Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Corel Paintshop Photo Pro X3

This past weekend I learned some postprocessing by tinkering around with Corel Paintshop Photo Pro X3. 

For comparison, this was the original shot:

I've read a lot of criticism about the X3 from long-time Paint Shop Pro users, but I like X3.  Maybe it's because I don't know PSP well enough to know any better.

What do I like about PSP X3? It's much more affordable than Photoshop and so far seems to handle everything I've needed so far.  On the downside, it does crash from time to time but I've avoided almost all crashes by taking care not to do anything while PSP is processing a command.  Another disadvantage of PSP compared to Photoshop is that there are a myriad of Photoshop resources compared to PSP.  However, PSP seems similar enough to Photoshop that it has been fairly easy for me to learn from Photoshop tutorials and videos and apply the techniques to PSP.

What about X3 vs. Photoshop Elements 8?  I have both and in my view, X3 is more intuitive and user-friendly than PSE8.  PSP also has layer masks that work the way they're supposed to (instead of the workaround needed for PSE).  Here's a comparison by PC Magazine.

In summary, Paintshop Photo Pro X3 is a capable photo editor that is much more affordable than the industry standard image editor Photoshop.  For casual (as opposed to professional) family photographers who are new to photo editing and want to get started in photo editing without having to make the significant investment required for Photoshop, PSP X3 deserves a close look.

Disclosure: I'm not affiliated with Corel and have received no compensation (monetary or otherwise) for this blog entry.

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