Xara Photo and Graphics Designer offers a lot of tools and options for its price.
Downloading and installing the software is straightforward and it is very easy to learn and use. Ideal for anyone starting with photo editing or graphics design.
You get all the tools you would expect from graphics software, non-destructive editing, layers support, masking, photo manipulation tools, panorama support, text editing, special effects and more.
The user interface is clean and modern looking, it is very easy to navigate and adds context-sensitive tools for an even easier operation.
Many presets are included for image manipulation (sharpening, controlling brightness and contrast, color temperature etc.)
There is also a support for Photoshop PSD files importing (including layered files) if you decide you don’t like the new Adobe subscription system and rather have a perpetual license.
For the beginners Xara provides video tutorials to get you started, but I think the software is easy enough to be used without them.
Overall, I think this is an inexpensive graphics editing option any beginner should look into.
Xara Photo & Graphics Designer is meant mainly for the novice and amateur graphics designer and photo editor and as such it does work well. If you are looking for a more advance tools and capabilities, you probably want to look at Adobe or Corel's software.
Probably the main con is the basic RAW file support, mainly if you compare it to what Photoshop Elements offers (and of course nothing close to Photoshop ACR or Lightroom).
Performance is generally good, but it can lag a bit when applying some of the special photo effects.
The software is only available for Windows.
If you are looking for an affordable, easy to use yet powerful editor, give Xara a try.
You get a free trial (installer may offer additional software on some cases, so use custom install)
Easy to use and fast to learn very capable photo editor for anyone who does not want to spend the time needed to learn Photoshop.
Automated tools can help anyone improve their photos.