Other than Windows Paint, Paint Shop Pro was the first imaging application I’d ever used. It was in the 90s, Windows 95 hadn’t even been released yet, and “Paint Shop” was still two words. So, it was fairly crude by today’s standards, but at the time it seemed like magic. I didn’t even realise they were still around until a few months ago, but now they seem to back in full force.
Corel has today announced PaintShop Pro 2020; The latest version of its all-in-one photo editing and graphic design suite for photographers, designers and content creators.
From the video above, it sure looks like it’s come a long way since I last used it. But given that that was over 20 years ago, one would hope so. Back then, it was made by a company called JASC, which was acquired by Corel in 2004. And it seems that they’ve been working on it ever since. But what’s new in the latest version?
This is a content-aware cloning tech, which Corel says “easily merges elements, including faces and other complex objects from multiple images and seamlessly integrates them into one”. Sounds like a pretty cool and handy feature, particularly for group photos and weddings where you might need to do a few face swaps.
- Refine Brush
This one, as you might suspect given the name, has to do with selections, and they say it offers “extreme accuracy” for selecting objects as fine as a single strand of hair. Personally, I’d like to see it before I believe it. We’ve seen these claims before from other software, and they’re not always quite as reliable as it says on the tin. At least, not for many images.
- Photography Workspace
Workflow enhancements are always a good thing. Anything that allows us to spend less time sitting at the computer working on images and being able to get out and shoot them is more than welcome. They say that it’s touch-ready, too, which should be handy for those working on Windows tablets and graphics tablet displays like the Wacom Cintique.
Corel says that there are many performance enhancements in the new version, with a noticeable boost in speed. And there are a bunch of other workflow improvements to help you save time while working on your images.
More RAW file support has been added for newer cameras. You can see a complete list of cameras supported here, but I’m not sure it includes the latest PaintShop Pro 2020 updates, as it doesn’t seem to list any of the latest wave of mirrorless cameras from Nikon. Canon, Sony or Panasonic.
From looking at the specs, PaintShop Pro has definitely come a long way since its humble beginnings. As to how it compares to Photoshop… well, Corel does have a chart on their website, although I wouldn’t mind taking it for a spin to see for myself at some point, even if just for old time’s sake. And, well, they do have a 30-day free trial.
If you want to get the latest PaintShop Pro, you can buy it now for $79.99 (£69.99 in the UK, or €69.99 in the EU) for a perpetual license. It lasts forever and comes with no subscription fees. As mentioned, a 30-day free trial is available so you can check it out before you decide. And if you’re a studio with multiple systems, they also offer volume licensing discounts.