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SOFTWARE

The GIMP 2.6 vs. Photoshop Smackdown
By: Joe Eitel
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    2009-06-02

    Table of Contents:
  • The GIMP 2.6 vs. Photoshop Smackdown
  • Adobe Photoshop CS4
  • The GIMP 2.6
  • The Choice Examined

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    The GIMP 2.6 vs. Photoshop Smackdown


    (Page 1 of 4 )

    Photoshop offers an awesome ability to edit your digital images and videos, at an awe-inspiring price. GIMP, on the other hand, is a free graphics editor. But does it really compete with Photoshop? In this article, we compare Adobe's offering head to head with the GNU Image Manipulation Program, to find out which one better suits the needs of the average home user.

    It seems as if weíve become a society obsessed with documenting our daily lives and the lives of those around us. Cell phones enable us to take pictures and voice record, websites likeYouTubeare wildly popular as they provide a platform for users to post personal videos, and digital cameras -- once an expensive luxury afforded by a select few -- have become somewhat of a necessity in the same vein as owning a computer.

    When digital cameras became financially viable and readily available for American consumers, the demand for imaging software such asAdobe Photoshopalso saw a great surge in popularity. Whether it was graphic artists wanting to tweak images or drastically alter the appearance of photographs, or the average American teenager looking to cover up unsightly bumps and other unattractive features for photos on their Myspace page, the message was clear: consumers were interested in being able to purchase imaging software once only used by professionals.

    Photoshop, which is now in its eleventh incarnation, is thought to be the market leader for image manipulation and the industry standard for graphics professionals. As one of the flagship products for Adobe Systems, it should come as no surprise that Photoshop is sold for a price that is well beyond the means of many consumers, especially given the current economic situation both at home and abroad. Forjust$700, Adobeís new Photoshop CS4 can be yours. Already have Photoshop on your computer? Well, then all you have to do is upgrade the program Ö for a mere $200.

    Thankfully, for those who canít afford to fork over that kind of cash -- and surely that constitutes a large percentage of the country -- there are other software programs that have the same features and perform the same tasks, but for a fraction of the price. Actually, for no price at all.

    The GIMP(GNU Image Manipulation Program) 2.6 is a graphics editor provided by theGNOME Project, otherwise known as the Free Software Desktop Project. It is of course free, and it is commonly used to create graphics and logos, resize and crop photos, alter color, combine multiple images, remove unwanted image features and convert image formats. Essentially, GIMP does everything for which  the average home user would utilize Photoshop, except that GIMP can be downloaded online free of charge.

    Though itís true that GIMP is often used as a free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop, it should be pointed out that it is not a Photoshop clone. So, whatís the catch? Is it possible that a graphics editor, one that has almost identical features to that of another program which costs $700, be free?

    The answer is yes. Photoshop, though more technologically advanced and capable of performing more complex tasks, does have some stiff competition in the free, very user-friendly GIMP graphics editor. Letís take a look at the specifics of each software program and find out which program is more suitable for the average home userís needs.

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