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Thread: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

  1. #161
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    Certainly, layers is one of the big aspects,
    Big is a bit of an understatement but some packages such as After Shot Pro use them in a slightly different way that impacts on how they are used.

    Second, working with 16 bits per channel is a big deal when cameras support 14 bits of real data acquisition. Many third party apps (and PhotoShop Elements the last I knew) do not support more than 8 bits per channel. This is a real deal-breaker with many applications to my mind.
    Not really correct. The important aspect is that the raw converter needs to be able to handle the raw files bit depth. Neglecting 10 bit visual images the object of the exercise is to get the bit depth recorded by the camera which can actually be less than it's capabilities into 8bit according to the intended result. This may take a little more skill than retaining the whole data throughout PP. When worked on 8bit it is advantageous to have a workspace holding this at a greater bit depth. It wouldn't surprise me if Elements uses 15bit as that is what Adobe started off using.

    Third, the raw converters (assuming the program even has one) vary tremendously between products. The PaintShopPro raw converter is not awful, but it isn't as good as Adobe's. I always use the Nikon program for raw conversion because it is better than any third party converter, with full support for Nikon cameras and no reverse engineering. They add new cameras more quickly than any other program, too. But, if you want to use the built-in raw support of your image processig application, this is a big variable between applications.
    As Manfred mentioned Nikon's raw processing software has not been reverse engineered. Another way of putting it is that it's different. It for instance some how or the other produces a unique camera profile for every shot taken. It's also possible to store curves in some of the camera although I have never bottomed out which ones. Once again these curves are different because they are not camera profiles. They basically alter the tonal response of the camera and colouration. An application called Ufraw allows these curves to be applied to shots from any camera. On the other hand a number of people on here produce good shots using Adobe camera profiles which follow the normal way of handling this area.

    Finally, if you are a software engineer and like to develop your own image processing applications, GIMP is the clear winner over any of the applications, with a fully-documented interface and a large developer community willing to help you.
    GIMP is both ahead and behind PS but is more intended for people who are willing to get to grips with the basics provided by many bells and whistles and plugins in other packages. It also has myriads of plugins available. So many it is difficult to know what is of real use until they are found. In terms of what layer work often means there is little difference between it and PS. It's also possible to write plugins for Aftershot Pro. Coral will provide the information that is needed. People do.

    One odd aspect about the GIMP is that over the years there have been some purely photographic spin offs. They always fall by the wayside probably because GIMP development carries on without any tie ups with who ever is working on the photo version so they become incompatible. It also doesn't do a number of things which it could which would help casual users. This is largely because many people who work on open source software are doing it because they want some particular feature themselves. They are also likely to be very proficient at using it. Developers come and go. People are inclined to think that there is a solid core of people working on it. Unfortunately there isn't on lots of open source software.

    ETA: 64-bit applications are important any more, too. Many of the third-party apps are still 32-bit. Given that each image may run 100 MB or more now, you need a lot of address space for working with some operations (panoramas come to mind.)
    Not true at all. 32 bit applications use memory management AKA paging to extend memory indefinitely. The overheads for doing this are from what I hear are rather low. What can be more of a problem is operating systems placing an artificial limit on the amount of memory that they will make use of. Windows have done this in the past in order to get people to pay for more expensive options really. One release was famous for this as people fitted more memory without realising that it wouldn't be made use of. The motherboard may also limit it and often does at some point - usually so high that most people need not worry about it.

    John
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    Last edited by ajohnw; 16th January 2015 at 10:56 PM.

  2. #162
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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    Certainly, layers is one of the big aspects, but there are a few others that are worth considering.

    Second, working with 16 bits per channel is a big deal when cameras support 14 bits of real data acquisition. Many third party apps (and PhotoShop Elements the last I knew) do not support more than 8 bits per channel. This is a real deal-breaker with many applications to my mind.
    Elements is a bit hybrid in that respect. ACR lets you select 8 or 16bit when moving to the Editor. There you find that some adjustments are available for 16bit images but others are not.

    Third, the raw converters (assuming the program even has one) vary tremendously between products.
    As a Sigma camera user, I can attest to that.

    ETA: 64-bit applications are important any more, too. Many of the third-party apps are still 32-bit. Given that each image may run 100 MB or more now, you need a lot of address space for working with some operations (panoramas come to mind.)
    Which is why I stick to older cameras and simple snaps . .

  3. #163
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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Elements is a bit hybrid in that respect. ACR lets you select 8 or 16bit when moving to the Editor. There you find that some adjustments are available for 16bit images but others are not.

    There have been rumours on the web for a long time that Adobe use signed 16 bit which effectively means that they use 15bit. It's computationally efficient but I doubt if they use it in PS. Elements may well still use it.

    There is ACR and then there is ACR as well

    http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/m...photoshop.html

    Nice of Adobe to not put what some people would regard as an essential in the elements version. If some one can cope with what should be there a sensible option would be to use Rawtherapee and then Elements for layer style work. Elements does have cloning and healing brushes which RT lacks. The photoshop ACR is capable of doing all sorts of things - some probably obtained by using some of Photoshops software.

    John
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  4. #164
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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajohnw View Post

    There is ACR and then there is ACR as well

    http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/m...photoshop.html

    Nice of Adobe to not put what some people would regard as an essential in the elements version.

    John
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    But if they had done that John they would have not got me as a PS CC customer

    Grahame

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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    I use On One but I am not happy with some functions as yet in it. My version is 9. Is this different? I am not giving up on Photoshop yet because it has been a long road to learning it right from version 4. But I have an open mind...I am just a little bit on the hard-headedness at the moment...I also use Premiere and After Effects, from time to time I use In Design for our flying club's newsletter.

    Keep on researching. I am interested in what you can find out for sure...

  6. #166
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    But if they had done that John they would have not got me as a PS CC customer

    Grahame
    Perhaps they feel that this way they sell more copies of Lightroom as well. An image browsing application capable of a few simple adjustments so I'm told. Hence the name light room.

    Looks like some have decided to ignore that many processors have what is called a paging register and limit paging to swapping which is a bit strange but as I thought memory extension via this type of mechanism has been about since the dear old 8086.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86_memory_segmentation

    Off topic in some ways but the 32 - 64bit cropped up. It's an interesting area. To me anyway. Apple initially went for what is referred to as a flat memory model. This doesn't need paging at all. IBM went for what at the time was old hat, paging and some aspects of that are still with us even now. Probably because it was what they were used to on main frames and mini's. The alternative was too radical and modern.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_memory_model

    John
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  7. #167
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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    Quote Originally Posted by shoshanna View Post
    There is also Perfect photo Suite 7 (soon to be 7.5) to consider. Not as cheap as Photoline but they give you free updates after the initial purchase is made.

    http://www.ononesoftware.com/product...whats-new.html
    I have not used Perfect Photo Suite (now up to V.9) as a stand alone editor but, it has most of the aatributes needed as a stand alone product. I use that combined with CS6 (which I own) and NIK Software.

    I am not worried about the prices, I just like the capability the three editing systems provide,,,

  8. #168
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajohnw View Post
    Perhaps they feel that this way they sell more copies of Lightroom as well. An image browsing application capable of a few simple adjustments so I'm told. Hence the name light room.
    Lightroom was initially viewed as something quite other than an image editor; it was meant to be a work management / cataloging tool with very limited editing capabilities. I've used Lightroom since it was in beta, and that is really how Adobe marketed it in the beginning.

    The primary audience was commercial portrait / wedding photographers who needed to do a quick cull / ranking of their shots, store / catalogue them by contract, make global adjustments to a range of images taken under the same lighting conditions. All the heavy lifting was meant to be done in Photoshop.

    At the beginning Adobe viewed, Lightroom and Photoshop as complementary, rather than competing products. I think, much to their surprise (and mine too!), people began to use it as their primary editing tool, just because they didn't need the complexity of Photoshop, so as it underwent revision, the initial cataloging feature remained, but it got more sophisticated editing capabilities.

  9. #169

    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    ACDsee Pro Ultimate 9 Pro can use all photoshop actions and plugins. In addition there are several patented software features. Including "Light EQ" "Color EQ" "Dehaze" and "Skin Tune" that no other software will ever have. It is a complete photo development software and in my opinion very much superior to anything Photoshop offers.

  10. #170
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertK View Post
    ACDsee Pro Ultimate 9 Pro can use all photoshop actions and plugins. In addition there are several patented software features. Including "Light EQ" "Color EQ" "Dehaze" and "Skin Tune" that no other software will ever have. It is a complete photo development software and in my opinion very much superior to anything Photoshop offers.

    ACDsee makes some excellent products, as does Corel, if you are looking at commercial software . I have used both and actually started off with earlier versions of ACDsee products. Both are Canadian companies and I liked the idea of "buying local".

    Both are make excellent products, but the only people who suggest that they are superior to Photoshop are probably those who are not using some of the more advanced functionality that Photoshop offers. I use things like the dehaze filter and content aware functionality in Photoshop all the time and these are significant time savers versus what I see in the competing products.

  11. #171
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertK View Post
    ACDsee Pro Ultimate 9 Pro can use all photoshop actions and plugins. In addition there are several patented software features. Including "Light EQ" "Color EQ" "Dehaze" and "Skin Tune" that no other software will ever have. It is a complete photo development software and in my opinion very much superior to anything Photoshop offers.

    ACDsee makes some excellent products, as does Corel, if you are looking at commercial software . I have used both and actually started off my photo editing with earlier versions of ACDsee products. Both are Canadian companies and I liked the idea of "buying local".

    Both are make excellent products, but the only people who suggest that they are superior to Photoshop are probably those who are not using some of the more advanced functionality that Photoshop offers. I use things like the dehaze filter and content aware functionality in Photoshop all the time and these are significant time savers versus what I see in the competing products.

  12. #172

    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    Hi. I'd agree with GrumpyDiver that Online based tools are never going to work as of adobe photoshop's desktop version. Adobe officially have a free web-based editor (photoshop online tools) but that's totally different than that one, Don't know about you but i don't like the interface it has. I do make use of desktop version and occasionally this website named as photoshop free tool and still not like the desktop's version but is good enough than other i've gone through.

  13. #173

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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    I like Photoshop, no, that's not right...I love Photoshop.
    But it's got the same limitations as does a camera in that, it's user limited...if you lack the
    knowledge/imagination in it's use...it does have it's limitations.

  14. #174
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    Re: Viable alternatives to Photoshop.

    You may perhaps have better results using a combination of two or more post processing utilities. I suggest a combination of Faststone and Gimp. Faststone will nicely convert most Raw files and has limited image editing features with excellent file managing, but Gimp is very capable for post processing, nearly as powerful as Photoshop CS6.

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