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Photo Editing software suggestions

2774 Views 48 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Richard King
I'll be on vacation next week, and I'll be taking many still images with my Sony digital camera. I Want to get a full featured photo editing program so I can edit them when I get home. Right now I currently use MS Photo Editor,a basic program that comes with Office. Any suggestions? How's Adobe Photo Shop? (ps- Mark, dont say Adobe is evil, that wont help me :) )
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Photo Shop is the standard, but a very expensive standard. I use a program from Jasc Software called Paint Shop Pro and am VERY pleased with the results and have never needed anything that it doesn't do. It can be had for under $100.00. Version 7 is current. You can download an eval copy on their website. http://jasc.com/
Steve, Adobe has a stripped down edition of Photoshop called Photoshop Essentials. It sells for around $99. I've never used Photoshop, but they tell me the omitted features in Essentials are the ones used to prepare a document for press.

Before I used Photoshop Essentials, I was using Microsoft's PictureIt. It's sells for about $40 and is very easy to use. It's also got a bunch of easy photo projects like calendars and business cards and the like.

Sure, go on vacation just as mine is ending. :) Have a great one! Where are you going?
Avoid Photoshop Essentials, PSP, etc. Why? Because there's a better program for free - The GIMP 1.2 available at www.gimp.org . If you are running Windows the port is www.gimp.org/win32 to get the files, and the automatic installer is http://www2.arnes.si/~sopjsimo/gimp/ . There's a MacOS X port somewhere, but I don't know exactly where to find it and I figure you don't use MacOSX

As for Photoshop - Photoshop 7 is a great, but severely overpriced program.
Microsoft Office Photo Editor.
Regarding GIMP, this is from the Windows download page:

The program(s) might crash unexpectedly or behave otherwise strangely. (But of course, so do many commercial programs on Windows.) The stability seems to depend a lot on the machine, display drivers, other software installed, and whatnot. Presumably the more memory you have, the better GIMP works. (For any real image work, I would say 128 megabytes is minimum.) Many people do find GIMP very useful. But it is not a Photoshop killer (for real Photoshop users, that is), Photoshop has lots of features that the GIMP lacks.
'nuff said?

BTW, I use PictureIt! - not bad, fairly cheap, and oh-so easy to use. Photoshop is nice, but overly complicated, IMO, for just basic photo editing.
Steve, Photoshop Elements. GIMP puts way too many windows on your desktop. Its much nicer than anything else. You can purchase Photoshop Elements at Fry's for about $50... Can't beat that....

Elements removes much of the complication from the full version of Photoshop, but teaches you how to use the full version when you are ready. Don't let anyone kid you. Photoshop IS the standard and will be for years to come. Why not get your foot in the door. GIMP has too many issues on windows (GUI problems) for me.
James_F. You're best complaint about GIMP is that it has a better organized interface? I've heard better ones - like "not looking like Windows" and one of my favorites - "not having the little logo that says Micros**t" approves of it. Seriously, GIMP, including the Windows port is far better than anything except Photoshop. If you have GUI problems, try using the port of GTK+ 2.0. The ONLY GUI problem I have (still using 1.3) is that I have HydraVision (part of the ATI Catalyst driver package) set to make windows semi-transparent when dragging, and the actual image part of the GIMP window turns to a black box. A very minor thing. If you don't have the money for real Photoshop, get The GIMP. Heck, get the GIMP anyways - it has by far the most efficient compression of anything and is the best program for making small, clean web graphics. But I do use Photoshop a LOT also. But Photoshop Elements is just a waste of money - everything it has and more can be got for free. Same with Paint Shop Pro. BTW, the Windows port of GIMP is DARN STABLE. Never had a problem with the application crashing (I have had the occasional plugin fail, but not nearly as much in the newer ports). BTW, GIMP is not hard to use. If my 12 year old cousin has been using it for 2 years to make graphics for his webpage (and to mess up pictures of people. I never should have taught him how to use the iWarp plugin...) anybody can use it.
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But you can get Photoshop Elements for almost free. Why play around with GIMP when you can learn the best image editing software out there? I could see you saying that you don't get your money with Photoshop since most people don't know what the filters do, but Elements is a great introduction to a powerful image editing program. Learing GIMP does nothing for your resume. The only thing it has going for it is that its free. But you can get Elements for less than $50 at most places on the internet. Why not? I'm sure Steve would rather start messing with photos rather than learn a crappy LINUX interface...

Heck he can even get the education version (I think right?)....
"crappy LINUX interface"

Okay. You crossed a line with that statement. Take it back. And learn that's the normal X-Windows interface, not unique to Linux. The true Linux interface is a text prompt...
OK, I work with HP-UX and CDE all day. Believe me, I know how crappy it is.
Anyway, Windows puts all those tabs on the taskbar for the individual windows. Adobe and Macromedia don't....
James. That can make it EASIER to use. Personally one of my big dislikes towards Photoshop is the crappy interface...
But it is industry standard. Even you can't ignore that. Tell me that if you wouldn't want to learn how to use Photoshop to edit images... Do it with a strait face! Everyone who know anything about photo editing has the program.
Okay. I wouldn't see any difference. It takes less than 15 mins to go from knowing one to the other. And Photoshop Elements doesn't have all the good features of the real thing. If he's willing to buy the real thing - by all means get it. But elements is a waste of money. Plus, you should have the GIMP around anyways to compress web graphics because if you know how to use it it lets you tweak JPEG and PNG compression better than anything else, and it makes the smallest GIFs... Of course you should have Photoshop, I have Photoshop 7 and I use it a lot. But I also use the GIMP a lot, know both well, and can tell you for editing some snapshots without spending a fortune, the GIMP is the best program around. I spend a lot of my income on computer software (plus I get some packages as gifts from rich people I know), as software is just as important as hardware. I'm not dissing on Photoshop at all, but I feel I can fairly say Elements is a total waste.
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Well we are getting no where. Elements does 90% of what Photoshop does. No CMYK or Pantone seperation, but who uses that? What does GIMP do that Elements can't do? (For the average user) We are talking photo manipulation here, not production of web graphics or director movies. You don't want too much compression of digital images or you will lose quality (I know you know that so lets not argue that point).
hopefully, ego will not get in the way of good advice and information at these forums:

Photo Retouching forum:
Photo PC Tools Forum:
Photo Mac Tools Forum:

An interesting Paint Shop Pro site:
I am sure there are similar sites for most good programs.
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Sane advice, now that is going to get us nowhere... :lol:
now that is going to get us nowhere
and not nearly as fun. :lol:
Not too much James. You want NONE. I mean, you have to use JPEG in the camera but you should convert to PNG or TIFF when you get home and do all editing like that. Then convert back to the HIGHEST QUAILTY, SMALLEST SUBSAMPLE JPEG possible before you burn to a CD to take down to the local photo lab to get prints (or if you're uploading to somewhere like Ofoto or Shutterfly you might have to compress a little more. Here in Kalispell one of the local labs does a better job, uses Agfa Prestige paper (my favorite paper) and only charges 10 cents more a print (for a total of 59 cents). And there's no upload hassle - you just take in a CD with the images.
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