Ye old “GIMP vs. Photoshop” revisited March 29, 2011Posted by oktyabr in consumer, GIMP, graphics, it's debatable!, open source, opinions, personal, software.
My original post GIMP vs. Photoshop is still one of the posts that I get the most comments on, even though I wrote it over a year ago! Not all of the comments get published though 😉
This one did because after the name calling was done the writer actually had a point, sort of, so I thought maybe I’d revisit the topic… What follows is the comment and my reply:
Douchebag 101 said on March 29, 2011 :
Photoshop can do, which GIMP cannot (as far as the version I tried):
3D Image editing, video animation painting and editing, plus automated technical/medical image measurements that are well beyond GIMP.
Photoshop also got an image browser known as Bridge, which is quite handy.
“GIMP can import screenshots with builtin screen grabber, scanner images, plus camera shots (but not in raw format). GIMP supports 39 image filetypes including the core .bmp, .gif, .jpeg (but not .jpeg2000), .png, .pdf, .psd, .tga, and .tiff. GIMP also supports the standard New, Open, Close, Save, Save As, Recent, Revert, and Prferences commands.” – Quote from a review. Photoshop can do/open;
^All above mentioned as well as; video now, and one of the widest range of camera raw files. Couple this with the Camera Raw dialog (shades of LightRooms Develop command) and Photoshop clearly bests GIMP and I have not yet considered the Photoshop Printing options and the Automate and Scripts commands.
Do I have to continue?
And my reply:
Read my original post. 3D Image editing?!?!? In a 2D paint program? From my article:
That’s like saying the tire iron in the trunk of my car is an EXCELLENT walnut cracker! Need to pound a nail? Buy a hammer.
No professional would use Photoshop for 3D editing… They would use a program designed for that. It’s like the vanity mirror on the passenger side sunscreen of most “high end” automobiles… it’s there, it helps justify a much higher price tag, but does anyone really need it? Same with “video editing”. I bet even those who downloaded a pirated version of PS tend to have a pirated version of Sony Vegas and Aftereffects they prefer to use than PS for video.
Technical/medical image measurements might be true… I haven’t experimented with that yet… but then the very few PS users that *need* this wouldn’t be considering GIMP anyway so that argument is moot. Again, re-read my original article. GIMP isn’t designed to replace PS in every use and market (and in fact the developers maintain that directly competing with PS is NOT one of their goals!), it’s simply a free, portable, cross platform alternative that *most* users will find fits their needs quite well (without the $700 pricetag). For the majority it’s fine.
It might be worthwhile however to touch again at this point on GIMP’s ancestry… particularly it’s birth as a *nix software first and what that means… In the unix and linux world the operating system is designed to be open as are apps written to work on it. It’s relatively easy to “connect” one application and pipe data back and forth to another, in effect making the creation of very sophisticated chains of processes possible in an interconnected network of small, dedicated utilities. The “Unix way of doing things” boils down to the philosophy of “Write programs that do one thing and do it well”. It’s object oriented programming extrapolated to a higher level. Don’t reinvent the wheel if someone has something you can “#include”.
In truth it’s the way that most well written softwares work, even those for windows. Lots of little programs all working together under the hood to achieve an end goal. The big difference is that because most Windows based software is “closed source” applications tend to be less extensible and thus *need* to include everything “out of the box”. GIMP and likewise other applications with a *nix pedigree, being “open source”, focus on collecting the means to “do one thing and do it well”… with the provision that if “extras” are needed badly enough it’s relatively easy to write an extension for it that will add it. In a nutshell, GIMP may seem less powerful than other programs but it does what it was designed to do and if that isn’t enough there is probably a plugin (or someone working on one) that will make it do what you want it to.
RAW? plugin for GIMP: http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/
Likewise, since GIMP is open source and extensible, there are plugins out there for just about any format under the sun, if you need them. Ooops! I forgot to mention that GIMP has automatic compression too… Working with huge files? Simply save your work with “.zip”, “.gz” or “.bz2″ and GIMP will automatically archive your work in the chosen compressed format to save disk space. GIMP’s virtual file system, inherited from it’s unix/linux pedigree, means working with files on your local hard drive, a NAS, SMB (windows) shares, or a remote machine using FTP/HTTP are all no-brainers… What? You mean not all software can do that?
Scripting? LOL! GIMP development has pretty much phased out “script fu” although the name still sticks. You can script for GIMP in *many* more languages than PS including Python, Ruby and Perl, which also means easy access remotely, whether that’s P2P from your laptop to home or as an embedded web application. There is even a full version of GIMP online: http://www.appsverse.com/GIMP-Free-Image-Editor-Download/Apps?id=gimp
So yes, I’d say GIMP has the tools and means to be as “automated” as you like as well as scriptable. Photoshop “actions”? GIMP just calls them “scripts” and there are plenty to choose from (google is your friend).
Even if I hadn’t bothered to write any of the above reply, what in your reply makes you think PS is worth $700? Is there some “must have” feature that can justify such a price tag? Tell my readers, if you would, supposing you had $700 (more or less) to spend on graphics software… What would you spend it on and why? (Anyone?)