August 25, 2013

Looking for tested image / photo software? The best ones are free!

Photo / image viewers have editing capabilities too


Every year, we see a few new photo viewer rising on the horizon. The new ones and the new versions of the established photo viewers go much beyond just photo viewing: they allow you to view graphics/ photos, but also edit, put special effects, convert files, create slide shows and albums, screen capture, print and so on. Some also have video viewing capabilities. In addition, a number of online photo viewers and editors are available on the net. 

ITB had a close look at some of the most popular image viewers. Most of these are good enough for minor enhancing / editing of photographs and other types of images before putting them on a blog. Before you read our views on these programs, please bear in mind that these software are not meant for professional photo editing


Irfanview:
Current version: 4.36
Main features: highly feature-rich; many plug-ins for extra features; multilingual; many thumbnail options; can play audio and video files

Photoscape:
Current version: 3.6.5
Main features: feature rich; excels over others in editing and photo enhancement; its print options are excellent

Picasa:
Current version: 3.8
Main features: integrates with other Google products, especially Picasa Web Album; superb picture manager

Faststone:
Current version: 4.8
Main features:many editing, drawing and photo touching tools

Photofiltre:
Current version: 6.5.3
Main features: focus on retouching tools; plugins available for extra features

DigiKam:
Current version:3.3.0
Main features: photo organiser, viewer and editor; also for Mac, Linux

Though all these graphic/photo viewers are in direct competition, IRFANVIEW scores over them at least in being a tested friend for years and its video facilities.

Online photo editors are good enough for blog work


There are two good photo editors available online. These also give satisfactory results as far as images to be put on the web, unless you want to put high quality images, as in a photoblog. Let's review a few of them. Wordpress.com, Blogger [through PicasaWeb] and Flickr also provide basic image editing facilities, but we'd suggest using at least somewhat better tools especially because they are all freely available.

Pixlr
Pixlr is excellent online editor which not only has many tools for editing, it works with layers - a feature in professional image editors.

Picmonkey:
This will suit people who do not want to use professional tools such as pencil / brush but want enhancements / edits done in a jiffy. 
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Other resources:
A free professional image editor as good as Photoshop: Gimp
Online tools especially for social media and blogs: Canva, Fotojet
Click here for all photo / image related tips on ITB.

Disclaimer: We do not have commercial dealings with any sw/ tools mentioned here.