I noticed at several occasions that sometimes people, with an interest in photography, might find it not always easy to decide which editing software to buy. May be my experience can be helpful in making up one’s mind.

When I decided years ago to buy a digital camera, I soon became aware that some image editing software would be useful for processing my digital images. But choosing which software?

When surfing the internet and asking around, it soon became apparent that there is quite a choice of software on offer. Ranging from the basic (and sometimes free) software to PhotoShop with a price tag at the moment of nearly seven hundred pounds.

But presto, one day I found a book called: “The Digital Photography Handbook”.  An illustrated step-by-step guide: from choosing your camera to using advanced digital techniques. Written by Doug Harman and Photography by David Jones.

I can recommend this book. It gives valuable information for everyone who is going digital and wants to be a Digital Photographer, including advice which software you really need and what should you use it for.

The editing software, among others, that appealed to me (the description and price wise) was “Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3” and I decided to buy it. Once installed the work space tour provides a clear explanation and synopsis of the entire available photo editing software. However there is no practical step-by-step guide available of how to do it, what first and in which order. And on the internet I couldn’t hardly find any Corel PaintShop Photo Pro tutorials explaining the photo editing in this program, as it is widely available for PhotoShop. There for it took me several months and try-and-error before I figured all the software out. Now I am familiar with it and know how it works, it is indeed a professional image editing software with almost the same options as PhotoShop has.

Let me have the advantages and disadvantages on a straight as I experienced them.


  • The difference in price is gigantic.
  • The possibilities, offered in the X5 version (and also in the X3 version) are practically similar to Photoshop.


  • You will not find, what I call, a practical step-by-step guide (how to get from A till B) in ‘The Learning Centre’ and ‘easy-to-use workspaces in the step-by-step guide’.
  • I needed months of self-study and trying out before I became familiar with the software and possibilities. I could find very little tutorials for Corel PaintShop on the internet to help me on my way. This is in contrast to PhotoShop. So realising later that PhotoShop and Corel PaintShop had much in common, I used the tutorials of Photoshop and searched where these features were in PaintShop. And that worked! So for me it was very much in the beginning a case of Try and Error. And I’m still learning and finding things out.

For personal and private use Coral PaintShop Pro is in my view an excellent alternative for PhotoShop and ticks all the boxes.

At the moment Corel PaintShop Pro X3 is on sale at Amazon for £ 22.00. The newest edition, the X5 version, is £ 47.00. Still, cheaper than PhotoShop Elements 10 and with considerable more to offer.

If you go for Corel PaintShop Photo Pro and you need help with it, you can call me and I will talk you through it.

I quote:
Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 offers affordable, powerful, professional-grade tools and features. Photo enthusiasts — ranging from professional photographers to digital camera newcomers — can take their projects to a higher level with a toolset that yields astonishing results, yet is easy to learn.

Corel PaintShop Photo Pro sets the standard for affordable, professional image editing. You can organize and edit photos, work with RAW image files, apply effects, and more — all with a set of easy-to-use workspaces.

Henk Joosten.