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Paint.NET vs Photoshop

Solo W. , Jan 30, 2006; 11:03 p.m.

What's the general consensus on Paint.NET vs Photoshop for your basic image manipulation and tweaking. Obviously PS has the plugins which lend a great advantage, but besides that, for scanning and minor adjustments am I losing a great deal by using Paint.NET?


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William John Smith , Jan 30, 2006; 11:48 p.m.

What is paint.net? Who makes it? Nothing on google.

Keith Van Hulle , Jan 31, 2006; 12:14 a.m.

Solo W. , Jan 31, 2006; 08:13 a.m.

Gosh, I thought everyone here would know about Paint.NET, it's free and can perform a bunch of image handling functions. I've used it for over a year now, but without being able to afford PS I'm wondering what I'm missing...

Peter Nelson , Jan 31, 2006; 11:45 a.m.

I've never heard of paint.Net but I think it's a pretty safe bet that something that's free isn't in the same league with a $700 professional software tool.

Can it operate on 16-bit images? What layering operations does it have? Can it import ICC profiles? Does it make color separations? What color spaces can it convert to/from?

Paul - , Jan 31, 2006; 12:18 p.m.

"I've used it for over a year now, but without being able to afford PS I'm wondering what I'm missing..."

Got a fast internet connection?
Adobe Photoshop CS2 tryout or Photoshop Elements 4.0 tryout.

Anupam Basu , Jan 31, 2006; 01:53 p.m.

Free software and quality

I think it's a pretty safe bet that something that's free isn't in the same league with a $700 professional software tool.

Photoshop is one instance where comparable free alternatives are not YET available. Some people like GIMP but its not in the same league. But in most other areas your assertion is false. Having just switched to openoffice from MS-office not because it's free but it's better, I can vouch for that. And have you ever installed Linux after paying several hundred dollars for Windows!


Sean De Merchant , Feb 01, 2006; 12:37 a.m.

This is the first I have heard of it.

No Adjustment Layers, no Layer Masks, no color management (ICC profiled workflow), no support for 16-bit color (only 8-bit color [32-bit images]), and etcetera.

Sadly, the FAQ document says it lacks all the features of PS that use huge amounts of CPU and memory that save me time and allow me to refine my final product more precisely.

Add in the years I have spent working with PS and it just does not cut it. If I did not have the PS experience, then it might have value.



zee andersunn , Feb 01, 2006; 09:26 a.m.

I'm a big advocate for opensource software and I've been aware of Paint.NET since its inception. I'm shocked that google doesn't show any links for it; it's one of the bigger success stories in the opensource movement and has come a long way in a short time. Those who are interested can read about it and download it here:


Much as I'd like to say otherwise, Photoshop does not have any serious competition in the image editing field ... yet. That could change someday, but I don't see it happening in the very near future.

Like Sean, I have invested too much time and money in learning Photoshop so if I'm going to seriously consider any alternatives, they have to at least come close to doing what Photoshop can do for me. If a program is not even in the ballpark, frustration will lead me to uninstall it.

Jeff Henry , Feb 02, 2006; 01:05 p.m.

I've been useing Paint Shop Pro for many years! ( on version 10 now) Much cheaper by a long shot, and as far as I can tell, not all that diffrent from CS2. I use Digital Photo Professional (version 2.0) for RAW conversion, and than make any final small changes in PSP. Can anyone tell me what makes Photoshop all that much more worth $700.00 compared to around a $100.00 for PSP? Thanks ahead of time for the help understanding this...

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