Actions are one of the most useful Photoshop features. However, the functionality is very limited. But see for yourself.
Most presets have options or variations, which can be accessed with one click. Everything stays clear.
Options (PS Action)
No options or variations. Every option must be saved as a separate Photoshop action.
FX-Panel presets can be marked as favorite or hidden. They are also automatically categorized (e.g. black & white, monochrome, CameraRaw, adjustement layer, most recently used…).
Overview (PS Action)
Actions can be moved in folders (one level only) and have one of seven predefined colors assigend. Many actions may lead to an overcrowded, confusing display.
Predefined thumbnails for all presets and options with a before/after view (no real-time preview) immediately reveal what a preset will do with your picture.
Thumbnails (PS Action)
No thumbnails. You can only guess by reference to the name or available experience what’s behind an action.
Search after name, type, effect, coloring, saturation, contrast, genre, emotion, look, element and light.
Search (PS Action)
No search. Particularly among a high amount of actions finding the right one can be a time-consuming procedure.
Auto. Values (FX-Panel)
The FX-Panel has all pertinent informations about your image: size, resolution, how many layers you use or which color mode you work in. Intelligent algorithms calculate these parameters and automatically produce the best values.
Auto. Values (PS Action)
Actions merely depend on formats (landscape, square), bit depth, mode or layer specifications.
Language-independent. No matter in which language your Photoshop is set, the FX-Panel and its presets always work perfectly.
Language (PS Action)
Many Photoshop actions only work in one language – commercial actions mostly only with an Englisch Photoshop version.
History Panel (FX-Panel)
Every single preset, no matter how complex, only appears as one step within the history panel.
Every single command executed by an action will appear as a separate step in the history panel. Complex actions quickly fill the history panel and may not be reversed.