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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    1

    A good alternative...

    I'm looking for a good alternative to Photoshop. I'm a beginner and I'm looking for something to play aroundwith and get the feel for an editing program, but I can't exctly afford PS just yet. Any suggestions for a good less expensive programs to use to get started with?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    686
    I use Gimp ( http://www.gimp.org/ ) which has most of the same features as Photoshop but is probably not as user friendly.

    There is a Windows version if you use Windows and an addon to handle RAW files.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    2,345
    The current version of Photoshop Elements is probably a good bet as well. Over the last few versions Adobe has added a few of the features from the higher end Photoshop product such as layers. It is not as feature rich, but many of the features that are missing are more graphics oriented and not likely to be missed in photographic editing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
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    3,877
    Lightroom is another good option. At roughly $150 it's much better value than Photoshop CS5, not as feature rich but therefore much simpler to get into. Does all the common things easily, would be my suggestion.

    Unless you're really tight for cash I wouldn't suggest the Gimp.

    Other options are the Corel products, similar functionality as Photoshop CS5 but much lower price as they're the follower not the market leader. Annoying to learn one system and then migrate in future though.
    D800, D300, D90, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200VR f2.8, 300 F4, 105 micro, 16-85VR, 50mm 1.8, Tammy 90 macro, 70-300VR, SB900, 2xSB600, MB-D10, 055XPROB 322RC2. New computers to run photoshop faster. C&C always appreciated. PhotoGallery
    Pressing the shutter is the start of the process - Joe McNally ... Buying the body is the start of the process - Dread Pirate

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
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    3,877
    Oh Elements is often bundled with other products, for example I got a copy with a scanner years ago (but never unwrapped it!)
    D800, D300, D90, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200VR f2.8, 300 F4, 105 micro, 16-85VR, 50mm 1.8, Tammy 90 macro, 70-300VR, SB900, 2xSB600, MB-D10, 055XPROB 322RC2. New computers to run photoshop faster. C&C always appreciated. PhotoGallery
    Pressing the shutter is the start of the process - Joe McNally ... Buying the body is the start of the process - Dread Pirate

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    686
    If you go the lightroom route it is a bit cheaper at the moment as a new version is out soon. I have a lightroom 4 beta installed and you can download a demo of Lightroom 3.
    Lightroom does not work with masks or layers and the clone tool is very limited.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,345
    Lightroom has been a bargain if you catch one of the one day sales that have been showing up. B&H had it for $99 about a week ago. I paid $150 in December.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    So Calif
    Posts
    3,226
    Elements does probably all you will need for a long time, for $75. It has layers, and Version 9 and 10 have layer masks (so you can erase parts of it and not affect all of the image). Also supports organizing with image tags which I though I would never use, but now do. Also has a fair amount of 3rd-party books, and online tutorials.
    www.faststone.org is free. I use it only for viewing on a netbook while traveling. It does have some good processing features, none of which have I tried
    Pentax K20D/K5/15/21/40/70/10-17/12-24, Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5/150-500, Tamron 90 Macro/70-200 2.8, Canon SX20 IS/Elph 500HS
    (formerly Pentax 50 1.4/50-200/55-300/K100D, Sigma 18-50 2.8/70-300 APO, Tamron 28-75, Viv 800, Tele-Tokina 800, Canon S3 IS, Samsung L210)
    http://s133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/

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