Every once in a while, I get the question about why Corel has multiple bitmap / photo-editing products, what are the differences between each and which one to choose. While an option would have been to merge them all into one, having different solutions available to answer different users needs has been, and remains the way to go forward for us.

First Corel PHOTO-PAINT (this is posted on CorelDRAW.com after all). This product, which is part of the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite and the Corel DESIGNER Technical Suite, is an all-purpose professional bitmap editing application for users who require image manipulation as part of their graphics design and production workflow such as printing, awards, sign making and marketing collaterals creation (packaging, flyers, ...). It has been built from the ground-up to be fully integrated with CorelDRAW / Corel DESIGNER for a seamless workflow back and forth and provides a very similar user interface and experience. Corel PHOTO-PAINT also includes specific features that are relevant for design oriented users such as CMYK and LAB support, spot colors and color separation, in addition to the photo-editing related features such as camera RAW support, tone curves and image correction.
Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo focuses on digital-photography editing and includes a streamlined interface to guide users through the process of making their digital photos look amazing. (In addition to one-click photo fixes such as Smart Photo Fix and the Makeover Tools for those new to photo editing), Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo includes advanced yet intuitive photo-editing features such as HDR Photo Merge to create the perfect shot, Clarify to automatically dodge and burn and support for more than 250 RAW raw camera formats.  With the Learning Center in Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo users can grow with the software as their knowledge and skills progress making it the ideal choice for any aspiring enthusiasts or even the seasoned professional.

Last but not least in the three main pro-level bitmap solutions from Corel, I need to talk about Corel Painter: While Corel PHOTO-PAINT and Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo can be associated to being the digital equivalent of the darkroom, Corel Painter is truly a digital canvas, enabling professional artists and photographers to create amazing paintings. With a true down-to-the-bristle and paper-type simulation, Corel Painter enables users to control every detail of their paintings, enabling the combination of multiple technics such as oil, watercolors and even airbrush on the same canvas. And with the photo-painting features, those who did not yet have as much practice as a master can still create unique pieces of art and have them printed on a canvas. Corel Painter is also the only bitmap solution from Corel that is both for MacOS and Windows.

In summary, Corel PHOTO-PAINT is a professional bitmap-editing solution for the graphics design and production workflow, Corel PaintShop Pro PHOTO focuses on the digital photo editing and Corel Painter is the ultimate art studio on a computer.

  • I currently have Corel Draw X7 and mostly use the Photo Paint module to edit photographic images and pictures, and use Adobe Premiere Pro for editing my travel Video's, now looking at purchasing a new Sony Bridge Camera RX10iv or the upcoming RX10v as that can do excellent 4k Video and is a very good general purpose Camera for traveling and still give professional results all in one package, now I would like to get a Corel package that can do Raw editing of Digital images as well as all the features of my Corel Photo Paint X7, I would like to stay with Corel as have used it since X3 and have got used to the interface, I gave up on Adobe Photoshop after upgrading to Corel X5 some years ago and now having problems with Adobe in general as have CS6 Suite that Adobe is playing funny buggers with it in Windows 10 and keeps modifying or corrupting it seemingly forcing users to go the Cloud based use, so corrupting the Adobe Application Manager. Again had these problems recently when I retired from business and restructured my 3 computers by changing their Names, and shortly thereafter all my very costly Adobe Apps crashed, Corel gave me no problems on computer name changing or even when upgrading a My System board. So would please like some recommendations from this group or Corel on the way forward.

  • Thank you Gérard, much appreciated. It is good to see that you are an active participant here.

    Unfortunately, PSP doesn't have a forum of this quality. The NNTP newsgroups are very active, but almost never see anyone from Corel... indeed they no longer even have a human moderator.

  • I was the one who asked my colleague to post something here to answer your comment.


  • Unfortunately the additional photo support has been at the expense of the digital painters and drawers. Almost nothing has been added for them for many versions. The vector drawing engine still displays a bug with line widths of odd numbers of pixels that was introduced in PSP 8. (Most serious users of PSP vectors fire up PSP 7 for the purpose).

    True, there have been some additions for photographers, but little that displays the same level of innovation that produced Digital Camera Noise Reduction, Chromatic Aberration Removal and the Background Eraser, and rather too many toys like Depth of Field and Thinify, and presets dressed up as features (Suntan).

    Several tools and filters have been dumbed down - removing the ability to enter accurate coordinates and the ability to resize by dragging anywhere on the outline in the Crop tool for instance. Or a similar loss of numeric input to set Curves points and the loss of the ability to sample Curves points from the image (asked for for ages, implemented in PSP 9, removed in XI).

    Raw support has only been improved as far as supporting a wider range of cameras, but the quality of the output is poor and the lack of pre-processing options, and "sidecar' files to store edits, limits it's usefulness. I don't think any program except PSP uses the VNG demosaicing algorithm.

    It's also a shame that the Paint Shop Pro Product Manager can be seen in the CorelDRAW forum, but is never sighted in any of the PSP groups.

  • I am the Product Manager for Paint Shop Pro, and I'm afraid I disagree with your opinion that most of our users were not interested in photo features when we started focusing more on that area starting in PSP 8. Our surveys were showing growing interest in this direction, as well as general trends we were watching. In addition to adding some additional 16-bit operations (though I agree there is always room for more), we have greatly increased the Camera Raw support (sharing some technology with PHOTO-PAINT) and added features for serious photographers such as HDR Photo Merge, Black and White conversion (including simulated IR), and the Clarify feature, all of which have gotten good reviews in the photo press (including Editor's Choice from American Photo Magazine). Sorry if these didn't quite match your preferences, but it is always a challenge to satisfy everyone's wish list.