Adobe alternatives?

Started Oct 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
abelits Contributing Member • Posts: 765
Re: GIMP is highly usable

CAcreeks wrote:

I strongly prefer GIMP to Photoshop because GIMP starts up faster, has better JPEG encodings, runs on Linux, and is not limited to 2 (virtual) machines per license. GIMP has several unusual features such as NL filter and JPEG Q-detect.

Earlier in the thread somebody complained about slow speed of PaintShopPro, but GIMP is definitely not slow. It is true, GIMP lacks 16-bit per color channel, but most other criticisms of it are off-target or plain wrong.

Mikeobe wrote:

A tad late to the party but I haven't seen anyone mention GIMP, Open source program that has many of the same features as PS and it's free! Now, I don't think it has a system like Bridge or Lightroom? I may be mistaken on this, just don't know?

I use GIMP for editing and printing, and Silkypix for RAW conversion (the latter is mandatory due to having a camera with X-Trans sensor, and poor X-Trans support in anything that is not Silkypix). Current (2.8.2) version of GIMP has everything I need from an editor, though I am looking forward to 2.10 where developers promised 16-bit channels -- now I rely on Silkypix to do preliminary levels/color adjustment in 16 bits, then GIMP drops the lower bits while importing TIFF, and continues in 8 bits. When I need annotations for technical photos (PCBs, assemblies, modification and test procedures), I overlay them in Inkscape.

I only organize photos with directory hierarchy, and use Gwenview as a viewer. Once DCRaw will reach the level of Silkypix in X-Trans demosaic/filtering, I intend to try digiKam as Lightroom-style all-encompassing environment, however I am not sure if it will suit my purposes. AfterShot may be possible in the future, too, however currently it doesn't support X-Trans at all.

Oh, and all my workflow runs on Linux (Silkypix as a Windows binary under Wine). For the purpose of disclosure, I believe, I have to mention that I am a Linux developer, and I avoid Windows like the plague, seeing it as incompatible with everything I stand for as an engineer, though I do not derive any monetary benefit from desktop Linux in general or its popularity as a platform for image processing in particular. If anyone cares, this is where I worked (laid off at the beginning of this month, pretty certain that my next employer won't be Adobe).

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