First of all, BWStyler is less expensive than similar products and offers more effects and more sophisticated features. BWStyler includes a more versatile curve tool, masking brush, selective adjustment feature and histograms than any other b&w filter.
BWStyler contains 680 presets that produce a wide variety of photographic and special effects. These presets can be combined with each other allowing ten thousands of potential effects. They were designed with this purpose in mind, so they harmonize nicely with each other. BWStyler also features more b&w film types than any other product and even allows you combine a b&w film look with the grain and tonality of a totally different film.
Products that offer more presets than BWStyler usually contain a lot of similar preset variations of the same basic preset. Additionally, presets of most other products were not designed to be combined, so they often do not match well.
Unlike other tools BWStyler offers modes for beginners as well as experts thus taking individual workflow preference and knowledge into account.
For a comprehensive comparison with other tools see here.
What is the difference between ColorStyler and B/W Styler?
ColorStyler and B/W Styler share several similar effects, but ColorStyler is not able to produce the sophisticated black & white effects of B/W Styler. Likewise, B/W Styler cannot create the color effects of ColorStyler and mainly outputs grayscaled images. Both also offer many different presets that are specific to color or b&w photography.
How can I make BWStyler start up faster?
Normally the BWStyler plugin renders more than 680 preset thumbnails at start up. Depending on the CPU of your computer and the thumbnail size this can take between a quarter of a second up to several seconds. If you use a slower computer and want to avoid this delay, you can click on the arrow-down button on the Preset tab sheet and choose the "List" menu item. This avoids rendering the preset thumbnails at start up, but you will also not see any thumbnails anymore. To view them again, you need to choose the "Thumbnails" option on the same menu.
The Standalone/Lightroom version of BWStyler renders the presets thumbnails each time you switch to a new image. To avoid a delay, you can click on the arrow-down button on the Preset tab sheet and choose the "Icons" menu item. Then the thumbnails will only be rendered when the first image is opened. The icon-type thumbnails have the presets applied to test patterns instead of the image itself. If you do not need any thumbnails, you can also deactivate them with the "List" menu item.
How can I get the the highest quality out of BWStyler?
If want to turn a RGB with 8-bit per channel into a b&w image, we recommend that you convert the image to 16-bit per channel before running BWStyler. This way BWStyler will produce 32768 gray tones instead of just 256. This avoids that gray tones are lost when applying high-contrast effects in BWStyler. Even if you later convert the image back to 8-bit per channel, the b&w conversion will usually have a higher quality.