dlpasco wrote in post #7796094
Karlos, I'm curious about GIMP. I use Ubuntu and OSX. I own PS CS2 for Windows and am considering an upgrade to CS4 for Mac. I don't do much with Photoshop and CS4 is probably overkill. I use Lightroom for almost everything and convert from raw to DNG.
Do you have an opinion regarding the quality of edits between Gimp and PS? I'm sure Gimp provides enough tools for what limited requirements I have but I don't want to sacrifice any image quality.
I don't think I have ever heard anyone ever complain about image quality with GIMP, its simply a non-issue. Most of the complaints in the past have been about the UI, which has been heavily updated in 2.4 and again in 2.6, since 2.6.1 we have had single window gimp on both windows and linux, not sure about OSX.
The major difference is support of color managment outside of RGB, that is changing with the current partial support of the GEGL and apparently by the time 2.8 comes out we will have a lot more GEGL and probalby a completly new UI. Also you loose recordable actions, adjustment layers (until 2.8 just normal layers).
People don't get the version number system, but 2.6 is a huge upgrade to 2.4, its the same as the change from CS3 to CS4. Bearing that in mind, way back in version 1.0.4 gimp was forked and another app based on it called cinepaint was released this was gimp with full 32bit color support and used for retouching hollywood films frame by frame. So 1.0.4 with some tweaks was good enough for hollywood, seen any of these films (from wikipedia) >> Examples of the software's application in the movie industry include Elf, Looney Tunes, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Duplex, The Last Samurai, Showtime, Blue Crush, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Harry Potter, Cats & Dogs, Dr. Dolittle 2, Little Nicky, The Grinch, Sixth Day, Stuart Little, Planet of the Apes, Stuart Little 2, and Spider-Man. Normal gimp has had 4 large updates since that time, and rememeber both are open source, anything cinepaint did better they could just take the code and put it back in normal gimp. They choose to do the 16 bit thing in a more flexible way which they believe is better is why its not in there at the moment.
Quality is not the issue, and having used elements 6 and gimp 2.6.6 side by side today, I don't think the interface is a problem eaither. You just have to ask yourself a few questions
* do I "need" CYMK or CIE XYZ color support
* do I "need" adjustment layers
* once passed the raw stage do I "need" 16 bit colour support
* do I "need" user recordable actions
* do I "need" to spend the adobe license fee cost to have those features
For meCYMK is frankly not even on my radar, from what I understand of it CYMK is limited to a few people using older printer technology, CYMK has to use tricks such as halftoning to compete with the RGBs range. Useful if you have that kind of CYMK printer, I don't. Most PS users seem to use RGB based profiles when they do use other colour profiles, so not an issue, Gimp 0 : PS 0
Adjustment layers I can see benefit in, but really I can do the same job with a normal layer, its just harder to go backwards, I'd still like to have them, but I can wait until 2.8. Gimp 0: PS 1
16bit, for me at the raw stage is plenty, open a 16bit tiff and 8bit tiff side by side they look the same. Push the curves hard enough I'm sure the 16bit will win but that is a solution looking for a problem to me. In the last 8000 images i've shot I've never thought to myself "that would look better if it was 16 bit". Gimp 0: PS 1
Actions you think it would be a big loss, but they are not. Anything worth doing automatically has been made into a script by someone else already. We know open source is all about sharing, and loads of scripts are out there, as well as the plugins. You can write your own if you really need to but you won't. In fact GIMP has a 2 fully supported languages ScriptFu and PythonFu for plugins and they expose the internals of the app fully, no secret manufacturer only tricks. And python is not limited to just what GIMP can do, it can do anything python can do which is just about anything you can think off. If you have a bunch of actions you use "all the time" I think you will find a script exists. Gimp 1: PS 1
Cost/Value.... Gimp 10: PS 1. Let me explain 10. I don't think of gimp as "free photoshop" I'm a firm believer in open source software, anyone who uses firefox knows the benefits of open source, another app that benefits from open source plugins learing from each other and improving all the time, once adblock came out we had better adblocks, flash blocks, and tonnes of other useful stuff. I also use inkscape for SVGs. Even flickrs uploader is a GPLv2 application built on mozilla xul. i use Openoffice, mysql/apache like most of the internet servers on the planet. I'm writing this from ubuntu. For me the sharing/contributing etos is very important so its a clear 10, most people don't care they just want free photoshop and I guess it wins for those people also.
Its not perfect for everybody, and some people will just never get it and for those people I'd say congratulations for trying (if they did) enjoy photoshop. If you budget is limited and you don't "need" the few extra bits photoshop does, I'd say use GIMP and maybe invest in a raw converter if you feel the need to buy something. I love UFRaw but its not trying to be aperture/lightroom/capture one so I can see the benefit of having such a thing.
If you exported your most prized photo from lightroom in 8bit tiff and did the same adjustments in gimp as you did in CS2, i think you would not be able to tell any actual difference.