2 months with Corel Paint Shop Pro Ultimate X7… impressions

So I decided to give this program a try and its funny how that classic saying “no one product can be all things.”  Lets start off by just saying that Corel’s version of professional photo editing software does have great potential but does fall short in some areas of your photo workflow.  Some features that I thought were very interesting was the HDR processing and easy layout for photo editing which really it is!  You could plop any beginner in front of the screen and they would be able to figure it out for the most part.

The Good…

The program as I mentioned has a very nice layout with three main tabs at the top “Manage, Adjust and Edit.”

Working from these three tabs are very easy and provide a wonderful working experience.

I particularly like the power and ease of the Adjust Tab features and performance.  Removing blemishes and whitening teeth and things like that are super effective and easy.  This program does most everything I want but there are a few things I do not like or at least I have not figured out…

The Bad…(at least what I don’t like :-))

Make sure your computer is super fast as this program does require power!  Not a problem as I do have a top end Asus which can blister through the processing demands of this program.  In fairness though, most other programs will behave in a similar fashion.

The second thing I found annoying is the auto save feature which if you bring lets say around 10 photos in the edit workflow, Corel’s engineers found it necessary to have this annoying feature set as default after a few minutes….. not a problem if you are only working on 1 or 2 pictures, however when you import a set of 10 or so at a time which I do often…………wowo……. go have a coffee!  Thank God you can disable this default setting which I did!

The second thing I don’t like is the fact that lens distortion adjustment control in this program is non existent!  In lightroom, it knows what lens you used and will provide you with the proper adjustments.  Corel’s paintshop does not (at least none that I could figure out).

The third is that where the heck is the exposure compensation control!!!  All I can see is the brightness adjustments.  Even Nikons most basic NX2 has this!

The fourth is the sharpening features.  I find Nikon’s NX2 does this very well and its very easy.  The sharpening features in Paintshop Pro just plan suck!  Really disappointed here!

The Fifth beef of course the lack of online resources and plug ins for this program.  Thank God for the most part its simple but you will need at times need to learn and master the more advanced commands.

Overall Verdict…

Even though the program does do many things well, there are keys features/commands that are not up to snuff and do not perform as they should.  The lack of online resources and plugins is also holding back its true potential.  Maybe one day Corel will get to the same heights of the photo editing world, but right now it is  not.

I am finding that I import my images through a program like NX2 to do a few minor things like compensation correction etch and then bring the file into Corel to do more elaborate stuff………………….argh!  I want just one program!



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