Blurity! – How Not To Sell Software

The Holy Grail of image processing is the ability to take blurry images and make them usable. Adobe demoed this technology last year and I expect to see it integrated into Photoshop in the near future. In the meantime there is a piece of software called Blurity! that claims to do the same thing, and the examples on their website are impressive enough. When I found out about this software I made a note to do a review of it. Normally I will contact the manufacturer of the software, discuss the features, talk about how to talk about it, and maybe ask for license key if one is needed to fully demo the software out. Also, if a product fails to live up to expectations or has some problems, I will talk to the manufacturer and provide feedback and then discuss posting a review or waiting for an update to address my concerns. This post is going to go into my experience in learning about and trying out Blurity! and what irritated me enough to write an article about it.

Pricing

Blurity! sells for $49 (on sale for $39 right now). Right off the top this seems like a fairly steep price. Photoshop Elements, which is an extremely robust piece of software, sells for about $69 (Walmart price on day of this writing). A $20 difference in price between a complete, full-featured image organizing and editing tool and a single purpose tool with limited functionality. I would certainly argue that Photoshop Elements has well more than $20 worth of more features. Yes, I understand that Adobe is a huge company that will make their money on volume, but even at $39, Blurity! provides very limited functionality. A minor issue is that Blurity! is only available for purchase with a credit card, there are no options for Google Wallet or PayPal.

Poor Large Image Support

After trying several images that were resized to 900px wide and getting fairly poor results, I tried a full size image from my camera at 5184 x 3456 pixels and got a warning that the image was large and might not work. It most certainly did not work. It puked all over itself. Nowhere did it tell me what the optimal size image but too small didn’t see to do much and too large doesn’t work well.

Demo Version

This is where my frustration hit the tipping point. I understand that a company wants to prevent software piracy but I also believe that if you are going to provide a demo, it actually needs to show what the software can do. Blurity! takes this to extremes by plastering “Unregistered” over your image so much that you actually can’t tell if it actually worked our not. Maybe it did great, but the image quality being completely destroyed by the watermark does not allow you to see if your image is improved or not. I can’t even begin to get excited about a piece of software that I can’t tell if it does anything or not. After a number of attempts, I finally found that using a JPEG at 2048px wide and selecting the hot spot properly did result in a significant improvement but it is really hit or miss depending on the image and where you can position the hot spot box. The software needs some minor improvements to be really functional, but then you have to overcome the price.

Summary

If you can’t hold a camera still or don’t own a tripod and fixing your images is worth almost 50 bucks, then Blurity! may be the software for you. If the company behind Blurity! is surprised their sales aren’t better, well maybe its because they have priced themselves out of the market and their demo version is horrible. Maybe I am wrong here and $49 is the perfect price point to recover that magic photo of Aunt Betty. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Website: http://www.blurity.com

KerryG

Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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7 Responses

  1. bryan catmull says:

    I absolutely agree with this assessment, I downloaded the demo, and found it impossible to
    evaluate the processed image! I also will no9t pay the price of 39.00 unless I am sure the
    product meets most of its claims! well its on with the search for a more reasonable program!

  2. Exim says:

    Most people want to remove blur for a couple of images. In this case, they simply won't need to buy the software, if it provided full results.
    Agree about price – in this audience, it is quite high.

  3. One of my customers ordered an 8×10 of a portrait with a little motion blur (due to camera movement at 100mm, 1/60). It's enough to bother me at that print size. It's my fault, of course, and I should know better by now, but I want to make my customer happy. If the software works, it would be worth the $40, but I can't be sure because of all the watermarking. Grr…

  4. Lexie says:

    I totally agree. Large image support is a MUST since many of the images that I print end up being very large and need to be perfectly crisp. There's no point whatsoever in trying to make web thumbnails less blurry. And I was annoyed with the demo, too. If I could actually see that it worked really well, I would be a lot more inclined to spend the overpriced $40 just for the benefit of the software, especially if it had large image support. But there was so much watermarking I couldn't tell if it did anything. Why the hell would I bother buying it!?!?

  5. Tien says:

    Yeah, this software ended up being an annoying waste of time. They makes all of these amazing promises and I tested tons of different blurry images with the demo and not one of them worked. I contacted the guy who wrote the software and he said it doesn't work well with sunset images or any kind of images that have any areas that are overexposed so I tried images that weren't like that and still got all kinds of crazy processing issues where the result was horrible looking, 10x worse than the original. When one image finally DID process it decently, it still just looked like it had been run through the regular unsharp mask in Photoshop. It didn't do anything that I couldn't already do.

    What was also annoying was the fact that when I contacted him, his attitude about the excessive watermarking was kind of a, 'I want people to buy my software and I don't care if they can't tell if the software works, all I want is for them to buy it'. Needless to say, after testing and testing and testing image after image with not even ONE good result, I am soooo glad I didn't just spend the $40 on faith. I would have been severely disappointed and frustrated that I wasted my money on false promises.

    Don't bother buying this software. It doesn't work.

  6. Ziva says:

    I agree with everything above said about the program. You really can't tell if it works or not. At least your prices were $40 mine says that registration cost $$99. I opened my eyes wide and said WHAT!!? forget about it!

  7. Olly says:

    It is working quite well – for certain images – and it seems they also fixed the large image problem…
    BUT… it has other nasty habit: it's "phoning home"; the installer and the program on EVERY start, and there is no option to disable this, but just block in firewall.
    Don't know what it's sending, but it seems enough for them to unique identify the "installations". Absolutely unusual, but it looks as if the developer(s) is/are proud about what they are doing – it's published on their blog how they tracing installations and customers.
    Another unusual behavior is their website – the connection is only encrypted (by https://) for reasons known only by them.
    My conclusion: the title of this review "How Not To Sell Software" is 100% matching the point – congratulations for this matching title.

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