some commands it is possible to intervene with the finger simulating the brush, offering a partial retouching that is anything but to be underestimated, although from our point of view the most important function is given by the use of layers, with related blending methods and consequent transparency. .
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You can use other images as a layer (limited to the internal file manager), colored backgrounds, patterned backgrounds or black and white images.
With the same principle, superimposed effects can also be added, such as circles (which simulate the Bokeh effect), a Vintage texture, a light leak, a miniaturization effect and others. Each effect is managed directly through the fingers, which regulate the area of intervention and transparency.
In addition to this, there are many presets for the most common color effects, easily applicable and parameterizable, each with its own specific commands.
In the end, the result can be shared with other Apps or exported using the standard iOS sharing command, by selecting the chosen format: it is a pity, however, that in some cases, such as for the Photoshop (PSD) format, the final result does not maintain the levels set. but propose a rasterized ending, the App would certainly have benefited from the workflow point of view.
The general impression we had for Pixelmator for iOS is that it is a middle phase: positive, of course, but an App designed for iPad, iPhone and iPad Pro capable of making those who use it happy for some on-the-fly retouching and , in part, even those who want to use it from a professional point of view, even if here some more advanced mechanics would have been better, as well as the possibility of intervening on the color mode and also in the export phase, with some more preferences .
According to the writer today Pixelmator for iOS is probably the best App for editing on the iPhone, while for iPad and iPad Pro it rivals others, waiting for Pixelmator Photo to arrive, which instead promises sparks.
Pro : • Available for iPhone and iPad • Easy to use • Very good presets
Versus: • File Manager to be reviewed
• Some sliders have too short a stroke
Price : 4.99 EUR
Pixelmator for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store directly from iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro (and likely also from iPod touch soon). Pixelmator is also available in normal and Pro version for Mac.