Review of GIMP - The Free Photoshop?

A long time ago I wrote an image editor for the Psion handheld with effects, and animations and brushes and loads of other features. it was called Photo 5 and I still think its probably the most advanced image program written for any handheld. But I am bias.

I have been using photoshop for ages and tried most others too. What is bugging me of late about Photoshop is how long it takes to load. Ages. No, not ages, Aeons.

So recently I have been trying more lightweight image programs, and the best one I have found so far is Ultimate paint. It loads in a couple of seconds and, though not super polished is easy to use and functional.


Its never going to be able to handle the things Photoshop does. So, what I have just installed is Gimp. This is the big daddy-o of Free Open Source image programs and can be downloadedprecompiled for windows from here.

Its just been installed and I haven't run it yet. So here goes.....

Its installing... nearly done..... takes about 4 mins to install. I'm going to close it and restart it to see that all important load time..... 12 seconds. Not too bad.

Using Gimp For The First Time

I wanted to do a picture of me for this blog. So I opened it up in GIMP and started messing. The controls and filters are pretty easy to get to grips with. It doesn't feel as unified as Photoshop but it is feature packed and fast. I think I just need to get used to it more.

Initial Comments

  • The filters don't seem to pack that "wow" factor that Photoshop filters have. Most artists don't rely on filters really, they are better than that. but for chumps like me who do a good set of filters are great for messing around. After playing for an hour or so I am not gripped by the quality of the GIMP filters. Also no main image preview for the filters<<< that's bad.
  • The Interface is actually pretty nice when you get used to it.
  • I think this will be ideal for the cropping/resizing things that most people need to do with their photos.

Its free, open source, low bloat and small download. Even with its short-fallings those facts make it a Photoshop contender.