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Colorcinch review: Photo to Cartoon & Filters

Matic Broz profile picture By Matic Broz Updated April 17, 2022
Colorcinch featured image

The bottom line

Colorcinch is an easy-to-use online (and offline) image editor built around many effects and filters that give your images a unique look, similar to those in mobile apps. Therefore, it’s best used as an image cartoonizer. Since it offers only basic editing tools and no raw options, photographers will not enjoy Colorcinch.

Pros

  • Inexpensive.
  • Free plan.
  • Easy to use.
  • Many filters and effects.
  • Has offline version too.

Cons

  • Effects take long to apply.
  • Basic edit tools.
  • Dependent on your internet connection.

This Colorcinch review will help you decide whether this photo cartoonizer and editor is right for you.

What Is Colorcinch?

Colorcinch, previously known as Cartoonizer, is an image editor you can use in your browser. It offers basic editing, effects and filters, overlays, masks, vectors, text, and drawings. You can use it for free or upgrade to a paid plan to access all features.

Ease of use

Photo editing is simple but also quite limited. Likewise, adding various effects, filters, texts, or graphics is as easy as it gets.

And ease-of-use is what the team behind Colorcinch promises, “Instantly create, edit and turn your photos into personalised artwork with Colorcinch – the #1 photo editor & cartoonizer designed to be simple, beautiful, and free.” Although I would argue about the #1 part, I agree that it’s simple, quite beautiful, and free.

Start by uploading an image in one of the supported formats (more on that soon). Then, use the conveniently-placed tabs on the left-hand side to open various tools.

Colorcinch interface

Also, the interface is modern and minimalistic, which simplifies work and finding the right tools by avoiding clutter.

Supported Formats

Colorcinch supports only compressed formats, which is a bummer for serious photographers. But it won’t affect amateurs who don’t require the best image quality.

Although it supposedly supports many image formats, some didn’t work for me. Colorcinch lists the following formats: tiff, pjp, jfif, bmp, gif, svg, png, xbm, dib, jxl, jpeg, svgz, jpg, webp, ico, tif, pjpeg, and avif.

Above all, I wanted to test the tif/tiff format, but the file was never displayed correctly in the Colorcinch interface despite opening it in my browser. So, I had to make do with a jpg file, which I’ll be using throughout the review as an example. It’s a photo of an adorable squirrel I snapped while on vacation.

Basic Editing

As a photo editor, Colorcinch isn’t that powerful. As I already pointed out, you can’t use RAW files, which already limits your image editing. In short, you can crop and resize, fix exposure, enhance colours, sharpen, and add a vignette. None of the tools is particularly sophisticated, but they’re good enough for beginners. However, due to the use of a compressed format, you can expect some hardship in getting it done.

Colorcinch Editing

I liked that every tool comes with helpful tips on using it, which is a big plus for beginners. Also, the tool panels opened smoothly, but I experienced some lag when closing them.

Colorcinch tool tips

Image cropping comes with many presets, including some for the popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. These help you get images in the correct format right away, so you don’t have to crop afterwards.

Filters & effects

Filters and effects come in two separate tabs. The effects enable you to achieve different drawing styles, such as turning photos into paintings or cartoons, while filters change colours and lighting.

Arguably, filters and effects are the main points of Colorcinch, and I admit there are a lot of them. But I didn’t like how long Colorcinch took to apply an effect. I had to wait 1-2 minutes each time I tried a new effect. So, fooling around to find the best one is almost impossible unless you have plenty of time.

Colorcinch effects

In contrast, the filters are applied in a flash. They’re like Lightroom presets, although I couldn’t create or import a filter myself. I was eager to test the HDR filter as a photographer, but it left a bitter taste. It increased clarity (as found in Lightroom), thus posterising the image.

Colorcinch filters

Overlays

You can add many artistic effects to images, change blend modes, rotate and flip, and change the strength. But I missed a feature that would allow you to change the hue of the effect. These are important in creating a realistic effect.

Colorcinch overlays

For example, most Colorcinch bokeh effects have warm tones (yellow and orange), which do not fit a cold image. Moreover, many so-called “bokeh effects” are actually sun flares. And if you consider that the app pops them onto the screen, they all look like sun flares. To clarify, bokeh can only be applied if you consider the depth of field.

Masks, Text, Drawing, Graphics, & Frames

Masks cover your image with a colour of your choice and leave blank only the shape you choose—these range from ordinary shapes, animals, patterns to vegetation.

Colorcinch masks

Adding text is quite useful for designing postcards and promotional material, and it’s easy to do. You can choose from a couple of dozen Google Fonts, but you can’t add your own.

Colorcinch text

Drawing is straightforward, but you can’t change the brush style, despite the option being there. Also, the eraser doesn’t work once you confirm the drawing, and you must start over.

Colorcinch drawing

Graphics are vector images. Around 50,000 vector graphics are already uploaded, but you can add more of your own. The best way is to draw your own with Adobe Illustrator or buy some from Adobe Stock.

Colorcinch graphics

Pricing

Colorcinch offers two accounts, the Basic (free) and the Plus (paid). You don’t even have to create an account to use the Basic account, but you’re limited to several features.

The Plus plan is available with annual ($3.99/mo) and monthly ($5.99/mo) commitments. Both plans provide access to premium effects and features, high-res exports, and vectors.

How can I pay for Colorcinch?

They accept only credit and debit cards. Unfortunately, you can’t use Paypal, Payoneer, Gpay, or ApplePay. Colorcinch promised to add new payment options soon.

Is Colorcinch free?

Colorcinch has a free and paid plan. The free plan doesn’t require registration and only offers access to the basic features. To use all features, you need to upgrade to the paid plan for $3.99/month.

How to deactivate a subscription?

Go to your Colorcinch account > My Subscription to deactivate the subscription and click “Cancel”.

Does Colorcinch offer refunds?

To my surprise, Colorcinch doesn’t offer refunds, either for annual or monthly plans.

Colorcinch alternatives

On the one hand, Colorcinch is a simple photo editor. If photo editing is what you want, you might benefit from more powerful alternatives. One of the most popular image editors is Adobe Lightroom, a gold standard in photography. Lightroom is excellent at image management, basic photo editing, masking, and exporting. But it lacks the creative options that you can find in Photoshop. Some more beginner-friendly yet just as powerful as Lightroom options are Skylum software, Luminar AI and Luminar Neo.

As a cartoonizer, Colorcinch is one of the best I’ve used. The only other worthwhile online alternative is the Vance AI suite of tools. It’s slightly faster and better at batch editing, but it doesn’t allow for image editing or adding various elements.

Summary

In this Colorcinch review, I emphasised the pros and cons of this online cartoonizer and image editor. I also pointed out its features and pricing and listed several alternatives.

About your guide

Matic Broz profile image
Matic Broz

Matic Broz is a photographer, graphic designer, and stock photographer. For over ten years he's been helping photographers improve their photos and graphic designers find the best images for their designs. His work has been featured by Lifewire, Skylum, and PetaPixel. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and petting random dogs. Read more

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