After using Paint Shop Pro for years in Windows, I now use Gimp (in Linux) for photo editing and like it much better for most things. The biggest drawback of Gimp is that text manipulation/addition to images is very counter-intuitive in Gimp. On the upside: Gimp is FREE. (Works in Windows too.)
kirbydog said: Thanks! I have an ancient version (version 7, I think!) and will look forward to better features in X5. Great price! Be careful what you wish for. After spending my own money to upgrade to this, I uninstalled it, put the box back on the shelf, and reinstalled PSP8. This version is a lot slower and more complicated than what you're used to. It was a waste of money for me.
ahallfatwallett said: After using Paint Shop Pro for years in Windows, I now use Gimp (in Linux) for photo editing and like it much better for most things. The biggest drawback of Gimp is that text manipulation/addition to images is very counter-intuitive in Gimp. On the upside: Gimp is FREE. (Works in Windows too.)
For basic manipulation, I'm also a big fan of Paint.net.
kirbydog said: Thanks! I have an ancient version (version 7, I think!) and will look forward to better features in X5. Great price! I still use PSP7 for quick editing, cropping, re-sizing. That thing opens quick as fox.
For $15 I got a copy of this on the way to tinker with. I imagine is every bit as slow and bloated as the last version I tried, X2.
I've never really used photo editing software. I got a DSLR camera a few weeks ago and I'm learning to use that. Is this software something I should get to edit my photos, or is this out of my league? I am computer literate for whatever that's worth.
1) There are many paint programs out there. The most basic, Microsoft Paint, comes with Windows and does very little. Just a touchup or crop and that's it. Moving up from there, free programs like Paint.net and GIMP, are available for users. GIMP is the definitive free program to compare against - it's been out a decade+ and has 90%+ of the features of Photoshop. Moving up from free, handfuls of not-as-powerful-as-Photoshop programs exist like Paint Shop Pro. You'll often find that these programs have so many features you'll never use, older versions suffice. eg. here, PSP5 suffices for most basic touchups. PSP, Adobe Photoshop Elements, etc. So MANY options out there, best is to peruse: http://alternativeto.net/software/adobe-photoshop/
Then, there's the MONSTER - Photoshop. Pretty much the end all to paint programs. If you can afford the Adobe CC cloud subscription (http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/buying-guide.html $20/month for just Photoshop), you can stop here and simply ignore the rest.
Now, alternatives to paint progams are image touch-up programs like Adobe Lightroom. Not a picture editor per se, but a basic 'photo development lab' - adjust contrast, burn in, etc. mostly. Depends on what you do with photos. If it's layering many images together for modern surrealistic images, Photoshop and the like. If it's adjusting color/contrast/etc. before printing or display, Lightroom (Photoshop can do everything Lightroom can).
2) Ease of use? Programs like PSP and Photoshop Elements have a more hands-on, guided step-by-step interface that allows some level of 'help' as you use the program. Photoshop is pretty much hands-off, and you'll need to read the excellent manual or get an excellent book such as Photoshop for Photographers which pretty much explains everything to you like a pro photo class: http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Photoshop-CS6-Photographers-professional/dp/024052604X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381858668&sr=8-1&keywords=photoshop+for+photographers And naturally, lots of tube instructional videos for photoshop.
Else, download their free trials and play.
3) Think about whether you want a job editing photos. If so, PHotoshop or Photoshop Elements and ignore everything else. I personally saw my prior game company hire a girl for $20/hour just to paint in hundreds of candles into a background matte years ago! You'll starve using anything else because no pro uses anything else for the most part.
4) If you can't afford anything but want to head in the Photoshop direction, GIMP today. Photoshop later. Easy transition.
Used to use PSP5/6/7, stopped upgrading on PSP9 which adds a few features, gets rid of some bugs, and doesn't change and clutter up the interface much. Even so, I still use v7 more than v9. Don't get me started on MS Office...
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