Is Photoshop worth it?

I’d like to learn how to use it, but i’m not certain i want to shell out 1500 sight unseen to get CS3. I mulled taking a Photoshop extended learning class at the nearby junior college to get the student discount :), but i can’t find the time.

All i really want to do is edit my digital photos, make some webpage layouts, maybe learn how to make compositions, ect. There are times, maybe not everyday, but often, when i feel like i’m doing a project and suddenly it’s a “boy, i wish i had a graphic program” moment.

Hey at least it’s now a Universal Binary; but then, do i really want to lock myself into the RDF?

The only problem is that i’m really picky :). I’d rather be using the “right” tool/program for the job. My stupid camera is driving me up a wall because it’s not taking perfect pictures, and that makes me irritated :). I don’t want halfassed…

Just a before-bed brainstorm…

Ever try GIMP?

I’ll second the GIMP, or maybe Photoshop Elements would be worth checking out. It has the majority of the features of the full Photoshop.

You can buy a digital camera with Photoshop Elements for the prize of Photoshop CS3, so the answer to your question is: No.

Unless you have a plan that includes making money from your photographs - then you more or less needs Photoshop. Eventually.

It’s the best there is, but for just editing photos there’s plenty of cheaper and easier to use choices. Paint Shop Pro and Microsoft Digital Image Suite are both really good - Photoshop Elements is a bit more expensive, but have most of the features that Photoshop have except for some highly specialized ones and a bunch of professional filters.

GIMP is quite powerful but I found the learning curve too steep. Gui done by committee isn’t the greatest idea.

If you aren’t doing fairly specialized print graphics work, Photoshop isn’t anywhere near worth the money it costs. As has already been mentioned, Photoshop Elements is a much better choice for your situation… Other good options include Paint Shop Pro, Paint.NET (neither of which have Mac versions, though) or Gimp.

Photoshop Elements if you specifically want to learn Photoshop or do sophisticated image manipulation. Otherwise, Paint.NET is very easy to use and can do all the normal image cropping/rotating/combining etc. stuff that you might want to do. Also decent for pixel editing at high zoom levels.

After trying GIMP i came to the conclusion that sticking a fork into my eyes several times would be less painful. (And GimpShop sucks)

However, for what you want to do, i don’t think buying Photoshop is really needed. Others have outlined some of the options available.

Yeah, Elements is the way to go. I’ve seen it for as low as $50, though it’s usually between $70 and $80. For photography it has just about everything you need if you’re starting out. CS3 does have a few things that Elements doesn’t, like merge to HDR, merge to Panorama (I think, I could be wrong and this may actually be in Elements now), and a crapload of extra sliders for working with RAW images to do super fine tuning on color, curves, etc. But for non-pros Elements will take care of 99% of what you’d like to do. At the very least, try it first.

If you are really set on getting the full version of Photoshop (as opposed to Elements or Paint Shop Pro), a cheaper option would be to get a used copy on eBay. It doesn’t need to be CS3. Anything from Photoshop 7 on would be more than adequate for editing photos and doing web layouts.

That said, I agree with everyone else - just get Photoshop Elements. It’s designed for people with your needs.

I’d find a used copy of Macromedia’s Studio MX / MX 2004 (Whichever you can find cheaper on eBay, like this one for $30, BUT YOU HAVE TO HURRY, 2 HOURS LEFT) and then get the $499 upgrade to the CS3 Web Premium suite – which is a fantastic deal for what they include.

If you are really set on getting the full version of Photoshop (as opposed to Elements or Paint Shop Pro), a cheaper option would be to get a used copy on eBay. It doesn’t need to be CS3. Anything from Photoshop 7 on would be more than adequate for editing photos and doing web layouts.

This is great advice. If you can accept that you could happily use an older version, you can generally get one for relatively cheap on eBay.

You, sir, are evil.

Chaos salutes you!

Another vote for the Gimp. Free, powerful, with detailed step-by-step howtos everywhere on the web, and so hard to use when you finally do pony up for the real deal you’ll be a pro before even touching Photoshop.

The last time i tried GiMP, a couple of years ago, it barely worked on Windows PCs. Has it gotten more a more robust Windows client?

I use GIMP too. It probably doesn’t have some of the fancy filters you’ll get in Photoshop, but is easily good enough for everyone but a professional who uses it all the time.

It works easily on PCs (although you have to install GTK first). I only vaguely recall using older versions of GIMP, but do remember that at the time I thought Gimp 2.0 was quite a bit nicer than what had come before; which version of Gimp did you naysayers use?

Yup. I use it all the time to gimp in vodka bottles in front of friends’ heads, etc.

Edit: I’m using GiMP 2.2.13 which has not crashed on me ever.

gimp crashed left and right when I last tried it, also 2-3 years ago. Of course, gaim used to have the same problem and it’s nice and stable on win32 now.

Shameless Paintshop Pro fan here. If you pick up a copy of PSP, I’d recommend trying to find version 7, the last good one before it started turning to bloat, IMHO.

I’m occasionaly forced to use Photoshop at work to open PSDs, and the interface is just excruciating compared to PSP. I don’t know why people subject themselves to it unless they’re forced to.

Nice job getting that bid in in time, Gene. Good luck on the auction! That upgrade path is a steal… I think they put it in there just to placate angry Macromedia customers who had their pseudo-suites canned. It’s thankfully not obvious at first glance just what they’re offering for almost nothing (original studio mx?! are you kidding me?).

I feel dirtty and bad. As a student of the nineties every photoshop copy I’ve used has been cracked and pirated. It’s not even like it was hush hush, first day of class there’d be three cd’s going around with the latest versions. I’ve since stopped even pretending to do work at home for a while now, so my new computer is clean of all illegal software, but the idea of dropping 1500$ for a license still sounds odd.

What are the legalities of borrowing a friend’s copy?