After being around for more than 25 years, it probably shouldn't be a surprise that Corel Paint Shop Pro X8 is absolutely packed with image editing power.

There are tools to fix brightness, contrast, or colour problems, adjust sharpness, remove noise, fix red-eye, even tweak portrait shots to make your friends look thinner, smooth out their wrinkles or give them an attractive tan.

Automatic tools can apply many fixes with a click. Scripting and batch processing options help you work on hundreds of pictures in a single option, or of course you can take full manual control of every step.

A stack of special effects open up all kinds of creative opportunities, and there's support for Photoshop plugins if you need more.

The program is a highly capable paint and drawing tool, with a host of illustration options, and support for importing Photoshop brushes.

You also get powerful photo restoration features, a RAW camera lab, a slideshow builder, social media sharing, and more graphic design tools than you'll see in many desktop publishing programs.

What's new?

    - Desktop publishing-type Project Templates help you create greetings cards, brochures, photo collages and more.
    - A new Interactive Gradient feature makes creating and fine-tuning gradients as easy as dragging and dropping
    - Support for Windows Real Time Stylus brings pressure sensitivity to Microsoft Surface and other devices
    - Extended camera support includes 15 new RAW profiles and the ability to work with Intel RealSense XDM images
    - You can now export your edit history, ideal for showing others exactly how you achieved a particular effect
    - Elsewhere, there's an updated Text Toolbar with downloadable text presets, Silent Script for faster one-click editing actions, and Smart Photo Fix one-click fixes can now be applied as part of a batch process
    - And if you're lost, the Guided Walkthrough takes you on a virtual tour through the new features (and the old ones, too)

Verdict

A solid upgrade brings even more professional features to this versatile image editing suite. Good value for what you get, too.