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VINE VOICEon 24 August 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Like Adobe Lightroom (Mac/PC) or Apple Aperture (Mac only), Corel AfterShot Pro is a digital imaging program to catalogue your digital photographs and perform basic edits on them without making permanent changes to you original photos (in RAW, Tif or jpeg formats). This is not fully fledged Photoshop-type software; you aren't able to perform minute changes to your images, but it's not meant to be that sort of program. You'll want a copy of Photoshop / Elements or Paint Shop Pro type program for that.

Actually, this isn't a new program written by Corel, for in 2011 they bought out a small company, Bibble Labs, who produced a program (naturally called Bibble) and slapped their own name on it.

Anyway, this is a fair program, but comparing it directly to Lightroom (I'd say the main competitor for £35 more) and its shortcomings start to show. It seems to lack polish in operation, the on screen processing seems to pause even on my high end PC (core i7, 12GB ram, separate HDD scratch disks), doesn't recognise some file formats (Sony ARG?)...There's also the matter of registering the software with Corel online. As reported by others, the serial number problem is something that should have been fixed way before now. It is cheap to buy, but these missing features could be infuriating to users. If you don't register you end up with the equivalent of the 30 day trial version

If you already use Paint Shop Pro, then you'll be familiar with the general layout of the program, and that could sway your choice. Other than that I would advise looking at alternatives before putting down your money.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 14 September 2012
To compete with Lightroom, you really need to have something special. Corel have not quite managed that; they come close to Photoshop with PaintShop X4 (X5 has just been released and is supposedly much improved) but seem unable to repeat the same trick. Corel have managed to keep the price at a reasonable level, but it is not that much less than the discounted prices possible for Lightroom which is also a more capable product and with an extensive list of supported cameras, modern and older.

AfterShot Pro shares with Lightroom the ability to utilise plug-ins in much the same way (sometimes variants of the same plug-ins used by Photoshop) but it needs to have a similar range of support for camera models and similar or better capabilities to offer a realistic competition. If a camera model is new, has a unique RAW format or some unusual capability, I would accept that AfterShot, LightRoom or an alternative may not currently offer support. Samsung's NX camera range is now well established and has been around for about 2 years or more, consists of several models including the very capable NX20 (as mentioned by another reviewer) and has long been supported by Lightroom. It is also supported by ACDSee Pro photo software which offers similar facilities but fully recognises Samsung's RAW format, Faststone Image Viewer (which is not a workflow manager or digital darkroom package) and probably others which I have not used. I cannot understand why Corel have been so slow on the uptake. There are other cameras which are also not yet supported and if yours happens to be one, there is no reason why you would logically want to consider this package. The current version has been around for several months (the program for more than a year) and there is no obvious sign of any further update.

Lightroom is, and has for some years has been, the standard against which other corresponding digital darkroom packages are compared. Some manage to offer better dynamic range, the ability to extract extra detail, provide better colour analysis and a similar level of model support and they attract a number of professional users - PhaseOne's Capture One is one such package and Bibble was another. It was Bibble which Corel purchased and converted into AfterShot, somehow managing to lose some of Bibble's previously excellent and often acclaimed performance.

However, if your camera is supported, you need or may need plug-ins and your needs are modest, then AfterShot Pro may well suit. It is not quite at Lightroom's level in its ability to render colour quite as well, tends to soften detail and is lacking in other areas. However, and especially if your camera is not currently supported, I would suggest that you consider ACDSee Pro (a free download to try) or see if a friend uses either Adobe's Lightroom, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements which all use essentially the same RAW engine, to see how your RAW files could look before committing to this. Capture One is another that can be downloaded to try but it tends to support higher-end cameras more so than lower-end but can out-perform Lightroom!

Corel need to pull out a few stops (and fingers) to sort out the shortcomings. It could be very good, but isn't yet!

UPDATE @ 23-09-12
Having now worked with PaintShop Pro X5, although not extensively but sufficiently to throw at it several files in 4 different RAW formats from 5 different cameras, that program was able to open all despite one being from an old Minolta camera and two of the others very recent models (none from Canon or Nikon). The most recent of those two cameras' files is one that AfterShot will not open, amongst others that I don't own.

If Corel can create a RAW importer module for PaintShop X5 that can import a certain format, I presume that it would use the same module (or at least its code) to provide that identical function in AfterShot. Clearly, it has not yet done so as that vital update is still awaited.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 25 June 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Corel After Shot Pro

What is it ?

This is a post shot photo editor and enhancer which will work with many RAW formats, JPEG and TIFF image files. It allows the manipulation of information captured from the cameras sensor. It works best with RAW files as these have little or no compression and no in camera systems are applied.

Tools

Every tool you ever need is here. Anything to do with colour balance, enhancements and corrections are present. I have found it to be a complete tool in every respect with nothing missing that I needed.
The software has good and simple to use layer support which really works in practice. Editing is non destructive so that you can undo and go back if it all goes wrong, it will even for the most experienced photographer!
There are lens correction tools which support most of the Nikon lenses I have from cheap consumer ones that came as bundles through to expensive professional zooms and primes. Most defects can be corrected but only distortion control is fully automatic. Chromatic aberration needs the use of a manual tool - perhaps Corel would like to automate this in an upgrade ?
Part edits are easily possible using the layers tool. Here you can select an area of your picture and apply enhancements to it rather than global adjustments. This is a very useful tool to being out highlights or to reduce over exposed areas.
A basic edition of 'Noise Ninja' comes with the software with the option to upgrade to a more comprehensive version if you need to. I found the basic version acceptable for what I do.

File management

The software has a basic file management system which allows you to categorize and tag attributes in each picture so that you can do productive sorts and finds at a later date. This is easy to use but the initial import time can be high if you have a huge number of shots - I have over 750,000 in my library but the software has allowed me to find pictures more easily but the initial set up is time consuming. However it is worth it as I cannot remember where everything is all the time without resorting to Windows files searches. Now I have tagged many pictures this software helps me find things.

Stability

The software is generally stable on my system, only one lock up in the month I have had it and used it every day. Lock up occurred when I was importing a third party plug-in so apart from this one crash it has been rock solid on my Intel core i5 8Gb RAM running from a 240 Gb SSD with a 2TB HDU for data, I have also done a lot of editing on this so should have found any weakness by now ! Being in the computer business I find that many crashes and lockups are not due to the software but poor (very cheap) computer power supplies and system management. A good PSU is essential for this type of software as it really hammers the system.

In use

On my system it does not seem any slower or faster than anything else I have used including Photoshop and various Adobe products. The controls and layout are logical and Corel does include a decent 'get you going' instruction book with website help and forum backup which is very useful.
I have paired this with Corel 'PaintShop Pro X4' and together they should be able to do just about everything you would ever need to do to an image at a reasonable price.

What's missing in Corel After Shot ?

Not much really! perhaps some more automation to bring it up to the standard of Lightroom but then some of the tools in Corels offering are more comprehensive, especially the layer editing and part layer editing which are far more useful. Corel also needs to speed up its releases of camera profiles to catch up with its competitors but it has promised to do this soon. All my Nikon gear was recognised correctly, even older bodies!

Compared to the competition

The obvious competition comes from Abode in the shape of Lightroom (for RAW processing) and Photoshop Elements (for general editing). I have both of these as well and there is not much in it really. The software from Corel and Adobe basically do the same thing with Corels offering being a bit cheaper overall. Both sets of software are easy to use for basic edits and with some experience just about anything can be accomplished with either. The other option for users is Corel X6 which is a suite of programs offering Drawing, Photo Editing, Web Design, Screen capture and various sharing tools. Serif also offers PhotoPlus X5 which is capable and has limited RAW processing built in. Then there is, of course, Photoshop CS6 or the Adobe Creative suite if money is no object, which can do more than any other editing software but comes with a big price tag and huge learning curve compared to the lower priced alternatives. I find I can do 90% of my editing in either Lightroom/Elements or Corel AfterShot/PaintShop Pro X4 combinations and only need Photoshop for the really complex stuff that no enthusiastic amateur would ever need or attempt. I run a design business so have a pretty good idea about what I am doing. I employ several staff and they have been quite surprised at how much you can achieve quickly with these reasonably priced photo editing suites.

Overall

This is a competent RAW file editing program that competes well with the established competition. I am very happy using it for my day to day work flow in my business.
Just falls short of 5 stars for me as some more automated correction would really be useful. I would also give Lightroom 4 stars as that has the automation but does not have the easy layer editing of flexibility of this product - swings and roundabouts really!
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on 19 December 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
...which is really has to be to stand a chance.

However, those of us (like me) who use Paintshop Pro as their main graphics software will find this a useful RAW process suite and worthwhile addition. However, this should really be given away with the Ultimate version of PSP, instead of asking the same amount again. People are willing to pay for Lightroom because it is the industry standard; this is not, and never will be.

As for the software, it is basically Lightroom Lite, in Corel flavour. The majority of the functions are there, some easier to use, many harder. However the reason I only give this three stars is the lack of camera support. I suggest you check if your camera is supported before you buy this product, otherwise it's pretty useless (unless you first convert via some other RAW convertor, which makes this a pain to use).

If you don't have Lightroom and use PSP as your main editor, then this could be a good buy, just make sure you know what you're buying and try to get it for a good price.
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on 2 March 2013
I flirt between our Macbook Pro, Windows system and Linux Laptop. Lightroom is running on our Macbook, AfterShot Pro (ASP) is running on our older Linux laptop.

Lightroom has a larger share of the market thanks to it's history, money put into marketing, and the fact that 50% of owners download an illegal copy of the web. The benefit of this larger market share is that there is lots of tutorials for Lightroom all over the web.

AfterShot Pro was designed by a team of coders who purely focused on this one application, specialising in photo editing. They were so good that Corel brought out the company before anyone else got their chance. The pace of ASP when processing changes on the photo is quicker than that of lightroom. The User Experience (UX) is nicer thanks to subtle differences in the interface, for example you are not forced to have to put everything into a catalog, you can just pick up a directory or file work on it and let it go again, or you can build comprehensive catalog for your photo's.

Speaking of catalogs, allowing you to move that catalog around onto different disks, then make ASP pick them up again with its "set moveable paths" option is real handy!

ASP supports layers right out of the box. No 3rd party plugins required. This gives you immense power inside that one application to simply edit certain areas of your photo without applying the same effect across the entire area. Got a flat sky? then create a layer, draw around the sky and apply your chosen effects to make it stand out with out actually touching the rest of the photo. In lightroom, you'd have to exported it to another app to complete that task.

Lightroom has been great, and it is a very good program without a doubt, but because of adobes reluctance to want to overlap their applicatoins (lightroom and photoshop), to force their users to keep buying both, it is holding them back. ASP has taken over lightroom, and you can even find a free software called DarkTable which is about to overtake lightroom as well.
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VINE VOICEon 26 April 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have been a fan of Corel applications in the past and this one maintains a good standard of usability. It installed on my Windows 7 (64bit) PC first time without a hitch. Although the clear intention is that it is an editing tool for RAW format pictures, it also supports JPEG and TIF files. One tip is however, to check the Corel website to ensure it supports the RAW file format for your particular brand of camera. My camera is a a Nikon D3100 and there are no glitches. Part of the uphill struggle a programme like this is always going to have is to compete against equivalent programmes from other brands, particularly, Adobe which already dominate the market. This Corel package tries to secure competitive advantage by selling itself as a "complete workflow package" - in other words it manages, edits/enhances and outputs your photographs from "end to end." It is noteworthy that many of the functions can be applied to batches of photoigraphs at a time.

Aftershot Pro can manage your photos by accessing them from your existing folders or importing them into its own searchable catalogue. It can then find photos based ratings, labels, keywords or by camera settings such as exposure/ aperture etc. The ergonomics of all this work well, and, you can quickly sift your shots to whittle them down to your favourites. The enhancement/editing aspect of the programme allows you to carry out all the conventional editing functions such as cropping, highlighting, noise removal etc. and also copes well with batches of pictures. The control interface is logical and you soon get the hang of it. A strength is that it does stop you making permanent changes unless you are really sure you want to - in other words, it's quite hard to overwrite the original picture unless you want to. Again, it does all of these things well, but, because it is such a "minority programme" there is little access to books and help forums etc. to help with the more complex issues - this is the area where Adobe's dominance puts it on top. The output function finalises you images and can print batches etc. in various formats, or, upload them to the web but a serious omission is that there does not seem to be any Flickr or Facebook support - which, in my opinion is unrealistic in these times.

To me, this application is very usable except for its lack of support for Flickr/Facebook etc. but it needs a rationale - why would anyone buy this over the market leader? - Well, a strength is its' workflow integration, but, weaknesses are the lack of forum/3rd party support etc. and it's not to say the price gives it much of an edge over, say, Photoshop Elements/Lightroom. So, in its own right, a good effort, and, very usable, but I'm not sure if it gives sufficient incentive to depart from the already well trodden/proven Adobe track for which there is more advice and help readily available.
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on 22 January 2016
I use Adobe Lightroom on my Win10 PC and my laptop and it's great, however I far prefer to live my life in Linux! Aftershot Pro V2 works brilliantly under Ubuntu 14.04 and matched up with GIMP I now have a Linux system which makes my Windows/Adobe systems obsolete for photography purposes. Highly recommended for Linux users, even those who hate paying for software.
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VINE VOICEon 27 April 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I do believe that Corel are currently best when it comes to photo-manipulation programs. I've tested and reviewed previous packages such as PaintShop Pro X4 Ultimate (PC) and CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 (Guidebook and DVD) (PC). AfterShot Pro isn't all that great for drastically altering your photos beyond the point of making them clearer or increasing saturation, but if you take hundreds and hundreds and lose track of them then it's brilliant for organizing and arranging.

The box over-hypes the content a little bit, so don't be too drawn-in by it, but I am pleased to report there are no bugs (never had such problems with Corel) and that the package works quickly and smoothly. If you have either of the packages mentioned above then it's maybe not worth getting, but as a starter it may well be invaluable for giving order to your pics. I assume something like AfterShot Pro would be more fitting to photo-journalists than serious photo-editors.
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VINE VOICEon 1 May 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Thsi is not another competitor to Adobe Photoshop (or Elements), but if you are used to them you might find the interface a little counter-intuitive. This product is aimed at 'Adobe Lightroom' and has a scent of that product in its interface.

This product handles Raw files from your digital SLR very quickly compared to the competition and has a number of good autocorrection facilities built in.I couldn't find red-eye correction
though, which is either a huge oversight (as everyone expects that these days) or a design weakness that didn't allow me to find it!

The software allows industry standard pug-ins and has a number of useful keyboard shortcuts if you like that sort of thing (i.e. if you can remember working with DOS)

The Mac and PC versions are in the box.

Usefully allows output as a pdf.

Very good for its price, but what about red eye???
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 July 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I can't really say much about this software as it doesn't recognise ".ARW" RAW files which my camera produces.

As this program is aimed towards RAW processing, it was extremely disappointing that it couldn't support the RAW format I had...
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