Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's your favourite software for editing digital images? (MAM Poll Results)

Well there's not a lot to say about the result of the Making A Mark Poll for March about What's your favourite software for editing digital images?

Right click the image to open a larger version of the chart.

Photoshop romped home by a mile and had its feet up and was enjoying a cup of tea with its junior siblings PS Elements for PC and MAC long before we got to the 31st March

There were 137 responses over the course of the month. Of these
  • 72 (53%) use the full blown version of Photoshop - albeit I gather there are maybe a few versions involved in that response.
  • 23 (17%) use PS Elements for PCs
  • 8 (6%) use PS Elements for Macs
  • 9 (7%) are using free software not otherwise identified in the poll.
The free software which did best in terms of named software was Picasa. however I suspect I should have included gimp (for windows) in the listing judging by comments.

Some questions which remain unanswered:

I do wonder
  • how many of the people who are using Photoshop have tried the latest version of PS Elements?
  • why does the UK version of Photoshop costs £100 more than the American version (after allowing for the currency conversion?)
  • how many current Photoshop users will happily justify the extra money to pay (from their own funds) for a new edition of the full version of Photoshop (rather than Elements) if their computer will no longer support the edition of Photoshop they are currently using? Putting it another way what exactly are the functions which are worth £520 / $600+ ?
  • How Corel manages to stay in business!  It appears to have about 7% of the total market which looks very marginal to me for a commercial priced product.
For the record, the current prices of the different Photoshop offerings on Amazon are as follows.  The price differential between the USA and the UK virtually disappears on the Elements offerings.

(links are to Amazon products/pricesPrice UK  £ 31.3.10. Price USA $ 31.3.10.
PhotoshopAdobe Photoshop CS4 (PC) £569.99
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (Mac) £568.99
Adobe Photoshop CS4 $681.33
Adobe Photoshop CS4 [Mac] $666.99
Elements 8
Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 (PC DVD) £48.97
Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 (Mac)
Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 $76.99
Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 [Mac] $76.99

Comment Highlights

There were lots of really great and very helpful comments on this poll - for which many thanks.  It's sharing like this which helps people avoid expensive mistakes and your assistance is much appreciated by me and all the other people who were (and are)  pondering software!

Here is a small selection of some of the comments received - you can read the rest by clicking on the link to the post announcing the poll at the top of this post.
If I had the money it would be Photoshop, but since I don't, my favourite is Photoshop Elements.

For slightly more advanced editing of photos and scanning/adjusting my traditional works I use the ancient Photoshop Elements that came with my tablet. It knows most of the tricks that the big bro knows and it doesn't need as much disk space as the later versions

Photoshop every time. At various colleges I've used Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro, Adobe Elements and I've helped a friend download Artweaver (freeware). Photoshop, full version, not Elements, expensive-though-it-is, is by far the best IMO

I use Photoshop. Though it is way more software than I need for getting images ready to post online. So I don't think I would go out and buy it for just that.

I learnt to use Photoshop at an Adult Education class over 5 years ago so when I became a student of the OU on a Digital photography course I took the opportunity to upgrade to Photoshop CS3 at student price as long as I don't use it for profit.

I’ve used a lot of different software in the office, at home (desktop) and on the road (laptop). For what I usually need them to do – editing photos and graphics, doing some layout – I don’t mind which software to use. Photoshop, PaintShop, Gimp, Photoplus, Artweaver… they all do their job. Switching between those programs can be a bit confusing since they don’t apply the same logic regarding the placement of tasks, and they do have different strength and weaknesses, but I get along with all of them. If it wasn’t for the money aspect I’d definitely go with Adobe Photoshop, full version. Everything you’ll ever need and more, and easy to use. I love it. My other recommendation has to be Gimp – it is a free software that offers a lot! Layers, raster graphics, extensive file support, plugins… and did I mention that it’s free?

i voted for photoshop, but thats because i do a lot of things there, including painting :) however, for doing basic work on photos, etc...and not needing all the hoops and get photoshop elements. It has everything you are going to need and more...and the cost is WAYYYYY more appropriate for what you are looking for


  1. The cost of Photoshop CS4 gives me nightmares because I'm one of the unfortunates whose CS won't be compatible if I get a new Mac. I so love the software even though I am only expert with a fraction of the functions.

    It might be interesting, Katherine to survey which is the best free painting application. I'd like to know if you have dipped into the painting function on Photoshop Elements and what you think of it. I'll also lose my Adobe Illustrator CS if I upgrade my Mac :(

  2. I had a notion to do another poll about the painting applications - so thanks for the reminder

    I think you should look very closely at PS elements for Mac for editing if you're only using a fraction. Could you get sight of somebody using elements 8? (Or just check out the functions maybe?)

  3. Hi Katherine;

    Couple of comments regarding your questions:
    I've never used Photoshop Elements, and can't help out there with what the differences are..

    Don't know about the price difference--it would be a good thing to ask Adobe though :-)

    If currently Photoshop users wanted to upgrade, they could easily go from CS, CS2 or CS3 up to CS4 with a $199US upgrade. If they have an earlier version they are out of luck :-(

    How does Corel survive?? They own Corel Painter! :-D
    It is a total drawing/painting program pretty much used by the majority of the digital artists out there (I'm speaking of illustrators, renderers and gamers.)


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