Photoshop is the most famous image editing application in the world, its name has become a verb. It’s the industry standard, and generally just the program to use if you’re serious about image editing. It isn’t, however, the only app out there.

The free and open source GIMP — the GNU Image Manipulation Program — is right for some people although it lacks a lot of Photoshop’s features. It’s also not very easy to use or pretty to look at.
For Mac users, however, there’s another option. For a fraction of the cost of Photoshop you can get an app that’s intuitive to use, runs great on OS X, and has a lot of powerful features. Let’s look at when Pixelmator might be the better choice than Photoshop.

Pixelmator is a Mac-only image editing app. With Pixelmator you can edit images, draw or paint digital artworks, composite multiple shots, retouch pictures, and do everything else you’d expect from a fully featured image editing app.

Photoshop is the image editor everyone knows. Since Adobe’s introduction of the Creative Cloud, it’s been impossible to buy Photoshop on its own

Where Pixelmator is Great

Pixelmator is a great casual image editor. If you have a website or blog and need to upload images to it, it’s perfect for resizing and tweaking them. Adding a text overlay, adjusting an image’s brightness, or scaling them to different sizes are all incredibly intuitive with Pixelmator. There are quite a few MakeUseOf writers who use Pixelmator to edit their images for the site.

Pixelmator is also a fraction of Photoshop’s long-term cost. You can buy Pixelmator for a quarter of Photoshop’s annual cost.

Where Photoshop is Better

Pixelmator, however, isn’t perfect. Although it’s a worthy competitor to Photoshop in many ways, there are some areas it just can’t compete.

Pixelmator can’t handle RAW image files. This is a problem if you’re a photographer. It also doesn’t have the cataloging and sorting power of Lightroom or Bridge (which both come with Photoshop). If you want to edit one image every now and again, Pixelmator is great. If you need to sort and edit 500 images from a photoshoot using it, you’ll want to put your head through your desk.

Which One is Right for You?

Of all the Photoshop alternatives out there, Pixelmator is the one I feel most confident recommending. It’s simple to use, powerful, and fully-featured enough for most people. The biggest problem is it’s only available on OS X.

If you’re a photographer or designer, or just someone who works with them regularly, then Photoshop is still the app to use. It’s more powerful and widely supported. While Photoshop can do everything Pixelmator does, the opposite isn’t true.

Author: Ighodalo Ellis

Wilson is an app development expert. with the goal of helping start ups and established brands catch up with the new trends in the fast changing world of Technology.