Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - November/December 2020




EDITORIAL: PhotoWiz Announcement

ELEMENTSXXL 8.0 FOR WINDOWS: 220 new features, 185 new presets, Faster rendering of 20 filters

CAMERAXXL 2.0 FOR WINDOWS: 50 new features, Camera Raw 12.4 Support

FILTERHUB 1.60 FOR WINDOWS: Support for 63 new filters, Better plugin detection, Extended Favorites list

METARAW 3.09: Support for new cameras and DNG Converter 13

FIVE FURTHER PLUGIN UPDATES: Support for Photoshop Elements 2021 and bug fixes

POLL RESULTS: Which tool(s) do you regularly use for raw conversion?

NEW POLL: What percentage of your photos do you edit with an image editing application?

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Free Retouch Panel, Infinite Jokes, Capture One Express

GRAPHICS NEWS: Photoshop 2021, Photoshop Elements 2021




Dear Reader,

Luckily the work on ElementsXXL 8 progressed very fast, so it was possible to also release version 2 of CameraXXL and add many new features and presets to it. Actually we have released a total of 2 upgrades and 7 updates almost at the same time, which is a new record. ElementsXXL 8 received many new features as well as improvements in various areas including speed, usability and ActionsXXL support. The new FilterHub update also improves the cooperation between all plugins of the Elemental Bundle, which are now fully compatible with Photoshop (Elements) 2021.

The PhotoWiz Collection of 7 plugins (our main product line between 2003 and 2012) has received only minor updates in recent years, because we mainly concentrated on plugins for Photoshop Elements. This is about to change next year! They are currently completely rewritten from scratch to make all of their features accessible from a single window. There will be many new features, a very flexible and modern UI, faster rendering and a hugely improved workflow. We are also planning to make the standalone version an alternative to Lightroom and upgrade it on a yearly basis. I hope you are as excited about the new PhotoWiz products and their future development as much as we are. The recent poll below clearly shows that there is room for another tool which offers other possibilities and does things differently.

Kind regards,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site


220 new features, 185 new presets, Faster rendering of 20 filters

ElementsXXL 8 provides support for Photoshop Elements 2021 and offers 220 new features, e.g. new Noise Reduction, Skin Smoother, New Blur Gallery, Multi-Frequency Sharpen and Background Blur filters, a new "Camera Raw Filter" menu item, an enhanced Curves dialog, a new Color Circle mode for Channel Mixer, Channel Mixer controls on the Adjustments panel, a new volumetric light type for Lighting Effects and support for 16bit images by Highpass Sharpen and Fill Flash.

ElementsXXL renders 20 filters twice as fast by default and there is an option to double the speed again if you do not mind a lower quality preview image. 185 new presets for Color Balance, Color Lookup, Channel Mixer, Lighting Effects and Skin Smoother were added. There is also an enhanced Adjustments panel, improved usability, e.g. double clicking slider labels for reset and zoom key shortcuts working with filters, and extended support for recording ElementsXXL features with ActionsXXL.

ElementsXXL adds up to 1500 powerful features to Photoshop Elements for Windows that were previously only available in Photoshop. These features are included as 320 new menu items, 80 dialogs, 40 icons, 30 key shortcuts, 8 panels and 3 drop-down buttons. ElementsXXL greatly enhances the image editing experience in Photoshop Elements.

For more information and a trial version visit the
ElementsXXL Page


50 new features, Camera Raw 12.4 Support

CameraXXL 2 supports the new user interface of Adobe Camera Raw 12.3 and 12.4. The installation lets you choose between Camera Raw 12.2.1 (Old UI) and Camera Raw 12.4 (New UI) for Photoshop Elements 2019-2021. So you can always revert back to the old UI of Camera Raw if you like.

There are 50 new features including a new Texture slider for smoothing skin and enhancing textures (Requires at least PSE 2019 and Camera Raw 11.3) and new Geometry features for automatic and manual perspective correction. 330 new presets for the Curves, HSL, Split Color and Calibration features were added and the Curves feature was improved a lot. The new Save button and Save Options dialog lets you save images directly from the Camera Raw dialog as JPEG, TIFF, PSD or PNG files. Finally in the latest 2.01 update lens detection was greatly enhanced as well as the stability when processing multiple files with Camera Raw 12.3 and higher. Camera Raw 13.0 is not supported yet, but will be in a future update.

CameraXXL adds up to 150 new features to Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop Elements. It allows applying Adobe Camera Raw as a filter in Photoshop Elements. CameraXXL additionally enables users of Photoshop Elements to install a newer version of Camera Raw than provided by the Photoshop Elements update mechanism.

For more information and a trial version visit the
CameraXXL Page


Support for 63 new filters, Better plugin detection, Extended Favorites list

FilterHub 1.60 for Windows displays up to 63 filters. Most of them are from ElementsXXL, AdjustShop, LayerShop/LayersXXL and Edge & Frame Galaxy. But also new filters of the latest Photoshop & Photoshop Elements versions became available. The filter scanning algorithm was improved to avoid that filters are overlooked. It is also possible to add more than 65 items to the Favorites.

FilterHub is a powerful replacement for the Filter menu of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements and offers many advantages over it. It supports built-in filters (from the Filter, Adjustments and Enhance menus), filter plugins and third-party automation plugins. The FilterHub panel runs in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements under Windows.

For more information and a trial version visit the
FilterHub Page


Faster Rendering, LayerShop 2 Support, Bug Fixes

MetaRaw 3.09 now supports DNG Converter 13.0. In the Windows version the built-in MetaRaw Converter finally converts the Canon CR3 raw files of the 15 cameras that currently use it. MetaRaw also supports the Panasonic 14-bit raw files of 4 different cameras and uncompressed Fujifilm & Nikon 14-bit raw files. 20 other cameras were also added to the compatibility list or the processing of their raw files improved. The Camera Raw Filter feature of MetaRaw is now fully compatible with Camera Raw 12.3 and higher. The MetaRaw trial version can now be used another 14 days, even if the MetaRaw trial version expired before.

MetaRaw extends the functionality of the Adobe Camera Raw plugin in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. It lets you open camera raw files with Adobe Camera Raw, which are normally not supported by it, and allows applying Adobe Camera Raw to image layers.

For more information and a trial version visit the
MetaRaw Page


Support for Photoshop Elements 2021 and bug fixes

The latest new versions of AdjustShop, ActionsXXL, LayerShop, Edge & Frame Galaxy and ElementsXXL for Mac now support Photoshop Elements 2021. AdjustShop, LayerShop and Edge & Frame Galaxy also work in Photoshop 2021 now.

Additionally the ActionsXXL progress window does not conceal the progress windows of ElementsXXL or other plugins anymore. The recorded ElementsXXL, LayersXXL and LayerShop action steps are now displayed with their full name. There was also a bug in ActionsXXL which crashed Photoshop Elements on exit when using it for the first time, because of a problem with the welcome message. This does not happen anymore.

For more information and trial versions visit the
AdjustShop Page
ActionsXLL Page
LayerShop Page
Edge & Frame Galaxy Page
ElementsXXL for Mac Page


Which tool(s) do you regularly use for raw conversion?

Here are the results of the previous poll about patterns of plugin usage:

155 people cast 325 votes in the previous poll about raw conversion tools. Here are the results:

1. Affinity Photo 24.5%
2. Corel Paint Shop Pro 18%
3. Adobe Photoshop (Camera Raw) 17.5%
4. Adobe Lightroom Classic 16%

5. Adobe Photoshop Elements (Camera Raw) 13%
    DxO Photolab / Optics Pro 13%
6. Capture One 12.3%
7. ON1 Photo RAW 11%
8. Luminar 9%
9. GIMP 8.4%
10. Adobe Lightroom 1-6 7.7%

11. ACDSee 5.8%
      Darktable 5.8%
12. Other 5.2%
13. AfterShot Pro / Bibble 4.5%
14. Adobe Lightroom CC 3.9%
      Adobe DNG Converter 3.9%
      Nikon Capture (NX) 3.9%
      Raw Therapee 3.9%
15. Canon Digital Photo Pro 3.2%
      Irfanview 3.2%
16. Exposure 2.6%
17. Silkypix 1.9%
18. MetaRaw 1.3%
      Corel Photo-Paint 1.3%

A surprisingly large part of the voters use Affinity Photo and PaintShop Pro for raw conversion. They are closely followed by Photoshop, Lightroom and Photoshop Elements and then DxO Photolab, Capture One, ON1 PhotoRaw and Luminar. Only half as many people still use Lightroom 1-6 compared with the new Classic subscription version. So the majority seems to have made the transition. The Lightroom CC version is only used by a minority of voters. Unexpectedly the Exposure software (of the former Alienskin company) seems to be less favored although it is quite similar to Lightroom.

It is noteworthy how diverse the raw conversion market is. There are 10 products that are used by a similar amount of people. The majority still uses Adobe products (Lightroom, Camera Raw), which dominate together and are often imitated by the others. In average every voter uses two or more of these products, which also shows that no single solution provides all necessary features.

We did not add Topaz Studio to the list, because the latest version 2 was stripped off a lot of functionality and now looks more like a typical image effect plugin. Otherwise it would probably have made it into the top 10.

For more poll results visit the
Resources section


What percentage of your photos do you edit with an image editing application?

The latest poll asks you to estimate the percentage of your photos that you edit with an image editing tool. You can choose between various values from 0.1% to 100%.

You are welcome to participate in this poll by voting at
Main page...


Free Retouch Panel, Infinite Jokes, Capture One Express

The Free Retouch Panel for Photoshop CC 2017 and higher (for Win/Mac) lets you smooth skin. Ther is also a commercial version with more features.
Visit website...

Infinite Jokes is a free panel for Photoshop (for Win/Mac) that tells you jokes while working in Photoshop. You can pick a voice, the mood of the jokes, and how often it quotes a joke.
Visit website...

Capture One Express is a limited feature version of the raw conversion software (for Win/Mac). There are two versions: One only lets you open Fujifilm raw files, the other only Sony raw files. Compared to the commercial version it misses various features, especially the ones for editing certain image areas.
Visit website...

For more free plugins and tools, please visit the
Resources section


Photoshop 2021, Photoshop Elements 2021

Photoshop 2021 offers new AI based "Neural Filters" (most of which are still beta), a sky replacement filter, a Discover panel, a pattern preview, enhanced cloud documents, live shapes, preset search, a Content-Aware Tracing Tool (also beta) as well as many smaller improvements.
Visit website...

Photoshop Elements 2021 offers a filter for adjusting the tilt of faces in photos, lets you save documents to the cloud, create a camera motion GIF animation from static images, add quote graphics. It also provides various new Guided Edits including duotone effects, AI-powered landscape enhancement and help for moving, scaling and duplicating objects. Additionally the Adjust Facial Features, Lens Blur and Liquify filters are GPU accelerated.
Visit website...

Back to the News Page


Still got questions ?