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Dave Rankin

GIMP vs. Adobe Photoshop: An Unbiased Comparison

By March 25, 2013

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The web is (in)famous for a lot of things: ridiculous amounts of information at the click of a button, disruptive business models, increasingly absurd ways to waste time, and, of course, flame wars. When people see a headline that reads, "Technology A vs. Technology B," they often assume that the author is, at best, unknowingly stoking a flame war, and, at worst, purposefully trying to incite one just to get more page views. All of this begs the question, can two technologies -- with hardcore fan bases -- ever be compared in an unbiased way that leads to civil discourse?

In GIMP Magazine - Issue 3, I ran across what I would say is one of the most non-inflammatory technology comparison articles I've ever seen. Steve Czajka's "GIMP 2.8.0 VS. PHOTOSHOP CS5.5 EXTENDED" tries to compare these two popular graphics programs simply for the sake of pointing out their similarities and differences. And, I have to say, I think he succeeds.

One thing I think helps Czajka is his extensive experience with both free and proprietary graphics software options. In the article, he writes:

"I have used graphics packages over the last 20 years, starting out with Aldus PageMaker in the late '80s, when neon colours were cool and I was sporting an x386 PC running OS/2 (which was awesome, and wow times have changed). I then transitioned to early versions of PS [Photoshop], then my company switched to the popular Canadian Corel suite ... Now I'm back to PS and CS5 at my present work. At home I am becoming well-rounded in open source products (GIMP 2.6, 2.8, Inkscape, Scribus, and a few others)."

In other words, this is somebody who has a foot planted solidly on each side of the equation. And, in my opinion, that's exactly the kind of person you want doing these types of comparisons.

To read the complete article, simply download Issue 3 of GIMP Magazine, at no charge. And, if you're interested in learning all about GIMP itself, be sure not to miss our review of Oliver Lecarme and Karine Delvare's The Book of GIMP.

Photo Jean Scheijen

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