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Corel launches PaintShop Pro X4 image processing software

By dpreview staff on Sep 8, 2011 at 19:45 GMT

Corel has launched the latest version of its PaintShop Pro image processing software. PaintShop Pro X4 has been updated in response to user feedback and adds a series of photography-targeted tools including HDR tools, a 'selective focus' processing tool and the ability to add vignetting to images. The speed and accessibility of the product have also been addressed, along with the addition of tools for sending images to social networking sites. PaintShop Pro X4 will be available for $79 or $99 for the 'Ultimate' version that includes Nik Color Efex 3.0 filters and other extras.

Press Release:

Corel® PaintShop™ Pro X4 Delivers Professional Photo Editing Power, Dramatic Performance Improvements and New Creative Effects

New Release Offers Over 75 New and Enhanced Features

Ottawa, ON - September 07, 2011

Corel today announced the release of Corel® PaintShop™ Pro X4 the latest version of its award-winning photo editing software. The trusted choice of millions of photographers worldwide, PaintShop™ Pro delivers 'DSLR' power at a 'point-and-shoot' price while offering an uncompromising depth and selection of pro-quality tools to expertly manage, adjust, edit and share your entire photo collection.

New Release Delivers Faster Performance, More Photo Editing Power and Exciting New Creative Effects

PaintShop Pro X4 includes over 75 new and enhanced features designed explicitly to meet the needs of today's photographers. With new photo editing features, dramatic improvements in speed and performance, enhancements to the user interface and convenient ways to share through social media, PaintShop Pro X4 delivers the depth of professional features and range of creative possibilities that our community was asking for at a lower price point than other professional editing software.

"We worked closely with our user community throughout the development process for PaintShop Pro X4," said Craig Copley, Senior Product Manager for PaintShop Pro. "Our users are diverse, engaged and incredibly passionate about photography. While they use PaintShop Pro for a variety of creative purposes, all of them share a desire for artistic freedom and the ability to achieve their vision quickly, with tools that are intuitive, powerful and efficient. With the community's input and support, we believe we have a release that delivers the depth and range of features that makes this a fantastic upgrade for our users."

Corel PaintShop Pro X4 Includes Over 75 New and Enhanced Features:

Corel PaintShop Pro X4 offers major advancements in professional editing power, performance, usability and sharing. Feedback from the PaintShop Pro community helped isolate the development priorities for this release and directly influenced the impressive set of new features and enhancements within the following four categories:

Professional Editing Power

  • New! HDR ToolsCompletely redesigned to bring you the latest technology in high dynamic range photo production, the new HDR module provides tools to merge photos and create picture-perfect exposures with stunning contrast. With built-in presets to get you started, images look their best in no time. This module also saves you time with the option to process large batches of HDR exposure brackets quickly.
  • New! Photo BlendCreate the perfect composition by easily selecting people, objects or areas from a series of images. The Photo Blend tool is a new and powerful option for photographers who want to produce compelling group shots or creative scenes where one person appears in multiple poses.
  • New! Fill Light and ClarityThe Fill Light tool lets you work quickly to bring out underexposed areas without affecting the overall brightness of your image, while the Clarity tool makes it easy to enhance subtle yet important details.
  • New! Selective FocusEnhance the depth of field in any image or easily create the look of miniatures and small-scale models with the new Selective Focus tool.
  • New! Vignette ToolsOften used in wedding and portrait photography, the Vignette tool provides a classic portraiture style by applying a soft, faded border around the outer edge of photos.

Performance

  • Enhanced! PerformanceWith new performance updates and optimizations, Corel PaintShop Pro X4 is faster than ever before with speed increases of over 50% on launch and accelerated performance on popular effects such as Vibrancy, Noise Removal and Depth of Field compared to past versions.
  • Enhanced! Full Screen PreviewFast, full-screen preview allows you to efficiently review your photos and use the entire screen to quickly view, rate, and rotate your images and discard those that don't make the cut.

Usability

  • Enhanced! Workspace– A redesign featuring new tabbed workspaces allows you to move easily between photo workflows. The Manage workspace gives you all the power to review, tag, rate and organize your photos. The new Adjust workspace puts commonly-used editing tools at your fingertips, while the Edit workspace provides you with a full range of professional-level editing tools.
  • Enhanced! User Interface Updates– Corel PaintShop Pro X4 offers numerous UI updates throughout the product designed to help photographers and graphic enthusiasts alike be as productive as possible. These include the Adjust workspace for quick and powerful edits; the ability to access the organizer in all workspaces; dual monitor support for enhanced efficiency; additional Adjustment layers; an updated Curves dialog; easy-to-read Histogram tools; and enhanced metadata support.

Sharing

  • Enhanced! Built-in social media sharing– For when your shots are picture-perfect, tools integrated into the organizer allow you to quicklyshare your images on Facebook, Flickr and resize "on the fly" for emailing.

"When inspiration hits, I won't waste time waiting for my software to catch up. The enhancements to the overall stability and speed of PaintShop Pro X4 are obvious from the moment I open and run the program. The updates to the user interface allow for a brighter, cleaner workspace, while the dual monitor support gives me the real estate I need when I am working on an image. PaintShop Pro X4 gives me more opportunities to be creative, while helping me accomplish what I want to do faster than before." - Gene Salois, PaintShop Pro X4 Beta Tester (PaintShop Pro user since 1994)

Pricing and Availability

Corel PaintShop Pro X4 is available now in markets worldwide in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Traditional Chinese and Polish with additional languages to follow. North American pricing is $79 (US and CDN) for the full version and $59 (US and CDN) for upgrade customers. Commercial and education volume licenses are also available.

To download a free fully-functional trial version or for more information about Corel PaintShop Pro X4, please visit www.corel.com/paintshop.

Corel PaintShop Pro X4 Ultimate

Launching simultaneously with the latest release of PaintShop Pro X4 is the Ultimate version of the product. Offering additional pro-level tools including Nik® Color Efex Pro™ 3.0 Filters, royalty-free images from Fotolia (7-day subscription period), a custom photo book from Blurb® and a premium collection of Picture Tubes™, Corel PaintShop Pro X4 Ultimate provides exceptional value and countless creative possibilities.

Corel PaintShop Pro X4 Ultimate is available now in English, German, French, Italian, Dutch and Traditional Chinese with additional languages to follow. North American pricing is $99 (US and CDN) for full and $79 (US and CDN) for upgrade customers.

Join the PaintShop Pro Community

Comments

Total comments: 37
veejae
By veejae (Dec 30, 2011)

if anyone is interested Amazon uk is selling the ultimate version for £33. Just got it as a Chrissee present

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
1 upvote
yukonchris
By yukonchris (Oct 20, 2011)

Owned and loved Jasc's PSP7. At the time, I felt it was a credible alternative to Photoshop with a much more intuitive interface. Although I purchased some of the Corel versions over the years, I was always disappointed by slow buggy performance. After trying X3, I gave up completely and switched to Serif which seems more reliable at least.

Although I am trained on a number of Adobe's products, I find their price structure so disagreeable that I am unlikely to ever purchase a standard version or suite for my own usel. I truly hope that Corel continues to fine tune PSP. Once they have a modern product as stable as PSP 7 was, but without the Protexis add-on people here have commented on, I'll gladly purchase a copy or two.

0 upvotes
GtoJon
By GtoJon (Sep 27, 2011)

Unstable, Print Layout is still slow & buggy & locks when I try to use Custom layouts I have had for years. Some filters are buggy that worked fine in X3. Nothing worth the upgrade period! Why don't they fix what they have & also make it a 64bit app. Used it for 19 years & this is the worst. Best was version 7! No reponse from support!

0 upvotes
GtoJon
By GtoJon (Sep 27, 2011)

Unstable, Print Layout is still slow & buggy & locks when I try to use Custom layouts I have had for years. Some filters are buggy that worked fine in X3. Nothing worth the upgrade period! Why don't they fix what they have & also make it a 64bit app. Used it for 19 years & this is the worst. Best was version 7! No reponse from support!

0 upvotes
Babble62
By Babble62 (Sep 17, 2011)

I have used PSP for a long time and i am a fairly heavy user. I had problems with X3 using all patches so I could see my Sony SLT-A55 RAW files correctly but then Topaz Remask 3 would not work. I also had issues using Topaz plugins on 16 bit color. These are resolved in PSP version X4. The HDR lab seems to work pretty good and the additions of Fill light and vignetting are certainly welcome.

X4 seems to get sluggish when I have several 16 MP pictures opened and I am using a number of layers on one. I'm using a AMD 3.2 GHz PII quad CPU and 8 GB of RAM but an on motherboard ATI video chip. I didn't see this in X3 though. Overall I think it is worth the upgrade.

0 upvotes
Prairie Pal
By Prairie Pal (Sep 16, 2011)

Annoying quirks and bugs as usual for PSP. I purchased the full version of PSP 4X and have been using it extensively for 4 days. The workflow tab layout is almost like LR in that respect, but UI is still cluttered and duplicated; a new or novice user would be confused by the duplication. The sliders are finiky, jumpy, and inconsistently between windows and entering values by keyboard does not always work. Using the mouse wheel to move scroll bars in thumbnail screens jumps you all over the place and usually sends you back up to the top of the screen. THE WORST part is that the program seems to slow down and get more buggy as you use it; on day five it's not only hangs itself but other window applications as well. My taskbar shows PSP 4X as being open, but I cannot access it. I have to open task manager to close the program. Thumbnail previews are now blank. I have a well endowed i5 quad core w/8gb ram that handles LR and CNX2 easily. I hope I can resolve these issues

0 upvotes
GordonAtWork
By GordonAtWork (Sep 13, 2011)

Just went to download the 30-day trial and noticed the Akami Download terms and conditions. No thanks, I don't need or want a download application which sends data to every Tom, Dick or Mary.

0 upvotes
Klindar
By Klindar (Sep 12, 2011)

Update: After a few days using X4 I am wondering if I will ever go back to Photoshop again. This is much better looking with superior information displays, easier to use and just as functional. 48 bit images are supported by practically all photo functions now. Many artistic effects are still 8 bits/channel but could care less. You will need a plug-in for clone brush which is the main photo tool still not supporting 48 bits. There are lots of good ones out there. It's a shame Corel did not try to mount a serious challenge to Adobe using this fine product as a foundation but at least now there is hope. And yes, they ought to support Apple where many photographers live. This would greatly expand their base of loyal supporters. Also dump the annoying copy protection scheme and do this the Adobe way with a serial number transfer mechanism.

0 upvotes
Greg Henry
By Greg Henry (Sep 11, 2011)

PSP was a wonderful program when Jasc had it, but once Corel took over it just dove. I gave up on it for a while and tried X3 but it's so sluggish even on an i7 machine it was a joke compared to even Photoshop Elements. There are going to have to be some GLOWING reviews on X4 before I give them my money again.

0 upvotes
globethrottle
By globethrottle (Sep 9, 2011)

My X2 is more than enough for me atm. Great news tho.

0 upvotes
futurvision
By futurvision (Sep 9, 2011)

Great news! I love it!

0 upvotes
Noogy
By Noogy (Sep 9, 2011)

I will wait for review before purchasing this version (I'm using the X3 right now and been happy with it). One thing I like about Paintshop is its user-friendly interface. However, it does feel like the X2 and X3 were both unable to exploit of the multi-core processing features in most PCs these days. I hope the X4 is able to capitalize on hyperthreading and multi-core CPU machines and juiced up GPUs, hence would be faster (takes ages to execute stuffs as simple as removal of digital noise especially on an 18mp pic) even when my machine was a turbo-boosting Core i5. Other than speed issues in the previous versions, I am all for Corel Painshop :-)

0 upvotes
Dave Peters
By Dave Peters (Sep 9, 2011)

Beware download versions of software from Corel. I bought Coreldraw and now I have made more changes to my machine than they allow, the software will not work unless I reconfigure to one of the previously seen configurations (different 2nd hard disk). They will not re-enable my software without a further purchase even though I am still using the same machine. I haven't even changed the drive that the software is installed on. I will never be purchasing any more software from them.

2 upvotes
Jaelkay
By Jaelkay (Sep 9, 2011)

I have had the same problem with them. Had a recent computer problem and had to rebuild the system and PSP X3 would not activate. An error message stated the serial number had been used and that was it. Corel did not respond to any of my emails. Very poor show.

2 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Sep 9, 2011)

Non-destructive adjustments?

Does PSP do nested layers yet?

I've been using Serif Photoplus because it has these kinds of power features, but in software terms it's poor: buggy and terrible implementation (unusable batch processing, for example). They evidently don't follow the principle of eat-your-own-dog-food.

0 upvotes
arra
By arra (Sep 9, 2011)

What is difference between "Selective Focus" in X4 and "Depth of Field" I currently have in XI?

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Sep 9, 2011)

Does it still come with free bonus spyware?

(AKA Protexis Licensing)

2 upvotes
MisterBG
By MisterBG (Sep 9, 2011)

If you are paranoid enough to be worred about this then you simply disable it using Control Panel’s Administrative Tools.

0 upvotes
nekrosoft13
By nekrosoft13 (Sep 9, 2011)

Thats not spyware, its DRM like licensing

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Sep 11, 2011)

If you disable the Protexis PSP via control panel PSP will not run. (in theory). There is a hack to make it not run all the time.

"Thats not spyware, its DRM like licensing"

And sony's famous fiasco was not a root kit it was copy protection?

Spyware can and is used to enforce licenensing. Why corel needs it when they practically give this software away (I see PSP on amazon all the time for $30ish) and Adobe does not is puzzling.

Protexis claims your system info is not communicated to their servers, but that the application using Protexis can examanine your system to ensure license complaince. Does that make it spyware? Maybe not if it really and truley never communicates yoru system info to protexis or the corel.

re: Paranoid

My main issue with Protexis is that I like to run a clean system. When I first tried PSP and saw that cr@p running I was pretty upset. Especially when uninstalling PSP left protexis software (and if I rember correctly the running process) on my system.

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 19, 2011)

So I take then that if if I buy this latest version of paint shop pro I will have to use it on a machine connected to the Internet?

As it is I use PSP x2 on a dedicated machine that I have no desire to connect to the Internet. I use my Mac for that.

Stupid companies just make things harder and harder to get things done.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 9, 2011)

As already stated, the lack of a mac version is a killer for me. I love PS Pro, and I stil have it on a Windows laptop, but I really need it on my iMac. I have yet to find anything like it for mac.

0 upvotes
Klindar
By Klindar (Sep 8, 2011)

I used Paintshop for years before obtaining Photoshop and now have both. The interfaces are similar and in many important respects Paintshop is the better product with the icing on the cake being you can sometimes get a license for as little as $29 compared to the $900 Adobe soaks you for with Creative Suite. Adobes upgrades alone cost more than a whole new license for Paintshop and IMO the value is poor when you consider what Paintshop does.

I bought Photoshop when it became apparent Corel were dragging their feet in regard to Paintshop fully supporting 48 bit images and supporting only 32 bit plug-ins (these are Photoshop compatible, BTW). I would also prefer that Paintshop be a true 64 bit piece of code as that is the way the world has gone. No matter for now as Windows runs all this legacy stuff to perfection.

Best wishes,
K

0 upvotes
bananahead
By bananahead (Sep 9, 2011)

"Enhanced! 16-bit support
Enjoy greater precision and flexibility with extended 16-bit support for over 20 tools and adjustments—including Scratch Remover, Paint Brush, Object Remover, Color Replacer, Warp Brush, Mesh Warp, Background Eraser and more!"

At least they are working towards full 16bit image support.

0 upvotes
MisterBG
By MisterBG (Sep 9, 2011)

I'd disagree with you when you say " The interfaces are similar".
I find the Adobe UI to be one of the most unfriendly that I have come across. What particularly annoys me is having to use a keyboard+mouse control to do something that is simply accomplished using a right mouse click on PSP.

0 upvotes
Klindar
By Klindar (Sep 9, 2011)

Bought it today and installed. Only $60 and does practically anything CS5 can do and some things CS5 can't. Looks like Corel is getting serious about competing with Adobe ... an excellent upgrade. The only important feature that still does not work with 48 bit images is the clone brush but found a free plug-in that's actually better. *ALL* my Topaz, Nik, etc. plug-ins work on 48 bit images. Agree the Adobe UI is not as good, BTW. It's tough going back to CS5 after using Paintshop again. Still not a 32 bit app but a minor criticism. Also agree Corel's copy protection can be a pain under some circumstances. That's the one area where they might want to do it the Adobe way. Corel may finally be listening to customers. 48 bit image support is an important advance. If you are on X2/X3 this is worth the small cost to upgrade.

Best wishes,
K.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 19, 2011)

In regards to user interfaces, I don't see how anyone can compare PSP to Photoshop since PSP'S interface is so customizable, unlike Photoshop which has to have one of the worst user interfaces one can imagine. In fact, general comments regarding PSP'S user interface make no sense as they typical ignore the fact that PSP is so customizable.

0 upvotes
Guy Parsons
By Guy Parsons (Sep 8, 2011)

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....?

0 upvotes
John McCormack
By John McCormack (Sep 9, 2011)

I agree that Paint Shop Pro has/is making a comeback. PSP X3 Pro is much more stable and support from Corel is better. It's still easier to handle than Photoshop, but it needs a better RAW converter interface.

0 upvotes
James Madara
By James Madara (Sep 9, 2011)

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.

1 upvote
sony1799
By sony1799 (Sep 8, 2011)

Too bad they don't make a mac version.

1 upvote
attomole
By attomole (Sep 10, 2011)

Particularly as they have an iphone version!

0 upvotes
Marc Rogoff
By Marc Rogoff (Sep 8, 2011)

Corel make some great products but why not for Mac? Coreldraw is the only program I miss since working on a Mac....

1 upvote
Photato
By Photato (Sep 8, 2011)

All I care for is Ulead PhotoImpact, still happy with it since version 1.
Unfortunately, Corel bought it and ditched it.
So I guess my money is still in the bank until Corel decide to release a PI upgrade.

0 upvotes
Mirfak
By Mirfak (Sep 8, 2011)

It's your loss :)

0 upvotes
Sho-Bud
By Sho-Bud (Sep 9, 2011)

My favorite program is Micrografx Picture Publisher. Unfortunately Corel bought it ............................

0 upvotes
GordonAtWork
By GordonAtWork (Sep 13, 2011)

From the comments above it seems Corel were buying up the competition and hiding it away (a bit like the everlasting lightbulb ).
I still use PSP 7 and find it does most of everything I need. I do use DPP for batch processing some images and Helicon Filter for noise reduction but as I said PSP7 is great.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 37