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Old May 19, 2007, 7:20 AM   #11
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Well you can try "Paint.NET". It is a "free version",but to run it you need to download Framework from Microsoft.com.What I have heard it is supported by Microsoft.Instead of buying Photoshop element,I will go for Photoshop 7 if pocket permit CS2 or 3(nothing beats them, but be prepared for steep learning curve).
This the link for paint.net
http://www.getpaint.net/index2.html
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Old May 22, 2007, 9:08 AM   #12
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I have the big two...CS2 and PSE 5.0. That bieng said, I find myself using Picasa for most editing. Picasa does a lot of what I need to do quickly and intuitively. Now if I need to get really precise (Levels, layers etc) then I use CS2. However for all other stuff including sending to print, web publishing, making CDs etc...I use Picasa and I find it quite adequate. The application also reads RAW and allowa you to work with RAW images.

The best thing I like about Picasa is that when you edit with it, Picasa never touches your original image. All changes are written to a database and tha changes are recalled and applied to the image when you call the image up for viewing/further editing.

If you want to see picasa edits published on the web please go to: http://picasaweb.google.com/feroz.ghouse.

Feroz
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Old May 23, 2007, 6:01 AM   #13
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Why dont you try GIMP?(just my 2cents)
costs nothing & does lots!
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 2:38 AM   #14
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Or, like me, Gimp and Picassa.

Free+Free=Free

I had PSP, but, it kept freezing, despite my attempts to remedy the problem via the suggested fixes at their site, so I sent it back for a refund.

In any regard, Picassa is a snap to use and Gimp offers some more complex features. While not as intuitive for a novice like myself, Gimp has some nice tutorials online.

One of my daughter's teenaged friends was over a couple of days ago (well, actually, she's still here) and she uses one of the Photoshop programs at home. She was able to dive right into Gimp and really was doing some nice, creative things with the layering and such. She said she'll teach me soon.
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 2:02 PM   #15
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I agree with the, "use what you have until you know why you want more" school of thought.

As for RAW conversion: don't worry about it. There are all kinds of shareware/freeware converters in case the one that comes with your camera doesn't do what you want. I think you will find that if you get the exposure and white balance right, there is little or no advantage to shooting RAW. Of course, I don't always get it right so have the camera set to RAW+JPEG for the grab and shoot situations.

IMHO, the learning curve for PhotoShop (or any other full featured editor) is not in figuring out how to use the (e.g.) levels controls, but in figuring out why to use levels.
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