Corel AfterShot Pro 3

I have been trying to find a viable RAW converter substitute for Lightroom for quite a long time. What irritates me in LR is that it seems they are ignoring the standalone version and all people should take the whole web-based CC package. I would prefer the standalone version which I have had for many, many years. I do not need Photoshop at all, LR is fine for me. But it seems that standalone LR is not even having to whole feature set the CC has.

I have tested many RAW converters during my digital photography years. I am not going to mention them here but just say that there are some good (and expensive) ones and some quite bad ones. Seems to be quite tricky job to find a good one with a reasonable price. And I want to have a program which has also digital asset management in addition to a RAW converter. I want to have one program to do all.

LR has many things done right. That is why it is not easy to find a replacement.

Corel announced recently a new version of their AfterShot RAW converter – AfterShot Pro 3. I have tested it for few days. It seems to be quite nice RAW converter which has digital asset management properties. They claim that it should be fast converter. And it really is. Huge difference when compared to LR. Import and export both are much faster, maybe also some of the adjustments too. Results are good if you have quite nicely exposed RAW file to start with. Corel says that AfterShot Pro 3 has a new improved highlight recovery system. It is quite effective but it adds a nasty magenta tone to the white areas if you have to make heavy corrections with it. I was quite disappointed actually. If you have to open up the shadow areas you have to use the fill light slider which unfortunately adds some haze-like fill light. It really can’t beat LR’s shadow adjustment.

AfterShot Pro 3 seems to have reasonably effective noise reduction with moderate ISO but when you apply it more with higher ISO (say in ISO 3200-6400 range and above) the noise reduction introduces a mushy appearance in noisy out of focus areas. Not good as I need to shoot with high ISO during winter time when shooting indoors.

Above things are big things against AfterShot Pro 3 as compared to LR. But there is one more which really annoys me even more. The lack of proper Before/After button or hotkey. They have introduced History module (you can go backwards in adjustments nicely with it) but no Before/After! Should not be that tricky to implement.

Summa summarum, it seems that I will stay in LR camp. Sigh.

More spring

A JPEG shot adjusted with Corel AfterShot Pro 3.

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I read about it but the thought of moving my thousands of RAWs from Lightroom at this point is daunting. And, like you, I’m not going to go along with Adobe and subscribe to LR CC, I don’t like that model at all. I like to buy and own software and have it updated for free or for a reasonable cost.

    If Apple had their act together they could have made a product in between iPhoto, Photos, and Aperture and taken a lot of business away from Adobe but alas, Apple does not have their software act together.

    Keep posting things like this Jonne, it’s useful for me to hear your opinions and experience since mine is much the same.

  2. Thanks, Richard! Another option I have been testing lately is Capture One Pro 9. It renders nicely but it is expensive (279 euros) and I do not know if I can get along with its UI.

    Btw, they contacted me from Corel through Twitter (after reading this post) and they are working on the pink tint bug in highlight recovery adjustment.

  3. The power of blogging, social media, and an articulate review! Well done my friend, well done. I am so happy you’re still actively involved in photography, I seem to appreciate from a distance these days.

  4. Wow! So nice to hear from you Jeremiah! How are you doing? I hope everything is well. Just visited your nice blog. I did not understand that much but actually we could even have some cooperation in work front when speaking of systems biology in which I have interest in. I hope we could contact on that matter.

    I also hope you still would activate yourself in photography because I really would love to see your shots.

    All the best to you and yours from me and my family!

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