I recently discussed enhancements to the Photo Slides Builder. A number of SSP users also use Microsoft's PhotoStory product to create slide show based video files. A common use of PhotoStory is to quickly create videos to show off pictures from a recent event, like a mission trip or VBS. PhotoStory is used despite the fact that SSP has had a similar feature for quite some time. One reason given to me for this is that PhotoStory provides a pan/zoom effect. Well, with the July 2008 Edition of SSP, pan / zoom is now an option in the Photo Slides Builder (when the Cinematic Effects Collection is installed and licensed).
This improvement should now make it more compelling to stick with the SSP tool for quickly building slide shows. In contrast to PhotoStory, the SSP tool doesn't require the rendering of a video file. Instead, it creates a slide show that you can then customize if you wish to do so.
Another difference between the two tool is how they render captions. PhotoStory places a caption on an image, then pan/zooms the image along with the caption. We think this is not the best way to do captions. The Photo Slides Builder makes it so that the caption is rendered separately from the image so that it is not affected by pan/zoom.
The examples below demonstrate the difference. The first example is a slide show built using PhotoStory. The second is one built using SSP's Photo Slides Builder.