View Full Version : What software for Digital Images?

Cannibal Corpse
10-04-2004, 01:39 AM
I am a newbie, my A95 is on its way (can't wait!) and need to know what is the best software for newbie imgae manipulation (red-eye, etc.). Is PhotoShop Elements recommended?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

10-04-2004, 03:15 AM
I am a newbie, my A95 is on its way (can't wait!) and need to know what is the best software for newbie imgae manipulation (red-eye, etc.). Is PhotoShop Elements recommended?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
There are lots of packages that will help you with what you want to do, from Photoshop CS (Creative Suite!) at the high (expensive) end, to some free programs which can be just as effective.

You have to decide if you're only going to use it for digital photo manipulation or if you want to do other things with it as well, like creating original computer art work or maybe some web design and so on. If it really is only for photos then Paint Shop Pro version 9 has just been released in two versions. Have a look here (http://www.jasc.com) and you'll see what I mean. You'll also see the full-blown version of PSP and what it's features are and if they interest you or not.

Photoshop Elements has just been released as Version 3 so if you decide you want that one, don't go for earlier versions. There are a lot of improvements in the new one.

There are some free ones like Irfanview (http://www.irfanview.com) which is highly regarded by a lot of people or The Gimp (http://www.gimp.org) which again has its followers who can be quite passionate about it. It's got a bit of a quirky installation program - you used to have to download that bit separately if I remember correctly - but it also does the job you want and it is free.

One thing you will find though and that is that the higher-end packages like Elements and PSP do have quite a steep learning curve with lots and lots of very useful stuff tucked away in different menus. But there are literally thousands of tutorials on the web, mostly free and mostly very well written to help you learn how to use the packages to get the best out of them. That's particularly true with Paint Shop Pro.

Photoshop CS is the choice of the professionals but it is expensive and it does give you a really strong learning curve to get the best out of it. But it is arguably the one all the others follow.

10-04-2004, 03:34 AM
There is always http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/index.asp

10-04-2004, 04:13 PM
first of all.....
excellent cannibal nickname!!!!!
now about your question i work as a designer so i am always using photo editors (a way to describe this programs)....
my recomendation is adobe photoshop cs... this is the best program u can get! it has so many features and u can play with your pictures to create art as u like!
so dont bother looking for less quality programs go for the best... as u do with your music!!!!

10-05-2004, 03:01 AM
Not everyone had 500 quid available for a program though do they :)

10-05-2004, 09:56 AM
Not everyone had 500 quid available for a program though do they :)
My point exactly. If you can afford it and the time to learn to get the best from it then that's the way to go.

For those on a budget of something less than the 500 (there are Student licenses available to those who qualify), there are examples of what is available already highlighted in the thread.

(500 = approx US$900 at the moment)

10-05-2004, 09:24 PM
I will echo just a bit what's been said about the learning curve. I use Photoshop 7 all the time, and have used Photoshop years, since back to version 3. There is certainly a learning curve, if you want to utilize all features. Years later, I still discover a new thing or two in Photoshop. However, I primarily use only about four to six Photoshop features consistently: Color/Hue Adjustments, Brightness/Contrast Adjustments, and noise filter. Photoshop really does a better job than any free software I've dabbled with. I am assuming you could really get away with using just Photoshop Elements for these main functions. (As an educator, I get a suite of Adobe programs for just less than the regular price of Photoshop. So, that's why I have stuck with such a big--and otherwise expensive--program.)

Then there is the photo software that might have simply come with your computer: iPhoto or its various PC equivalents. These are programs that are primarily designed to organize any photos you import into your computer, create photo albums or folders and such. However, most of those will allow you to adjust contrast, brightness, and red-eye in an easy fashion. Just not at "precise" and "fine" as Photoshop.

If buying the A95, Canon gives you a similar photo-import program (for organizing and minor adjustments) as part of your purchase. Again, it allows one-click, easy minor adjustments to your digital pics. Nothing fancy.

So, what type of manipulation might you want to pursue?
Try Canon's software. Play with it.
Photoshop and the "Elements" version can be downloaded for a "trial" I believe from adobe.com. So, take a look at them.

I have been told by some that Adobe Photoshop Album (or is it Photo Album?) is nicer than most import/organize software. I hear there are more fine-tuning options in it. Again, you could probably try it for free.

If this is your first digital camera, and you have never adjusted shots on a computer before, then I doubt you'd find Photoshop all the necessary or desirable at this point?

Have fun!

10-06-2004, 09:13 AM
Paint Shop Pro 9 is very good and very reasonable next to the Adobe alternative.

Homer's Brain
10-07-2004, 10:56 AM
All I can say is...

www.picasa.com (http://www.picasa.com)

it's free, does red eye reduction, builds online web photo galleries, does rotations, handles movies, has general picture adjustments like sharpen, blur, etc, and did I say it's free? I use it all the time for quick and drity stuff, and it is the ONLY program I use to manage my albums (folder of pictures). Picasa has by far the best way of cataloging and organizing your photos of any program I have ever seen.

EDIT: Oh, ang Google subsidizes it (for now) so it's free with no strings attached. Get it now before they start to charge for it!