Acorn 4.0
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4.5 stars
  • Outstanding

  • Acorn 4.0
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: Sep 2, 2013

Review Summary:

PROS: Very powerful image editor. Intuitive, easy and fun to use. Excellent performance, even with very advanced editing tools.

CONS: Very versatile image editor, but $50 is a bit too much for an average home user.

Acorn 2I believe that every Mac user owns at least one image editor, which is an application considered essential these days. Of course, every new Mac ships with Apple’s iPhoto that is perfectly functional and useful application, but most users still like to dig into the Mac App Store to find a new image editor which brings some innovative and advanced features through a simplified interface. On the other hand, professional photographers and designers are not that much satisfied with the iPhoto either, and there’s a huge selection of professional image editors in the Mac App Store as well.

In this article we are bringing you a review of an image editor that can be  interesting for an average home users, photography enthusiasts and professional photographers as well. In case you searched for an image editor before, you surely did not missed Acorn – a long-time favorite image editor for many Mac users.  Two weeks ago, Acorn finally published its latest 4.0 version and it turns out to be a very useful upgrade.

Acorn 3

For those who never used Acorn, it is important to say that this application always brought simplified user interface, which is usually very flexible and packed with dozens of useful features, so you can easily adjust it to your needs and your photography knowledge. Acorn 4.0 brings some very useful interface changes, and well as some new features as well.

Acorn 4.0 in some ways resembles Photoshop, in terms of how you can organize tools and palettes, which could be completely free-floating on your desktop. A new change is that the main Tools palette is now presented though a vertical floating window. Central window will still show your image, while on the right you can set up multiple tool palettes, that you use the most often.

One of the biggest new changes is the Filter Layers palette which brings numerous non-destructive filters for your images. These filters are preloaded image effects, which could be fine-tuned by tweaking some of their parameters. Now you can combine several of these filters, thus creating unique set of tools and a very advanced image editing functionality. Acorn 4.0 makes these filters non-destructive, which means that you can “go back in image’s history” to remove a certain filter or to completely revert to the original photo.

Even though we first explained one of the new features found in Acorn, you should also know that this image editor still comes with all those well-known tools like text and shapes, basic enhancement tools, several selection tools, numerous brushes, and advanced export options. Acorn was always known as a full-featured image editor, and the newest version isn’t changing that.

Finally, a few words on how Acorn impacts your Mac’s performance. It is well-known that most semi- and fully-professional image editors completely draw processor and RAM power and that’s why Acorn 4.0 was completely rewritten. This is the most obvious with the new filters, where even older Macs can easily handle three of four filter layers at the time. Newer machines won’t have any problems even with the most complex tools.

Acorn 4.0 currently costs $30, which is its introductory price. Its regular price is $50, which is still a good deal, though it is a bit too much for an average home user.


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