I am not a big fan of digital effects and in most cases all my image enhancements are done during the raw conversion. But I do appreciate creative capabilities that new applications can bring.
The number of image transforming apps is endless, new effects pop up every day. Most of them look very similar, but two caught my attention, Topaz Impression and Macphun Tonality Pro.
Topaz Impression completely transforms the photo image into a "painting-like" picture.
You can choose your favourite painting style or method from a variety of different of presets
and each preset can be further altered to your liking. The program is well integrated with LR or can be used as a standalone app.
Definitely fun to use but I can't justify $99 price tag for something that doesn't have any practical use for me.
Another one is Macphun Tonality Pro, a B&W conversion program. This app supports raw (including x-trans) and 16 bit files and comes with over 150 presets.
You have control over all parameters, including sharpening, stacking different effects as layers and applying effects locally using brush tool. Not bad at all for a $69 program.
Unfortunately in some cases it exhibits strange virtical artifacts, most likely easily correctable with few adjustments.
I like it but I don't need it.
I already have Silver Efex Pro 2 (Nik Collection) and it does excellent B&W conversion for me :)
All the best,