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PaintShop Pro V4 - Ultimate


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Not very often nowadays am I overly impressed with software.

They usually promise the world and delivery very little.

The latest PaintshopPro V4, currently on special at Amazon for 20gbp certainly has to be the exception.

IT'S ABSOLUTELY GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!

Not only does it handle all the layers etc. we need for astro-imaging, it does unsharp masking, HDR, and talks to all the commercial DSLR *.RAW files.

I'm impressed.

Strongly recommend it to members who don't want to pay hundreds of $$$$$$ for PhotoShop. Try it, you'll love it.

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SAVE YOUR MONEY.

PSP Pro X4 has NO layer blend modes for SUBTRACT or DIVIDE.

Are they not important for DARK and FLAT removal?

I bought it for this purpose, it is buggy, slow, and cannot be used to remove flat or dark frames.

Another thing, while their interface is very nice, the controls on the Level adjustment and curves are next to useless, it is hard to see what the value your moving their "diamond" cursor to on the histogram.

They just have no idea what astrophotography processing is. In fact maybe you should take a hard look at Pixinsight if you are buying in the budget end of the software market.

Before you ever touch Corel, try their demo, it will save you money.

Even their Painter app is buggy, and at the price they want oh dear.

Same for Corel Draw. again buggy and idiotic featured at a very serious price.

Better to save up and just buy an Adobe suite.

In fact I go back to GUMP instead of PSP as even GUMP has proper features and is much faster. Sure just 8 bit but save your money than blowing it on Corel.

If you want to process your photos from your pet dog and cat, sure use PSP, for astrophotography, It is useless.

I even mailed Corel about it. Nope nada. Not happening. I asked if it was in previous versions, they said "It could have been" as they have a bad habit of REMOVING useful features each new release.

Avoid COREL at all costs.

Corel vs Gimp, Gimp wins. That right there is a bad sign.

If Corel pulled their heads from their buttocks, they could have a killer astrophography app here, at an ideal price, but nope, they blew it.

If you want to do timelapse astrophography, use Sony Vegas, again avoid Corel video studio. Corel has the ideal product portfolio if they just got it right, but nope every release, they fail to deliver.

Corel PSP is better than Adobe Elements for which it is competing, as it has levels and curves, elements has not I believe, but Elements most likely has the layer blend modes you need (Subtract and Divide). So save up, buy an an Adobe suite ( perhaps Premier Production or something - not PS solo as its more expensive that way), also wait until Summer 2012, as they will be releasing a new version then and the rest will drop in price.

Adobe is only worth upgrading every 3 or 4 major releases due to their cost and due to their pricing you are better buying a suite more suited to your needs instead of a single Adobe app.

Sorry for the rant, I was excited when I got PSP and it is a good program (even tho its slow as hell) BUT seriously disappointed at its lack of usefulness for astophotography. I won't be burnt again by Corel lol. I use it for holiday snaps, not space :icon_scratch: so all is not wasted.

Edited by SaraG
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SaraG,

Did you try the "image arithmetic"???

This might also help - a comparison between PSP and Photoshop.

http://paintshoppro.info/tutorials/paintshoppro_vs_photoshop.htm

(I'm not saying PSP is everything for everybody - but it can certainly help improve your images. I still use AstroArt to capture and do basic manipulations etc)

Edited by Merlin66
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SaraG,

Did you try the "image arithmetic"???

This might also help - a comparison between PSP and Photoshop.

Paint Shop Pro vs Photoshop vs Photoshop Elements

(I'm not saying PSP is everything for everybody - but it can certainly help improve your images. I still use AstroArt to capture and do basic manipulations etc)

I am still at a loss on how one can process astronomy images with Flats and Darks in PSP Pro X4.

Without the appropriate layer blend modes isn't it next to impossible?

Basically that leaves you with histogram stretching which it has (badly and inaccurately due to the crappy diamond and histogram window) and curves (again a similar problem with the tiny adjustment window).

I picked it over elements because elements as far as I knew had no histogram levels or curves feature.

I know it has the ability to make a custom filter using matrix values, what is this other image arithmetic that PSP has?

Subtract and Divide are serious omissions on Corel's part but then again they are firmly competing with Adobe Elements and the casual home amateur photographer and that does not include astronomers.

If we get enough people to give feedback on it maybe Corel will listen, but they have a bad habit of removing useful features in vNext releases. So while one version may have what you need, if you upgrade, you are risking the removal of that feature. Corel does not maintain a STABLE feature set, it is always changing up to and including REMOVING existing features which is NOT GOOD.

Edited by SaraG
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SaraG,

You can subtract and divide in Paintshop Pro.

The "Image arithmetic" tab allows you to subtract one image from another, and by inverting the "flat" to then multiply ( ends up the same as division).

So I'm not sure what the problem is????

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SaraG,

You can subtract and divide in Paintshop Pro.

The "Image arithmetic" tab allows you to subtract one image from another, and by inverting the "flat" to then multiply ( ends up the same as division).

So I'm not sure what the problem is????

Can you show where that is because it does not exist as a LAYER BLEND MODE like other blend modes on layers it as and also like Adobe and Gimp which it copies.

I see no image arithmetic tab. I do see layer blend modes (arithmetic) but not subtract and divide.

I see subtract but no divide in a hidden obscure window that means they really want to hide this functionality.

Why on earth it is not on the LAYER BLEND menu is just ludicrious.

Why would they hide subtract layer blend modes and complicate the work flow by making you flatten layers to process as 2 IMAGES instead of working the math on layers.

Again Corel is being IDIOTIC.

Edited by SaraG
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saraG,

In PaintShop Pro x4...

It's under "Edit" "Image" "arithmetic"

Check it out.

I just did, again I say LUDICROUS in their design and work flow.

This should be a layer blend mode, operating on layers, not on the IMAGE level. That means I Have to keep flattening my layers and save out as 2 separate images then subtract, but I still see no divide.

They done a nice UI redesign and workflow redesign in X4 from X3 but screw this up.

What is the betting PSP crashes mid workflow, it usually does same for all Corel apps, if you are in the middle of something important and long duration it WILL crash and lose it all.

Edited by SaraG
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saraG,

I think it's exactly the same instruction set in PhotoShop........

Adobe Photoshop (Full) and GIMP all have Subtract and Divide operating on layers, not flat images.

I am saving for the Adobe production suite once they get the next version out in summer 2012.

That way I don't get a half baked application and get a good price on the full production suite ( I also want After Effects ). By the time I mess about on "budget" titles that are half baked I am part way there to the full adobe production suite. If you really want a usable Corel PSP I expect their performance to be usable about the X6 release. X4 was a performance improvement they say, well, nope not good enough. No way. Not stable enough.

X4 is good, but not good enough (compared to the competition which they are competing with).

What makes matters worse, Corel's support costs an arm and a leg, and is in India, and they don't give a rats buttocks about your feedback (assuming you can actually get their feedback form to work).

I actually emailed the Director of communications at Corel as they kept spamming me even when I tried to unsubscribe from their spam mail (she gets all the spam that Corel now send me to her inbox - or her secretary) :icon_scratch: A simple google on Corel company info give me her email :D

In fact some of PSP features where Dead on arrival, shareing to facebook, dead on arrival, wouldn't work until Service Pack 1. Uhh.. Wut?

Corel. Summary. Cheap (if you don't pay full Corel price... ie. lightening deal on amazon or new amazon price - same as lightening deal). Some features dead on arrival. Poor performance. Poor stability, prone to crashing.. Hidden features, half baked features. Even after service pack 1. Some Useful features most likely removed in new version that where in previous versions.

Not only is this a problem with PSP, it is a problem with other coral applciations, Corel Draw, Painter... It is a COREL problem, not a PSP problem. It is deep rooted in their company. I know this from dealing with them and owning a number of their products.

God knows how they are going to ruin their embroidery software they acquired, which costs thousands of GBP but I have 100% faith that they will ruin it every release, I actually use Compucon (based in Greece) as Corel as a company is too ummmm undependable to give thousands of pounds to for such software.

Simple truth I have learnt, is using budget applications is a false economy, you are just better off saving up and using a proper suite at their more expensive price. By the time you mess around dishing out "budget" money, you are probably a third or half way to the proper tested and proved application suite. You get what you pay for as they say.

Edited by SaraG
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We seem to have two experienced, and well respected imagers diametrically opposed in their views on this piece of Software.

I was actually contemplating PSP X4 myself, having had PSP9 for a while now.

I had read a few reviews on the software, and there were plusses and negatives pretty much tat for tat. ( you can decipher that, lol)

I have AIP4WIN, CS3, PSP 9, Dawn, as I have the Atik314L+.

I had a look at PI 30 day Demo, but I need to think more on that one, although the reluctance has more to do with my lack of experience, than the capability of PI.

As for PSP X4, It is a budget Package, and surely cannot compete with CS4/5 on capability, but might be acceptable to the Imager who is happy to produce an Image acceptable to his peers, but not having ambitions to reach APOD standard.

It is good to have two opposing views, then anyone reading this thread, can buy the software with eyes wide open, or not as the case may be.

Ron.

Edited by barkis
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try looking on Amazon.com ( US) download it or buy for $40+

Amazon.com: PaintShop Pro X4 Ultimate (PC)

Try the 30 day demo first.

If you cannot get the akhamai download rubbish to work, open a "live chat" with Corel (Indian) support and they will link you the direct download URI.

If they wont give it to you (they will - because they know their akhamai download manager is rubbish and doesnt work) - tell them you cannot purchase their product until you try it.

Always always try the demo first.

Edited by SaraG
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