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Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2

October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Products

  • The ideal choice for any aspiring photographer’s digital darkroom; an array of graphics tools and creative effects help you transform their photos into one-of-a-kind artistic images
  • Fix brightness, color, and photo flaws in a few clicks; use precision editing tools to create the picture you want; give photos a unique, exciting look using hundreds of special effects, and more
  • One-of-a-kind Express Lab helps you quickly view and fix dozens of photos in the time it used to take to edit a few
  • HDR Photo Merge helps you combine two or more photos taken at different exposures, and then automatically dodges and burns to bring out the contrast
  • Includes a built-in Learning Center to help you get started; it’s the easiest way to get professional-looking photos–fast

Product Description
Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 is the ideal choice for any aspiring photographer’s digital darkroom. Fix brightness, color, and photo flaws in a few clicks and use precision editing tools to create the picture you want. Give photos a unique, exciting look using hundreds of special effects, and much more! Plus, the new one-of-a-kind Express Lab helps you quickly view and fix dozens of photos in the time it used to take to edit a few. Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 even inclu… More >>

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2


5 Responses to “Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2”
  1. Scott Fisher says:

    Lets face it, Adobe Photoshop sets the standard for photo editing, but it’s not in most people’s price range. The latest version of Photoshop is between six and ten times more expensive Than Corel Paint Shop Pro PHOTO X2. (Wow, what a horrendously long and annoying name.) Photo X2 (as I’ll call it from now on) approaches Photoshop in complete feature richness and with a decent interface, yet at a fraction of the price.

    Notice I said “feature richness” in describing Photo X2. If you are a relative beginner or you don’t retouch your photos in certain ways, I’d actually recommend Photoshop Elements over Photo X2. Elements has a better interface, more “automagic” features and works faster than Photo X2 and is about the same price.

    I’ve used Photoshop, Elements, Corel Photo Paint and also JASC Paint Shop Pro (and some other things, too). So why didn’t I buy the latest version of Elements or Photoshop instead?

    1. Photoshop is too expensive for me to justify for my personal and hobby use. I use it at my work for image editing since my workplace pays for the software license there. But when I’m paying I’m looking more closely at price vs. performance. Though Photoshop has the performance, it doesn’t rate so well on the price scale.

    2. Elements is really nice for me to use about 85% of the time, but then there is the horrible 15% of the time that I want to use a feature that Adobe has gutted out of their software for the “Elements” version. Then I have to play around with copying the image into another program (some of them free) to adjust the curves (or whatever) and then copy it back in afterwards. The gutted feature set of Elements is a large, though occasional, annoyance. Plus I really don’t use most of the fluffy side of its feature set (like “quick fixes,” or “photo creations”).

    I think for people like me, Photo X2 is a better choice because it gives most of the advanced features that Adobe guts out of Elements at the same price point. These would be features like a curves dialog, batch processing, creating/saving masks (and many more).

    Photo X2 has a lot of good sides. It can do a lot. It produces high quality results. It is much more feature rich than Elements. It has very good help files. It even has some nifty unexpected features built-in like HDR image mapping and RAW file support for many digital SLR cameras (including mine).

    The down side is that in some places the interface isn’t quite as good as Adobe’s. It’s still pretty usable, but there are minor annoyances. In Photoshop you can zoom/shrink the view and pan an image around while a dialog box is open so you can see the results easily and in a large preview. In Photo X2, you can’t zoom in/out and move things around except in the before/after view in the dialogs themselves (not a deal-breaker, but a little bothersome). The startup time and image processing time seem to be slightly slower than in Photoshop, also. Many issues are minor, but they make the product feel a little less polished than Photoshop or Elements.

    At least one reviewer has complained about long install and startup times. I noticed the long install time. And my initial startup after installing was 30 seconds or more. After the first time (and a computer reboot), my startup time for Photo X2 was about 8 seconds, which isn’t bad. After, loading and closing it and then reopening it in the same Windows session, the loading time was on the order of 2-3 seconds. I don’t find these times to be a problem at all, but if you’re worried about the performance on your system you might want to download the 30-day fully functional trial from Corel’s web site (though it is a 300 MB download or something). It might also be useful to download it to take a look at the features and get a feel for the program if you’ve never used it before.

    In the end, Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 is good software that is feature rich and a good choice for medium to advanced-level users who have outgrown Photoshop Elements and can’t justify spending 6 to 10 times the price to buy Adobe Photoshop.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  2. S. Saunders says:

    I’ve used Paint Shop Pro for longer than I can remember, back when it was a product of JASC. I think I first acquired Paint Shop Pro 5 or 6.

    In my experience, the program has just kept getting worse with each edition since Corel took it over. Bloated, unstable, and slow, the degraded performance seems to be a tradeoff for some of the fancy features Corel has introduced – many of which I don’t ever use.

    Frustrated with PSP Pro XI’s clunky performance which seemed to get a little worse after I bought a Vista-equipped PC, I recently took the plunge and bought the “upgrade” to X2. Now I’m just about done with the whole PSP ride and looking around for an alternative photo editing program. (And please don’t tell me to get more RAM; I’ve added RAM up to the limits of this six-month-old PC: 4GB.)

    First, it took a long time for X2 to install. Turns out the culprit is a little third party “licensing” program (psiservice.exe) that both X1 and X2 install on each customer’s computer, that Corel doesn’t inform us about, and that some people consider spyware. I found out about it on Wikipedia. Once I followed the Corel instructions on dealing with psiservice.exe, I got X2 installed. By the way, Corel did not explain what “psiservice.exe” is, or that it’s a program installed by Corel’s PSP, or give any option to uninstall psiservice.exe.

    X2 has turned out to be a laggard performer. It doesn’t work any faster than X1, either when I start it up or when I’m opening a photo image to work on. Also, X2 has consistently hung up after about the third image I’ve worked on, so I’ve had to close and restart it.

    I’ve wasted my money. I bought it directly from Corel, and I assume there’s no money back guarantee. I plan to try to get a refund, won’t be surprised if I can’t.

    This is a sad goodbye to a software brand name – Paint Shop Pro – that for at least a decade provided decent photo editing capability, at a reasonable price.

    I just hope that when I find a replacement for it, I can figure out how to uninstall its little third-party “licensing” program.

    Rating: 2 / 5

  3. E. Meiners says:

    I am a longtime user of Photoshop. Recently I was looking for an upgrade path from Elements 5.0. I considered 2 programs, Elements 6.0 and PaintShop Pro X2. I chose PaintShop Pro because of the reviews found here on Amazon… and the reported bugs in Elements 6.0 … many people think it was rushed too early to meet the Christmas demand. When I received my copy of PaintShop Pro, the installation/registration/latest upgrade download process took me 2 days and more technical computer know-how than I care to describe. I had to get my son (the tech guru in the house) to unsnarl the mess. Once this initial hurdle was overcome and I’ve had a chance to use the program… I am extremely pleased! I went back to some old PSD files and they cracked open effortlessly. I quickly applied some easy fixes that I could never figure out in PhotoShop. And asked the family which they preferred? PaintShop Pro versions won handily. I am sure that PhotoShop could’ve done as well, but I wasn’t expert enough in its use. I am extremely pleased with PaintShop Pro and would recommend it to anyone that isn’t a PhotoShop guru — but there are some installation rough spots… having a Windows Vista expert handy can be very helpful in getting started.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. A word of caution. Paint Shop Pro Photo is not a “dumbed-down” Photoshop. It is very powerful in it’s own right and has a tremendous number of diverse tools and features. It will take time learn if you have not used a program like this before. With Paint Shop Pro X2, you can restore and retouch photos, create your own logos and original artwork, optimize graphics for the Web, draw, paint, create vector graphics, use type, and much more. If you’re already a Paint Shop Pro user, you should find X2 familiar and be able to take to it quickly.

    I’ve been a Paint Shop Pro user for quite some time. I’ve also used various incarnations of Adobe Photoshop (including Elements) for many years, both personally and professionally. I will say, hands-down, Photoshop is the industry standard for a reason. It is powerful and enjoyable to use. Paint Shop Pro is not meant to compete with Photoshop for the high-end professional photo or graphics market. It can come close, but it’s not really meant to.

    What it does do, and does exceedingly well, is put a tremendous number of very powerful tools at your fingertips at a fraction of the cost of Photoshop. Cost-issues aside, the true value is that the tools work. If they didn’t, I would be the first to tell you to go buy or download something else.

    When I fired up version X, my first thought was, “Hey, this is pretty powerful stuff. There’s not much missing from this.” I kept digging and kept being impressed with it. Paint Shop Pro has all the features you would expect from a powerful image editor: layers, color palettes, effects, type, brushes, adjustment layers, masks, the ability to load and save selections, and so forth. There are also vector layers, scalable vector objects, paths, image slicing, image map tools, cool things like tube art, art media (oil brush, chalk, markers, etc.), and more.

    I keep current with Paint Shop Pro Photo and remain impressed with version X2. The new gray interface freaked me out at first, but the more I used it the more I liked it. I try to use it in a well-lit room so it doesn’t appear overly dark and the photo subjects overly bright. You can go back to the original if you like. The dialog enhancements for the histogram tools are welcome and the new Express Lab centralizes a photo workflow and focuses your thoughts on retouching or restoring them. Those are just a few of the new features.

    Is X2 worth it? There are quite a few new tools, enhancements, and other features that make X2 unique from XI. I like and will use many of these features quite a bit. If you’re interested in casual or professional photo editing (like me), general graphics use (like me), Web graphics production (like me), or exploring the bounds of your creativity (like me), then this is a great program to try. There are some flaws to the program, of course, but I give it 5 stars because of the tremendous power and real value the package offers.

    Do yourself a favor a look into getting a pen tablet as well. They are most definitely worth it.

    In the interests of disclosure, I am an author and have a book out on restoring and retouching photos with Paint Shop Pro. I also have a few video tutorials out on different versions of Paint Shop Pro and one on Photoshop Elements. I’ve also contributed to or been technically involved with some older Photoshop books.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. J. Dawkins says:

    PaintShop Pro Photo X2 is a fine upgrade of an already grand program. That said I will admit to agreeing with some reviewers who indicated that it is slow to open and on the slow side saving images. I hope with the next revision Corel puts some effort towards improving the responsiveness.

    Overall though I’d give Photo X2 a 9.5 on a ten point scale. Specifically, the Express Lab feature is wonderful. It’s basically an interface change which brings all of your basic editing tools onto the screen at the same time and makes operation way more intuitive. Another new feature that will prove very useful is the photo merge ability. X2 now will let you combine exposures from 2 or more images to get just what you what; great for those tripod mounted, bracketed images where no single on is quite what you want.

    I’ve been working with Paint Shop for a couple of years now and am still discovering features; the Learning Center was an aid that I’d not had much to do with until this version. It is a fine tool to not only guide you in X2′s operation but also in browsing through photo effects, for instance. You’ll see a directory structure and when choosing a specific category even a thumbnail of the effects in a category. It certainly makes the program very easy for a beginner and assists those who’ve used it for awhile but haven’t memorized all its capabilities.

    In summary, for all but the most seasoned of professional photographers, PaintShop Pro Photo X2 has all the features and then some that you’ll probably ever need. Certainly when you compare it, and its price, to the main competition there can be only one decision…Corel does it again!
    Rating: 5 / 5

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