on 22 November 2012
I've used PSP for donkey's years and with every new version it has got more complicated and difficult to use. It may well have more features than it used to and I appreciate that it has to keep up - but at what cost? This used to be a great bit of software which was easy to use, relatively straight forward to use and offered a good array of tools and features to suit most people's needs. For those of us who wanted ever more sophistication then the way forward was to buy something more heavy weight and more expensive. What we now have is something that takes more resource than it should, can often be unreliable, is often difficult to navigate and has lost all of its appeal and simplicity. This was once a great little product which was easy to use and gave many of the more so-called "professional products" a run for their money. It's now lost its way. And it's a shame.
on 1 February 2013
I bought Corel Paintshop Pro X5 a couple of months ago and I am over the moon with it!
My passion is photography and I wanted to take it to the next step and start editing and playing around with my photos; Paintshop Pro X5 allows me to do that and a whole lot more. I have been teaching myself how to use the software, and after playing around with it and reading the tutorials I am getting pretty good at it. There is a user guide built in to it and video tutorials on the Corel webpage.
Pro X5 has powerful photo-editing and design capabilities which provides everything you need to create wonderful photos and designs. You can manage, adjust and edit your photos within 3 seperate pages and navigating between them is simple. When you have finalised your image you can tag people and upload straight onto facebook, Google etc if you wish.
To say that I am self taught I am doing well and although I still have a lot to learn, I am having fun doing it. Prior to purchasing this I looked into Adobe PhotoShop (Full version) which costs over £900; Corel Paintshop Pro X5 costs nearly 20 times less than this. Paintshop X5 may not be as powerful but it certainly puts up a good fight for the price of it!
I would advise anyone who loves Photography, photos and/or Art to buy this fabulous product...
I am very pleased and satisfied with my purchase. I hope this has helped you.
PaintShop Pro X5 is Corel's latest offering of the popular photo editing software. I currently have X4 and so was very interested to see if this was worth upgrading to.
First off though - how easy is it to install? Some of the simplest programmes can take forever so a programme like this could take a while? Wrong. The set up was painless and all installed within about 5 minutes. I was prompted to install an upgrade which turns out to be a service pack which means you will have the most up to date version installed in minutes.
A quick prompt allowed me to import my databases from the previous version which is as it should be. I was then confronted with the familiar user interface. Not much has changed here so it will be easy for previous users to navigate. If you are buying for the first time, you will find everything is laid out so you don't have any trouble finding your photos. This can give the screen a cluttered feel, but it's easy to undock and move any toolbars or sidebars you don't want. The menus are quite intuitive too which means when you hide a sidebar by mistake you can quite easily find it again!
Importing photos is easy - Opening Jpegs etc is straight forward. There is a RAW importer which works well with my Canon RAW files. This has a few settings you can change but not many -certainly not as many as my Canon RAW importer, however this is to be expected. Once in, a learning centre sidebar helps you with some simple adjustments. This is the beauty of a product such as this. A lot of thought has gone in to thinking about what people want and there are some useful presets covering contrast and exposure. If, like me, you prefer more control, you can move on to adjustment layers. Here you get a range of adjustments which provide you with more control over your photo adjustments such as using levels and curves. If you don't want all of this there is a one step photo fix - though whether this provides you with an optimum output depends very much on your own taste!
If you've decided to delve deeper and access some of the specialist tools, you'll find that they are clearly identified and their settings are very clear on a ribbon at the top of the window. This is much better than some competitors as you are able to see at a glance what your settings are and adjust them very easily. As well as the built in tools you can purchase plug-ins. If you have a previous version of PaintShop Pro you may have add ins. I did and I was able to transfer them across very easily.
One of the reasons I like PaintShop Pro is the HDR function. Now this is a take it or leave it feature as the debate rages still in photography circles about whether HDR is a good or bad thing. I like it and find it enhances my photos so use it. The feature on this software is superb as not only does it combine the photos, you are able to do this in black and white as well as colour. You are also able to tweak the settings giving you the opportunity to fine tune the output. The additions to this were enough to make me want to upgrade.
Depending on how you want to use the software, there are features allowing you to tag photos for social media and add mapping references. Whilst these may please some people, the main reason for buying this software surely rests with the great range of tools provided to manipulate our photos.
Overall this is an excellent addition to anyone's photo bag.
on 28 December 2012
Sounds daft. But it is true, if you are running the trial and it expires (like mine did on Christmas Eve) you have to remove the program, but here is where I had a problem (W7 Home Premium on Intel 2.8ghz Dual Core). Add/Remove did not work; it crashed, also tried CCleaner, Revo & IOBit, still no luck.
The choice left was manual remove - OMG not for the faint hearted, but hey, it worked, well I thought. After a reboot the program was taken off the disk and installed, but I could not get the update to install. Tried removing the program again and the computer failed to recognise that it existed. The only alternative was to rebuild W7. Happy to report since the rebuild, the program does what it should installed correctly and the update installed with no problem. I am not sure what caused the problem, but I think it may have been related to the fact the trial was over. I wasn't given the option to input a serial number when presented with the 0 days left screen, whether this was the program or Corel's anti piracy software, I don't know.
Now onto the review. It works, it is simple and the effects you can use are fantastic. The only downside I have find is when I upload photos via the Canon EOS up loader to C:Pictures... the program opens in Edit and opens up to 10 photos to edit, rather than Manage. Personally I would prefer to Manage my photos before editing them. There doesn't appear to be a "Watch Folders" process as in PSE. I'll have to see whether the W7 uploader has a similar effect or whether it is just Canon's software.
One thing I love is the Help files, unlike PSE they are accurate and don't leave you guessing; using the trial I have turned a colour photo taken at duxford 2012 into a picture aged by 60 years, so simple.
There have been complaints the program is slow, well yes some parts are slow, some are fast. I don't use the latest PC with state of the art GPU, so yes things are going to be slow, this doesn't matter to me and probably not to the majority of users - I get by just fine.
Corel 7.5/10 well done.
UPDATE : If you have a Kodak printer, please be aware there are issues with this product. I recommend Kodak printer users to seek an alternative product - product will not print to a Kodak printer, this is noted on Corel's website. selected photo spools, but disappears as it is sent to the printer, this is a Corel error as other printers work fine, indeed Kodak printers work fine with other editing software.
on 4 October 2012
Well, turns out, we can't go back to our beloved Paintshop Pro 8 when Jasc owned it, but we're close. I'd still use that except that it crashes randomly on Windows 7.
If you love psp8 but sick of losing work as it crashes these days, well, this is a pretty good replacement. A couple of things take a little getting used to, psp8's super fast and intuitive middle mouse wheel picture zoom is now kind of intermittent and doesn't zoom on the mouse location, it gets contexted away a lot, that would be my biggest gripe.
The tool windows for bevels and shadows and other such similar items behave a little differently.
It's pretty good and worthy replacement. It's just not quite psp8.
Maybe the photo manipulation, HDR and other new stuff is OK, I just can't tell you as I don't do that sort of graphics work.
I have to go with 4 stars because for me, if psp8 was still reliable, I'd be five starring that and to 5 star this might have Corel thinking they can sit back and relax.
on 11 April 2013
I have been using Paintshop for years (because it is so much much cheaper than Adobe photoshop) but it has always been a bit clanky and missing some useful tools. This new version has made up for previous deficits and now includes simple one click menus for adjustments like fill light, and increase vibrancy. The interface has improved and gives three basic options, manage, adjust and edit. I tend to stay in edit. Combined with other software like Lightroom 4 it makes a powerful and cheaper package. My one criticism so far is that it takes a long time to load (a problem with some previous versions)
I have been an advocate of Corel software for many years, and on the whole, I have never been disappointed. Often Corel is compared to Adobe and their respective packages, but for me, Corel is the better of the two.
Installation is very straightforward. From start to finish it took no more than 10 mins. Having just purchased the software which was originally released in September 2012, there are two critical service pack updates which are installed as part of the Installation. There is also an optional help file which can be installed in case you are off line.
I'm someone who needs the software to be as simple as possible, and this software meets that requirement. I'm not someone who is madly in to photo editing, but I use it for touching up photos, cropping, printing etc, pretty basic tasks. However, within the package there are literally hundreds and hundreds of applications/effects etc, no doubt some I have never uncovered. My expertise simply is not there. There are some built in tutorials if you want to learn these more in depth tools etc. The interface is very simple, three tabs at the top and within those you have everything you need.
In this version there are two additional NEW features, but I'm having trouble with both. The first one the ability to map your photos using Google Maps, so you view where you have taken them. Having used this, I'm finding that some photos have mapped twice. Likewise, with the new face recognition software, I'm finding that the software is not identifying the faces correctly and tagging them multiple times. I've spoken with Corel via their 90 day complimentary support, but I have no resolution yet. Having said that, will I ever need to use this feature? My photos are already tagged with the place/country in which they were taken.
Overall, I am giving this software 4*. On the whole, this is an exceptional bit if software, highly intuitive, easy to use, and with a wealth of tools for both the amateur and professional editor. However, as I think the software is not fully free of all bugs, I'm not awarding 5*. Strongly recommended.
on 10 May 2013
I used PaintShop Pro 7 for years and it was perfect for my purposes: the browse function was wonderful and it was simple and fast to use. All I need is to crop photos, resize them, get rid of red-eye and occasionally make adjustments. Although PaintShop Pro could do much more, that I never wanted or needed to do, it could handle simple tasks beautifully. Then I got a new computer and downloaded a trial version of PaintShop Pro X5. I'm sure it can do many wonderful things, but it has evolved beyond use as a very simple photo editor. Now pictures take ages to load. I can't see the pictures in my albums the way I used to and everything is ten times more difficult. I used to crop a photo in about 2 seconds, now it takes ages fiddling about with the grids. I can't figure out how to do the simplest things. Yes, there are tutorials and courses, but what I want to do ought to be intuitive. I won't be buying PaintShop Pro X5 as it is somewhere in the stratosphere, while I am down here just trying to do simple things easily and quickly. PaintShop Pro 7 was brilliant, but PaintShop Pro X5 is not the tool for me.
The first thing I noticed is that this version is much more stable on my Windows 7 system than the last version. I was used to it hanging during file saves, but this one has been very stable so far.
The user interface hasn't changed much, though there are a few new features. It throws a lot of tools at you to start with, but you can easily rearrange them or close them to simplify the screen to your liking. HDR has been improved, though I rarely use it. The often vaunted one-click fixes for photos are commonplace in most photo-editing packages, and a good range of them are available here. They do a reasonable job, but the results are a bit hit-and-miss. However, excellent results can be achieved by using the many interactive tools it offers, though things like red-eye removal require some subtlety to get the most out of them, otherwise you can end up with uncanny eyes that look like knobs of coal.
The feature set is better in my view than that provided in Photoshop Elements 10, though Elements wins with some of its tools. For example, the clone tool in Elements is much nicer to use. Where Paintshop really wins over Elements is its extensive use of keyboard shortcuts, and its customizable user interface. I just find it much quicker to use than Elements, though I use both packages.
Paintshop pro X5 works nicely with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6. There is an increasing amount of cross-over between the feature set of Photoshop and PhotoPaint, but the latter still comes with a much better set of online help and tutorial videos. However, PhotoPaint amazingly doesn't support Paintshop's long-established native PSP file format.
In the Elements vs Paintshop battle, I'd still choose Paintshop for most tasks, though both are good bits of software.
Still a big fan of Paintshop. Each version just keeps getting better and better, and does more and more. A fraction of the price of its competitors and more user-friendly to boot. I'm at the point now where there it does so much, there are things it does that I'll never know about simply because I don't need anything that complicated. But you never know...