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Corel PaintShop Pro X8 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 80
inc VAT

High quality RAW processing joins the ranks, but PaintShop Pro still lags behind the competition.


OS Support: Windows 7/8/8.1/10, Minimum CPU: 1.5GHz, Minimum GPU: DirectX 9, Minimum RAM: 2GB (4GB recommended), Hard disk space: 1GB (2GB recommended)


A new Magic Move feature lets the user select an area of the image and drag it to a location, whereupon the software patches up the old location by cloning from nearby areas. It’s essentially the same as Photoshop Elements’ Content-Aware Move Tool, and has the same limitations, handling random textures such as foliage well but struggling with complex objects such as buildings and people. Comparing the two applications side by side, neither produced flawless results but Photoshop Elements was consistently better.

Corel PaintShop Pro X8 - Magic Move

^ Magic Move automatically patches photos when elements are moved around Corel PaintShop Pro X8 - Magic Move

^ It’s not always successful at analysing images, though

There’s neater handling of layers and support for high-resolution monitors (so the interface doesn’t become unusably tiny). There’s a new lens correction filter for correcting distortions, chromatic aberrations and vignetting, although it’s little use being built into the RAW Lab module. It’s also available for JPEGs in the main Edit mode, but in the few times it identified the lens used and offered a suitable lens profile, it didn’t seem to have much bearing on image quality. Perhaps that’s because most modern cameras already correct for lens defects in their JPEG output.

The most significant improvement is a performance boost when making brush strokes. Making large brush strokes with processor-intensive tools such as Dodge and Burn was hopelessly unresponsive in version X7, but it’s vastly improved this time around. Photoshop Elements is still faster, though.

AfterShot is the star of the line-up, but we wonder how many people will bother to use it while PaintShop Pro continues to integrate its own, inferior, management and RAW-processing modules. AfterShot 2 is available on its own for just £12, and RAW shooters on a budget may as well go for that deal. For layer-based editing and the best RAW processing available, Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan keeps the top honours, followed by Photoshop Elements. PaintShop Pro must settle with third place.

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System requirements
OS SupportWindows 7/8/8.1/10
Minimum CPU1.5GHz
Minimum GPUDirectX 9
Minimum RAM2GB (4GB recommended)
Hard disk space1GB (2GB recommended)
Buying information
Price including VAT£80

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