Any Good (Possibly Free) Alternatives To Photoshop Elements ? Thoughts On Gimp ?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Robert11, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. Robert11

    Robert11 Guest


    New at this.

    Might anyopne please recommed any (hopefully free or inexpensive)
    to Photoshop Elements ?

    Heard about Gimp.
    Is this a "good" photo-editing program ?
    Opinions on ?

    Much thanks,
    Robert11, Mar 6, 2005
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  2. Robert11

    Pete Fenelon Guest

    Gimp is very powerful (probably more powerful than Elements, in
    fact). It's extremely complex to use, in my opinion, and the learning
    curve is near-vertical. It feels more like a loose collection of tools
    and libraries held together by a scripting language than a coherent

    You can get astonishing results from it, but it is a frustrating and
    fiddly program to use. If you value your time at all highly, I'd
    recommend the (modest) cost of Elements. There's also a lot of good
    Elements books out there to help you achieve what you want....

    Pete Fenelon, Mar 6, 2005
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  3. I agree with the gimp comments. I'm using it (well, wrestling with
    it) on my linux box here.

    Over on my First Wife's winders box, she uses Picture Window. I have,
    on occasion, used it on her machine (after which I wash my hands
    thoroughhly). and it seems Very Intuitive.

    It is, IINM, less expensive that P$-E.

    Allodoxaphobia, Mar 6, 2005
  4. Robert11

    RSD99 Guest

    IMHO: "The GIMP' as essentially a 'rolling Beta.' If you are comfortable
    working with that type of program, and have a lot of time and energy to
    traverse the steep learning curve, it is actually capable of doing some
    very good work.

    I have to agree totally with Pete Fenelon's comment that "... It's
    extremely complex to use, in my opinion, and the learning curve is
    near-vertical. It feels more like a loose collection of tools and libraries
    held together by a scripting language than a coherent application. ..."
    Additionally, there is NO capability to work with 16-bit files, and many
    other things that users of the full version of PhotoShop or Picture Window
    Pro have available. Another limitation is that 'The GIMP' cannot use
    PhotoShop plugins.

    Additionally, most of the comments / postings I've seen in

    have been MUCH more orientated toward 'programmers' rather than graphics
    users. A typical posting would be something like "... how do I compile the
    program for Mandrake (a flavor of Linux) version 47.3.9.a Release 2.3 ...
    I'm having the following problem(s). Followed by 15 kB of error log
    printouts. Or "I just re-wrote the 'Unsharp Mask' plugin ...

    Don't ask a question over there unless you are prepared to re-write parts
    of the program and re-compile it yourself. I've also gotten the feeling
    that the committed users of "The GIMP" are using it more because

    (1) It's NOT PhotoShop, and they're rebelling against the 'evil
    empire' (Adobe), or

    (2) They are actually (closet) programmers, and are simply astounded
    that the program actually works as well as it does, or

    (3) They are Linux users, and have no other option(s), or

    (4) They are just so proud of what the "Open Source" "community" has
    produced. (I am definitely *not* heaping ridicule here, they've done a fine
    job, considering that there is no 'central project management.')

    Regarding Allodoxaphobia's comment about Picture Window:
    Picture Window, especially the 'Pro' version, is an outstanding program. It
    was designed by a photographer for editing photographic images, and does
    several things quite differently than PhotoShop. For some tasks (such as
    color correction and 16-bit files, to name just two of many) it is
    definitely superior to PhotoShop, or PhotoShop Elements. Now ... if it just
    had 'Layers' and could use PhotoShop plugins ...


    Norman Koran has several high quality tutorials for Picture Window ... see

    I have all three resident on this computer, and find that I routinely use
    PhotoShop and Picture Window Pro. The GIMP gets started occasionally, but I
    haven't really done any major work in it. Still, 'The GIMP' must be put
    into the category of "shows a lot of potential" ...
    RSD99, Mar 6, 2005
  5. Robert11

    Ron Hunter Guest

    I have looked at GIMP. It has the capabilities, but the interface
    really turned me off. If you have financial constraints that prohibit
    buying PSE3 (you can get it for under $50), then it might be worth
    learning GIMP. Just be prepared for a steep learning curve, and lots of
    Ron Hunter, Mar 6, 2005
  6. Robert11

    Ron Hunter Guest

    And helpful people (albeit mostly Mac users) in the Adobe Forums at
    Ron Hunter, Mar 6, 2005
  7. Robert11

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    GIMP is good software. The main problem is that it takes a lot of
    getting used to. The other problems are minimal color management support
    and only 8-bits-per-channel graphic space.

    But if you just want to replace Elements, it's spiff. The quick mask has
    saved my bacon a few times.

    There's also ImageMagick, which works from the command line. Very
    powerful and worth checking out if you're comfortable with typing for
    graphics. :)
    Paul Mitchum, Mar 6, 2005
  8. For a beginner, I think that Paint Shop Pro is a better alternative.
    Built-in it has:

    - red-eye reduction
    - perspective correction
    - pincushion/barrel correction
    - digital camera noise reduction
    - chromatic aberration reduction

    Get a trial version from:

    It's not an expensive program, but not free.

    David J Taylor, Mar 6, 2005
  9. Robert11

    John Guest

    John, Mar 6, 2005
  10. Robert11

    RSD99 Guest

    RSD99, Mar 6, 2005
  11. Robert11

    Malevil Guest

    The best program out there is Picasa2 ... it's phenomenal - and free. Even
    Photoshop users are moving towards it for their everyday digital photography
    needs. Elements is still needed for manual retouching and advanced special
    effects, tho.


    Malevil, Mar 6, 2005
  12. Robert11

    clutch Guest

    It is excellent and other than time, it isn't going to cost you
    anything to test it out.

    You will need to download (optional)

    Install programs in order I listed. See and look for
    link for a precompiled windows binary.

    It could turn out that picasa2 (also free) will do most of what you
    want but I've never considered having too many tools a burden.

    clutch, Mar 7, 2005
  13. Robert11

    rafe bustin Guest

    I've heard a few raves about Picture Window Pro,
    and there's a free 30 day trial:

    It costs $90 to buy, so that puts it roughly
    in the same league (pricewise) as Paint Shop Pro
    and Adobe Elements.

    rafe b.
    rafe bustin, Mar 7, 2005
  14. Robert11

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Picasa 2 is a photo organizer with very limited editing ability.
    For lite editing, try Freestone Viewer.
    Ron Hunter, Mar 7, 2005
  15. Robert11

    bob Guest

    The thing that threw me with GIMP is that most things that you would
    find in menus on most programs are accomplished through right-clicking
    on the photo.

    Once you get past that it's not too bad. It has a couple features that
    are implemented better than Photoshop 6, which is my main editor.

    bob, Mar 7, 2005
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