PP software beginner friendly and free ?

Started Sep 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
arthurb2
Regular MemberPosts: 158
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Re: PP software beginner friendly and free ?
In reply to Chimere, Sep 29, 2012

I would also recommend FastStone Image Viewer, which is a good viewer for looking at a folder at a time, but also includes a capable editor and many other tools. Certainly for a beginner I would suggest getting used to this and then you can see what else you may need.

If you intend to shoot Raw, then the free Sony software (Image Data converter) is fine; not the quickest or slickest, but it works well enough, and again you can get to understand the issues without shelling out any hard-earned cash.

Of course, you can spend a small fortune if you wish, but, if you want an editor with more capability than FastStone (and you probably will want one before too long), I find Corel's Paint Shop Pro X4 quite superb and feel no need to worry about buying Photoshop at prices I simply cannot afford. Corel regularly offer great discounts on their products, especially just before an update, and it is well worth keeping a close watch on Amazon for deals that come and go quickly. ACDSee Photo Editor is another modest-priced editor but it is aimed more, to me at least, at scrapbooking, and is not as sophisticated as PSP X4 - not a great improvement on FastStone to me.

After six years back into photography, sparked by the advent of digital, I find a combination of FastStone, Sony's IDC and Paint Shop Pro covers all my needs, but it is worth spending a little time integrating these tools (so you can, say, call PSP direct from FastStone for the selected image for example).

The Sony IDC is, of course, free; FastStone is donation-ware (as an ex self-employed software developer I always donate if I use something), and I paid about £40 (approx $60) for PSP X4. So for a total outlay of, what, $80-90 you can do pretty much what you want.

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