Why I like GIMP better than Photoshop CS2

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by bill_tuthill, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Here are a few reasons:
    • GIMP starts up so fast I don't need to make an espresso, thus reducing caffeine consumption.
    • Save-as-JPEG can mimic the quality parameters of any existing JPEG to reduce artifacting.
    • Menu picks are more accessible than CS2, for instance Levels and Curves are at first level.
    • Easier to zoom up and down and shrink/expand the window to fit.
    • Most dialogs have fine-grained up/down control over numeric values.
    • Curves window includes Levels histogram.
    • Levels window has exponential view and can be stretched (see below).
    I'm not going to list GIMP's drawbacks, although I know what they are. We'll probably upgrade to CS4 after Xmas when we have better cash flow. Nothing about CS3 seemed exciting, but CS4 starts up faster and has, umm... what does it have?
  2. 16-bit vs 8-bit per color channel was the main reason I went with photoshop, since I shoot RAW. I do like the GIMP interface, and once it truly supports 16-bits I'll have another look.
    $600 or so vs free is a very big difference too. ;-)
  3. John,
    16-bit is a mith.


    In the following article Emil Martinec explains the noise role.
    16 bit are necessary for raw conversion starting from 12-bit. But you work in a linear space.
    As soon as you have the image in a compressed space (gamma corrected), 8-bit are more than enough.
  4. As you say, CS3 or CS4 as the exact same feature, but im not sure what you meant about your jpeg color change? my jpeg always look the same when save since version photoshop 2 15years ago...and are software mainly use in the industry, so support is all over the place.
    I think a upgrade will be a good thing to do if you can afford it, but if you like GIMP..why upgrade?
  5. Bill left of the most significant fact about GIMP - it is free! That has enormous appeal to the crowd that makes lens shades from bean cans. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for. What you lose, with respect to Photoshop, is a product nearly universal in scope, with paid developers (not volunteer hackers, however sincere) and a well developed support mechanism (peer-to-peer and Adobe).
    A few years ago, car manufacturers were citing how their products were superior to Volkswagen in some (usually in some inconsequential way, like number of cup holders). Volkswagen capitalized on these ads by saying "We're the ones everyone looks up to." Needless to say, I'm not switching to GIMP anytime soon.
  6. A while ago - last year or earlier, I think - GIMP didn't have color management. Has that been added?
  7. Without color management and 16-bit@channel editing (ok, 15 bit LOL), it's not worth the time. And it has no image management or metadata editing capabilities.
    My work is 100% RAW captures. Lightroom 2.1 does 99% of what I need to do better than anything else I've used, including Photoshop. And it costs $300, not $600.
  8. Edward,
    it seems you buy a status symbol, not a software product.
    Perhaps you think that
    "Yes, I'm an Adobe client" is better than "I select looking at quality, or quality/price"
  9. As soon as you have the image in a compressed space (gamma corrected), 8-bit are more than enough.
    What rubbish... Especially in B&W, tonal adjustments can easily posterise in 8-bit
  10. I understood Gimp2 was 16 bit?
  11. What rubbish... Especially in B&W, tonal adjustments can easily posterise in 8-bit
    Do you have any evidence to show?
  12. What you lose, with respect to Photoshop, is a product nearly universal in scope, with paid developers (not volunteer hackers, however sincere) and a well developed support mechanism (peer-to-peer and Adobe).
    I can (and do) use GIMP on Mac and PC pretty much regardless of OS versions and with pretty much the same interface and knowing there is an extremely detailed help/faq/forum available on the web for free AND without ever worrying about how many licensed active versions I'm allowed to install on different machines OR what may happen with the paid development and support teams the next time a software giant buys another software giant and chooses to kill a competing package.
    GIMP is not nearly universal, it is truly universal.
  13. Lot's of strange posts in this thread.
    I don't have anything against anyone who uses a different application than I do. That would be sort of obsessive, right. I happen to use Photoshop? I'm guessing that most users of the GIMP feel the same way - we all use whatever tool we happen to choose for whatever reason we choose it.
    The idea that Photoshop users select it as a "status symbol" rather than as a tool is just nuts.
    It is pretty easy to demonstrate posterization in black and white conversions, particularly with portions of the image that are nearly but not quite uniform and which contain mostly one color channel. Sky is probably the best know example since it is virtually entirely blue channel and since the luminosity is smoothly graduated. If you simply to a "normal" BW conversion and leave the sky alone you won't have any big problem. But if you apply a yellow or red filter or darken the sky by working with levels or curves you can quite quickly end up with banding and other issues in your BW rendition.
    There is some rubbish in this thread, but the recognition that posterization can be an issue during BW conversions is not part of it.
  14. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    it is truly universal.​
    I've never met anyone other than people with technology careers that use it. I've never met any photographers that use it, for example.
  15. By "universal", I mean that nearly every graphic professional uses Photoshop, as well as every service bureau and many of my clients (e.g., art directors). Photoshop works in Windows and Apple OS/X - which is all that really matters. The support system, formal and informal, is every bit as important as the program's capabilities. I have better things to do with my time than play around in backwater software and systems. Of course, YMMV.
  16. I'm sure Gimp is fine for some people's uses. It's free, so if it has any functionality that is useful to you you're getting your money's worth!
    I need a system that works in full 16 bit, particularly for the manipulations I do to black and white files, and need one that does a good job with color management as I have a profiled monitor and printer.
    P.s. don't take articles from 2003 citing non-luminaries like Dan Margulis as gospel re: 8 vs 16 bit. I used Photoshop 7 into this year and am keenly aware of the difference as there are many edits you can't do with PS7 in 16 bit mode. I'd had to jump through hoops (using the history brush, etc) to make significant edits while avoiding posterizing with certain files. Now in CS3 I don't have to worry- I just stay in 16 bit mode.
  17. "P.s. don't take articles from 2003 citing non-luminaries like Dan Margulis as gospel re: 8 vs 16 bit."
    Indeed. See, for example, Bruce Lindbloom's article on the so-called "challenge". I particularly love the following line, speaking of the way the challenge was ultimately modified as various folks began to show clear advantages given their workflows. The ground rules were eventually qualified such that the challenge only served to prove that: "When considering all images showing no 16-bit advantage, 16-bit images show no advantage."
    Like most here, I consider the ability to work in 16-bits when appropriate to be an absolute necessity. As for GIMP, I believe that the developers have been slowly and steadily working towards 16 bit support for some time now, and that they fully understand the necessity of 16 bits for serious photographic work. In their own FAQ in the section on future 16 bit support, you'll find the following quote: "For some industries, especially photography, 24-bit colour depths (8 bits per channel) are a real barrier to entry."
    I think you can enable some limited 16 bit capabilities in v2.6.x, but I'm not a GIMP guy, so I could be wrong.
  18. GIMP 2.6 has color management support and is now based on their new GEGL library which will allow for 16-bit editing in a future version.
    I use GIMP, I don't own Photoshop. Almost everyone I know runs Linux and periodically uses GIMP but as Jeff implies I and almost everyone I know are in the computer industry. I use Bibble for RAW conversions, I only rarely use GIMP for minor touchups. If I need to adjust curves more on an existing 16-bit TIFF then I use Cinepaint which is based on an older version of GIMP but supports 16-bit editing. There are other RAW workflow programs like Krita and Digikam that also support 16-bit editing.
  19. I'm waiting for an example.
  20. Scott,
    in the article there is a reference to tests, not to words.
  21. Jacopo: Given that there are numerous posts, articles, and tests on this topic I think that your request to use to go out and generate a flawed file for you is likely to go unanswered.
    Feel free to continue to believe what you want to believe however, including that all of us work by the standard you described above:
    "Yes, I'm an Adobe client" is better than "I select looking at quality, or quality/price"​
    You are, of course, wrong. And you are, of course, entitled to remain so if that is your desire.
  22. You are, of course, wrong.​
    Of course. It is typical.
  23. I would like to get gimp for my mac, but it seems to much of a pain (and risk) to setup, with all the funky downloads and setting up mess that has to happen... right now I chug along with iphoto... sigh.
  24. This thread turned funnier than I expected. You guys with the 16-bit color channels probably use Bayer sensor cameras with 1/4 or 1/3 color per pixel, so why the sudden concern about precision? I have seen evidence that 16-bit color helps for some images in a very limited way, but my JPEG photos are better now than when I scanned film, so I just don't give a damn about stuff of little consequence. The idea of B&W requiring 16-bits per color channel seems completely comical. All the same, I think it would be relatively easy to compile a 16-bit GIMP on a 64-bit Linux machine.
    On the plus side for Photoshop, it fills up this forum with repeatedly pointless DPI questions, and (somewhat less pointless) newbies having problems with colorspace conversion. If it weren't for those threads, we might have to discuss -- horrors -- photography.
  25. I have been using GIMP for around 6 years on both pc and mac. Before that I had Photoshop 6. I would consider myself more of a photographer than a computer person. I like GIMP alright. It has some major drawbacks that drive me nuts sometimes, but you get what you pay for. GIMP is free. I think its a pretty good program for being free. That being said, Photoshop is the industry standard. Most pros use it, the lab I worked in used it and the lab I use for printing now gives directions and specifications based on it. Would I buy Photoshop if I had the money? Absolutely, but for now GIMP works fine and I will continue to use it until I see that my workflow demands otherwise.
  26. jacopo, we had this discussion (among other voluminous discussions) in one of the gargantuan threads in the colour film&processing forum. I posted examples, one 16bit and one 8 bit, same curve to both, the 8 bit shows posterisation. It isn't hard to show this over and over again, it's just that to most people this is so obvious as to not bother wasting their time. The thread is the Film vs Digital dynamic range thread by Mauro Franic. Good luck finding my example images in there! LOL!
  27. i would say that i agree with who ever said that; not all images need to be work in 16 bits, and most of the images i work are 8bit..exept when is for a major cosmatic campaing shot by a P45 or P65..then i use all the information possible to make sure that i got all the subtle tone and make up gradient.
    for the rest, editorial, fashion image, publicity, ad etc.. most of the time if not all the time i work in 8 bits.
    now back to the regular fight : ) gimp vs photoshop!
  28. lol ... If you want to talk about photography, Bill, go to the Leica Users Group. ];-)
  29. I have full access to Gimp and Photoshop (my wife is a graphic designer). I prefer Gimp over PS. As our scanner is used through a PS plug-in on one of the Macs, I do use PS to scan film, but as soon as that step is over I save and do my post-processing in Gimp. Why? Overall I like the Gimp interface better, and it feels quite a bit snappier and more responsive. I've used both quite a bit - and I have a semi-expert in the house so to speak, but I get my editing done faster and easier with Gimp. To each his own.
    16/8 bit can be a very real issue, but almost always it's a non-issue in practice. Don't forget that PS used 8-bit channels only for years, and graphics professionals were using it anyhow. The bit depth mostly matters in the early steps, when you set the overall tone curve and white balance. You almost always do that as part of your scan or raw conversion. The subsequent edits very rarely have any relevant impact on it. Yes, 16 bit (and higher) editing will be nice once it lands, but it's nothing I'm waiting for with bated breath.
  30. wow Gimp does every thing photoshop does, that is really amazing, not; you get what you pay for. if Gimp satasifies you great, I am happy for you
  31. Ok, GIMP loses in the bit department but otherwise has very good feature set indeed. I tried Photoshop Elements 7 and GIMP side by side for two days (just out of general interest) and it was no contest if you needed even a bit more advanced edits, GIMP wins hands down. Just a point if you happen to want something in the "normal people" price category or for free. (Yes, stealing CS3/4 is a matter of about 30min but that's not the point.)
    Somanna, what do you mean? Installing X11 / XQuartz is normal stuff. For Windows you needed to install GTK+2 before the new version came and although it's just two packets to install instead of one it seemed to confuse a lot of people.
  32. bms


    Bill, thanks for this post. I did not know about GIMP, all my photography friends are non-pros that shy away from a $300-$600 plus purchase, given that stock have tanked etc...... :( ... I will pass the info along.
    I guess if $$$ do not matter that much and/or you are pro, I probably would recommend Photoshop. I have CS3 and I think the 8 vs 16 bit discussion is futile, especially for BW conversions (see below, done with Channel Mixer in CS3)
    Everyone else, it X-mas time... let's get along :)
  33. Underlying the statement 'GIMP is free' is the the thought that one's time has no value.
  34. I have tried a few PP programs and all have their good and bad points. *I* am going to use PS Elements because of the published and peer support. The available plug ins are a big plus too.
    The VW analogy is quite true. Industry leaders are what the competition aspires to be. :)
  35. I use GIMP for all my online work.
  36. If gimp is your editor of choice that's fine, but I get the feeling you're not too familiar with CS2:
    Menu picks are more accessible than CS2, for instance Levels and Curves are at first level.
    CTRL-L. If you're not into learning shortcuts, you can always create custom menus to remove clutter.
    Easier to zoom up and down and shrink/expand the window to fit.
    CTRL +, CTRL -, CTRL 0, CTRL ALT 0, f, ff, fff - that's prety easy
    Most dialogs have fine-grained up/down control over numeric values
    Yes so does photoshop. Or you can just type numbers in the field.
    Curves window includes Levels histogram.
    Place a histogram palette on the workspace. It changes in realtime with adjustments made to curves.
    Photoshop starts up fast enough for me, and I've not had any problems with artifacts.
    Enjoy the Gimp. If it works for you that's what matters.
  37. nrb


    I fing 8-bit is not enough for film scanning and processing. Sorry!
  38. There are lots of image editing programms out there. So what to look for in any such programm?
    • versatility
    • stability
    • R&D
    • support and aftersales
    • price
    For me that leaves PS as the best option by far.
  39. How does PS Elements compare to Gimp for those who have used both? I've found PSE to be a credible alternative to PS for more casual users and practically free if you get an older version.
  40. Bill left of the most significant fact about GIMP - it is free! That has enormous appeal to the crowd that makes lens shades from bean cans.
    LMAO - nice.

    I took a look at GIMP two years ago. GimpShop was the cool thing then - someone made a branch that simply rearranged the menus and interface to make it easier to migrate from Photoshop. It blew. The toolset is nowhere near as deep, refined, or reliable. Automation is nearly as tedious as doing small batches by hand. IMO it's not a viable alternative.

    Is there any viable alternative to Photoshop? When I did web multimedia development in the late 1990's (that's last centruy, kids!) I tried several apps - Corel Photo Paint, Paint Shop Pro, but none had the depth, usability, and quality of Photoshop. Are there any contendors nowadays? I can't remember the last time I heard someone I respected talking about another editor. There must be someone at least trying to make an alternative.

    At this point it would take a worldwide cataclysmic explosion of buzz/hype to make me even look at another app over someone's shoulder. AFAIK there just isn't anything else close. Even if I did switch to something better, it would take a while to overcome the advantage I have in Photoshop of having worked in the application for so long.
    Gratuitous photo insertion removed. Please post only relevant photos.
  41. Somanna Muthanna "...right now I chug along with iphoto... sigh."
    I use iPhoto for basic stuff myself, and for the most part it's fine, since most of what I do is documentary-style shooting. Nothing wrong with it if you're not looking to do all kinds of after-the-fact work on the image. There are some things it won't do, and some things that you can sort of make happen by fooling around with the sliders. For instance, I forgot to set white balance to tungsten the other day, and was able to bleed out some of the orange glow by upping exposure a bit and bringing down the temperature. Not perfect, but serviceable. I just have to remember to make sure I've got the camera at optimal settings.
  42. Here I started with punch cards in the 1960's; Fortran.
    In the 1970's many computers would fit on a desktop; I got to use some HP boxes with Basic in the later 1970's; had a TI99 at home; a timex sinclar; friends had alot of S100 stuff. I got a IBM PC with a rev "A" board that had 16k of memory and DOS 1.0 The TI99 or HP 9xxx series then was BETTER than the IBM PC for double precision then because early IBM DOS/basic had double precision in + - * / and not trig yet. One got a real 14 digits on the TI99; and only about 7 or 8 with a PC. Later us PC users got double precision in trig functions; we got the "rev B" board that started with 64k and would fill up to 256K; later we got a "six pack plus" card to add more memory.
    One would write graphics to the screen by wrting ones own code.

    GIMP today is totally star trek compared to ancient computer days.

    The tombstone Mac in 1983/1984 used the 3 century old 72 points per inch spacing as a pixel pitch; this seems to tick off newbies who are ignorant of printing history. Some stupidest comments on photo.net are the 3 century old 72 number is a misnomer; when its older then Ben Franklin. The 72 number is in most 1980's graphics programs.
    Here I got into Photostyler then moved to Photoshop on a Mac; then got the PC version with version 2.5. Photostyler got bought out by Adobe; it was a lower cost competitor with many features; Adobe "sort of morphed/gobbled up" Photostyler to be really early Elements; a wimped down photoshop version; often a free bundle with a scanner purchase.
    Here I have fooled around with GIMP at times; I sort of feel like its a rental car with weird controls; or that TV remote from hell in a Motel; ie it takes me 10 times longer to do anything. I played around alot with the first versions of GIMP long ago; the one I spent the most time with was 1.2; many early versions were unstable.
    Still it was very impressive for a free program; but since Photoshop here has been used so much It is just another program.

    Photoshop CS2 loads slower than GIMP because its a lessor program; each version of Photoshop is larger; thus there is more crap to load. On this 1Ghz P3 here Photoshop 3.0 will spool up in 1 second; CS2 takes many.
  43. The customers; friends and photographers I know who use GIMP are very few compared to Photoshop.
    Its about the same ratio as folks who drive hybrids, drive electric cars; or have mohawks; or voted for Ralph Nader; or use Alpas; or own Noctiluxes; or did super well in the stock market the last year :).
    The GIMP users "I know off" *tend* to be not Mac folks; but more technoid PC and Linux users.
    They have the Red Hat decal or Linux decals on their cars instead of the Mac "Apple". There is probably a coupld of orders of magnitude of folks using older Photoshop versions; bootleg photoshop; of elements than using GIMP.
    I really dont have ANY hard core photographer customers who use GIMP; its more the farting around technoid and cheap skate crowd.:)
    There is nothing wrong with free software if it works for your appllication; I jsut find it hard to believe that CS2 would be viewed inferior than GIMP; unless one really uses few features of CS2.
  44. Here's my 2 cents' worth: using Photoshop carries the for me unbearable cost of having to use Windows (Mac is not an option for me, although I gave one to my wife just last week). Gimp runs on Linux. So do Bibblelabs Bibble Lite and Bibble Pro.For my purposes Gimp is fine. The reason I use Bibblelab products is that none of the other RAW converters I have tried under Linux are very good IMHO.
  45. RE
    ;GIMP starts up so fast I don't need to make an espresso, thus reducing caffeine consumption
    Here is some time to spool up Photoshop; by version.
    Its with an obsolete computer Its on the old PC that I am on now
    . Its a 2000 IBM 6565 P3 computer with a 100Mhz bus; it came originally with a 667MHz Coppermine CPU; now it has a 1.0Ghz CPU and 1 gig of ram. The hard drive is now a 160 gig unit; it once was just a 20gig. Its got an older IDE controller; a 66 speed not a more modern 133 verision of higher. Its actually a nice computer for photoshop work. The box has win2000 SP4. the box is fast enough to play any video and still be on the internet.
    The data below is with the box being on the internet; I am downloading files/manuals on from a FTP site; it has 7 Firefox 3.0 browsers open; one "the world" browser open; two Opera browsers open; wordpad open; and windows explorer.
    CS2 loads in 28 seconds
    CS loads in 21 seconds
    PS7 loads in 9 seconds
    PS5.5 loads in 5 seconds
    ps4 loads in 3 seconds
    ps 3 loads in 1.5 seconds
  46. If you have a boatload of fonts photoshop can spool up slower;

    or if one has a virus program that "looks at" each new exe that is spooled up;

    or it can be with just a slower CPU or slow 1996 controller like a 12megs/sec Busmaster.

    Each main EXE file of photoshop is larger with each newer version; thus the data set I have presented is typical;

    a newer version of photoshop "spools up" slower with your upgrade on a give box.

    As one loads up more crap many programs can load slower; as the box gets impacted with crap in the bowels of the registry;

    or some virus program is police-ing the exe's that spool up.
  47. I tried GIMP and I was pretty disappointed... in some cases it's got some nice features, but it's got a few quirks and issues that even the old Shareware Coreldraw didn't have. PaintShopPro is pretty awesome though, for much less than Photoshop... also... I can't get PS CS to load on my computer at all because it crashes during the registration phase because they decided to open the separate registration program DURING the loading of Photoshop and it runs out of memory every time. That's just bad programming. PaintShopPro reminds me of the much friendlier, pre-CS Photoshops of the olden days... when I've used them on other people's computers the new interface just annoys me to no end.
  48. Patrick, my LEGAL copy open fine...or i would have call them and report this problem..you certainly have done so?
    Also, it seem that a lot of people complain about speed, but rarely mention that they got a old computer with not many ram installed..so speed is not the real issue; old computer that need to be update is more the real problem.
    My CS4 open in less than 3sec, on Mac Intel, 4gig and 6gig ram...anyone find that slow?
    In the end, you dont have money to spend on a software, and for that reason GIMP is the answer. You have money to spend for various reason, and want the biggest support, tutorial, book, lesson etc.. you go with Photoshop, a software vastly use by pro, and by many hobbyst around the globe, on mac and pc..for decade.
  49. GIMP vs Photoshop. Great. Just what we need, another subject to draw a line in the sand over. As w/ everything else in photography, what works for one person doesn't work for another. Thank goodness we have all these cool choices to pick from.
  50. Thanks everybody for the great information and entertainment! This thread is probably too long for me to post serious replies at this point, but here goes, in order.
    Patrick L, when I talked about JPEG settings I did not mean color, but the worsening of artifacts. JPEG artifacts are magnified insignificantly if you save files at the original quality and chroma settings. Photoshop cannot do this, especially JPEG from digital cameras with 2x1 chroma subsampling, a setting Photoshop CS2 cannot produce.
    Somanna, what about X11? Also you could install VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop and run GIMP in a Linux virtual machine, retaining the ability to copy&paste between OSes.
    Benjamin, thanks for your 8-bit versus 16-bit B&W samples, which were convincing. I can't help but think that this could be avoided by working in color and then converting to B&W at the last minute, but I am not very interested in B&W, so I have not investigated.
    Peter Berger, time value is exactly what I'm talking about: for me GIMP is more efficient.
    Mike, thanks very much for the Photoshop shortcuts. I did not know about f ff ff. However what I mean is that Photoshop has no way of fitting the window to the image (does it?) to avoid scroll bars. I dislike Photoshop's take-over-your-entire-desktop paradigm. The doo-hickey windows on the right side always get in the way of my image. Bottom line, and this is important for Adobe product managers, their product has lost its leadership to GIMP in my opinion.
    Kelly F, have you timed CS3 or CS4? Patrick L claims 2-3 seconds for CS4.
  51. Forgot to say: control-L does not mean Levels, it means formfeed (in ASCII) or clear the screen. I do not use Photoshop often enough to grow accustomed to nonstandard keyboard shortcuts. Kudos to Adobe for using Firefox-standard Ctrl + - 0 for size control.
  52. As i always said; learn how to properly use a tool before making a complain...
    1_JPEG settings I did not mean color, but the worsening of artifacts___
    Change your compression setting to 8=10-12 and you wont see any artifact other than those already present in a JPEG. Also, dont look at your image at more than 100% because more than this you will see of course more problem than those really existing.
    2_Photoshop has no way of fitting the window to the image___
    A well knowend command from version 2 at least 15 years ago; alt + cmd + 0 on a mac
    3_ The doo-hickey windows on the right side always get in the way of my image___
    Again, another well knowed command; the escape key will hide any menu while you are working.
    4_Patrick L claims 2-3 seconds for CS4____
    I claim it because its true..Kelly alreay give you the same number some answer before.
    5_ I do not use Photoshop often enough to grow accustomed to nonstandard keyboard shortcut___
    Well, maybe that is why you think GIMP seem better? Or faster for you... Its easy for me to said that Aperture suck, when i only use it 1hrs in total vs more than thoushand hour for Ligthroom. People often complain about stuff they dont use, or simply use once in a while, and they compare it to another software they better understand..like DPP vs Lr 2 for another example.
  53. If someone is unwilling to learn, teaching is a waste of time.
  54. I use PS CS3 at work and love it. I use GIMP at home. Why? I run Linux at home. I don't want to dual boot. I don't want to run a windowss emulator. Plus, I'm poor (that's really the main reason LOL!). I do my "artsy" work at home then bring it to the office to do the final curves and color adjustments. I order prints through our pro lab through work.
    Easy enough solution. Simply know the limitations of whatever software you use, use it to its full potential, then fill in the gaps with some other program when you can.
  55. "Patrick L claims 2-3 seconds for CS4"
    he's absolutely right. Patrick's on a Mac, I'm on a PC. It's biblical fast and the ease of use is terrific.
    Top of the line. Not because anyone here says so. Try a trial version and you'll know.
  56. Benjamin,
    a suggestion: use sRGB for web, not ProPhoto.

    I don't like severe tonal distortion, but .....a quick 8 bit result using PhotoResampling.
  57. Patrick, thanks for trying to help, I really appreciate it. After I get a Panasonic LX3 and start using RAW, maybe I will return to Photoshop. What is Cmd on Windows, anybody know? It took me until now to return to a licensed copy of CS2, but nothing I tried worked. Alt+Ctrl+0 is actual pixels, not the same as Ctrl+E in GIMP. Esc has no effect in Windows. Photoshop CS2 just took 23 seconds to open a 2592x1944 image that took 1 second to open with Irfanview. Can't wait for 3 seconds with CS4! Maybe Photoshop just sux on Windows?
    However you are wrong about JPEG. Photoshop's 10-12 quality settings use 1x1 chroma, so they introduce new artifacts when writing 1x2 chroma subsampling produced by digital cameras. Maybe this changed in CS4, but I doubt it. I can prove the superiority of GIMP for this type of editing, and probably will if Godfrey gives me any more guff about refusing to learn something I don't need to learn. GIMP used to be much worse than Photoshop, but now it is better in many ways, that is my report upon returning from the Land of Linux to Photoshop.net.
  58. Bill, im not a scientist nor a mathematician..what i am is a pretty good photo retoucher that base my knowledge on fact.
    Maybe you read somewhere that "Photoshop's 10-12 quality settings use 1x1 chroma, so they introduce new artifacts when writing 1x2 chroma subsampling produced by digital cameras" and maybe its true, if you look your image at 300% i dont know. What i know is i dont see any visual difference between my tif or my jpeg when save and print. And thats is for me the real deal. Its like the 8 vs 16 bit fight, i dont said it not good, what i said is most of the time you wont see any difference on screen or on print between them, and since my client i more demanding about quality then the normal Joe, i coul assume that most of the rest of us (i will put myself in the batch) wont see the real difference when printed.
    I still think its hard to bash or compare 2 software if you dont know 1 good enough to make a real complain. The problem start with point that are not true, or not applicable to photoshop i should say. They are true for you because you dont know Ps, and now you are talking about combo key that are not the same..well of course! you wont have the same key from freehand vs illustrator, qurak vs page maker vs indesign..Ps vs Gimp..and thats normal.
    In the end, if Gimp does all you need is fine, but understand that pro like me dont work with it because there more support, more update, more book, more knowledgable people around me that can help with Photoshop vs Gimp. Ps is THE industry standard for now and until a serious competitor show his nose (and even then..i take around 5 years for people to make the quark / indesign transition) i will not move from it just because the key are not the same or because mathematicaly artifact are introduce in a Jpeg.
    Im like Thomas, i like to see it with my own eyes before i can believe it; the most problem with people is that they tend to read, and assimilate what they want and keep that as THE thrut..withotu testing it themself and see the REAL result.
    For example; you can read that a Apple Cinema Display is not good enough because of this or that and that a NEC monitor is way better for the same price. To be honest, i ahve both, and for years as a pro (a pro mean that ALL my income come from photo retouching) i use a ACD and it was rigth on the target everytime when i receive final proof from the commercial printer. Godfrey still use one and im sure he knows what good or not. When i got my NEC, i was happy to see that my image look more natural vs my 3year old ACD, but the color, the transition, the finesse, the sharpness where...the same! If i had only read it, i wouldtn have bought a ACD, but putting those monitor side by side, i could say that any serious photographer pro or simply amateur could be well equip with a ACD 100%.
    I would liek to see what you can prove, honestly, i didtn see any variation from a P45 tif 8 bit srgb file, vs saving it as a jpeg quality 10-12, on monitor at 100% or printed and expected up close (neither from my 5D) but you migth teach me something and i will be glad.
    " a day where you learn nothing its a lost day " i heard that last week form someone in a café.. i find it pretty good..
  59. I can prove the superiority of GIMP for this type of editing, and probably will if Godfrey gives me any more guff about refusing to learn something I don't need to learn. GIMP used to be much worse than Photoshop, but now it is better in many ways, that is my report upon returning from the Land of Linux to Photoshop.net.

    Such 'JPEG superiority' is absolutely irrelevant, Bill. I only use JPEG files for size-reduced, compressed web display, or when clients request them for print-only use. No one can see the difference between the supposedly superior GIMP JPEG quality and Photoshop JPEG quality on the web in a normal sized image or a print made at 360 ppi, if you've done a good job with the rendering in the first place. Pixel-peeping, to use Michael Reichman's term, for JPEG artifacts at this level is a total waste of time and energy.

    If you choose not to understand that, well, such it is.

  60. Clearly it would be good to have a viable alternative to Adobe and indeed Microsoft ... no not Apple.
  61. CS3 five seconds on my five year old, Sony computer, very fast coffee maker or a very slow computer if it takes 23 seconds for your CS2 to load. I am interested in your proof that GIMP is surperior and why should it take any guff for you to prove some thing. I don't have GIMP, but a life time of experience that has taught me that there ain't nothing free in this world, it all comes with a price, we may not be smart enough to know what the price is, but it has a price. Whether tracking our internet habits or some thing else, but a price there is.
  62. Still things can always be improved. It would be nice to have more choices
  63. "GIMP used to be much worse than Photoshop, but now it is better in many ways, that is my report upon returning from the Land of Linux to Photoshop.net."

    OK, I admit I chuckled when I read the "...returning from the Land of Linux to Photoshop.net." phrase, but I also shook my head, because this is exactly the kind of off-hand quip that gets people defensive and turns reasoned discussion into, well...

    That said, I expect Bill's right about the jpeg issue. I say "expect" because I'm not familiar enough with current GIMP to know for sure what they're offering, but I do know what PS does. Good as PS is in most areas, and despite the fact that I personally can't imagine using anything else as my primary tool, it does have some surprising holes in it - holes that I wish photographers would hold Adobe's feet to the fire over a bit more. PS's jpeg codec is, put bluntly, just awful. It lacks any control, other than a simple quality slider, and tends to be poor bang for the buck - that is, it produces larger file sizes with poorer quality than competing implementations.

    Patrick's points are well-taken as, for the most part, I don't care about jpeg as I don't use it at any point in my workflow, except... in maintaining my website, I do care, because what I want to display on that site is the highest possible quality, while maintaining reasonable file size. When it comes to saving jpegs for web display, I use something else. It's a minor issue for me, but a real one.

    The other PS tool that I simply don't use, other than for the most casual, quick'n'dirty work, is resizing - most especially downsizing. Bicubic is provably one of the worst methods possible for downsizing images, (bicubic sharper even more-so, despite Adobe's recommendation) especially large images with high detail. Again, when I downsample for web use, I use something else and save my viewers' eyes.

    Photoshop is a great tool, and arguably the best overall choice for serious users, but let's not be blind to its shortcomings.

  64. Whew, I hate it when rationality triumphs in the end! Can't disagree with anything Scott says.
    Note that my workflow is: JPEG from a P&S digital camera, edit in GIMP, post JPEG to website. For this workflow, GIMP is far superior to Photoshop. I'm not a professional photographer. My website had ads that earn money, but the photographs do not.
    Over the years I have read two Photoshop books, and spent more time inside Photoshop than inside GIMP. The fact that I'm still asking stupid questions indicates to me that Photoshop's user interface design is less than ideal.
    I'll post the JPEG study later in a different thread. The differences really are quite stunning, not just at the pixel peeping level.
  65. Biil, maybe if you where shoothing raw (far better then jpeg and less artifact to start with) and use your image for other use then a web site (print for instance) and put more time using a more robust software..well maybe, maybe you would have something to said about quality. The fact that you are still asking stupid question is because you are learning... The fact that you shoot jpeg and resave a jpeg and dont understand by doing that you already loose more quality, thus probably see more artifact in the end should ring a bell.
    Again for the zillion time, if you prefer GIMP for your workflow, is fine with me, so i agree when you said "For this workflow, GIMP is far superior to Photoshop. I'm not a professional photographer" but please, dont try to convince me that gimp is far superior from photoshop...its a nonsense, at least for me a professional.
  66. As a new user and new to photography, (Nikon D70, w18-70 1:3.5-4.5 lens), could someone please explain the difference between 8-bit and 16-bit as a final product in comparison between Photoshop and GIMP. I'd like to start shooting in RAW because as I educate myself it seems the way to go, but I also need the capability to view and possibly manipulate. I am also wanting the best quality black and white I can accomplish. These photos are for my own use and not for sale. Enlargement bigger than 12-15 inches is plenty for now. I haven't used either of these programs and can offer no opinion at this time.
    I look forward to any sincere comments anyone with experience has to offer.
    Sincerest Regards,
  67. "could someone please explain the difference between 8-bit and 16-bit as a final product"

    The final product will be 8 bit depth in either instance. The value of 16 bit depth is in the post that leads to the final product, if your post work is extensive. An analogy would be: tiff for editing, jpeg for display.

    Some of the anit-16 bit depth arguments remind me of the dark age (1989-1995) arguments against 8 bit depth. Why do I need 8 bits? After all no one can see 16 million colors, only n millions, and anyway no image will have them all.

    Back then the cost of a 24 bit board (8 bit depth) was not cheap, it likely required upgrading the computer, as well as buying new software. So, really, cost was their issue. That seems true today, too, regarding 16 bit depth.

    The Gimp is a well established application. It's been available for about 15 years. It works just fine. If you don't want to spend the money for Photoshop, the Elements version is very affordable, has some 16 bit depth capabilities, and will support a lot of the plugins made for Photoshop. I haven't used it since version 4. Based on it, I'd say it is a value-laden package for the price.

    Good Luck
  68. About a month ago I used Photoshop CS2 for converting PhotoCD scans via 16-bit ProPhotoRGB, editing levels and saving 16-bit PNG, which I then color corrected and converted to JPEG with GIMP. Colors were definitely richer, with better tonal transitions, than with 8-bit PhotoCD conversion in Irfanview.

    Boy oh boy, CS2 on Windows is really buggy! Current GIMP is very solid in comparison. Hopefully Adobe has fixed most of those bugs by CS5. GIMP has a Photoshop plug-in extension, which I have not tried, but some of the best photo software (Topaz Denoise, Focus Magic) works best as a Photoshop plug-in.

    As a kayaker, let me say that no waterproof camera has RAW mode, so even if I had a RAW workflow, my friends do not.

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