Zoner Photo Studio X Brings HEIF Support to Windows

Apple’s new iOS 11 introduced a big move from JPEG files to HEIF files for photos. The change helps cut storage use in half without hurting quality, but application support for HEIF files has so far been rather lacking. That’s beginning to change, though: Zoner announced today that its Photo Studio X just became the first Windows photo editor to support HEIF files.

The app’s winter software update introduces the ability to open and save HEIF files.

“ZPS X is the first software in the world that lets Windows users work with HEIF files,” the company says. “Now you can not only open iPhone photos in ZPS X, but also edit and save them like any other photos.”

The company has also released a set of comparison images showing the quality-versus-size advantages HEIF photos have over the ubiquitous JPEG compression format.

“Our being first to support HEIF makes us one of the few options for users to work with their photos from the latest iPhones on Windows,” says Zoner product manager Jan Kupcik. “But for us it means much more.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for this successor to the antiquated JPG, not only because, as noted above, this format saves space while retaining quality, but also thanks to other modern abilities such as saving multiple pictures via the difference method, combining photos and video, utilizing depth maps, and making editing less demanding. The new HEIF format will enable truly great things in the future.”

The program’s HEIF support is currently experimental, and you’ll need to specifically turn it on under Options->Advanced.

The winter update also brings new Smoothing Brush and Structure Cloning features in the app’s Develop module. It’s a duo of tools that allow photographers to quickly retouch portraits while keeping them natural-looking.

The complete list of changes and new features in this update can be found in the announcement on the Zoner website.

Zoner Photo Studio X costs $49 per year for the subscription license. The program can be downloaded and used with a free 30-day trial.