Wednesday, May 22, 2013

TGIF: Cloudless Choices

In the last post, wrote about the changing role of Adobe. In moving from a "product" - a boxed version of their CS products - to a "service" - a cloud version for a monthly fee - decided that my updating of their software has come to an end.
With this in mind, spent the last week searching out alternatives to Photoshop.  Found several - about 15 - possible replacements. Several were only usable on an Apple machine and since I am a PC user, they were easily eliminated from consideration.
The remaining seem to fall into two categories. Either limited adjustments designed for images to be used on tablets and social sites like Facebook or constructed to offer a full range of adjustments.

The limited option programs were quickly dismissed. While seemly good for their intended use, they were not a replacement for the full range of options found in Adobe's Photoshop.
This left - for me - only three possible choices. One was Adobe Lightroom, which has not been moved to the cloud. Adobe says that it will remain outside of the cloud for the foreseeable future. Not at all sure what that means, so it was eliminated.
Downloaded and installed trial versions of the remaining two - DxO Optics and Paint Shop Pro.
DxO offers the ability to correct for particular camera and lens combinations, as well as, a full range of adjustments to process Raw and Jpeg image files. The camera and lens corrections are unique to DxO. While the corrections for camera and lens are straightforward, the processing adjustments are not. Might be that with more time with the program the adjustments would become second nature. After all, I have been using Photoshop for over ten years and DxO for only a couple of days, so additional time would certainly improve the ease of use.
Paint Shop Pro offers many of the same adjustments as Photoshop. Moving from Photoshop to Paint Shop Pro is easy to do. While lacking the camera and lens choices found in DxO, the processing adjustments are, for the most part, first rate and quite usable. This is a fine program that is about one-tenth the cost of Adobe's Photoshop.
As an art historian would do, time to compare and contrast these programs. First is a photoshop result -
Then a DxO combined with Paint Shop Pro result -
Am not trying to match the images.  Rather allowing each choice of software to "do its own thing".  The DxO and Paint Shop Pro were used together.  First DxO, in order make use of the camera/lens adjustments, followed by using the adjustments offered by Paint Shop Pro.
They are different and one is not better than the other.  Each has unique qualities.  Just beginning a new trail and will take time to learn the full potential of the two new programs. 
Have decided to purchase both programs, so stay tuned - more to come.

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