Photo and image editors

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Whether you are away from your normal production "machine", you want to try some new software, or don't want to spend the near-'ransomware' prices associated with some software packages, there are a number of alternatives available. Please have a look at some of the offerings listed below.

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  • CinePaint : "is a deep paint image retouching tool that supports higher color fidelity than ordinary painting tools. CinePaint opens high fidelity image file formats such as DPX, 16-bit TIFF, and OpenEXR, and conventional formats like JPEG and PNG."
  • GIMP : This is most well-known of the free alternatives to Photoshop. It is cross-platform with full support for layers and masks. There's even a version called GIMPshop for those Photoshop users who want a less painful transition to this alternative.
  • Inkscape : "Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It's free and open source."
  • LazPaint : Definitely for the beginner, but also for experienced users who want a fast, fun, easy to use editor when they are in a hurry.
  • MAGIX Photo Designer 7 : "The free alternative to classic image editing programs. Optimize your digital pictures the way you usually do: adjust color and brightness, correct image sharpness and lighten precisely defined areas. With just a few clicks, you can crop, rotate, mirror, and edit your photos in detail. You can even turn your photos into paintings or fun caricatures in no time using the included artistic effects."
  • Paint.NET : This Windows-only offering, though slightly less powerful than GIMP is a bit easier to use.
  • PhotoFiltre : "is a complete image retouching program. It allows you to do simple or advanced adjustments to an image and apply a vast range of filters on it. It is simple and intuitive to use, and has an easy learning curve. The toolbar, giving you access to the standard filters with just a few clicks, gives PhotoFiltre a robust look."
  • PhotoPad : Photo Editing Software. Edit your photos easily on a PC or Mac.
  • PhotoPlus Starter Edition : "Easily import and edit most image files; Restore classic family photos with ease; Use simple editing features like red eye and blemish removal; Turn photos in artwork with uncomplicated tools; Straighten and crop pictures in a couple of clicks; Incredibly easy to use."
  • Photoscape : "is a free, fun and easy photo editing software that enables you to fix and enhance photos."
  • Photoshop Express Editor : No downloading or installation necessary, this is an online editor – "Make your snapshots look amazing with the Adobe® Photoshop® Express Editor, which gives you easy options for quick fixes, creative enhancements, and endless fun."
  • PhoXo : When you want to have some fun with your images, here is a "tiny, fast, easy to use, powerful, free, image and photo editor".
  • Picasa : From Google – While not a full-featured image editor, what it does, it does well. Worth checking out. (cross-platform)
  • Pixia : An English language version of an image editing program popular in Japan. (Windows only)
  • Pixlr : This online photo editor also has two mobile apps ready to handle all your photo modification needs.
  • RawTherapee : "RawTherapee is free and open source (cross-platform) software, meaning you can use it free of charge, wherever you like on whatever hardware you like, as long as you abide by the copyleft GPLv3 license. With RawTherapee you can work with RAW files as well as standard JPEG, PNG (8/16 bits), and TIFF files. It gives you advanced control over various algorithms with many fine-tuning parameters and curves. A wide variety of cameras are supported, including almost all DSLRs and even some medium format bodies."
  • Seashore : "Seashore aims to serve the basic image editing needs of most computer users, not to provide a replacement for professional image editing products." (Mac only)
  • Serif PhotoPlus Starter Edition : Easy and free photo editing.
  • The PC Image Editor : "is designed to be easy to use and user friendly. It is a product for amateurs and professionals (when they are in a hurry). This is FREEWARE for private (non-commercial) or educational (including non-profit organization) use. However, for commercial use, it is required to purchase the software. Activating a license is an important source of support in the development of future versions."

Paid For

  • Pixelmator : ($29.99, Mac) "A full-featured and powerful image editing app for the Mac. Pixelmator takes full advantage of the latest Mac technologies, giving you speedy, powerful tools that let you touch up and enhance images, draw or paint, apply dazzling effects, or create advanced compositions amazingly simple. Once your images are ready, access them anywhere with iCloud, send them to iPhoto or Aperture, email, print, share, or save them to popular image formats–all right from Pixelmator."
  • Acorn : ($49.99, Mac) "Everyone needs to edit images at some point, but not everyone has the time to learn complicated super pricey image editing programs. This is why we created Acorn. Add text and shapes to your digital pictures. Combine images together to create your own. Work with layers to touch up your favorite photos or make something new from scratch. Do all this and more with Acorn."
  • Sketch : ($69.99, Mac) "The designer's toolbox. Sketch is a professional vector graphics app with a beautiful interface and powerful tools. We set out to build a better app for graphic designers. Not to copy, but rather to improve."
  • Aperture : ($79.99, Mac) "Aperture combines the control and speed pros want for demanding photo tasks with the easy learning curve iPhoto users need to step up to an advanced photo tool."
  • PhotoPlus X6 : ($89.99, Windows) "Photo editing just got easier - Edit and enhance photos of family, friends, and holidays in no time with the easy-to-use tools in our great-value, must-have photo editing software. Make simple, hassle-free fixes in minutes and achieve stunning results with professional features, all in PhotoPlus X6."
  • Photoshop Elements : ($99.99, Windows & Mac) "Empower your creative vision with photo editing options for every user level, and turn ordinary snapshots into something spectacular. Easily organize, edit, and create brilliant photos to share via print, the web, Facebook, and more. And now, take your Elements photos with you, wherever you go, on your smartphone or tablet."


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