Gimp vs Photoshop

gimp vs photoshop

If you look at Photoshop vs GIMP comparison, it becomes obvious that the modern version of GIMP can easily compete with Photoshop in a lot of aspects, although Adobe software is still miles ahead in several areas.

All beginner photographers and designers eventually have to face the problem of picking software for work. While a couple of years ago, the obvious choice was Photoshop, currently, it experiences competition with several reputable products. The most popular and respectable one is GIMP, which managed to win over the hearts of many users.

I’ll go over the main benefits of both softwares, which made newbies wonder who is better in the GIMP vs Photoshop battle.

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What Is Gimp?

gimp logo GIMP is a free program with an open source code designed for image editing and designing.
This software is freely distributed and is used for such tasks as photo enhancement, image composing, and personal projects in design.
The goal behind the program’s development was to decrease the need in using commercial software for photo editing. This was the first free professional image editor to ever appear on the web. Nowadays, it still loses in Photoshop vs GIMP battle, but its functionality is nearly as impressive, even though performing some tasks is more difficult than in Ps.
The program’s UI doesn’t follow any industry standards. The control scheme is completely unique. It’s possible that these independent developers were afraid of making it look like Photoshop. This means you’ll have to spend a large amount of time to understand even the simplest features. 
GIMP also has hundreds of plug-in extensions that significantly increase the photo editor’s functionality.
Another thing that amateur-users love is GIMP’s modest system requirements. You can install and run the program without any problems even on a simple PC.
The latest GIMP versions offer you a range of truly professional functions. If you study GIMP well enough, you will know what sort of features you should look for in paid software, if you ever decide to make GIMP to Adobe Photoshop transition.
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GIMP: Strengths and Weaknesses

FREE distribution. You can download and use GIMP completely for free from the official website, which is great news for users searching for the free GIMP download link. Moreover, you can use the program as a base for creating your own photo editor.

Open source-code. Any willing user can introduce his/her own changes to the company’s source code and create new extensions (GIMP’s plug-ins), which is why the program is constantly changing and developing. Structure-wise, GIMP is a construction made of connected modules like the Lego set. You can freely add new modules to the software and change old ones.

Large number of extensions. The program’s initial functionality (which you receive upon installing) is only 20% of its full capabilities. For instance, the app’s starter pack has a rather weak animation toolset. However, as soon as you install the GAP extension, you’ll have a professional-grade animation software at your disposal.

Available for all OS. Unlike Photoshop, which is only available for Windows and MacOS users, GIMP can be used on nearly any existing OS.

Good batch photo editing functions. When comparing GIMP with Photoshop, the former is the clear winner here. For users who often have to repeat the same actions for an entire image set, this benefit alone can be the deciding point.

Features aren’t as expansive. Sure, hardcore users will say that if you try hard enough, you can bring GIMP close to Photoshop’s level by using plug-ins. However, you have to agree that having to deal with all of that extra workload doesn’t sound exciting at all.

No user support. In exchange for paying for Photoshop’s rather expensive subscription plan, you’ll be guaranteed stable performance secured by Adobe. In case of GIMP, if you have any issues or questions, all you can do is search for answers on forums or try to deal with them on your own.

Doesn’t work with 16-bit color values. Meaning, that print/publishing professionals will have little use of GIMP’s functionality.

Isn’t the same for everyone. GIMP looks different on various OS and most of its capabilities are unleashed only on Linux. For instance, if you launch the program on Windows after working with it on Linux, you’ll have to spend several hours adapting to the new UI and searching for your favorite features.

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What Is Photoshop?

adobe photoshop cc logo Adobe Photoshop is currently the most powerful graphics editor for creatives. The functionality of this program encompasses the entire spectrum of possible graphics-related actions including photo editing, digital drawing, design, web design, animation, 3D graphics, and more.
Given that Photoshop is mainly designed for professionals, it can be a bit complicated to use, especially if you’re a complete beginner. Nevertheless, there are so many free lessons to study it. Thankfully, you don’t have to understand all its features and intricacies to use the program efficiently and achieve the required result.
Photoshop contains hundreds of tools, thousands of functions, and a million of effects. The program’s UI is simple and intuitive, and you always have the opportunity to install loads of additional plug-ins to make your workflow faster and more convenient.
Moreover, Adobe Ps was the first program to introduce hundreds of features that are included in all modern photo editors, and Adobe managed to hone these functions to perfection. Take Camera RAW for instance, from a small window that popped up when uploading RAW files, it transformed into a separate program – Lightroom, which deserves a separate comparison.
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Photoshop: Strengths and Weaknesses

There’s a tool for any purpose. Ps has more tools than any Photoshop free alternative and includes such main features like layers, curves, masks, and brushes, but with a larger number of professional options. For instance, Photoshop has four healing brush types, while GIMP has only one, and that’s the case with most other tools.

Convenient for all types of projects. Photoshop developers know how people use their program and offer convenient features for all kinds of operations. If you’re a designer, you can set up Photoshop to match your needs, and automatic functions will help you with that. If you’re an artist, the program has special functions just for you too.

Popularity and community engagement. As strange as it may seem, this is often a decisive factor since Photoshop has millions of users and a large portion of them are professionals, who want to teach other people. Tutorials, actions, plug-ins, and loads of other useful content can be downloaded completely for free.

Camera RAW. When uploading a RAW file to Photoshop, you’ll see a separate window that allows you to perform color correction before you start image editing. You’re not dealing with simple exposure/contrast adjustments, but rather full-fledged professional software for enhancing the colors of an image.

Automated photo editing by using actions. You can download free professional Photoshop filters online or buy them. They contain pre-defined operations for color correction and image retouching. Actions are particularly great for newbies and users, who want to perform quality picture retouching with maximum speed.

Download Free Photoshop Actions

Not cheap. Photoshop follows a subscription model, and while it isn’t very expensive, it’s a constant regular payment so if you’re not earning money while working in Photoshop, then it’s hard to justify the subscription cost. Check out the cheapest way to buy Adobe Photoshop.

Not suitable for all computers. When running Photoshop and GIMP on the same computer, the latter offers superior performance. Moreover, Photoshop’s performance on weaker PCs leaves much to be desired and sometimes it doesn’t work at all. After the last couple of updates, Photoshop became more feature-packed and even more demanding on your computer’s hardware.

Gimp vs Photoshop: Price

gimp vs photoshop price table

Photoshop is a professional tool that is priced accordingly. In the past, you could have purchased Ps for a couple of hundred bucks. Today Adobe distributes new versions through Creative Cloud for a monthly payment.

Also, you can use online Photoshop Express version for free. It contains all essential functions for basic photo editing.

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GIMP is distributed completely for free and allows you to save a lot of money, which is a solid plus in the Adobe Photoshop vs GIMP debate. Even on the official website, the developers encourage people not to get GIMP from illegal sources, but rather download it straight from their site.

Gimp vs Photoshop – Who Wins?

GIMP is truly a worthy Photoshop alternative, but it isn’t suitable for all users. The first thing you have to remember when comparing Photoshop versus GIMP is that the latter is free, so blaming developers for any missing function while not spending a dime is just wrong.

GIMP is the perfect graphics editor for home use and enthusiasts since its functionality is enough for everything you might need. Drawing a simple illustration, performing basic photo editing or color correction – all of that can be done for free in GIMP.

However, if you want to use a graphics editor to edit photos, create animations and web-design elements professionally, it’s better to use Photoshop. There’s also no denying the popularity of the PSD format and Photoshop itself. Finding a place that will print your XCF (GIMP image format) photos or a template design that will work on your project is incredibly hard.

This is why using GIMP for commercial design, printing, and photography is accompanied by numerous difficulties and is sometimes even impossible, making the answer to the “GIMP or Photoshop?” question obvious.

 

Freebies for GIMP vs Photoshop

One of Photoshop’s greatest benefits is its users, who are constantly sharing the results of their experience with others, including actions, which are pre-defined operations made to speed up image editing. You may use them at GIMP as well.

Teeth Whitening

teeth whitening action free photoshop teeth whitening action free photoshop
 

The question of “How to whiten teeth in Photoshop?” is among the most popular ones online. In reality, you don’t need to read tutorials and watch video guides to do it. Simply download this action and will whiten teeth in a single click.

Enhancing Eyes

photoshop action for eyes photoshop action for eyes
 

The whites of the model’s eyes often look bleary and there’s nothing that can be done about it during the shoot, but you can fix this issue during image post production. This action offers you a brush that you can use to select and enhance the eyes.

Rosy Cheeks

dodge & burn photoshop portrait action dodge & burn photoshop portrait action
 

It’s hard to imagine professional image retouching in Photoshop without this technique that highlights the model’s most notable features such as the eyes, nose, jawline, and neck, while also adding an attractive glow to the lighter parts of the face.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

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