Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Low Cost Windows Image and Photo Editing

Since I've already posted an article on low cost Macintosh image and photo editing, I thought I'd better do the same for Windows users. I suppose I could have included dedicated Windows applications in the first article but there are only a few cross-platform tools out there so it'd have been longer than the average blog entry.

Anyway I did note those of the ones I listed that were compatible with Linux or Windows as well as Macintosh - such as GIMP, XnView, Photomatix and Sketchup so I won't include them here. Unfortunately, I doubt if I'll ever get round to doing one for dedicated Linux applications as I've got no access to a Linux system. Anyway, here are a couple of other popular and free Windows image tools well worth checking out…

Picasa Picasa is yet another excellent and free product from the Google stable. The best way to describe it would be as iPhoto for Windows. Picasa allows you to find, organise, edit and share all the pictures on your PC. It has advanced editing capabilities such as…

  • Basic fixes such as crop, straighten, redeye, auto contrast, auto colour and fill light.
  • 12 visual effects such as warmify, sepia, colour, black and white, etc.
  • Zoom, pan and tilt to get the angle correct.
  • IPTC standard captioning.
  • Online storage and sharing via Picasa Web, Google's online photo hosting service.
  • E-mail or blog your photo straight from Picasa or make a CD presentation slide show or even a movie.
It's a must-have application for any digital photographer. While iPhoto is good on a Macintosh, I'd welcome Picasa on the Mac too as Apple always charge for major updates to iLife.

Linux Compatible version also available.

IrfanView IrfanView is another free for non-commercial use, graphics viewer that can also edit and convert dozens of image file formats and play over a dozen video/audio formats. It supports loads of file formats including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF and even non-image media files such as Flash, Ogg Vorbis, MPEG, MP3 and even text files.
  • Cut, crop, resize and change image colour depth.
  • EXIF/IPTC/Comment editing support.
  • Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters.
  • Batch convertion.
  • Effects (Sharpen, Blur, Adobe 8BF, Filter Factory, Filters Unlimited, etc.)
  • Image capture and scanning support.
  • Extract icons from EXE/DLL/ICLs.
  • Multipage TIF and multiple ICO support.
This is well worth having on any home machine.

Again, if you have sufficient funds and a need for high-end image editing or design, then it's well worth looking at the main commercial image editing solutions such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Photomatix Pro and even the impending Microsoft Expression.

No comments: