Art and Photography

Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel Paintshop Pro

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 2nd, 2018 6:32 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 24, 2012
78 posts
1 upvote
BURNABY

Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel Paintshop Pro

Hello everyone,
Since I do not like the monthly subscription based system of Adobe LR +PS, I was planning to buy one of Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel Paintshop Pro, when there will be deals during the boxing week. While Elements is slightly more expensive, with the recent deal going on, their prices are roughly in the same ballpark. For those of you who have used it, which one of these two would you recommend.
While I am quite serious about photography, and enjoy editing, I am not a pro, and don't intend to be one sometime soon. I have used LR and PS earlier, and reasonably comfortable with them. I have not, however, used any of Corel PP or PS Elements before.

Thank you for all your time and help in advance.
Cheers.
6 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 10, 2001
1155 posts
368 upvotes
I've used Photoshop and Elements for several years. I have Corel Paintshop Pro as well. I've had access to significantly reduced pricing for Adobe products due to provincial agreements. I prefer the Adobe products to Corel based on two factors. First, the Adobe products are widely supported and there is a great deal of training available. You may have access to Lynda.com through your library for top shelf training for free. Second, while Corel's product is very good, I've found it to be sometimes less stable, more likely to crash.

All that said, I recently switched to Affinity Photo. The product is from Serif and unlike their previous rather rudimentary offerings, it provides PS like power but for an amazing price. Google the reviews. Currently they're offering a promo for the perpetual Windows license of $54.99. Apple just named their iPad version app of the year. I'll let you do the searching but you can also download a 10 day trial version. That's $55 for a product with PS like depth that you pay for one time. In other words, it's priced below Elements (a fine program and easy to use) but robust enough to compare to PS.

Downside? There is much less general training available. The company has excellent forums and many tutorial videos. They're just not quite as organized as Adobe training from Lynda, for example. I'm currently running through a very good series from Udemy. Note that these courses, with working files, are very often at $15. Don't pay more.

The regular price is still a bargain $70. I'd be curious to hear what you think?
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 24, 2012
78 posts
1 upvote
BURNABY
Many thanks Prof for your feedback. I will decide something very soon during the promos going on now. Interesting to hear about Affinity Pro. How does it handle Raw files? Does it also have a photo organizing feature, like LR, or is it strictly a photo editor?
Deal Addict
Jul 10, 2001
1155 posts
368 upvotes
The one feature missing from Affinity is an organizer. The rumour mill suggests it’s in the works and will be added in. Serif is actively adding features in the point updates, free for registered users, and I hope to see it added in an upcoming release. As far as RAW, I haven’t done enough to offer an informed opinion. There is chatter expressing a range of opinions. Perhaps try the demo and compare?
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2006
3759 posts
933 upvotes
Vancouver
Have you considered ACDSee Photo Studio Professional 2018 ? They originally were a Canadian product from a group in the Victoria BC area.

Has the organizer features and is very Lightroom like but some features like the Smart Erase may not be quite at the level of sophistication as LR.

https://www.acdsee.com/en/products/phot ... ofessional

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[OP]
Newbie
Dec 24, 2012
78 posts
1 upvote
BURNABY
Thanks Newsyl. I was not aware of the product. Should have to decide something soon during the boxing week sale.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2006
3759 posts
933 upvotes
Vancouver
NP. It's been around for a long time, first as a very fast file viewer and then as an editor. There is also a version that can do layers but Photo Studio Professional is the most similar to Lightroom. It used to be known as ACDSee Pro. I've used it since Pro 3 and the last "Pro" was 10 before they renamed it to Photo Studio Professional 2018. It usually updates once a year in the Oct/Nov time frame with minor updates to features and about every 3 years some major new features. Typically the update cost the last couple of years has been in the $49 USD to $59 USD range. I usually update every two years. This past update I chose the $59 option which gives you two licensed copies to I can run one on my desktop and one on my laptop.

I've tried a couple of times to put myself in the Lightroom world but each time I could not get past some basic file handling/organization procedures with LR and LR's speed of operations and so stayed with ACDsee. I've never had issues with its' colour management (i.e colour spaces and assignment of ICC profiles) which is a complaint some have had but that is an area many hobbyist editors have issues with. It offers soft proofing and it worked for me but I don't use it as I seldom print at home. I find it very fast to put down a quick touch-up in handful of steps and I use its' non-destructive editing feature (it makes a backup of the original in a hidden folder).

Typically I open a file (either RAW or JPEG) in Develop mode, then:
  • Level/Straighten/Rotate
  • Crop
  • Sharpen
  • Noise Reduction (if required)
  • Tone Curves
  • White Balance
  • LightEQ (Advanced mode)
  • Saturation (if required) using either the General tool or the ColorEQ tool to pick a specific color and boost or lessen it.
  • Repair Tool (if needed for red eye or a hot pixel)
  • Save As with a modified name

Open the new file in Edit mode:
  • Resize smaller (for uploading to sites like Flickr or Smugmug or emailing to relatives)
  • Sharpen
  • Save As with a modified name (XXXX_small)

I can usually do something like this within 2 or 3 minutes but I often play with a tool to get just the effect I want. In Develop mode it is instant "undo" so it is very easy to try something different. You can run it in a batch editing mode to apply a preset to all selected files.

The one point to be mindful of is to limit the folders it tracks in its' database and once you've let it index a folder, only use the file management tools of ACDSee to do things with that folder - i.e. renaming, moving, etc.. If you use another tool, such as Windows File Explorer, to move a folder to a different drive, or rename a folder, you will create an orphan folder that has to be dealt with before the next time you update the software in order for the database to be transferred successfully to the new version. I imagine this is a common issue to most of the asset management type software.

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