Arcsoft PhotoStudio 5.5 - Input File Size Limitations

by : Stephen Cornfield

Before I start this quick note I must preface this by saying that I am a Photoshop guy. I have used various versions starting with exposure to Photoshop v5.0 right up to CS2. I do plan on upgrading to CS3 in the near future. I have always been amazed at its capabilities and with what it enables me to do.

I recently did a scanning project of about 200 slides for a client. They wanted all slides to be scanned at 4000DPI, which is the maximum resolution that my Nikon scanners can do, and to have the files saved in both full size JPG and TIFF formats. This created JPG file sizes ranging from 12.5MB to 28MB in size with black and whites being 32MB in size. The TIFF files were about 64MB in size. The client wanted the items scanned this way because they were planning on editing the files with their own software at a later date. Their software that they were to be using, as I found out later, was Arcsoft Photostudio v5.5.

Up until this time I have never used this software. When the client got home and attempted to load their files for editing into this application they got some very unpleasant results. The images were very "coarse" and "grainy". They stated that there was something wrong with how the images were scanned and wanted their money back. I told them that I would investigate the issues, if there were any to investigate, and that I would get back to them.

Immediately after getting off the phone I opened up the files in Photoshop CS2. The images were perfect. I previewed the images in Windows Explorer. Again, the images were perfect. I called the client back to inform them of what I had, or had not, found. They were not happy with this. I then got the exact details of the software that they were using. Again, they stated that they were using Arcsoft Photostudio v5.5 and that they have received JPG photos from the somewhere in the states and have never had a problem.

After getting on the phone I searched the web and found the Arcsoft website. I was able to locate a demo copy of the application in question and began to download. Once the download was completed I installed the application and loaded one of the images in question. Ahhhhhhh!!!! The images were horrible and that was putting it kindly. Upon seeing these images I could then understand what the client was saying. But, what was wrong? Was it something that I did or how I scanned the items? I have never had this problem before and I wanted to resolve it before moving on.

Of course, the first thing I did was to "google" Photostudio v5.5 support. Initially, I did not find anything but as I kept up the search I did find sites that stated that the application had file limitation issues. What do they mean by that? Keep in mind that all images were scanned at 4000DPI, creating huge files, and chances are that the files she had received from the states were considerably smaller than the ones that I created for them.

I then loaded on files that I had recently completed for another client. These images were scanned at 3000DPI and the JPG's were about 16MB in size. The quality stunk. I then loaded other smaller images and they loaded fine and appeared OK. I then resized a couple of images that I had scanned for the client for the purposes of testing. Basically, what I found was that Photostudio 5.5 has a size limitation for source or input files. I then realized that the files that I had created, at the clients request, were beyond the applications ability to handle.

Upon discovering this issue with the application I attempted to scan the Arcsoft site for what the actual maximum file size limitation is and I also sent an email to their technical support staff for assistance. After doing this, I then contacted the client and informed her of my findings. She was not totally thrilled with this and, maybe, did not fully understand this but she did appear to accepting the reality that free software that comes with your camera is not always capable of being everything you want it to be.

What could she do to resolve her situation? Use industry standard software that is compatible with all industry formats and one that is full featured enough to do more than what you do now.