Adobe Photoshop or Pixelmator?

I've been looking for a Mac based image editor and was agonizing about what to do. I had been a long time Photoshop user and was quite comfortable with that product but the price was so steep and my use now so casual. I really only need it for basic photo retouching and simple graphic cuts for web sites. Given that, Photoshop's price seemed really high at a retail price of $649. The lowest price I found for CS3 was $289 and I would need my wife to use her teacher discount in order to get it and the site looked a little shaky. I decided instead I would look around.

My friend Bradley mentioned I should take a look at Pixelmator.  I pulled it down and installed it and was immediately comfortable with it. It's effectively a nice light version of Photoshop. It's got layers and most of the tools and if you are a Photoshop user you will be immediately comfortable with it.

It's not without a couple of quirks - at times I find myself having to click several times to activate items but there are a number of possible reasons for it - since the UI is a series of palettes that sit on your desktop that may be my problem; I'm used to the Windows version of Photoshop where everything is contained within a master window.

That minor complaint aside, Pixelmator is excellent. I'll keep playing with the trial for now but at $59 it's hard not to see buying this.


Andrew said...


Adobe is releasing Photoshop Elements 6.0 for the Mac sometime in April for $99

For lightweight Photoshop work it will be fine.

Randyn said...

Pixelmaker sounds like GIMP, a similar photo editing tool. But I found GIMP not as intutative as Photoshop, but GIMP is completely free!

austin said...

@randyn (but also for your benefit, David):
There's a program called GIMPshop that mimics the Photoshop interface with a GIMP core. I haven't used it much myself (I'm a pretty heavy Photoshop user), but I hear it's just the ticket for the Photoshop experience without the cost.

Viswakarma said...

You may want try using NIH's ImageJ. It is free, muti-platform, very powerful, has various filters and plugins, and is regularly updated. You can get it at

Anonymous said...

Some people find graphics converter very useful. Haven't tried it myself, but saw it on

Mitchell said...

It is so perfectly designed, it just makes you want to pay for it. Even if gimp could do everything this does, Pixelmator is still way better.