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Old Dec 20, 2011, 7:42 PM   #1
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Default Paintshop Pro, anyone?

Let me preface by saying I am no professional by any means, just a beginning hobbyist who mainly photographs my kids. I am familiar with Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, from some graphics work I did in college a few years back but as a more casual snapshooter I am definitely not looking to invest in buying Photoshop, Lightroom, or any of the best programs to help raise my image quality.

So, Newegg has a deal on Paintshop Pro that ends up free after a rebate. I know nothing about this program. Yes it's free, but I'm a busy person, is it worth investing my time using it? Can it do any similar things to the higher-end programs? Any idea if it can edit RAW?
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 7:49 PM   #2
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Capabilities are roughly on par with Elements (fancier tools are 8-bit, not RAW). My experience with an old version was that it was buggy once in a while. So I now use Elements instead, but free is an awfully nice price! Another freebie is GIMP.

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Old Dec 20, 2011, 8:59 PM   #3
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I actually have GIMP, but never got around to figuring it out. At first glance, it did not seem intuitive but maybe I need to give it a chance. Can GIMP do RAW? I just got a Canon S95 and I hear great things can be done with RAW files, though I don't know anything about them yet. I'm a recent upgrade from full P&S.
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 9:24 PM   #4
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PSP is nice stuff... especially when it's free. I prefer Gimp, though. And, yes, it can handle RAW.
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 10:56 PM   #5
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Your Canon CD may have included the program Digital Photo Professional. Definitely RAW and definitely worthwhile.

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Old Dec 21, 2011, 3:14 AM   #6
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the gimp can do RAW but if needs a plug in like UFRAW. DPP certainly does RAW its free and comes with canon cameras.
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Old Dec 21, 2011, 7:31 AM   #7
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PSP suppports many of the same plug-ins that PhotoShop does, including NeatImage, FocusMagic, and Topaz Labs, unlike GIMP. In addition, the lack of support for layers in GIMP makes it a pretty crippled beast AFAICS. As always, YMMV.
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Old Dec 21, 2011, 10:43 AM   #8
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Is the version on sale the latest, or an older version? If older, it may not have the updates for Raw conversion for the newest cameras, and you would have to find out if it can be upgraded. If you have a camera that is supported, then there's no problem.
PSP is nearly as good as Photoimpact, as it incorporates some of PI's features. It is better overall than Photoshop Elements. (my opinions, of course)

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Old Dec 21, 2011, 9:11 PM   #9
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I've used Paintshop, before it was "Pro" and was one of the must have sharware programs. I updated about evey other version when owned by JASC and now Corel with last upgrade about 2 versions ago. Very solid program and would highly recommend. Each upgrade has brought great features. I too see it as a better program than PS Elements and it's strength vs Photoshop is what forced Adobe to create Elements and not make it too watered down.

I have sense moved on an now use Photoshop and Lightroom...but people now pay me for photo shoots. Since you know Photoshop, the logic and process is a little different so there will be a learning curve, but it is not hard.
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Old Dec 25, 2011, 1:03 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies.

The version going free is X4, I'm not on top of the scene to know if something newer is out. It seems current.

I'm still not clear on whether it does RAW?

I do have the DPP that came with the camera. Have not had too much time to play around with it (that's pretty much the way I learn. I look for more ways to advance AFTER I've fiddled with all the options and gotten comfortable) but it just looks really limited. I don't see a lot to do there. Maybe that's its hidden beauty that one needs to learn and appreciate? But whatever, I just don't get it.

I actually just kind of remembered that my GIMP is a couple of years old, at least (2 or 3 years, don't remember exactly) so maybe it's changed... But I am pretty sure it has layers. Could be tclune and I are talking a different language as I am very novice at this.
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