Review Price £49.16
Improvements to existing features include an enhanced organizer which is now a separate interface rather than opening as a pane in the main window as on previous versions. Images can be zoomed in the organiser window, and it can also display EXIF data and additional information about an image such as the file name, caption, search tags and the date on which it was created, all of which can be edited.
Also enhanced is the Express Lab, a more basic image editor for quick adjustments to digital photos. As well as this the overall performance and stability of the program has been greatly improved. Further additions include the bundled Corel Painter Photo Essentials 4 and Project Creator, allowing quick loading of images, slide shows and videos to file-sharing sites such as Flickr, Facebook and YouTube.
All in all PaintShop Photo Pro X3 comes across as a very well thought-out package. The new features work well, the improved existing features work more quickly, and the whole program feels very slick and competent. Although it offers no serious competition to Adobe Photoshop in the professional sector – it still can't edit 14 or 16-bit image files, and the Raw processor isn't a patch on Camera Raw – for home or hobby use it is ideal, with every feature one could realistically need. It offers much more control and versatility than Photoshop Elements, and it is easier to use and more intuitive than the open-source freeware GIMP2, as well as having a much more attractive interface.
Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 may have a rather unwieldy name, but there's nothing silly about the software. It is a well-designed and highly effective photo editing and organising system that offers home users and hobbyist photographers 9/10th of the features of Adobe Photoshop for 1/10th of the price, which makes it a good bargain by any standard.
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