8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 4, 2013 4:46 PM by Matthew Morgan
ma_che62 Level 1 (0 points)

A little advice on what the best program is for creating high quality HD (1080p) slide shows from hires jpegs.  I'm not at all interested in burning the slideshows to DVD.


Until now I've used iMovie HD 6, iMovie '09, and  iPhoto on our mac mini that runs SnowLeopard. 


With iMovie  HD 6 the transitions (cross dissolve and overlap) come out quite un-smooth look bad.  Also HD 6 will not do 1080p, only 1080i.


With iMovie '09  photos that are portrait oriented (as opposed to landscape) often get poorly cropped. 


iPhoto simply does not have the editing flexibility I need.


I've tried the demo version of Fotomagico and although the resulting slideshow is stunning, on my machine the program is almost impossible to work with because of its sluggishness.  It is painfully slow in responding to all mouse moves. Dragging an image on the Stage is very difficult because the image lags behind the mouse so by the time the little green alignment guides come on to show center or edge alignment -- the image is already past that point.  There is also a huge lag changing images on the stage.   Also the spinning color wheel appears way too frequently.


Photo to Movie, based on their website, Photo to Movie can produce HD quality video.  Does anyone have any experience in comparing Photo to Movie with any of the iMovies?


Other than FCP, what do you folks think is best slideshow program for producing 1080p shows?

mac mini, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 (22,600 points)

    I've been very happy over the years with Photo to Movie, though I've not used it recently with OS X Mavericks or in conjunction with iMovie version 10.


    They offer a free trial. My best advice is to give it a try.



  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,755 points)

    Ditto what Matthew said about Photo to Movie.


    There are many ways to produce slide shows using iPhoto, iMovie or iDVD and some limit the number of photos you can use (iDVD has a 99 chapter (slide) limitation).


    If what you want is what I want, namely to be able to use high resolution photos (even 300 dpi tiff files), to pan and zoom individual photos, use a variety of transitions, to add and edit music or commentary, place text exactly where you want it, and to end up with a DVD that looks good on both your Mac and a TV - in other words end up with and end result that does not look like an old fashioned slide show from a projector - you may be interested in how I do it. You don't have to do it my way, but the following may be food for thought!


    Firstly you need proper software to assemble the photos, decide on the duration of each, the transitions you want to use, and how to pan and zoom individual photos where required, and add proper titles. For this I use Photo to Movie. You can read about what it can do on their website:




    (Other users here use the alternative FotoMagico:  http://www.boinx.com/fotomagico/homevspro/ which you may prefer - I have no experience with it.)


    Neither of these are freeware, but are worth the investment if you are going to do a lot of slide shows. Read about them in detail, then decide which one you feel is best suited to your needs.


    Once you have timed and arranged and manipulated the photos to your liking in Photo to Movie, it exports the file to iMovie  as a DV stream. You can add music in Photo to Movie, but I prefer doing this in iMovie where it is easier to edit. You can now further edit the slide show in iMovie just as you would a movie, including adding other video clips, then send it to iDVD 7, or Toast,  for burning.


    You will be pleasantly surprised at how professional the results can be!


    To simply create a slide show in iDVD 7 onwards from images in iPhoto or stored in other places on your hard disk or a connected server, look here:



  • ma_che62 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Klaus and Matthew.  Your responses are very helpful.


    I really don't do DVDs anymore because 1080p on a modern television looks so stunning.


    Do you guys use Photo to Movie to produce 1080p slide shows and not just DVDs?


    And if so, how do the cross dissolves come out when playing the slideshow?  Smooth?


    And Klaus, your work flow for producing slideshows is very helpful. 



  • ma_che62 Level 1 (0 points)

    Oooops...one more question (repeat question?). 


    Klause and Matthew, how do you compare the quality of the slideshow, in terms of sharpness and vividness of Photo to Movie to iMovie or the other Apple programs?



  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 (22,600 points)

    Generally, I found the quality of Photo to Movie to be better than the Ken Burns effect.


    Add to that the features that Photo to Moive has (motion paths, rotation etc.) and it's like Ken Burns on steroids.


    I encourage you to try it out.


    You can create slide shows directly from Photo to Movie or (and this is what I did a lot of) use Photo to Movie to create sequences that I would then import into iMovie to combine with video elements and other effects.


    I would occasionally make a DVD, but I prefer the quality of playback from a computer to a television.



  • ma_che62 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you guys...both of you.  You are the best.


    Yesterday I played with the demo version of Photo to Movie and compared it to identical test 1080p slideshow made with hires jpegs individually imported into:


    iMovie HD 6

    iIMovie '09

    Fotomagico (demo version).


    I evaluated them based on characteristics of:


    a) clarity, vividness and sharpness of detail of the slides, viz., image quality,

    b) smooth transitions (dissolves/overlaps),

    c) "KB" effect.


    P2M was the winner in category (a), the most important category, with HD 6 coming in 2nd, FM in 3rd and '09 way behind in 4th place.


    FM was the winner in category (b) with P2M coming in 2nd, '09 a close third and HD 6 last (I think it interlaces the transitions)


    FM was also the winner for category (c) with P2M again coming in 2nd, '09 third and HD 6 last (that **** "shimmer").


    Since FM is basically unusable on my machine (video card to slow with not enough memory), I will be buying P2M.


    Thanks again!

  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,755 points)

    Useful feedback - thanks!

  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 (22,600 points)

    You're welcome, happy to help.


    Thanks for publishing your results.