Corel PhotoImpact X3
• Simple photo fixes
• Efficient advanced features for photo editing
• Built-in web design tools
• Not enough advanced editing features
• No online sharing options
• Limited support
Corel PhotoImpact X3 does not have the extensive range of editing features that other packages include, but it does have a number of useful additional tools that you may find useful, like paint effects, web design elements, graphics for videos, photo gift projects, and more. At times the program is a little disjointed but the elements generally combine to create a beneficial package.
Originally designed by Ulead, a subsidiary of Corel, PhotoImpact is now marketed under the wide spectrum of Corel’s digital imaging and photo editing products, beneath Corel’s flagship photo editing program PaintShop Pro. What does PhotoImpact have to offer that other photo editing packages do not?
For installing PhotoImpact X3 you need 512MB RAM or 1GB for Windows Vista, plus 750MB of hard drive space (320MB for bonus programs.)
Import RAW files with an enhanced set of RAW features. Other files and programs supported by PhotoImpact include USB card readers and most digital cameras.
A quick way to provide the finishing touch to your photos is the ExpressFix editing tools with PhotoImpact X3. In ExpressFix you find features that automatically adjust factors like color, focus, exposure, composition, and skin tone. We tried it, and the auto adjustments are good enough to bring new life to your images. We like that you can compare your changes with a quick glance by looking at the preview screen with its “before” and “after” shots. You can also zoom, crop, and resize pictures easily.
The Full Edit mode includes High Dynamic Range editing to enhance the color and detail in a set of images with different exposures, plus the ability to remove parts of images that alter between shots.
Advanced features include a cloning tool and mask layers to remove unwanted people or objects from photos, and to get rid of blemishes. The SmartCurves tool helps to bring out the detail in darker areas of your pictures while the Reduce Noise feature improves low-light shots, problems with high ISO settings, and grainy cell phone shots.
Corel PhotoImpact includes a number of different features – whether you will appreciate the addition of these elements depends largely on what you want to do with your images and videos.
For example, a number of creative filters allow you to easily adjust the look of your images. And included within the package is the Corel Painter Essentials program for enhancing your photos with paint effects. You can also merge photos into panoramas. Some quite specific tools include the Cloud Pen to draw realistic-looking clouds.
Create collages, comic strips, calendars, and cards with customizable photo templates. Add customized DVD menus to your movies and create slideshows with photos for DVD players. PhotoImpact includes a batch editing function so you can work with large numbers of files at the same time.
The newest edition of PhotoImpact has the Corel MediaOne Plus organizer instead of the old Photo Explore. We think this generally works better than the Photo Explorer, which didn’t give you many search or organizational options. Plus, you get online backup from the Corel partner firm Sharpcast.
You don’t get many sharing options with this program as there is no quick way to post your photos to social media or photo sharing sites. You can share photos as slide shows or attach images to an email but there is no other choice besides that.
Ease of use
The screen gives you a choice of two different interfaces - ExpressFix and Full Edit. Choosing either of these brings up a set of tabs that provide you with the tools you need to edit your photos with varying degrees of skill needed - from one-click in the ExpressFix mode to more precise editing in the Full mode. The interface is easy to use if you are familiar with Windows image editing.
If you get stuck you can click on the link within the program that takes you to a SmartGuide with step-by-step instructions for creating a variety of projects, and links you directly to the tools you need to complete them.
Help & support
The support tab on the website takes you to a page for PaintShop Pro and there doesn’t seem to be a separate section for Corel PhotoImpact but much of the advice in the Knowledgebase applies to both products, and you can email Technical Support for a response within 24 hours, or pay for priority technical support.
Corel PhotoImpact is not the most comprehensive product in terms of advanced photo editing tools but it gets the job done on basic editing tasks and gives you a range of fun features for creating photo projects. It is easy to use and offers decent results.
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