Adobe Photoshop Elements
Description: Adobe’s Photoshop offers a comprehensive range of image importing and editing features, including editing tools, image filters and auto-correctors that have become the industry standard. Photoshop gives you the ability to manipulate images in near-endless ways, add texts and graphics, and create outputs of lofty artistic and technical quality. The program’s output capabilities include GIF, JPEG, PDF and multiple other versatile formats, and it also allows you to create online galleries, send your work to mobile phones and PDAs, and create your own screen savers.
You can import images from a scanner, directly from a digital camera, from portable storage media devices, screen capture, mobile phones, and still images from motion pictures. Hundreds of visual effects are available through Photoshop’s easy to use interface.
Review: This software for photo editing has served as the industry benchmark since the early days of the digital age, and for good reason. Not only does it offer the most complete range of filters, image manipulating tools, layering capabilities and output formats of any program on the market, it is also fairly easy to grasp, even for absolute beginners. The program also offers organizational capabilities that are second to none on the market.
The only major down side to Photoshop is that it can become a little complicated to manage your outputs, as completed images are stored in an application that is separate from your imported photographs. However, this drawback is overcome easily enough, and the boundless creativity offered by Photoshop makes it the number one choice of graphic design professionals and artists the world over.
Corel PaintShop Pro
Description: Corel PaintShop Pro offers functionality that is virtually identical to Photoshop, with a few notable exceptions. Unlike Photoshop, it is not capable of creating screen savers, and unlike Adobe, Corel offers advanced support via email. While its interface also differs significantly from Photoshop’s, PaintShop Pro is just as easy to use and allows you to import digital photos, screen captures, scanned images or even paint on a blank canvas with a complete range of brushes.
Review: The advantages of this program are well-known: PaintShop Pro is very easy to use despite its comprehensive range of features and capabilities. It also offers outstanding image organization features, and the customer service and support is second to none.
The major drawback of PaintShop Pro is that its image sharing features have some room for improvement. However, it is priced at a lower point than Photoshop, and on the whole, it makes an excellent alternative if you’re looking to save some money without giving up anything in terms of creativity, functionality and versatility.
Description: Serif PhotoPlus’ range of capabilities are identical to the market’s leading products, except that it does not offer users the ability to import screen grabs from videos, drag and drop keywords or use certain plug-ins.
Review: The major advantage of Serif PhotoPlus over its competitors is that it offers a very complete library of video tutorials, which make it easy to acquaint yourself with its features. It’s not exactly a drawback that it is so loaded with features, but not all of them are intuitively found or straightforward to use, so it may take you some time to master this otherwise excellent program.