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Photoshop vs Gimp

Photoshop is undoubtedly one of the greatest tools ever built for photographers and illustrators. However, that does not mean that it has no competitor. GIMP is an awesome tool that offers numerous features. For people looking for alternatives to Photoshop, this guide is a must-read. We have listed the main difference between Photoshop vs GIMP as well as the main features and tools offered by both software programs.

Understanding Photoshop and GIMP

Photoshop is an image editing software published by Adobe. It features the ability to create, enhance, or edit images, artworks, or illustrations. Photoshop is dubbed as the most popular choice among top photographers, graphic designers, and even web developers. GIMP is an open-source image editing software. This software allows you to retouch and edit your images just like Photoshop does; however, GIMP is not as widely used as Photoshop. It still offers great tools for photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, and scientists when it comes to the debate of “Photoshop vs GIMP.”
photoshop - Photoshop vs GIMP

An overview of Photoshop

Editing in Photoshop - Photoshop vs GIMP
Most people already know that Photoshop leads the market because of its immense popularity and functionality. Therefore, let’s start with the main highlights of this software. The best thing is that it allows one-click color correction as well as easy-to-use retouch capabilities. It has great special effects and distortion features, and it also can restore a faded image. Some great tools offered by Photoshop:
Unlike GIMP, which is a single software program, Photoshop is a suite or a family of different tools. This suite includes Photoshop CC, Elements, Illustrator, Lightroom, and many more. That’s why we cannot just list all of their functions. You name the function and they will definitely have it in one of their numerous tools.
GIMP - Photoshop vs GIMP

An overview of GIMP

Editing in GIMP - Photoshop vs GIMP
Some people might be skeptical because GIMP is open-source, but it still packs a lot of functionality. As a matter of fact, it manages colors efficiently and enhances photos with ease. Also, it allows the user to customize the interface as preferred. The gradient and blend tool of GIMP also makes it easy to use multiple undo and redo options in the software. Moreover, GIMP supports different hardware devices, such as MIDI and USB. Additionally, it allows you to export in a lot of different formats, such as JEPG, PNG, and GIFF. Some of the main tools featured in GIMP are as follows:

It also offers great color, brush, measure, path, and magnify tools.

Pros and Cons - Photoshop vs GIMP


The advantages of Photoshop are well known and range from its functionality to its user-friendliness. Photoshop also allows you to automate anything by using the Actions tools although it might take a lot of time to master all of the features. The only major drawback of using this software is on your wallet.


Of course, GIMP is free, which is the main advantage. It also contains many advanced tools and features, such as paths and layers, but GIMP does not support anything other than 8bit RGB. One bonus feature that casual users love is that it allows skin-tone and teeth-color adjustments with just a few clicks. Comparatively, it has a lot fewer features than Photoshop.

Main differences - Photoshop vs GIMP

Using Photo editing software

The main difference that is cited in the Photoshop vs GIMP debate is money. Photoshop can cost hundreds of bucks for a single purchase of just some tools. Otherwise, most of its tools are subscription-based and range from $10-60 a month. GIMP, however, is totally free to use.

GIMP was specifically built while keeping DSLRs in mind whereas Photoshop is a very vast tool covering many aspects. 

Photoshop runs only on Windows and Mac OS; however, GIMP can run on these two as well as on Linux. Also, mobile applications are available for Photoshop, but not for GIMP.

Another major difference in this Photoshop vs GIMP debate is the size they occupy. GIMP only takes 225 MBs; hence, it is very lightweight. However, Photoshop can reach a few GBs. Not only that, Photoshop is a very resource-hungry software needing a lot of system resources to function properly. 

If you want to edit photos in bulk, then GIMP is the better choice. Photoshop does provide the same functionality, but it takes a lot more time. 

For professionals, Photoshop is ideal because its tools are based on industry standards. On the other hand, GIMP is community-driven software. That’s why its standards are not well defined.

Conclusion - Photoshop vs GIMP

It must be pretty clear to you that in terms of functionality and vastness, Photoshop clearly has the lead. However, the debate of “Photoshop vs GIMP” is not over. GIMP is the ideal tool for beginners because it offers only essential tools, and it is very light on your system. It is also free, which comes as a bonus. We recommend that if you have just entered the field, then practice on GIMP, and only after that, think about upgrading to Photoshop (and Lightroom). Casual and novice photographers will also appreciate GIMP more than Photoshop. However, for professionals and experts, there is no better choice than Photoshop.

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Have a nice photoshoot! 

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