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Best free photo editing software?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by number17, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. number17

    number17 Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Jan 19, 2011
    I'm sorta new to photography and I just picked up an Oly E-PL1 over Christmas, but I'm having tons of fun with it.

    I don't do a lot of photo editing, and I have strictly shot JPEG in general. Recently I started shooting JPEG+RAW as I find shooting RAW gives me a lot more options for post-processing. It does take a bit more time for the camera to write.

    I've been using Olympus Master 2 thus far and it's ok. I find it somewhat limiting at times though, and it's not the easiest software to use neither (maybe because I'm a newbie)

    Is there any other free or cheap photo editing software you guys would recommend? I don't do a lot of editing (yet) so I can't justify an expensive software at the moment ...
     
  2. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Herbert
    Have you tried Olympus ib that comes with E-PL1? It's free (it comes with the camera), and is good enough to do basic raw processing, IMO.
     
  3. icase81

    icase81 Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Feb 22, 2011
    Philly, PA
    Windows or Mac? On Mac, Pixelmator is about 85% of Photoshop for $30. Theres also iPhoto, which is $20. Aperture is more in depth, but costs $60 I believe.
     
  4. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Digikam (click my sig) is a good editor with raw capabilities, running under Linux / windows / MacOS X, and a powerful software to file, tag, geotag, and otherwise do what you want with images.

    It's aiming at being close in spirit with LightRoom. Easier than Photoshop (no Layers), but extremely good control of photographic parameters (uses 16 bits images, ICC, calibrated monitors etc.)

    The B&W converter is very powerful, and I'm a bit partial to it because I rewrote the User Interface of that converter for the project... :wink:

    [edit]
    To see a sample of work with Digikam, I cooked a tutorial on b&w conversion some time ago ; you can see it here :

    https://picasaweb.google.com/manuel.viet0/Bwtutorial?feat=directlink
    [/edit]
     
  5. scotth

    scotth Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Feb 3, 2011
    Michigan
    Does anyone use Gimp. my experince with Gimp is pretty limited, but it seems pretty powerful.
     
  6. icase81

    icase81 Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Feb 22, 2011
    Philly, PA
    I've played with it, but the learning curve is pretty steep.
     
  7. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Yes and no. Pure editing capabilities are powerful indeed (layers etc.), but the software itself is still limited to 8 bits per channel images and can't save into a 16 bits workflow.

    So it's OK if you only deal with jpgs, but useless if you work from raw pictures.

    Cheers,
     
  8. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I've used RawTherapee. Its free, but its slow. It doesn't do layers either.
     
  9. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    If you need to edit only jpeg, you can try photoscape
     
  10. number17

    number17 Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Jan 19, 2011
    DigiKam looks very interesting ... sure I'll give that a try!

    I have PC, not Mac.

    And I tried IB ... but OM2 is more powerful than IB, even though IB has a nicer looking interface, and has features like geo-tagging, people tagging sorta things ... but I just want to edit the photo.
     
  11. tobiasschnell

    tobiasschnell  

    2
    Nov 5, 2011
    If you have pc or lapy, any operating system, for photo editing you should go through this. If you want to edit your photo you should must try PICNEA: Photo Editing Service| Styles| Andy Warhol-Roy Lichtenstein Effect| Digital Image Enhancement| Image Canvas
    It will be vary beneficial for you. I am saying this on my experience of using this.
    Hope this will help you much. I was just wondred after looking the functionality of this site. The guy have done greta in building this. Great concept and great implementation.
     
  12. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I'm also on the same boat. I don't do much editing and don't want to learn difficult softwares like Photoshop. Now I feel I must start shooting sometho
    ing in Raw but don't want to have a steep learning curve.

    My needs are very basic: adjust the basic parameters like exposure, contrast, hue,color etc. some noise reduction if needed.
    Level the photo because not always the photo is straight and not much more.

    I use a windows pc.
     
  13. dannat

    dannat Mu-43 Regular

    174
    May 2, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    Elandel you might try xnview, I have started using acdsee (paid) & I like its simplicity
     
  14. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Mu-43 Regular

    113
    Nov 9, 2011
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    I used Picasa for a number of years. For free software it does a great job and it can handle RAW files. It works well for basic exposure and white balance, and the crop/straighten tool is excellent.

    I now have Lightroom and couldn't live without it. Worth the price when you are ready to upgrade.
     
  15. Graham_of_Rainham

    Graham_of_Rainham Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Feb 16, 2010
  16. RobertinArabia

    RobertinArabia Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 6, 2012
    I downloaded this freeware after reading a review at About.com about free programs.
    Its retouching tools are a marvel. They are under the "makeup" section of menus.This is free and a terrific retouching package:
    VCW VicMan's Photo Editor is a versatile image editor with an intuitive interface and a wide variety of features. This powerful application is user friendly, offering simple image editing, high productivity and easy customization.

    Now you don't have to fork out hundreds of dollars for a quality image editor. This award-winning application is freely downloadable and comes with a wide range of essential features for both novice users and professional designers. With VCW VicMan's Photo Editor you can refine your digital photos, draw artwork naturally and effortlessly, producing superb graphics for the

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