Posts Tagged 'photo editor'

Photo Pos Pro – FreeFile Review

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Photo Pos Pro is yet another photo editor. It has everything that is expected in a free photo editor and is only available for Windows. A paid version with a selection of more advanced tools is also offered.

— The good – Photo Pos Pro comes with plenty of tools and filters. It has all of the standard adjustments nomally available in most photo editors and many more. I like the right side palette, with the history, layers, and color palettes always visible.

— The bad – The user interface needs work. Very little customization by the user is possible. Every button and toolbar is visible by default, which creates a rather busy workspace. Unneeded tools can be hidden, but they are labeled cryptically (e.g. “CommandBarStripElement1”) in the ‘Customize’ context menu. Ugh! I don’t like the blue highlighting, used throughout the workspace, and I found no way to change it. Care needs to taken when downloading the program, as the latest version (3.0.5) can only be downloaded from Download.com, where unwanted programs are often included with downloads. I was able to download Photo Pos Pro without any ‘extras’. As with all free photo editors, the selection tools leave much to be desired. Tools not available in the free version, are not grayed-out, but instead lead to a web page where the Premium version can be purchased for $25. Ugh!

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

Photo Pos Pro has me confused. I want to recommend it because it is possibly one of the most complete free photo editors, however, too many things made me say “ugh!”. In the end, I give it a thumbs-down.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com.

IrfanView – FreeFile Review

FFR-2015IrfanView-headerIf I were to describe IrfanView in a few words, I would classify it as a graphics viewer/editor, but it is much more than that. Among it’s most notable features is screen capture, icon creation, and batch editing. Plug-ins greatly expand it’s functionality with things such as video player, CD/DVD burning, and slideshow creation.

IrfanView is most effective when used as your system graphics viewer. This is the program that will open to view any graphics file that you click on. Why is this awesome? IrfanView is fast. It supports a ton of formats. It is a first class, simple photo editor. Click on a JPG (or any supported format) and it opens instantly in a photo editor – ready to edit. This function is easy to enable during installation; select the “Images only” button on the ‘associate extensions’ page.

The photo editing controls are rather basic, but give give excellent results. A basic drawing function is included. Program menus and options are extensive and may confuse the new user, but seasoned users will appreciate all of the options. IrfanView is only available for Windows.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

I give IrfanView my highest recommendation. I love its speed and basic photo editing functions. In 1999, I first used it to create an icon, and soon learned that it made an excellent system graphics viewer. I have been using it daily for 16 years and consider it an essential part of Windows. Go get it today.
Download IrfanView HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com.

PhotoDemon – FreeFile Review

FFR-WP-logo

PhotoDemon-logo

 

 

PhotoDemon is yet another simple photo editor. It is, in a word, basic; in my opinion, too basic. It is for Windows only.
What I like about PhotoDemon –
It’s portable – no installation needed – just unzip and launch. The Quick Fix bar has Clarity and Vibrance adjustments along with the basic color adjustments. Very nice. It comes with a large collection of high quality filters. Most of the filters have relevant adjustments. Layers are enabled, but with few features. All of the standard color and lighting adjustments are available. All adjustments are on sliders.
Now, the bad news –
As with most free photo editors, the selection tools are basic and lacking. There is no Healing Brush or Clone Tool, so spot corrections and spot adjustments are not practical. There is no Text Tool.
– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –
To make simple adjustments to photos, or if you are really into filters, PhotoDemon is a good choice. The nice selection of filters is the only reason to consider this program.
Download PhotoDemon HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

FreeFile Review – PC Image Editor

PC Image Editor is a simple image editor available for Windows only. This type of program is designed to perform a few simple adjustments quickly. What separates this editor from dozens of other free graphic editors is its interface, which is modeled after Adobe Lightroom, with the most-used tools arranged in tabs on the right side.

The standard color adjustments (Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, etc.) are on the Adjustments tab along with buttons for Auto Levels, Auto Contrast and Invert. All of these adjustments work as expected, except for the Colorize controls, which will add color to an image, but will not remove it. The Filters tab contains 10 filters which work well enough; I would like there to be more. There is really little reason for the last two tabs. The Effects tab contains the normal transform controls and two controls that are better suited for the Filters tab. The Resize tab is self-explanatory.

Positives include opening and saving in most common image formats, the tools work well, and the program is easy to use. I liked the small preview that pops up whenever a tool was used.

Negatives include too few filters and effects. The program’s lack of any selection tools or text tools is understandable, but the lack of a crop tool is a major shortcoming.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

I was prepared to recommend PC Image Editor until I realized that it lacks a crop tool. Adding more filters and effects and, most importantly, a crop tool, will make this program a winner. Until that happens, I feel the program is too limited for most people. If you want to give it a try – PC Image Editor can be downloaded HERE.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

FreeFile Review – The Gimp 2.8

The Gimp has long been considered the best free graphics editor. In the past, when trying the program, I was turned off by the interface that consisted of several floating windows. This issue has been addressed in the new version 2.8 with the Single-Window Mode, which can be enabled in the ‘Windows’ menu. This constrains the program to a single main window as is the norm with most programs. This new interface is pleasant and slightly cluttered. Another welcome change is the Text Editing, which now is done on canvas (in-line). Previously, text was edited in a separate window. The Gimp is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

My enthusiasm for the program quickly evaporated when I tried to get some work done with it. Much of this program is not intuitive; I spent more time reading less-than-helpful help files and the more useful forums than actually testing the program. If you are experienced with other photo editors, The Gimp will be very frustrating. Simple functions, such as ‘deselect’ are not where one would expect them. Other things, such as ‘Adjustment Layers’, are absent. There are seven selection tools, but not a plain ‘Select’ tool. The ‘Heal Tool’ performs as a ‘Clone Stamp Tool’. It seems that non-standard things have been done just to be different.

Positives include a good selection of tools, most of which have plenty of options. It comes with a nice selection of filters. The new Single-Window interface is a welcome change. The Gimp performed well and was stable.
– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

This is a powerful program with a steep learning curve, and you must be willing to put in a lot of work to master it. I can’t recommend The Gimp for most users, but if you are looking for a challenge, The Gimp may fill the bill.

Download The Gimp HERE

Visit DanKostecki.com for more FreeFile Reviews

FreeFile Review – PixBuilder Studio

I just recently became aware of PixBuilder Studio. This free image editor is similar to Paint.Net, which I reviewed earlier this year – both are quite capable, but with a few differences.

Installation offers the options of a full install or a portable install (very nice). I chose the portable install on Windows 7 and had no issues. PixBuilder Studio is for Windows only. The user interface is very clean and modern and it can be customized to one’s tastes.

Most of PixBuilder Studio’s image adjustments (brightness, contrast, color controls, etc.) are found under the Colors menu on the toolbar. All of these controls perform quite well as do the limited drawing tools. I was surprised to find a Healing Brush Tool, but I found its performance subpar. The Clone Stamp Tool performs much better. Text is edited in a seperate window – my preference is for inline editing – however, in this case, the text editing is well done. My favorite feature is the Zoom Panel. It offers the easiest way to zoom in and out of the workspace that I have seen. This feature should be included in all image editors. Another surprise is the icon editor that is built into the program. Finally, the program performs quickly and reliably.

The only big negative that I found was the few filters and effects included with PixBuilder Studio. It is possible to install Photoshop filters, but few users will go through the involved process to enable them. Hopefully, this will be resolved in a future version.

– – The Bottom Line – –

I was pleasantly surprised by this well done piece of software. Anyone needing a basic photo editor will be very satisfied with PixBuilder Studio. The icon editing functions really make PixBuilder Studio stand out from the crowd. Try it for yourself.

Download PixBuilder Studio HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

FreeFile Review – Paint.net

Paint.net has long been called the best free replacement for Photoshop. That is quite a claim and I checked to see if it lives up to the claim.

The program has an attractive, clean interface that will be very familiar to anyone with photo editing experience. It seems quite sparse when compared with Photoshop – fewer tools on the toolbar and fewer floating pallets are available. This simplicity may be a good thing for the casual user, but frustrating to the more experienced user. The program can open and save the major graphics formats, with the exception of Photoshop’s PSD format.

What I liked about Paint.net –

Text – The way text is handled is simple and intuitive – very nice. However, kerning and leading is not adjustable and style adjustments are few. It supports layers and unlimited undo. It has a decent selection of filters and more can be added through plug-ins. The overall simplicity of the program is attractive.

Misses include limited selection tools, as well as limited options and adjustments on all tools. Paint.net is for Windows only.

– – The Bottom Line – –

Is Paint.net a replacement for Photoshop? No. Photoshop is capable of much more than Paint.net is capable of. However, for someone with less demanding needs or a thin wallet, Paint.net is an excellent option. It is free, so give it a shot.

Download Paint.net HERE or HERE

Visit DanKostecki.com for more FreeFile Reviews.


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