Skip to navigation

Corel AfterShot Pro review

Verdict

Comes top for photo management, and a close second to Lightroom for raw processing – a streamlined, powerful and keenly priced application

Review Date: 2 Feb 2012

Reviewed By: Ben Pitt

Price when reviewed: £67 (£80 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
5 stars out of 6

Bibble Pro was a photo-management and raw file-processing application that predated Adobe Lightroom but never quite managed to break into the mainstream. That might just change, with a recent buy-out by Corel, a new name and a significant price cut.

AfterShot Pro is ostensibly a new product, but differences to Bibble Pro 5 are minimal. We’re told the cosmetic interface and underlying colour processing engine have been revamped, but its functions are largely unchanged. Bibble users will need to pay £60 to upgrade; this price also applies to PaintShop Pro users and cross-graders from Lightroom or Aperture. It supports Windows, OS X and Linux; we tested on Windows 7 64-bit, but the application is only available as a 32-bit build.

The sub-£100 price is welcome, but hardly surprising, following recent price cuts to Apple Aperture (£55) and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (£95 from Amazon), although it remains to be seen how Adobe will price version 4, currently in beta.

Corel AfterShot Pro

Importing our 39,000-image library was quick at 1hr 50mins, but raw format support is not as comprehensive as we’d like. We can forgive a few newly launched cameras not making it onto the list yet, but some established models, including the Sony Alpha NEX-C3, the Samsung NX Series and Fujifilm’s raw-capable compacts, are missing too. Corel tells us more cameras, both new and old, will be added but didn’t make any specific promises.

The Metadata Browser allows the entire catalogue to be filtered by date, file type and a range of other attributes gleaned from photos’ EXIF metadata. It’s the best metadata filtering system we’ve seen. It took a few seconds the first time we asked for a breakdown of available ISO speeds, for example, but subsequent responses were instantaneous.

The number of matches for each value is shown in brackets, and the software took less than a second to show thumbnails of all the relevant matches. Holding down Ctrl or Shift allows multiple values to be selected, and a Refine button locks the current selection, so other metadata criteria can be added.

Comparing photos for rating and selection is extremely elegant, too. Multiple images can be tiled and their zoom and pan position matched for close comparison. We’d have liked an option to jump to an image’s containing folder in the library, and to be able to span the interface across dual monitors, but otherwise the management facilities leave little to be desired.

1 2
Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

You can now buy ACDSee Pro for the same price which is a far more advanced product with a lot more features than this. Its RAW processing is a lot more powerful.

http://www.acdsee.com/

By billthesaint on 4 Feb 2012

Just about to try ASP

But just had to say that ACDSEE is a very long way behind Lightroom for the quality of it's Raw conversions

By Harrythephot on 4 Feb 2012

Plugins

There are lots of plugins available from the ASP support site with more being added all of the time. http://www.aftershotpro.com/plugins/

Different sharpening and denoise plugins.
Clour management.
Black and white conversion.
Film simulation.
Perspective correction.
Borders, text and shadows.

ASP is truly outstandig.

By simplefruit on 6 Feb 2012

More info please

@Harrythephot
How is ACDSee Pro way behind LIghtroom, I would be genuinely interested to know.

I would say that the difference is there, but it is minimal (in Lightroom's favor), however at this point in time Lightroom is 3 times as expensive. So the RAW processing would have to be significantly better to justify me switching.

Which version of ACDSee are you basing this comparison on, as Pro 4 and 5 made huge improvements on Pro 3?

By billthesaint on 10 Feb 2012

More info please

@Harrythephot
How is ACDSee Pro way behind LIghtroom, I would be genuinely interested to know.

I would say that the difference is there, but it is minimal (in Lightroom's favor), however at this point in time Lightroom is 3 times as expensive. So the RAW processing would have to be significantly better to justify me switching.

Which version of ACDSee are you basing this comparison on, as Pro 4 and 5 made huge improvements on Pro 3?

By billthesaint on 10 Feb 2012

Raw conversion quality for Billthesaint

ASP is pretty good for many files, but there were a few from weddings in poor light where Lightroom was far superior.
Regarding ACDSEE V Lightroom, I always use CaptureNX2 as my benchmark for Nikon files and Lightroom is now 99% there, where the same files in ACDSEE (4+5) displayed less fine detail, less shadow and highlight tonality and the colour rendition was poor, so the overall quality was no-where near that which I could get from Lightroom and the newest Nikon profiles. LR4 has also increased the gap yet again.
That unfortunately is the problem with RAW. The quality depends hugely on the converter AND the profiles available.

By Harrythephot on 10 Mar 2012

Exprt Options and Raw Support

It supports raw files from the fuji x100 - maybe that doesn't count as a compact. Also, I rather like its approach to export, under which you can create customised presets for specific purposes and drag and drop files onto them. I agree that IQ, and particularly highlight recovery, is inferior to Lightroom, but in other respects it is a real competitor.

By kencameron on 28 Jun 2012

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.

(optional)

Latest Category Reviews
Purple WiFi review

Purple WiFi

Category: Software
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £18
Arcserve UDP review

Arcserve UDP

Category: Software
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £448
Datafort VN Care Lite review

Datafort VN Care Lite

Category: Software
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £180
Android L review

Android L

Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £180
Apple iOS 8 review

Apple iOS 8

Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £180

advertisement

Most Commented Reviews
Latest News Stories Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Features
Latest Real World Computing

advertisement

Sponsored Links
 

 
SEARCH
Loading
WEB ID
SIGN UP

Your email:

Your password:

remember me

advertisement


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010
 
 

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from www.pcpro.co.uk

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/registration.

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.