You’d think removing red eye or cropping your pictures requires expensive photo-editing software. But our latest tests reveal that this isn’t the case at all – have you spent too much on unnecessary software?
I’ve enjoyed taking photographs for a number of years and have been lucky enough to have tried a range of cameras. Some have been my own new or second-hand purchases, and some were models bought for Which? testing.
But despite taking better photos as my experience and skill grows, I’ve found lately that I’ve been using photo-editing software to ‘fix’ my photos.
The freedom of free software
A few years ago I used to load Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 if I wanted to fix something, and I still use it from time to time. But now, I’m wowed by the simplicity and wide availability of free photo-editing software.
It’s so quick. If you’ve never cropped a photo, adjusted the colours, toned down the brightness of an over-bright flash photo or removed red eye, give it a try. People who then see your pictures might think you’ve turned into a pro photographer!
How free software fared in our tests
I worked on our latest tests of photo-editing software where three testers tried each package. We looked at software from Adobe, Apple, Google and more. Seven of the packages are free, and two of those, Pixlr and Google Picnik, are web-based.
One tester had never edited a photo before, and another had very limited experience. The good news is that they found a lot of the free software a doddle to use.
Some free software is powerful too – you can remove unwanted objects and change backgrounds, for example. Or, just keep it simple and press “auto-correct”.
You can also edit photos on the move. I occasionally use Adobe Photoshop Express, a free app on my smartphone, to add special effects and more impact to quick snapshots I’ve taken.
Have you tried any free software to edit your pictures – how easy was it to use and did you get good results? Or will our results encourage you to ditch your expensive software in favour of free packages?