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Old Oct 21, 2008, 7:16 PM   #1
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Hi... I would like to find out which software is the best software for editing. Ihave a Windows Vista and a MAC laptop....so could use either.

Apple has great storage software on it, but I think Id prefer something on my windows desktop.

I am no computer wizard but can do quite a bit with a little support. What is best to get that I will not grow out of but can manage now..?

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Old Oct 22, 2008, 12:24 AM   #2
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I'm partial to Adobe products, but that's probably just because Photoshop was what I started out with as an editor.

Rather than Photoshop, though, I'm going to suggest Photoshop Elements. It has most of the functionality for photography purposes as Photoshop does and at one- sixth the price. There are many, many user groups devoted to Adobe products, many free online tutorials and many books to tell you how to do just about anything that you want.

And if you ever get bored with Elements, there's always Lightroom and the full Photoshop.

I've heard good things about Paintshop Pro, also. There are quite a few resources devoted to this family, though not as many as with the Adobe group. PSP is also less expensive than Elements.

Serif makes very good software at bargain prices. You might want to check out the latest version of PhotoPlus. This offers very high functionality. There are user groups for Serif stuff, but the available resource material is far less than that for Elements or even PSP.

There are a lot of other editors out there as well, but there must be some reason besides marketing budgets to explain the popularity of the Photoshop family and Paintshop Pro.

But, what is the best? Only you can answer that for yourself. Different programs have different ways of doing similar things. The way one program is layed out and the steps that you have to take to do a certain job might be far more intuitive to you than the way another program does things.

If you have the patience, I suggest downloading trial copies of Elements and PSP -- and even a few others that might be recommended to you -- and giving them a try. That's the only way to really know which editor seems to work the best for you.

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Old Oct 22, 2008, 8:18 AM   #3
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I agree with Grant and would add that when you download the trial software do so when you have some time to spend with them before the trial period ends. It does take some time and effort to figure out how to use a well featured editor. Not long to figure out how to use (e.g.) levels or curves, but a while to figure out why you want to use them.
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Old Nov 5, 2008, 10:48 PM   #4
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I too like Photoshop Elements - and of the various issues of it I much prefer Photoshot Elements version 2. I bought my original - i.e.authentic - disk of it on EBay for, I think around $25.

Another very powerful and versatile program - though not so powerful as Photoshop Elements - is Irfanview. You can download it from the Internet & it's free. The guy who designed the program merely suggests that if you like it, you can send him whatever contribution you like & I think that enough people are happy with the program that he must have a considereable income from it!

Also worthwhile trying iswhichever version of Faststone Image Viewer appeals to you - it's free too I think.
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Old Nov 6, 2008, 12:44 PM   #5
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Elements has some of advantages:
If you have a camera that shoots raw and don't have another converter you prefer, Elements is hard to beat for raw.
If you might ever consider upgrading to the full Photoshop your learning curve will be easier as most things work the same.
There is a Mac version.

Elements has some disadvantages though. It is stunted to some degree so that there is still a market for Photoshop. There are things missing from Elements that would be a deal buster for me. If I couldn't justify buying Photoshop I would use Paint Shop Pro.

I couldn't imagine having to work without the ability to record actions. You can record a series of adjustments, filters, crops etc and apply those in bulk to any number of images. Or to an individual image in the case of a complex series of steps you want to repeat. You can have it stop at a certain step for input and then continue. Paint Shop Pro has an Actions (Scripts) palette that is in some ways more sophisticated than Photoshop.

PSP lets you import vector images and work with them, or integrate them with raster images. It doesn't rival Illustrator by any means, but you don't need a separate program for simple vector work.

I got a CD-only version of PSP X a couple of years ago from Ebay, mostly for the vector integration since it was so inexpensive. I still go to Photoshop for most PP, but I've been impressed with PSP. Compare the menu to Elements and you will see what I mean. I can't show most of it, but it is more complete than Elements. The current version is X2, and it is available pretty cheap on Ebay. The CD-only versions are the complete program minus the box. http://www.shutterbug.com/equipmentr...ers/0308corel/

Irfanview is my default viewer and is handy for simple stuff. But it isn't an image editor and can't replace one unless you do only very limited post processing.

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Old Nov 6, 2008, 1:04 PM   #6
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your thread title says "... for newbie", so I'll answer to this question. I'd go for some simple, free software with basic tools and get the hang of it. PhotoFiltre or ImageAnalyzer come to mind here, also Picasa, which could function as a library for your shots, too.

If you go for RAW, the new RawTherapee 2.4beta is great, a real powerhouse where you still can start small.

With some more experience under your belt you can then decide what you are really after in paid software (special functions, layers, automatic/batch processing, whatever).

My 2 cents
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 3:51 PM   #7
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inthemoment wrote:
Hi... I would like to find out which software is the best software for editing. I have a Windows Vista and a MAC laptop....so could use either.
You could always install Linux on both machines in a dual boot configuration. ;-)

My favorite image management solution is digiKam, and it's got lots of features built in for a variety of editing tasks. You can read more about it's features here:


If you want to continue running the already installed operating systems instead, it looks like work is in progress on ports to both Mac and Windows platforms. You'll see a link to a Mac port on the download page:


The Windows port appears to be very early in development and I don't see a link to it yet. But, it looks like it's going to come pretty soon. See this page for more info about it:


I use digiKam under Linux for photo management and many editing tasks (cropping, sharpening, etc.). My favorite Linux distribution is SimplyMEPIS (free). It's got digiKam preinstalled. BTW, the distro developer uses a Mac.


Here's a section in the user manual on how to install it on a Mac:


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Old Nov 7, 2008, 8:24 PM   #8
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I use iPhoto on my mac.

It's pretty basic and easy to use.

You can process RAW format images with iPhoto as well.

And if your ready to make a slideshow, the "Ken Burns Effect" (slow panning across each photo) is great.

So, just use the software you've already got installed on your MAC!
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Old Apr 29, 2009, 2:29 PM   #9
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Hi, just thought I would let you know I bought Microsoft Picture It 10 about four years ago for £19.99 out of WH Smiths and have been using ever since, and I and my wife are even designing our own greeting card designs with this software, as long as you have templates to work with you can achieve anything. if you want to know how to make your own templates I will let you know later.
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Old Jun 4, 2009, 12:52 AM   #10
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I tried Gimp and the trial versions of ACDSee Pro Photo Manager 2.5, Photoshop Elements 7 and Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 and after a month I found Corel PSP Pro Photo X2 the easiest and best to use.

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