Battle of the Giants? No. David vs. Goliath? Yes

11 04 2007

Digg post on a short, puff-piece comparison {mirror} of GIMP {GNU Image Manipulation} vs. Adobe Photoshop.

A common misconception is that Gimp lacks many more features that Photoshop has. In fact, with the exception of features that depend on patented algorithms, Gimp is 99% on par with Photoshop in capabilities.

No..all you have to do is read the manual to see that there is no misconception, it’s quite obvious there is less features in GIMP, patented or otherwise. Right off that bat, I’m not seeing Vector Mask, Adjustment Layers, CMS or even duotones. I’m sorry but 99% seems way off base, GIMP would likely have more features than the modestly priced Photo Elements. So what if some features GIMP can’t implement because of software patents (which I staunchly oppose), I HAVE DEADLINES, I NEED THOSE TIME-SAVING FEATURES. I don’t want excuses, I want to send a comp to the client, now. NOW, DAMMIT!

There is more to this comparison than just comparable features such as filters or how they handle layers. The author admits GIMP’s interface is not as polished as Photoshop, when working under tight deadlines while concurrently using layout programs such as InDesign and Illustrator, familiarity and interoperability counts. Also some of the finer touches Adobe puts in their interface matter immensely. Use the ruler tool to measure the angle of a slightly skewed scanned photo, note how that angle automatically pops up in the Rotate dialog box. Those little time-saving touches matter, they show how much the developer strives to create an efficient, time-saving applications. I would love to see a side-by-side comparison of the execution time of GIMP’s filters and manipulation algorithms vs. Photoshop, I feel confident Photoshop would smoke ’em.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge supporter of open-source software. I will gladly recommend GIMP to any non-designer trying to hit me up for a pirated copy of Photoshop so they can fix their underdeveloped digital photos. So are you really gonna trust GIMP to accurately correct and manipulate the photos in the annual report you have on press end of the week? I doubt it.

Battle of the Giants [Ask Rea Maor]




One response

5 01 2010

I personally prefer GIMP but I can’t argue with anything you have said above.

For *professional* use Photoshop may not have any realistic competition… but people paid to use PS are the minority, not the majority, of those looking for a GIMP vs. PS comparison. For the rest of us GIMP’s feature set is in most cases more than adequate and the liberal licensing and vast cross platform capabilities are something that Adobe will simply never match.

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