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GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software suitable for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
Submitted by A.M.D.A. a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: January 12, 2009
Strengths: • Tremendous value!!!! (Free, download from www.gimp.org.).
• Works with WinXP, Linux or Mac computer OS's.
• Most of the essential tools that the average photographer will ever need.
• Plenty of customizing options.
• Fast start-up.
• Full-featured clone tool.
• Various selecting/tracing tools.
• Wide array of filters, including special-effect.
• Very handy crop tool, including guides. (Rule-of-thirds, golden sections, etc.).
• Never had any serious "crashing" problems.
• Free, downloadable plugins available to expand versatility.
Weaknesses: • No image metadata browser. (You can view/edit captions, but not EXIF).
• Help missing in the included handbook.
• No zooming in/out while previewing an effect in the "image preview window". (Unlike Paint Shop).
• Noise-reduction feature does not work well, and is limited to "despeckle" mode only.
• Limited number of "gimmicky" features.
• Text stamp performs less than ideally.
• Several different windows required for editing images.
Product reviewed: GIMP 2.4.5 on Linux 8.4 OS.
This is one of my favourite pieces of image-editing software. It can perform to high standards and allows a huge amount of customization via the "PREFERENCES" section.
There are many advanced features like curves, cloning, unsharp mask, print size scaling – and of course – a layers tool. Most of these work just fine for me – except the noise reduction, which I'll mention later in my review.
User-friendliness is reasonably good, once you learn the "GIMP way", it is easy. I have never had any serious "crashing" problems which were directly attributed to GIMP itself. I would advise that when working on photo(s), close as many extra open windows as possible (e.g. email, internet, My Documents, etc.). By doing this you greatly reduce the risk of losing work due to program "crashing". Remember, an ordinary JPG file can turn into a monstrous 100MB file while it is being edited...
I find GIMP to nearly match up against similar programs such as Corel Paint Shop Pro 9 – but GIMP is free. I would heartily recommend this program!
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Purchased At: Came with Linux 8.4
Similar Products Used: • Corel Paint Shop Pro 9. (Version 9.02).
• Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition 4.0.
• Arcsoft PhotoStudio 2000.
• Other photo-related programs: (Photo-library, panorama-stitching, etc.).
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Shakypete a Expert
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2007
Free Plugins to expand it
Free community support
Free tutorials, and tons of them
Appeals to all different skill levels of users
Community will educate you on what else you can do, and how.
Way more powerful than Picasa, Paint.NET, MS Office Photo Editor, MS Paint, and any of the Adobe photoshop, lightweight versions. The professional versions of Photoshop have a small edge, but I guess they should for $600 a copy. The margin of difference is not very significant. My co-worker has Adobe Photoshop Professional, from 2004, and he was able to switch to GIMP with minimal effort. It was that similar. If you want to be good at editing photos, GIMP and the GIMP community will empower, and educate you to do so. All you need to do is give it the time it takes to learn. The time is the same for anyone new to intermediate and advanced photo editing, so get over it and take the plunge, you won't regret it.
Weaknesses: Similar interface as Adobe Photoshop, which is not immediately intuitive for non-GIMP and non-Photoshop software users. The time to learn is the only real weakness, but it is roughly the same time to learn Adobe Photoshop.
Wow, I am surprised it has had so few reviews in recent years. Hopefully this one pushes it into the spotlight again. I started using the GIMP after a purchase of Microsoft Picture It! kept crashing on me. I was tired of spending money on software that was worse than mediocre. That was six years ago. I will never turn back. I am not a GIMP guru by any stretch, however GIMP can do everything any freeware (non-opensource) photo editor can. The learning curve took some time. I considered other stuff like Paint.NET can, but the documentation, wiki, tutorials, user manuals are more thorough than any other program out there. www.gimp.org will point you everywhere you need to go. Once you start to like it, get the USB drive version from www.portablapps.com and you are off to the races again! GIMP is difficult to master at first, but start with the basic tutorials from the site, and work your way up, and you will start thinking of new ideas to improve your pictures, and GIMP can do it all. And may of the new features and tweaks for Adobe Photoshop can be found at their plugin site. GIMP does it all. More than you will need. And there are 8 different ways to do whatever you want, and many different tutorials to show you how. IF that doesn't work, read the user manual, it is VERY thorough. The only thing I don't do with it is print. Why? because printing from windows picture and Fax viewer or MS Office Photo editor always seems to get the color a little better than GIMP printing. So what. It is a photo editor. It will do what you need. Oh, and if you like Linux, it prints just fine there too. My wife does not know how to use it. She prefers easier applications, however, she no longer edits the photos. I proved to her that I could do it better, over and over again, using the GIMP, and the argument is over. So, I get regular updates to the application, and incremental improvements every three months, courtesy of the GIMP programmers. It is worth every minute of learning, which is the only cost of using it.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Purchased At: http://www.gimp.org/
Similar Products Used: Microsoft Picture It!
Microsoft Office photo editor
IRFanview - This one it pretty good too, for beginner to intermediates.
Type of photography: People
Submitted by Baruch a Professional
Date Reviewed: July 5, 2004
Strengths: Free for the downloading. Well-conceived, apparently complete implementation of an image manipulation program. Source code is available (also free) in case you want to modify it yourself.
Weaknesses: Crashes under Windows. Spotty help menu. Some features seem non-intuitive or are hard to find in the menus.
This program allows you to do most, if not all, of what you can do with comparable programs costing hundreds of dollars.
One drawback is that under Windows, GIMP tends to crash. You can usually save your work before it dies. I have not encountered this problem under Linux, which is the operating system for which GIMP was written.
GIMP allows you to use a wide variety of digital formats, including JPEG and GIMP's own XCF format. You can convert between some of these formats. I recommend converting to XCF format while working on an image, as this allows you the fullest range of features. Once you have finished, you can convert back to JPEG or other formats.
A complete listing of GIMP's features and options is not possible with 4000 characters; however, it has the ability to adjust color, brightness, contrast, HSV, color curves, and on and on. You can separate the RGB values and manipulate each layer by itself. You can add special effects, blurring, sharpening, artistic distortions, sepia tones, and so on. If it lacks features, I haven't found out about it yet.
GIMP has some automatic image enhancement features. I have not found these to be particularly useful. They seem to "fix" things to a state I don't like.
Purchased At: www.gimp.org
Similar Products Used: None.
Submitted by copper a Beginner
Date Reviewed: November 3, 2003
Available in both Windows & Linux
Weaknesses: I'm new to graphics... so I don't see the weaknesses
I love free software. I love it because I cannot afford the high cost of purchasing the commercial suites.
I ran across GIMP when I needed graphics software to develop images. My first thought, "Its Free!, so, it can't hurt to try it..." Ever since then, I've been in GIMP's world...
I'm a hardware and networking guy... and I've never done any sort of graphics.... When I introduced myself to GIMP... I found it so intriguing; all the information on the GIMP....
Try It!! You'll like it!!! Do a search with your favorite search engine for GIMP tutorials, GIMP secrets or GIMP faq's...
Did I tell you how much I love GIMP?
Purchased At: internet
Similar Products Used: Haven't used anything else
Submitted by ss944 a Professional
Date Reviewed: March 25, 2003
Strengths: *FREE (vs. $600+ for anything close)
*more ergonomic interface (vs. memorizing dozens of hot keys to work as fast in Photoshop)
*imports many formats including tif, rgb, psd, jpg
*much more control over filters... and lots of them (not necessarily stoopy easy-to-use filters)
*multiplatform support (Unix,Linux,Mac,Windows)
Weaknesses: *no CMYK color... yet
*not accepted standard
I use GIMP at work for texture authoring for visual simulation and imagery/photo enhancement/editing. This is an outstanding package that's more intuitive and allows more filter control than I found on Photoshop (which I've used for a number of years).
Additionally, in side-by-side comparisons of GIMP and Photoshop, GIMP was noticably quicker opening and manipulating images in the gigabyte family.
The GIMP is highly scriptable, constantly updated, and tutorials are available to allow you to write your own filters. It has also proven more stable, in my experience, than Photoshop 6.0.
It is worth noting, however, that the GIMP does not yet support CMYK color, but I hear this is coming in 2.0.
Overall, an excellent package for everything but professional photo production/post production where Photoshop still reigns supreme
Purchased At: Downloaded from free
Similar Products Used: Photoshop 3.0,5.5,6.0
Paint Shop Pro 7.0
Misc. lesser image editing programs...
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