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Old Nov 21, 2003, 5:56 PM   #1
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Default Recommended Photo Editing Software

Can anyone recommend photo editing software $50 or less? This is a Christmas gift for my brother who is new to photo editing so I would like something more basic than photoshop. I am looking for software that would allow for more creativity than the software that came with his Kodak camera.

I have been looking at Picture It! 9.0 from Microsoft, Photo Explosion, Print Shop and Photosuite.

Thanks for any insight!
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 6:00 PM   #2
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If its for a gift, that makes it a little harder.

I usually recommend the free software irfanview as a starter editing package. It offers a reasonable number of features, the price is right and I found it fairly easy to use. My camera came with PhotoShop Elements 2.0, but I still felt more comfortable in irfanview for awhile.

Picture Window is supposed to be quite good and it's around that price (maybe a squeek more.)

All the flavors of PS are more than that (by far, I believe.) PaintShop Pro is supposed to be fairly good, but I've no idea what the price is. I assume high, as it competes with PS.

Eric
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 6:03 PM   #3
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You can purchase Ulead Photoimpact 7 for under $30 on Ebay. Do a search for Ulead Photoimpact. You can become very creative with the program.
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 6:43 PM   #4
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As others have mentioned, for some things (resizing, redeye correction, basic image sharpening, brightness, etc.), the free irfanview works fine.

You may also want to take a look at compupic. It's easy to use, and has pretty good browsing, cropping tools, redeye reduction, etc. for $39.95

Here's the link:

http://www.photodex.com/products/compupic/

BTW, for most popular packages, you can download free trial versions. Try some of them out, to see which one suits your needs best.
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 10:57 PM   #5
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I use CompuPic, and can highly recommend it!
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Old Nov 22, 2003, 12:22 AM   #6
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Irfanview is a nifty Swiss Army knife of photo tools but it is far from being an image editor Ė it is a very good viewer with some photo adjustment capability. Compupick is a storage and organizer program and not an image editor either. You canít even do the simple stuff like make selections, use layers, adjust levels and curves etc. You couldnít for example put yourself in a picture with Bill Gates. On a more practical level you couldnít blur the background in a portrait, replace a dingy sky or remove distracting objects. You donít need the very best photo editing software for starters but you need something with a little capability to learn on.

gibsonpd3620ís suggestion to pick up a previous version of a good editor is an excellent idea IMO. PhotoImpact is an excellent image editor with a reputation for being easy to use for its capabilities.

I had an older version of Picture-It that came with a scanner. I wasnít very impressed but they might have improved it quite a bit since then. I have no experience with Photosuite, but it at least has selections and layers. Print Shop isnít an image editor either. It lets you do simple things but is mainly a print program for making everything from cards to newsletters.

Another to consider is Photoshop Elements. I donít think it is quite as complete as PhotoImpact or Paint Shop Pro, but it is a good image editor and fairly easy to use. Certainly a cut above Photosuite and Picure-It. Amazon has it for $52 with free shipping after rebate. I guess its hard to do a rebate on a present though.
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Old Nov 22, 2003, 7:51 AM   #7
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Though I have no idea about the compatibility of the older editors mentioned here, this is still a very important consideration. Make sure you know which version of Windows it'll be used with and whether or not the editor was designed to work with it. In particular, check carefully if the OS is Windows XP.
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Old Nov 22, 2003, 12:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Recommended Photo Editing Software

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbaker
Can anyone recommend photo editing software $50 or less? This is a Christmas gift for my brother who is new to photo editing so I would like something more basic than photoshop. I am looking for software that would allow for more creativity than the software that came with his Kodak camera.

I have been looking at Picture It! 9.0 from Microsoft, Photo Explosion, Print Shop and Photosuite.

Thanks for any insight!
As some of the others have mentioned, there are a lot of very good choices. You mentioned something basic. As LG and I have both recommended, Compupic is a pretty good basic package.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lg
I use CompuPic, and can highly recommend it!
I've got tons of image editing package on my PC, but I've found myself using Compupic quite a bit lately. It's browsing capability is great (I hate slow, bloated packages, which is one of the reasons I use the free irfanview quite a bit for resizing and redeye correction).

Compupics browsing speed is second to none, and it includes lots of good tools for a beginner. It's cropping is also outstanding (lots of print size choices). It's also a great "all in one" package for uploading prints to online printers (more choices than anyone), when you may want to order larger prints, posters etc.

Redeye correction works great, and it's got a lot of neat special effects tools (text/talk bubbles, etc.), for example, slide show creation with background music. It also has lots of neat stuff for greeting cards, html generation, etc.

Heck, just the slide show capabilities are worth the $39.95, with over 100 transitions, background music and sounds, etc. The Pro version is better though, but you'll have to splurge.

What I can't stand -- one package for browsing photos (because most are too darn slow loading photos), another for redeye, another for the best cropping solution, etc. This one even beats ACDSee and ThumbPlus for browsing speed, and it's got great cataloging features, too.

For a a great beginners package, at $39.95, it's hard to beat. Download the free trials from some of the packages mentioned by others, and see which one a beginner would get more use out of, with the lowest learning curve.

Most ISP's have web space allocated too, and this one will even generate HTML pages with your photos.

Try 'em (most have downloadable trial versions, and see what you think), before deciding.

Here's the link to the features page. It's a lot of "bang for the buck" at only $39.95, and is very easy for a beginner to use.

http://www.photodex.com/products/com.../features.html

BTW, there's a Pro version with even more features.
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Old Nov 22, 2003, 1:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
Irfanview is a nifty Swiss Army knife of photo tools but it is far from being an image editor Ė it is a very good viewer with some photo adjustment capability. Compupick is a storage and organizer program and not an image editor either. You canít even do the simple stuff like make selections, use layers, adjust levels and curves etc. You couldnít for example put yourself in a picture with Bill Gates. On a more practical level you couldnít blur the background in a portrait, replace a dingy sky or remove distracting objects. You donít need the very best photo editing software for starters but you need something with a little capability to learn on.
Look, Slipe makes some very good points. Again, the biggest frustration I have, is being able to quickly view photos I've just loaded from the camera, and doing the simple things like redeye correction.

Most packages are just plain "bloated" -- very slow at browing and organizing.

IMO, you really need a good, fast package for browing, and Compupic is the fastest, bar none.

I hate slow packages for seeing photos I just took and uploaded.

For more advanced editing -- sure, there are much better packages. But, IMO, you still need a package like Compupic (unless you're patient, or have a very fast PC), and it would make a great gift for a new camera user, to organize and view photos quickly, making the adjustments needed most often.
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Old Nov 22, 2003, 11:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
Again, the biggest frustration I have, is being able to quickly view photos I've just loaded from the camera, and doing the simple things like redeye correction.

Most packages are just plain "bloated" -- very slow at browing and organizing.

IMO, you really need a good, fast package for browing, and Compupic is the fastest, bar none.

I hate slow packages for seeing photos I just took and uploaded.
I couldnít agree more. Unless you have a really fast computer the real image editors take their time opening the first time you use them in a session. And they donít have the viewer features of Irfanview or the organization features of programs like CompuPic. That is why all of my image types are defaulted to open in Irfanview. I find sorting, rotating and some batch operations easier in Irfanview as well. One thing I really like in Irfanview is that you can make the thumbnails as large as 300 X 300 so you can make some decent decisions.

I started a few years back with a copy of Thumbs Plus that fell off a truck. Iím thinking of biting the bullet and starting from scratch with IMatch for my organization. The thing it does I really need is that it keeps records of photos that have been removed to CD or DVD and keeps thumbs of them. You browse for the images just as if you had the images on the computer and it asks for the appropriate CD and extracts the image if it is no longer on the computer. It is evidently the Photoshop of organizers and not very intuitive though.

I have no problem with either viewers or organizers and use them. My point was that there is a large gap between what you can do with an image in them compared to image editors. I havenít used it but I think PhotoImpact comes with a decent photo organizer and viewer. It also comes with Uleadís Gif Animator. Photoshop and PSP have separate album programs you have to buy.
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