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The After Mac

Photoshop Alternatives

by Juan on May 5th, 2008

One of the things I’m asked most about is Photoshop. It’s great tool and as far as image editing tools for professionals go, Photoshop sets the bar. It’s the creme of the crop. However being that stature commands a hefty price tag. Unless you’re really making money out of Photoshop or seriously loaded, then Photoshop is best left to the professionals.

However there are free or cheap alternatives to Photoshop that will satisfy the needs of most users. Photoshop is very powerful but most users won’t have a need for all that power. Think of it as using a Ferrari to go to the shopping mall.

So I’ve rounded up some Photoshop alternatives. I’ll also be reviewing them one by one in future posts.

Acorn is simplicity personified. It’s meant to do a task and do it well. It does away with other features that most people won’t really use.

You can chain image filters and create all sorts of effects. Use the iSight to create new images and layers. One of the features of Acorn is the ability to have people write plugins using Python or Objective-C.

Acorn is $49.95.

ChocoFlop is being positioned as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. It’s targeted towards people who work with digital media. It has limited print capabilities and from what the developer said, it might just stay that way.

ChocoFlop uses the CoreImage and OpenGL code making it very powerful. It doesn’t use any legacy code so it’s faster. The downside is that it will only work with the latest OS (10.4+) and recent hardware. It’s a universal binary.

As of this writing it’s still in beta and free but that will change when the release candidate is available.

Pixelmator is in my opinion one of the most beautifully designed apps I’ve seen for the Mac. The interface is just great.

It’s a powerful, easy-to-use image editor. Among the other apps this is the closest to Photoshop I’ve seen. It has a full assortment of painting tools, retouching tools, correcting tools and other things. It’s a layer based editor as well.

Pixelmator is $59.

POSTED IN: Apps, Graphics, Juan's Posts, Software

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