Author Topic: Photo Tutorial: PhotoShop Elements Vs IrfanView - Which is better?  (Read 6900 times)

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Offline Dan Clark

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PhotoShop Elements Vs IrfanView - Which is better?

Overall, it is fair to say that PhotoShop Elements is much better for photo editing.   It's roots are in editing and that shows.   While it will cost you $60-$80 bucks and is slower than IrfanView, the resulting images are noticeably better.  Also, Photoshop Elements has MUCH more flexibility in tweaking the image in general, and in balancing the size/quality equation in particular.   PhotoShop Elements is a limited functionality version of PhotoShop - the king of the photo editors and the choice of most professional image editors.   Smoothness of operation and image quality show it's PhotoShop roots.    That said...

IrfanView started as a image browser and then added basic editing features.  The image browsing capabilities are excellent.   The editing features, while limited, are the key ones that you will use all of the time - color correction, cropping, resizing, and sharpening.    It is very stable and it's speed is amazing.   Above all... It's free!

Which one you choose depends on your photography experience, goals, and pocketbook.   If you're new to photography or post-processing, give IrfanView a try.   At $0, you can't lose.  If you're an experienced photographer or if you've reached IrfanView's limits, jump on Photoshop Elements.   Of course, if you're a real masochist (like this author), go for the Big Kahuna - Photoshop CS3 (beta as of February, 2007).

Offline Dan Lyke

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Re: Photo Tutorial: PhotoShop Elements Vs IrfanView - Which is better?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2007, 05:50 PM »
I'd also like to toss in a recommendation for two other tools here:

GIMP is a full-featured open source (and if you don't know why that's important, I'll gladly bend your ear on that front for quite a while) and free image editor with Mac, Windows and Linux versions.

Like Photoshop, it takes a little while messing about with it to figure out how to do what you want, and it's different from Photoshop, sometimes operations happen in ways that Photoshop users don't expect, but it has most of what you want in a good image editing program, layers, lots of good filters, all the standard tools. The only thing it lacks from my perspective is more than 8 bits per channel of precision, but if you don't know what that means you'll likely not notice the lack of it.

And if you've got to do something to a lot of images and are comfortable with a command line or a DOS batch file, ImageMagick is similarly available for all platforms, open source and free, and is fantastic for batch operations on a bunch of images. For instance, from one of my digital cameras I like to up the saturation and change the "gamma" on every image I get off the camera, so I have a script that I throw at directories offloaded from that camera and everything works swimmingly.
Accomplished computer geek, novice woodworker, road cyclist, in Sonoma county, northern California.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Photo Tutorial: PhotoShop Elements Vs IrfanView - Which is better?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2007, 06:44 PM »
Thanks for the detailed tutorial Dan.

For image editing software don't forget the option of Adobe Lightroom.

Offline Ned

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Re: Photo Tutorial: PhotoShop Elements Vs IrfanView - Which is better?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2007, 08:32 PM »
If you are a pro and part of a workflow, you'll have to use Photoshop, the industry standard.

If you'd like functionality that competes with Photoshop at a fraction of the cost (~$80USD), try Corel's Paint Shop Pro on your Windows machine.  It's the application I'm using for photos.

I have never worked with Elements, so I can't say how it compares to Paint Shop Pro.

Offline Dan Clark

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Let's add other editors
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 09:59 AM »
Dan, Michael, and Ned,

These are excellent suggestions.   If each of you will write up a Tutorial section that covers these tools, I'll add it to the Photo Tutorial "sticky" page.   I'll add a section title with a hyperlink to your post so that people can jump to that section.   Post the section in "Photo Tutorial How-To" and make the subject line "Photo Tutorial: <section title>" to keep it consistent.

Thanks,

Dan.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5515
Re: Let's add other editors
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2007, 11:13 AM »
Dan, Michael, and Ned,

These are excellent suggestions.   If each of you will write up a Tutorial section that covers these tools, I'll add it to the Photo Tutorial "sticky" page.   I'll add a section title with a hyperlink to your post so that people can jump to that section.   Post the section in "Photo Tutorial How-To" and make the subject line "Photo Tutorial: <section title>" to keep it consistent.

Thanks,

Dan.

I can't help with that Dan.
I have used the beta version of Lightroom and found it fairly easy and intuitive from a photographers point of view but I'm not even up to novice level yet.

If I need something done to an image my wife takes care of it in PS, but, since Lightroom will run adequately on my elderly Mac (unlike Apple's Aperture) I decided to try the beta version. While it isn't as "nice" as Aperture it works fine for basic image correction and cataloging and works with RAW images directly. However, I don't think Lightroom allows painting on notations like Bill E added to his table stretcher picture. I guess its back to the previously mentioned apps for that.