With the increasing popularity of digital cameras and photo enabled cell phones, many photography enthusiasts require photo editing software. While most digital photo products come equipped with such software, sometimes these lack the quality and features desired.
Evaluate your current digital camera features and photo editing software capability. Some cameras perform many editing functions internally. Consult with your camera manual for instructions. Give your current photo editing software a decent trial and determine which features you do and don't like, so that you know what to look for.
Determine the purpose of your photos and how you intend to display them, including print, digital photo frame or on the Web. If this is the primary household camera it is important that a photo editing software contains fixes for red eye, basic adjustments (brightness, contrast and hue) and solid print adjustments.
Set a budget for digital photo editing software. A low-budget will eliminate many digital image products, but don't despair. Good budget photo editing software is available. Additionally, consider online auctions, online classifieds and reseller websites for savings. Look for “academic software” versions if you are a student.
Decide how much effort you wish to put into navigating the photo editing software. Generally, the more features the product has the more of a learning curve the software requires. If you like a mainstream product but find it too complicated, look for a scaled down version the company may offer or seek an alternative.
Don't pay for unneeded features but recognize those which are important to you. To better organize your photos, select photo editing software that offers a “media manager.” Enjoy special effects? Stick with leading manufacturers to accommodate photo special effects packages known as plug-ins.
Don't overlook open-source or free photo editing software, some like GIMP are quite popular. For simple photo editing, free “online photo editors” such as Picasa may be sufficient.
Take advantage of trial versions of photo editing software before you make a purchase. The more photo software products you try the better your level of satisfaction will be. While you may fall in love with one product, a similar one may be available at a reduced cost or with better features.
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