What Photo Editing Software Should I Use?
If you're serious about photography, and if you're looking for the best and most powerful photo editing program around, the de facto standard and market leader is Adobe Photoshop CS2.
Unfortunately, with it's steep learning curve and equally steep price tag, Photoshop is overkill for the people who just want to play with their pictures. Photoshop CS2 has every possible feature that a digital photographer could want except a low price. What other programs are available?
Adobe recognized that their flagship product was a bit much for the beginner, so they scaled it back. With a few of the more complex features removed and a price tag under $100, Photoshop Elements still packs quite a punch, and might be considered the market leader in it's own price range. It has the same basic interface as the full powered Photoshop, and most of the same functionality.
Elements' leading competition is Corel's Paint Shop Pro XI, and some reviewers prefer Corel's product to Adobe's. Paint Shop Pro, in general, is easier to learn in many areas, and is just as powerful in most of it's tools.
Both Elements and Paint Shop Pro have red eye removal features and bundled photo organizer programs, and quite literally run neck and neck in terms of features and ease of use.
Another product on the market is the Microsoft Digital Imaging Suite. With the latest version, Microsoft has added wizards to help novice users work their way through the program. While the new features are an improvement, most reviewers still don't rank this product as highly as either Photoshop Elements or Paint Shop Pro. One feature that really stands out in Microsoft's package, though, is the slide-show program called Photo Story, which is much better than the equivalent in Elements. Photo Story is offered separately as a free download.