A short list of photo editors, raw converters and other photo editing tools

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Name
Peter
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#1
If you're in search of a photo/image editor, this thread should be able to help you find the one you'll like.
There are many photo editors, they differ in their capabilities, performance, price, operating systems support and so on.

Shortcuts to individual sections:

- [JUMP=imgedit_paid]Photo/Image editors paid[/JUMP]
- [JUMP=imgedit_free]Photo/Image editors free[/JUMP]
- [JUMP=rawconv_paid]Raw Converters paid[/JUMP]
- [JUMP=rawconv_free]Raw Converters free[/JUMP]
- [JUMP=rawconv_manu_paid]Raw Converters - manufacturer's own paid[/JUMP]
- [JUMP=rawconv_manu_free]Raw Converters - manufacturer's own free[/JUMP]
- [JUMP=viewers_paid]Image viewers and organisers paid[/JUMP]
- [JUMP=viewers_free]Image viewers and organisers free[/JUMP]
- [JUMP=utils_various]A few interesting freebies for various needs[/JUMP]



[ANCHOR=imgedit_paid]Photo/Image editors paid:[/ANCHOR]


Adobe Photoshop
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/
Yes, THE Photoshop.
Tutorials:
Tutorials for Photoshop can be found all over the web via Google.


Adobe Photoshop Elements
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin/
Little brother. Fairly capable for the price.
Tutorials:
Some of tutorials for Photoshop can be also applied to Photoshop Elements. Again, Google is your friend.


Corel Photo-Paint
http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite/gb/en/Product/1191272117978
The companion. Come in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. It used to rival Photoshop and still holds its own.
Tutorials:
For this one, tutorials are pretty difficult to find sometimes.


Corel Paint Shop Pro
http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite/gb/en/Product/1184951547051
They say it used to be speedy. It's one of the best values on the market of photo editors. Recent versions (at least X2) can open some raw files too. Jasc used to make this one.
Tutorials:
http://www.baycongroup.com/paint_shop_pro/tutorials.htm
http://www.grafx-design.com/psp_tut.html
http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/pa...sential_Tutorials_for_Jasc_Paint_Shop_Pro.htm


Ulead PhotoImpact
http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite/gb/en/Product/1184951547051
I haven't tried this one much, but it's similar to Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop Elements in many ways. Ulead used to make it.
Tutorials:
http://www.ulead.com/learning/pi.htm
http://www.huntfor.com/design/tutorials/photoimpact.htm


PhotoLine
http://www.pl32.com/
Looks very good on paper. The way it works is a bit odd, but it's fairly fast and probably only takes getting used to.


ACD Canvas
http://www.acdsee.com/
Not exactly a photo editor, although I've only tried an older version, it could have improved a lot since then. It's a pretty versatile tool, though, so it might be worth a try.
Tutorials:
Google's your friend here as well.


ACDSee Photo Editor
http://www.acdsee.com/
An interesting photo editor that could use some more polish (I had some trouble finding a duplicate object button in the 2008 version).
Tutorials:
Google's your friend here.


Serif PhotoPlus
http://www.serif.com/
Not very well known, but it gets decent reviews.



[ANCHOR=imgedit_free]Photo/Image editors free:[/ANCHOR]


the GIMP
http://www.gimp.org/
Probably the best free photo/image editor available.
Tutorials:
AS they're not that easy to find, here's my list:
A GIMP fire tutorial.
GIMP guru tutorials.
pixel2life tutorials.
A user group site.
Gimplogy.
Bits about the GIMP.
A few nice brushes for the GIMP.
Talk about the GIMP.
Video tutorials by Jimmac.
Official GIMP documentation.
How to create a resizable brush in the GIMP.


Paint.NET
http://www.getpaint.net/
It's decent if you install a bunch of plug-ins.
Tutorials:
http://paintdotnet.forumer.com/viewforum.php?f=15
http://groups.melbpc.org.au/~bayside/Tutorial on Paint.Net.pdf
http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/paintnet/PaintNET_Resources_and_Tutorials.htm


PhotoFiltre
http://photofiltre.free.fr/frames_en.htm
Not bad for some quick editing.
Tutorials:
http://photofiltre.free.fr/frames_en.htm


Serif PhotoPlus 6
http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/software/PhotoPlus/default.asp
It was a bit slow every time I've tried it, but not everybody has that problem. It's not too bad, although a bit basic.


Photoscape
http://www.photoscape.org/
If yo want something simple that can also convert raws, this could be it.



[ANCHOR=rawconv_paid]Raw Converters paid:[/ANCHOR]
I'm not sure there are any tutorials needed if you know your way at least with Photoshop Elements, the GIMP or such.


Adobe Lightroom
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/
The youngling. It's been pretty slow on my PC, but the results aren't bad if you don't apply sharpening at higher ISOs.


Apple Aperture
http://www.apple.com/aperture/
Probably one of the reason Adobe released Lightroom. I've never used it, as I don't have an Apple PC.


Phase One Capture One
http://www.phaseone.com/Content/Software.aspx
Capture One 4 is quite nice. Speed is OK, so is conversion quality.


Bibble
http://bibblelabs.com/
Speedy when it comes to batch conversions, conversion quality seems to be on par with most of the other converters. Available for Linux too.


SILKYPIX Developer Studio
http://www.isl.co.jp/SILKYPIX/english/
A bit slow and the output quality isn't the best you can get (but still OK). It's pretty easy to use, though.


ArcSoft PhotoStudio Darkroom
http://www.arcsoft.com/products/photostudiodarkroom/
It has most of the basic tools, might be good for beginners. Output quality was OK. It's no speed demon.


LightZone
http://www.lightcrafts.com/products/
This one has a different approach to handling exposure tweaks. It has the basic tools and some quite interesting advanced features. Runs on Linux and Mac OS X.


ToneUp S3
http://www.toneupstudio.com/
For Nikon users only.


DxO Optics Pro
http://www.dxo.com/
They claim its output quality is one of a kind and some people seem to like it a lot. I wasn't very happy with its output, though.


Picture Window Pro
http://www.dl-c.com/
I haven't used this one, but its specifications are interesting.


Helicon Filter
http://www.heliconsoft.com/heliconfilter.html
It's a very easy to use tool, the price isn't too high and results can be decent.


RAW Developer
http://www.iridientdigital.com/
Mac OS X only.


Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements with Adobe Camera Raw plug-in
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/cameraraw.html
I've listed this combo in the paid section of raw converters, because while the plug-in can be dowloaded for free from Adobe's website, you still have to pay for Photoshop/Photoshop Elements.



[ANCHOR=rawconv_free]Raw Converters free:[/ANCHOR]


RawTherapee
http://www.rawtherapee.com/
Quite nice. You can find a mini review of it by me here: http://www.talkphotography.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=48504


UFRaw
http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/
It's a pretty good tool. What I like best about it is the way it handles whites. Colour transitions usually seem nice and smooth, very pleasant. Comes with a plug-in for the GIMP.


RAWHide
http://www.my-spot.com/RHC/
A youngster, but already has some interesting features, namely batch processing and conversion algorithms.


dcraw + batch scripts
http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/
It's a command line converter that works well with batch scripts and sometimes serves as a reference converter for other converters. You can find a tutorial how to use it here: http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/dcraw/index_en.htm. There's software that builds on it. You can find a list of that software on dcraw's homepage. There are also several GUI frontends for this neat tool.


s7raw (for Fuji cameras only)
http://www.my-spot.com/RHC/
Conversion samples combined with a tutorial: http://www.mattspinelli.com/s7raweditor2c.html.


RawShooter Essentials
http://www.my-spot.com/RHC/
It's discontinued but for some owners of older DSLRs, it' a gem. It had a commercial version. Adobe bought them and later Adobe Lightroom was born..


SILKYPIX Developer Studio
http://www.isl.co.jp/SILKYPIX/english/
A bit slow and the output quality isn't the best you can get (but still OK). It's pretty easy to use, though. The free version is limited in featuresa and isn't updated as often as the paid version.


Stepok's Raw Importer
http://www.stepok.net/eng/raw_importer.htm
A very easy to use raw converter that gives good conversion quality, although export speed isn't anything to write home about.


Rawstudio
http://rawstudio.org/
An interesting raw converter for Linux.


Rawker
http://raifra.fh-friedberg.de/Mac/index-en.html
Mac OS X only.


Raw Photo Processor (RPP)
http://www.raw-photo-processor.com/
Mac OS X only.



[ANCHOR=rawconv_manu_paid]Raw Converters - manufacturer's own paid:[/ANCHOR]


Fuji Hyper-Utility
http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital/download/index.html
Fuji's own that has the extras.


Nikon Capture NX
Nikon Downloads
Nikon's own that has the extras.


Olympus Studio
http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/205.htm



[ANCHOR=rawconv_manu_free]Raw Converters - manufacturer's own free:[/ANCHOR]


Canon Digital Photo Professional
http://www.canon-europe.com/support/software/dpp/
It should be on the CD you got with your Canon camera. You can also download it from Canon's website.


Fuji FinePix Viewer
http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital/download/index.html
It should be on the CD you got with your Fuji camera. I couldn't find a download link, if you can, please, send me a PM.


Nikon ViewNX
Nikon Downloads
You can download it from Nikon's website (link above). It has superseded Nikon PictureProject.


Olympus Master
http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/205.htm


SilkyPix Developer Studio for Panasonic cameras
http://www.isl.co.jp/SILKYPIX/english/p/support/download/
It should be on the CD you got with your Panasonic DSLR camera.


Pentax Photo Browser and Pentax Photo Laboratory
http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/download_digital.html
It should be on the CD you got with your Pentax camera. I have managed to find only updates on Pentax's website.


Samsung Digimax Master and Digimax RAW Converter
http://www.samsungcamera.com/
It should be on the CD you got with your Samsung camera. I couldn't find a download link, if you can, please, send me a PM.


SIGMA Photo Pro
http://www.sigmaphoto.com/support/cameras_downloads.asp
It should be on the CD you got with your SIGMA camera. It can also be downloaded from SIGMA's websites.


Sony Image Data Converter SR
http://esupport.sony.com/
It should be on the CD you got with your Sony DSLR. I couldn't find a download link, if you can, please, send me a PM.



[ANCHOR=viewers_paid]Image viewers and organisers paid:[/ANCHOR]


ACDSee Photo Manager
http://www.acdsee.com/
Half legendary, but not a myth. ACDSee used to be copied by other programs both in UI and in functionality for years.


Zoner PhotoStudio
http://www.zoner.com/
An image viewer that got a few simple image editing capabilities in its more recent iteration.


Corel MediaOne Plus
http://www.corel.com/
A media organiser, not that well know, but it can manage images as well as videos and aply some quick edit to images.


Camera Bits Photo Mechanic
http://www.camerabits.com/
Comes at a price, but some people love it.



[ANCHOR=viewers_free]Image viewers and organisers free:[/ANCHOR]


Irfan View
http://www.irfanview.com/
A very nice and fast image viewer. Free for non-commercial personal use only!


FastStone Image Viewer and FastStone MaxView
http://www.faststone.org/
FastStone Image Viewer mimicks ACDSee's interface a bit, MaxView is more like a pure image viewer and it does that job well. Free for non-commercial personal use only!


XnView
http://www.xnview.com/
ACDSee style image viewer. Free for non-commercial personal use only!


FuturixImager
http://fximage.com/
Simple and fast image viewer with some image editing abilities.


P3dO Explorer
http://www.senosoft.com/
Not bad one either, a bit of ACDSee style is in this one too.


Google Picasa
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopalbum/starter.html
A popular photo organiser that also has some image editing capabilities.


Microsoft Windows Live Photo Gallery
http://get.live.com/photogallery/overview
A photo organiser, fairly simple again, it also has some image editing capabilities.


Photoshop Album Starter Edition
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopalbum/starter.html
A photo organiser, fairly simple, but it could be enough for some.



[ANCHOR=utils_various]A few interesting freebies for various needs:[/ANCHOR]
http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/default.aspx -> Microsoft Pro Photo Tools, with links to RAW codecs download
http://www.idimager.de/?page=freeware -> various utilities for editing photos
http://drchung.new21.net/previewextractor/ -> Preview Extractor (extracts jpegs from raws)
http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/enhancer.htm -> Free Digital Camera Enhancer

An article listing and testing various noise reduction programs


I would also like to add a warning.
It's about Pixel: http://www.kanzelsberger.com/pixel/
I have bought that program more than a year ago and so far it looks like it's half-dead.
Feels like a scam, although it probably wasn't intended to be one.
The program is developed by a single guy and he sucks at keeping promises and dates more than I do... which mean he's like the devil's own .
There was supposed to be a final stable version almost a year ago. Instead, he kept on adding features and what's available now is incomplete, buggy and not very stable either.
It was a very disappointing purchase.


Unfortunately, I can't help with Mac software :p
I can update this thread with suggestion later on, should you have any.
 
Last edited:

Marcel

Kim Jong Bod
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52,967
Name
Marcel
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#2
Chewing gum applied ;)
I've fixed the bold tags for you :)

Many thanks for this!
 
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285
Name
Keith
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#4
I know it's included with Photoshop, but I think Adobe Camera Raw should be listed, as it's almost an application in itself, and comes with DNG Converter. It works as a plug-in for Bridge, CS3 and Elements.
You can download the latest version from here:
http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates/

To get the best reproduction, you can also install camera profiles (only Canon & Nikon so far), and the DNG Profile Editor from here:
http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/DNG_Profiles
 
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11,710
Name
Jim
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#5
I would like you to look at Faststone, http://www.faststone.org/ It's free.

I have been using it this last while as I find it's one of the few raw viewers that you can use your mouse wheel to scroll through the pics. Very handy when scanning through 400-500 images!
 
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10
Name
C. Roy Smith
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#9
Thank you very much for your stuff on Raw Converters. I am amazed by the quality of information on/in Talk Photography.
I used Raw Shooter essentials, until Adobe took it off me..though I still can use it. Until this computer packs in.
Anyway, fantastic work thanks again.
OC
 
OP
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2,682
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Peter
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#14
OP
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2,682
Name
Peter
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#18
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55
Name
Damon
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#21
This is also well worth a look http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/

Very fast picture viewer - home edition is free and great for jpegs, rating and reject/keep with a single keystroke. Pay US$29.90 and get the pro version with RAW support, XMP sidecar file support, colour management and much more.

I sound like an add! Absolutely nothing to do with me - but I was put on to this by a guy at work and was very impressed with it's speed.

Cheers. (y)


Inkwash Photography
 
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Name
Alex
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#22
I really think that any image editing software other than photoshop is irrelevant. There are very few pros out there, if any, that use anything else. If you are starting out, I'd recommend getting the trial version and having a go. Yes, it's expensive in full, but there's a reason for that. It's by far the most comprehensive and powerful bit of software out there. It's a bit less expensive than buying a good dslr, and it's of equal importance.
 

cowasaki

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Darren
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#23
I really think that any image editing software other than photoshop is irrelevant. There are very few pros out there, if any, that use anything else. If you are starting out, I'd recommend getting the trial version and having a go. Yes, it's expensive in full, but there's a reason for that. It's by far the most comprehensive and powerful bit of software out there. It's a bit less expensive than buying a good dslr, and it's of equal importance.
Unless of course you do not require that functionality in which case there are alternatives which is what we have here! Photoshop is totally over the top for some people and Elements or one of the free software packages might do everything they want. Not everyone is going to become a pro and use Photoshop all the time.
 
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5,578
Name
Lewis
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#24
Ditto. Photoshop is way OTT for most people and at the price of a very nice lens, while you are starting out, Elements is a much better bet, pretty much all of the features you need, much cheaper and easier to use too!
 
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704
Name
Darren
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#31
Photoshop Album Starter Edition
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopalbum/starter.html
A photo organiser, fairly simple, but it could be enough for some.
Nice list, but you might want to remove this one, since Adobe discontinued it in July 2009 and it's no longer available for download (at least not from their website).

My dad used to use it, but his PC died and he bought a new one. Of course I went to download this to install, but it's not there anymore. So I installed Picasa 3 instead and we're both of the opinion that Picasa 3 does as much as Photoshop Album SE and much more, so we haven't missed it.

Also I believe Canon's DPP software download is just an 'updater' to bring your current version up to the latest release, not a full version. From my own experience I believe you have to have the original CD available or original software installed in order to use the 'updater'.
 
Last edited:
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273
Name
Marnie
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#33
Thanks for the paint shop references.....its what i have so its what i use and as i dont have a dslr ( as yet ) or the urge to be a pro...it'll do nicely

plus i could find a local course on paintshop and not one on photoshop
 
OP
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2,682
Name
Peter
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#35
@prjohns:
I've tried Digikam as a part of Kde4 for Windows and it kept crashing after start-up, much like the rest of Kde4 for Windows on XP Pro SP3. I haven't used its Linux version for quite some time, but I'm sure that one's OK.
 
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384
Name
Mike
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#36
Picture Window Pro is much more than a raw editor. It's been my photo editor of choice for about 3 years and is much, much quicker & simpler to use than photoshop. Developed by the same guy who wrote Lotus 123, I think.
 
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4
Name
John
Edit My Images
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#40
There's some useful info in the original posting. There's quite a lot more photo software around, some of which I've put together at PhotoSoftwareNews.com

http://www.photosoftwarenews.com/ - Hundreds of photo manipulation programs in 40 categories from over 200 vendors, plus news.
 
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