How does Gimp compare to Photoshop?
I have become a big proponent (and user) of open-source applications over the past two years. In almost every case, I have found a comparable (or better) open-source solution to proprietary software.
This includes: Open-Office (vs MS Office), Firefox (vs IE), Audacity (vs whatever), Thunderbird (vs MS Outlook), NetBeans (vs whatever), and so on.
I must say, though, that Adobe is one of the few corporations that I don't have a beef with, and I have always been in awe of their products including PhotoShop.
At the same time, I recently saw a 2-inch thick, 1,300 page Apress book on Gimp, so it must have grown up?!
So what do all of you web and graphic design "gurus" think?
Is saving money, and escaping slavery to a mega-corporation, worth a possible loss of features and functionality going with Gimp over PhotoShop?
For the Web, GIMP is more than enough. Most of us rarely use more than 10% of the application anyway.
Photoshop is a tool for photographers rather than web designers. For professional photographers and people who do heavy-duty photo manipulation, and highend drawing, the GIMP may not be the ideal tool. For web designers it's alright, I'd think, though I personally don't like working with it so much.
I'm moving away from Photoshop too, though, and getting more and more used to Fireworks, though my old copy is a bit buggy.
I have to disagree with that statement. Photoshop is a tool aimed at graphic artists, not photographers (generally). Most professional photographers I know use Photoshop for general artistic work but for general photography management and manipulation, the majority have moved to Adobe Lightroom which is MUCH more photography orientated (for web Graphics there's Fireworks). Though I tend to use GIMP and Paint.NET in equal measure for graphics!
Personally, I use both Photoshop and The Gimp for production work -- Photoshop for the last 12+ years (version 4) and The Gimp for the last 4 years. The Gimp has come far over the last several years and is now fairly robust. Although I know that some may argue that one is better than the other, my experience has been that Photoshop is a better tool for completing certain tasks, and The Gimp is a better tool for completing certain tasks -- it just depends on the job or task. There are also some neat filters that are available for The Gimp that I have not found for Photoshop, but the same probably holds true for the reverse of this statement. If you can afford to purchase Photoshop, my suggestion would be to become proficient with using both tools and make the decision for yourself. If Photoshop is too expensive, then it's likely that this decision has already been made for you.
Also, there are some online tools that you can use that are free that will allow you to do many of the same things that you can do with Photoshop or The Gimp, such as Pixlr. I've been pretty impressed with what this tool is capable of doing: http://www.pixlr.com/
Another online tool (one that I have not used) is called Aviary: http://aviary.com/
Someone in this thread mentioned XaraExtreme. I tried that tool a while back (when you could still download a fully-functioning free version of it...) and it seemed to me that the tool was geared more towards creating 3-D graphics. I'm not sure if it's still this way or not.
Best of luck to you in your exploration of graphics-software!
I am not a designer by a long, long shot, but when I need to do anything with graphics, I use a product called xara xtreme (http://www.xara.com/uk/)..
Its pretty powerful and really easy to use... but as I said, I really only use it to crop images and the like...