If so, you probably know that it’s very easy to make a photo smaller.
All you have to do is load it into your favorite image editor and either crop it or resize it, and the resulting image is almost always as crisp and clear as the original.
But try enlarging a photo instead and you’ll quickly realize that you have a problem. When you resize a photo to make it larger, you typically end up with an image that’s blurry and pixelated.
In short, you generally end up with a mess.
That being said, it is possible to create enlargements that are virtually indistinguishable from the originals by using special apps that are designed to enlarge photos with no discernible loss in image quality.
I work with photos and graphic images every day, so I’m always looking for tools that can help me be more productive with those tasks.
To that end, I’ve tried a number of photo enlarging apps over the years with varying degrees of success, but it seems that I’m always on the lookout for something that’s just a little bit better.
Well, I recently had the opportunity to give ON1 Resize 2021 a try, and it really blew me away.
Note: Before I get started with my review, let me say this…
Regular readers of this blog know I prefer recommending free programs/apps over their paid counterparts.
But there are exceptions where there really are no free alternatives that come close to matching the power and utility of a paid app. I truly believe this is one of those exceptions.
With that being said, let’s get started!
First of all, I found On1 Resize 2021 extremely easy to use. Simply drag your photo into the app, then select a new image size and use the sliders to make a few adjustments.
But even more important, On1 Resize 2021 does an incredible job at enlarging photos without causing a big loss in image quality.
One of the photos I used in my testing was this photo of a smiling child:
I loaded the original image into PhotoShop Elements and resized it to 590 x 787 pixels (which is a size that fits well in the content area of this blog).
I then did everything I could do with the various adjustments to make the image as sharp and clear as possible. This is what I ended up with:
Notice how the enlarged photo ended up blurry and less sharp than the original. You can really tell a big difference in the hair and eyelashes.
Next, I loaded the same original photo into ON1 Resize 2021. After doing a little experimenting with the adjustment settings, I ended up with this:
As you can see, there was very little, if any discernible loss in image quality after the original photo was resized with ON1 Resize 2021.
For my purposes, that’s pretty much all I will probably ever need from this awesome app. But I’m just a blogger, so the enlargement feature is probably the only thing I will ever use it for. And for me, that feature alone makes it well worth the price.
But if you happen to be more deeply into image editing, manipulation and printing, ON1 Resize 2021 has a number of other powerful features as well. I won’t go into them here, but this page on the ON1 website has them all laid out for you.
ON1 Resize 2021 is available as a standalone app for both Windows PCs and Macs, and you can even get plugins for Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.
Bottom line: If you’ve been looking for an outstanding consumer-grade photo enlarging app, I truly believe that ON1 Resize 2021 is the cream of the crop.
Bonus tip: Click here for several tips for taking great portraits without expensive photography gear.