Photo Applications for a (ex) Windows user ?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Tumbleweed666, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Close to pushing the 'buy now' button on an IMac after using Windows for a looong time, wondering what software I should be looking at to manipulate photos. From what I read iPhoto (Or Picasa for Mac?) will let me organise stuff perfectly fine but is a little basic for editing, Photoshop is WAY too expensive.
    Which leaves what other options? I have PaintshopPro (old version, 7) on Windows, AFAICS its not available on Mac, Irfanview(free) which is excellent for basics like resizing (I presume iPhoto handles this?), and DCEnhance which is also free and does some automagic type changes to bring more detail out of shadows or put it back into highlights - any equivalents, either for free or pay?
    Looks like Aperture might do the business, is that the 'tool of choice' for people who dont want to pay or have the large learning curve for Photoshop?
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Try Photoshop Elements. I got it for Christmas and I love it - and the price is right (under $100). Works great for editing, and I still use iPhoto for organizing.
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I'd hold off on purchasing any photo software just yet; you may find that iPhoto offers everything you need. For the average consumer, it's fairly comprehensive.

    If you find iPhoto doesn't meet your needs, Aperture may be right for you (although, again, it's more centered on organizing, not editing). Apple offers a free 30-day trial:
  4. bay2sacto macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2008
    you could also try GIMP or Pixelmater for photo editing.

    Aperture is overkill and isn't a photo editor. If you're a student you can purchase Photoshop at a discount. Photoshop Elements is a good entry level editor.
  5. Tumbleweed666 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Thanks folks, I certainly didn't realise that Aperture was much more of an organiser than an editor, that's Apple's sneaky marketing for you :)

    I was suckered in by pages like this without realising that each of those plug ins has to be separately bought and some of them cost more than elements,it would cost a fortune to buy the set!

    Unfortunately I am a lot closer to being retired than a student, but I think I'd probably look at GIMP in any case. Looks like I need to check out Elements in more detail.

    Have to say I'm both surprised and disappointed there isn't more choice in photo manipulation software on Mac as that almost seems like its 'heritage'.

    Thanks again for the responses.
  6. E7H macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009
    Beware Tumbleweed! There is no such thing as IrfanView for Mac! Everything on the Mac is easier than in Windows, but for pictures. No IrfanView, no CompuPic, no easy resizing in any program. I used to be a Windows-addict for years, but switched to Mac two month ago. Amazing how bad photo's are orgenized: It is never shure where IPhoto keeps the files (but personally, I don't like the concept of libraries). If you keep originals on a HDD and import them in IPhoto, you will end up with five copies: one original on your HDD, two in IPhoto, if you changed any bit on a picture, and two more in the backup from IPhoto on your Time Machine...
  7. chkdg8 macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2007
    You'll be surprised and impressed with what Preview can do. Of course this all depends on what your needs are. I know a few professional photographers who've long since their Photoshop days in favor of Gimp. No joke. I'm a CS3 guy but I find myself using Preview for quick and effective simple image tasks. Either way, I think that you'll realize that most of us agree that Photoshop is not the only game in town. They just have massive funding and branding that's all.

    Here's a good list of 100+ free apps from a great image tweaking site, UsingMac.

    Gimp: Free Gimp in action.
    Pixlemator: $59 Pixlemator in action.
    Picasa: Free Picasa in action.
    Seashore: Free Seashore in action.

    What are you talking about? Open in Preview> Tools> Adjust Size. If you want to resize a batch, just simply hold down cmd or select all and resize.
  8. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    +1 for Preview. It's far more capable than most people realise.

    Hold off any decision until you've got your Mac. A combination of iPhoto and Preview may be all you need.
  9. E7H macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009
    Thank you chkd8 for your reaction. As a newbie on this forum, but also on te Mac I' m shure I don't know what worlds there are to discover. Special thanks for the tips - I will keep learning.
    About resizing in Preview: yes that does work, but if my pictures are in the iPhoto (or Aperture) library, I do not see them in Finder!
    But in fact, my complaint came from comparison with CompuPic Pro for Windows: just thumbnails - click and you have a full-screen picture - right click and choose 'resize', that's all. Easy, direct, uncomplicated, plain.
  10. bobriot macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2007
    I give a big shout to Photoshop Elements 6, cost me £55 delivered and is worth every penny. I did try and almost bought but I already knew photoshop from a Windows PC so for me elements was a winner. If you can spend the time or have the time to learn a new interface then pixelmator could be a good purchase. Also try seashore ( it's open source which always has a place on my hard disk.

  11. Pyrotechnic macrumors 6502


    Feb 28, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Im also looking to get either Pixelmator or Elements, so thanks for the topic. Still unsure which to purchase to be honest.
  12. Tumbleweed666 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    I've been doing a bit of research and it seems that for iPhoto there is an option to tell it NOT to "suck photos in" but instead to leave them where they are. Once you add in an external editor like Elements then also you have the question of where it leaves its amended versions as well. More research is needed or yes, I can see how you could end up with 4 or 5x the size of your original photo library, plus, all that in Time machine, plus as I use Amazon S3 (excellent service BTW), all that duplicated, eg 10x overall :)

    My 12Gb of Photos could become 120GB !!
  13. Wheaty macrumors regular


    Mar 6, 2009
    Cheshire, UK

    I've been doing the same myself. I got my new Mini on Saturday just gone, and my windows PC is now a bag of bits sat beside me. I feel liberated!

    On the PC, I have been using Photoshop 6 for years. Its way overkill for most of what I do, tweaking pictures for printing/ web, but mainly sorting out graphics for my business, ie business cards, adds, etc

    Last night I installed Gimp and it seems to be pretty similar in some ways, can save in may formats, including psd, although I haven't tested file backwards compatibility via parallels yet. Not tried all the features, but I really struggle to use it with my mouse, pick up the pen on the tablet though its a doddle.. cant see why but that is what I have found so far.

    The other bit about Gimp is that the side panes containing brushes, selection tools etc. are almost like separate entities (or are they s it all runs in X11?) so selecting a tool seems to be clicking twice rather than once.. but maybe I have it all set up wrong and will correct this later?


    I agree with most of the others. Dont buy anything yet, have a look at Gimp and other apps first. see what you really need to spend the money on to get what you want. I think photoshop is great, but even version 6 has been way overkill for my needs, maybe you can have a "test drive" at a mac store to see if thats best for you?

    PS.. Definitely buy the Mac.. So many niggly little tasks become SO much easier!
  14. chkdg8 macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2007
    Try these video tutorials for Pixelmator. They are helping me out a lot! Btw, I just uninstalled CS3 from my mac. I want to see how far I can go with Pixelmator without the need for Photoshop. So far so good but I ran into some difficulty when applying a Crossed Processed look to my images. This was done in CS3 with a snap by selecting a default preset but in PXM, you have to do it manually from scratch. They're adding support for this feature in the next update.

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