Which one? GIMP vs Elements vs Corel Paint Shop Pro

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by scott_mills, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Long story, but I don't have CS2 anymore and don't have $. So, which of the following would be my best
    alternative ->Which one? GIMP vs Elements vs Corel Paint Shop Pro.
    In CS2 I mostly used levels, USM, shadow/highlight, layers with mask for skin softening using the mask and
    paintbrush to reveal eyes and teeth and anything else I didn't want to soften. I also enjoyed channel mixer for
    B&W and the use of the clone tool and dodge and burn tools, as well as the magnetic wand and a few other
    features. I tried GIMP and maybe I just have to get the hang of it but nothing seems subtle - USM seems strange,
    and I tried to dodge an area using 25% exposure and it resulted in an obvious light circle of light. So, what do
    you think my best option is? I have a 30 day trial of Corel and really like it but don't have time to fully
    learn it before trial is up. Any thoughts? Thanks
  2. I think Paint Shop Pro is the best deal, but that may be because I too tried GIMP and just didn't like it. GIMP's big advantage is that it is free. PSP is not free, but very reasonable, and does everything a photographer could want except handle 16 bit images for everything.

    If you want to get really confused, have a look at Picture Window Pro. It is a VERY complete package for photographers with complete 16 bit capabilities. It is very under appreciated in my opinion. It is the editor I turn to first.

    Both PSP and PWP are more capable of real photo editing than is Elements.
  3. Basically, my view is that the only important (to me) thing that GIMP won't yet do (fully handle 16-bit images), Paint
    Shop Pro and, last I checked, Photoshop Elements won't do either. Also, last I knew / IIRC, Photoshop Elements
    didn't have curves. Under the circumstances, I couldn't see paying $60 - $100 for a program when a free one was
    basically as good. I've used GIMP for a few years now, and it has its quirks, but it's pretty powerful.
  4. Gimp, you didnt ask for 16 bit, and it will do everything else, except maybe not B&W channels almost as easily as CS2. I have it and CS3 and rarely use CS3 since its a bit slower and also slows the computer and because gimp is so simple and does everything I need 90% of the time.

    Its free too. Try gimpshop for the look and feel of PS without spending a cent.
  5. Corel PSP does it all right as long as you don't want full blown 16 bit editing or CMYK editing and work on files no larger then 200MB or so.
  6. Have you considered Lightroom or LightZone - neither are free, but they may fit in the budget.

    Elements 6 will do some functions in 16bit.
  7. I use GIMP for some editing things but personally I like Bibble for RAW workflow. It's similar to Lightroom and Aperture but the Lite version is only $70.
  8. In order of capability, I would go with Paint Shop Pro, PS Elements, and GimpShop. PSP has some nice correction features that I think are missing in Elements (purple fringing/CA) and better 16-bit image support; you can do some limited editing in 16-bit in Elements, but not things like burn/dodge, clone, etc. You can add a free plug-in to Elements to get Curves (at least it worked in versions up to 5).

    I have Elements 5, PSP X1, and CaptureNX 1.1, and there isn't much I can't do that I really need to ....
  9. Paint Shop Pro is probably what you're looking for. I mostly use Picture Window Pro myself, but it's not a layers-based editor so fancier stuff is trickier.
  10. GIMP2 is a piece of cake to use and is very very capable....and as per previous comments above, it's free.
  11. GIMP has improved a lot -- in features, reliability, and ease-of-use -- in recent years.
    Also it starts up much faster than the others, on Linux (I don't use it on Windows).
    GIMP is the clear champion for editing JPEG.
    Elements lacks Curves dialog box, which I use for almost every image,
    but has AdobeRGB, although this colorspace is silly unless you need CMYK.
    PaintShopPro is easier to use than full Photoshop, but equally slow
    and probably not as fully debugged.

    GIMP does have channel mixer, so perhaps you missed it?
    USM is exactly like Photoshop but with different numeric values.
    Probably that's what happened with the light circle also.
    GIMP has layers, but not adjustment layers saved to PSD equivalent.
    Also no shadow/highlight tool as of version 2.4.5.

    But if you like PSP, I think you should buy it. It has a real nice interface
    for people trained on Windows instead of Mac.
    Personally I only use it for salt&pepper filter.
    Its difficult to use but a very powerful tool, there is huge online community to get help/support.

    Keep an eye for GIMP 2.6 .. it has very good enhancements...

  13. Does GIMP (or any mentioned editors) allow you to rotate an image by any degree? Or does it have to be a multiple
    of 90 degrees? I didn't find it in GIMP, but just in case I missed it...

  14. May be this is what you are looking for

  15. I've spent several days trying to figure out how to make simple black-and-white seal logo become transparent (lose background) to be able to "stamp" it on pictures as "signature". The logo is round seal with two circles inside of each other, and some text within and then a picture in the center. All done in black ink and white background everywhere. I check colours and it says it has 63 or 64 colours. I took every single step with evaluation versions of GIMP, and Paint Shop Pro as per the following instructions (I made sure I followed everything that he suggests): http://www.htmlgoodies.com/tutorials/web_graphics/article.php/3480011

    I also tried to "strip" his own smiley (provided on that page) off the blue colour and failed as well.

    It seems simple, but it fails to create a gif that has transparent background. I post the "transparent" logo on another image and it still has the rectangular white background.

    Am really devastated how such a simple task has to be so time-consuming and so difficult to achieve. Isn't there a software that just does that? So I found

    Any ideas and help? Is there a software that succeeds to accomplish this task easily?
  16. In the Gimp, select the blue background with the magic wand, invert selection, select copy, then paste into the other image and move it where ever you please. Probably works the same way or nearly so in any editor.

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