Big test

Pho­to­shop has a rep­u­ta­tion as the king of edit­ing, but does it de­serve it? Rod Law­ton checks out some com­pelling ri­vals

NPhoto - - CONTENTS -

We put 10 photo-edit­ing pack­ages through their paces to see if any can steal Pho­to­shop’s crown…

Pho­to­shop is of­ten used to mea­sure all other photo-edit­ing pro­grams, but is that the right way to judge them? It’s un­likely any other pro­gram will be bet­ter at be­ing Pho­to­shop than Pho­to­shop is, but there are many pro­grams that do things Pho­to­shop can’t.

For ex­am­ple, lots of peo­ple don’t like sub­scrip­tion plans. It’s the only way to get Pho­to­shop now, but many cus­tomers would pre­fer to pay a sin­gle li­cence fee. And while Pho­to­shop is slick and ef­fi­cient, it does de­mand some tech­ni­cal knowl­edge that be­gin­ners might find in­tense. And it’s true that you can cre­ate al­most any ef­fect you can imag­ine in Pho­to­shop, but of­ten only with a great deal of work and ex­per­tize. How­ever, many ri­vals bring one-click pre­sets that do these things in a frac­tion of the time.

Pho­to­shop doesn’t or­ga­nize your pho­tos, ei­ther. You can do that in Light­room, the other half of the Adobe Pho­tog­ra­phy plan. But that means switch­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for dif­fer­ent jobs, and for many pho­tog­ra­phers an all-in-one cat­a­logu­ing, en­hance­ment, edit­ing and ef­fects tool would be bet­ter.

Over the next few pages we’re go­ing to steer a path through all these prod­ucts to find the ones that stand out. Our over­all rat­ings are based on all-round ca­pa­bil­i­ties, but your needs and in­ter­ests may be spe­cific…

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