I've been a longtime user of Paint Shop Pro (Since it was owned by JASC). When they were bought by Corel the software suffered greatly, however, I believe they are on the right track with the last couple of releases. I prefer PSPx4 over Photoshop Essentials.
I have a Canon 60D and used DPP to edit RAW images. As a beta tester I used AfterShot before I knew it was formerly Bibble (I knew of Bibble, but never used it) I was really surprised how well I liked it. It does complement Paintshop Pro very well.
Buying Bibble was a good move for Corel. Hopefully Corel will continue to allow the folks at Bibble continue developing a nice piec of software.
Clint Dunn: This is exactly why so many people (myself excluded...of course) use pirated versions of Photoshop and aren't willing to shell out $900 every few years for a new version. Not condoning it...just saying.....
Adobe needs to be more friendly to amateurs, beginners, and students.
Adobe has priced themselves out of the consumer market. I have an older version of Illustrator I use once in a while. I considered upgrading when CS5 came out, but I can't afford to stay updated.
Corel PaintShop Pro handles 95% of the image editing I do. I'm not surprised this is from the same company that failed to evolve Flash and Acrobat.
Guy Parsons: Bought the update as I have used Paint Shop Pro for many years. It took a nose-dive when Corel bought it from JASC but seems to be recovering slowly.
Let us hope that the X4 release is more reliable than the extra buggy X3 release that was slowly updated to be reasonably good.
Still a great program to use, but I will not touch its raw converter, it was tragic in X3, so chances of improvement....?
I loved the JASC versions too. I think the X versions have gotten exponentially better with each release. I was fortunate enough to beta test X4 and I like it. X4 is so much better at switching between the organizer and full editor. I've played around a bit with the HDR feature. I wish it had more presets, but you can save your own. I haven't used the RAW editor yet, I am a bit reluctant. Corel claims it works with all major camera manufacturers. It will be interesting to get feedback from other users.
In the future we could change depth of field like white balance in camera RAW. I like the idea of clicking where you want the focus even if it is a Flash magic trick.