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Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3

October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Products

  • PaintShop Photo Pro X3 lets you manage, adjust, edit and share your digital photos?all in one place
  • Accelerate the way you organize, rate, tag and sort with new photo management tools
  • Manually adjust groups of RAW photos during the loading process with the new RAW Lab
  • Quickly fix common photo flaws in the enhanced Express Lab
  • Email photos, print online or at home, and send directly to Facebook, YouTube and Flickr

Product Description
PaintShop Photo Pro X3 is the most rewarding way to enhance your photos and create professional-looking images. Now with a complete RAW workflow, this photo-editing program lets you manage, adjust, edit and share your digital photos—all in one place. Accelerate the way you organize, rate, tag and sort with new photo management tools. Make automatic fixes in the enhanced Express Lab, or go deep with a full set of advanced editing tools. Then upload to Flickr, Faceb… More >>

Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3


5 Responses to “Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3”
  1. Geoffrey says:

    I’m an avid Photoshop/Lightroom user, but I like to examine other products that can improve my workflow and digital retouching. Photoshop is a great program, but simple changes are often time-consuming. Lightroom, while great 95% of the time, does not do everything for me. With that, when I saw that Corel released PSP X3, I was compelled to examine the product.

    I’ve tried PSP in the past with mixed results, but thought I would try the new X3 version through the 30-day free trial available on Corel. I immediately had several problems. My machine is a workhorse (8GB, Phenom II X4), and while loading pictures into the catalog during initial startup, the software completely crashed multiple times on me. Okay, not off on a good foot, but I finally got my pictures loaded and began playing with some of the editing features. The menus were a little obtuse, and sometimes it is not easy to find editing options through the Full Editor. The Express Editor, while a little bit better, also had settings that were a little too deep in the menus. This is not really a flaw, though, since with a little bit of use I got fairly comfortable with the options.

    I noticed that the presets in PSP X3 were really good and that I can really make a photo look good with less work (time) than I would need in Photoshop for the equivalent output. However, my gripes are as follows:

    *Buttons for commands are really outdated and look rushed. They don’t flow well with the rest of the program and they are somewhat hard to click consistently.

    *Product clearly wasn’t tested with any level of depth. On any given hour, PSP X3 will crash at least once, which is unacceptable, especially given that I’ve run this on such a powerful machine.

    *The histogram isn’t what you’d expect to see if you’re used to Photoshop or looking at your camera’s histogram. It could use some improvement.

    *In one case, the white balance in “Express Editor” is completely inverted. While the function works, it registers 2000 as “warm” and “7500″ as cold, when it should be reversed. This isn’t a big gripe and can easily be fixed, but demonstrates the lack of testing.

    *No LAB color mode. This isn’t a big surprise, since PSP has never supported this, and truthfully, only a small fraction of people probably use LAB, but I’d like to see it eventually since it is a big part of my workflow.

    *MY BIGGEST GRIPE: When you edit a photo and go back to the library (Organizer) view, it always puts your cursor back to the first photo of the library. For example, you have 250 photos from your kid’s birthday party. You look at them in the bottom organizer panel and pick #115 to edit. If you close #115 and go back to Organizer, it will not remember your place, so the view will start from photo #1.

    There is really a lot of potential here that could easily shine with a patch update. However, given Corel’s history with X2 and X2-Ultimate, I don’t expect them to address these issues anytime soon. If they fix a majority of these problems (name product stability and the Organizer issue), then I’d recommend it, especially for the price.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  2. Nerd3D says:

    Since Corel acquired Paint Shop Pro it’s been all down hill. X3 is the Apollo 13 of paint programs. A total disaster. If you have more than a few images on your computer be prepared for a 2-3 hour installation ordeal. The program will crash and freeze several times as it attempts to catalog the entire contents of our computer. Thanks, but I already know where my pictures are, really. Should a “Pro” program be brought to it’s knees repeatedly by a large catalog of images? Corel evidently thinks so.

    The cause of all this trouble is the “Organizer”. Man oh man what a train wreck. It’s whole purpose in life seems to be so you can rate your pictures. I really don’t need to rate my picture. Really? rate my own pictures… OK but I generally just delete the lousy ones but what ever. It would be of some use if you could use it like a browser, but no. There is no way the keep the “Organizer” open after selecting an image to edit. You can’t even keep your place as opening an image automatically closes the “Organizer”. When you go back your at square one go find it again. If I want to open several pictures from different folders… well let’s just say it’s much less than useless. If you don’t want to use their exact work flow you are up a creek, a very slow creek as switching between editing and “Organizing” is glacial.

    Well we got one new tool! Oh goody, I can do a lousy job of taking somebody out of a picture in one click. Whoop-de-doo! They did make the Text editing tool less stupid that it was, but it was pretty stupid. The new method is less awkward but still needs work.

    What didn’t we get? Well the majority of the editing tools are still 8 bit. If you want to work with your raws and maintain 16 or 32 bit per channel keep looking because there has been no improvement.

    Now for the bad news when you decide to uninstall the demo. Corel really wants to put the screws to you for daring to uninstall their epic bloat ware. The uninstall literally took 45 minutes, It was stuck on 36% for at least 30 minutes.

    In summary I would only recommend this to people I really don’t like.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  3. Rojohn says:

    I installed the trail version on a Win 7 64 bit machine with 8 GB of RAM. The first several hours went fine but then the program stopped responding any time I tried to go from one component to another, that is between the Editor, Organizer and Express Lab. Doing a restart did not help the problem. I stopped trying to move from component to component and just tried to work in the Editor but the program shutdown while working there too. It looks like it has a lot of nice features and for the money it would probably be a very nice program if it ran without problems. Applying some of the effects takes quite a bit of time even with 8 GB of memory! One option I did like is that you can use “large icons” in the user interface which helps when the monitor is set to a high resolution. They were very small and hard to read on the default setting. I have not explored much of the program but if it continues not to run, I probably never will. Too bad, I think it has potential.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  4. I am a devoted Corel PaintShop Photo user and had been looking forward to the working with the newly released X3. I have now had PaintShop Photo Pro X3 for a couple of weeks and am even happier.

    PaintShop Photo Pro X3 has improved the workflow by enhancing the Organizer and how it works with the Express Lab and the Full Editor. Quickly organize, rate, tag and sort photos in the Organizer. Make automatic and user controled fixes in the enhanced Express Lab or move to the Editor for a full set of advanced photo-editing tools. The enhancements in the Express Lab mean that many photos can be edited without the full Editor. This and the Learning Center (context sensitive instructions) that has been a part of PaintShop Photo as long as I have used it make the application a wonderful choice for those new to digital photography.

    I had not used the Organizer in previous versions because I didn’t see much advantage to it. But the enhancements have changed my mind. The new Preview pane is perfect for quickly scanning through to cull photos or add tags and ratings. What really sold me on using Organizer is how well it is integrated with Express Lab and the full Editor. It is only a click away from Organizer to either the Express Lab or full Editor. Then when complete another click and back to Organizer.

    The Enhanced Express Lab is a quick-editing mode containing most of the tools needed for editing without the use of selections and layers. With photos organized and easily available in Organizer just select the thumbnails of photos requiring editing and click Express Lab button. The addition of Local Tone Mapping, Color Balance, Brightness and Contrast, Sharpen and Noise Removal tools to the Express Lab means it can handle most basic photo editing. With tools that require a click or moving a few sliders the Express Lab makes for fast editing. If the use selections and layers is required to edit a photo just close Express Lab and open the photo in the Full Editor.

    The application has also always offered professional quality image editing tools to keep enthusiasts happy. Support for additional RAW camera formats is a plus for many and improvement in saving editing steps to apply to multiple photos can be a real time saver. But The Smart Carver and Object Extractor are real photo and time savors. The Object Remover tool is still available but PSP X3 offers a new tool. Smart Carver, a seam carving tool can remove objects from an image. Smart Carver makes a photo narrower, wider, shorter, or longer without distorting content. It automatically detects and removes areas in the photo that have little detail. Changing the aspect ratio of a photo for printing is now easy without noticeably changing the image. Target a specific area to remove, regardless of its level of detail, and the tool becomes a method of removing objects. Or specify a selection to preserve and change the aspect ratio without changing or distorting a critical area.

    Object Extractor is a new tool that isolates objects, to be copied to a new background or to have a new background pasted behind. It is a simple automated method of defining the selection. And like the Smart Carver is just a matter of tracing an enclosed area around the border of the object to be isolated and then filing in the selection. Then a click or two and it is done. It makes selecting objects that have fine detail on the edges a snap.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. LC says:

    I have been a fan and a customer of Corel for many years, and upgraded to the X3 version of PaintShop because of its potential, but only to find it very disappointing. To start with, the activation will not recognize the Internet connection, so it forces you to call. OK, not too bad, I think. So, I call the number provided (an 800 number) only to find out that I have to call another number (not a toll free number, mind you) to activate the product I just purchased from Corel itself. This bothers me, but I thought it should not be too bad, so I checked their business hours, and called well within them (right in the middle of their business hours on a business day), but only to find a recording telling me that their office is closed. The call is then disconnected, and so am I from Corel. Enough is enough. This is becoming a joke.

    Looking at the software itself, the idea of incorporating the photo organizer in the program was a big step back, not forward. On first load, it takes forever to index all the images I have in my computer (literally thousands of them, since I use them for work). It just reminds me of another version of the cheap Corel Snapfire, rather than a serious, professional product as this claims to be.

    The GUI looks like it has been just thrown together, without all that much planning and thinking. Very awkward to use, especially with the integration of the organizer, which will return you to the first image, forcing you to scroll through your hundreds of images before you can get back to what you were working with. It forces you to use their own work-flow, which is quite awkward if you work with a lot of images from different locations. All in all, you might say you can get used to the new GUI, but that “organizer” is an absolute disaster, and should not have been embedded in the program.

    I am afraid that my long term relationship with Corel as a customer is coming to an end. I have seen several of their products get worse and worse, especially if you plan to use them in a semi-professional or professional manner.

    Rating: 1 / 5

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