Photo-Editing Software: Ratings of Sources
ArsTechnica.com is a well-regarded technology news and review site that keeps up with the latest developments in image-editing software. It's essentially a blog, so finding specific information can be tricky, but when you search and find reviews, they are detailed with an in-depth review of features. Products are not formally rated, and they do not name their favorite software. Adobe Photoshop CS6 was comprehensively tested and highly praised.
DigitalCameraReview.com is a leading source for digital-camera news, product reviews and emerging trends. Not all popular programs are reviewed consistently, but the reviews out there are robust, and products are tested empirically and include detailed information about the tests. Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 was rated quite favorably, specifically for its overall improvement in speed and performance from version 10 to version 11.
Expert Reviews is a U.K.-based site that publishes lengthy technology reviews with ratings. Editors hand out Ultimate Buy (Adobe Photoshop CS6) and Best Buy (Adobe Lightroom 5 and Photoshop Elements 11) awards for the very best products. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is one of the higher-ranked products, though still unable to match the peerless CS6.
PC Pro is a technology website based in the U.K. They review a variety of products, including latest versions of popular photo-editing software. Reviews cover performance, features and design, value, and ease of use. The top products, which include Adobe Lightroom 5 and Photoshop Elements 11, are put on the PC Pro Recommended A-list. DxO Optics Pro 8, Picasa and GIMP score well but don't make the recommended list.
PCMag.com is the best source for reviews of photo-editing software, providing long and detailed reviews. Top products are honored with an Editors' Choice award, which is given to Adobe Photoshop CS6, Photoshop Elements 11 and GIMP 2.6.1. Other favorably reviewed software suites include Adobe Lightroom, Apple iLife '11 and Snapseed.
TopTenReviews.com rates 10 photo-editing software programs for beginner to semi-professional use with separate reviews and a comparison chart. Ratings are based on ease of use, importing, editing, organizing and sharing. Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 is awarded the 2013 Gold and Excellence awards. Other higher-rated products reviewed are Adobe Lightroom 4, Corel PaintShop Pro X5 and Apple Aperture 3.3.
CNET reviews products from top to bottom. Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop Elements 11 are both rated as Spectacular while Photoshop Lightroom 5 is rated Excellent, though the reviewer says it might not be enough for Lightroom 4 users to upgrade, particularly for Mac users still on Snow Leopard operating system. GIMP is also highly rated by both users and editors.
As the name suggests, Computerworld focuses on computers and technology but sprinkles in some software news and reviews from time to time, including its review of Adobe Lightroom 5 beta version.
The author tested and reviewed new features, and felt that the upgrade to Lightroom 4 was a must, but while there are many robust features in Lightroom 5, an upgrade is a nice-to-have, but not essential.
Creative Bloq is an offshoot of well-regarded TechRadar.com and focuses on graphic design, illustration and web design. Editors give Adobe Photoshop CS6 a verdict of 10 out of 10 and provide a full play-by-play review of Photoshop CS6's newest features and abilities.
Digital Arts is a blog and website meant to serve as inspiration and instruction for digital creatives. Its product reviews are intensive, helpful and straightforward. Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Lightroom 5 get raves for their new features.
Digital Camera World is an online blog and digital camera news site that provides reviews, news and tips about digital photography. Its reviews are detailed and easy to understand. The author evaluates the new features of the Adobe Lightroom 5 beta, including the interface, the Advanced Healing Brush, Upright, Radial Gradient tools, Smart Preview, Video slideshow sharing and photo books. Lightroom 5 scores favorably, as does Photoshop Elements 11 and Corel PaintShop Pro X5.
Imaging Resource is one of the largest photo news and review sites on the web. In-depth reviews are backed by exhaustive tests. This particular article is not a full review, just a preview of the new features of Adobe Lightroom 5.
ITProPortal.com is a U.K.-based technology website directed at both professionals and consumers. Editors gather, summarize and analyze the latest tech developments, drilling down to the vital elements that impact users the most. Its reviews are detailed and products are tested independently. Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 is the top-rated photo-editing software program.
Macworld looks at photo-editing software from a Mac perspective. Coverage can be spotty, with some outdated reports, but Macworld does provide information about lesser-known image-editing utilities that don't see much coverage by other sources. Reviews are detailed, illustrated, and include ratings, and pros and cons. Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop Elements 11 were the most highly rated products. An older review of Adobe Lightroom and a review of upstart Snapseed are also positive.
Billed as the "independent magazine for Nikon photographers," N-Photo magazine provides some coverage of software developments, including Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Lightroom 5, both of which are rated highly. Reviews include a rundown of new features and usability with no direct comparisons or independent testing.
PC Advisor is another U.K. publication devoted to covering the latest in PC technology, including abundant software reviews, tech advice and user forums. Reviews are detailed and products are tested and rated on ease of use, features, value and performance. Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 is the top-rated photo-editing program. Adobe Lightroom 4 and Serif PhotoPlus are also favorably reviewed. GIMP 2.6 is also reviewed, though it does not perform as well.
PCWorld is a sister publication of Macworld and provides insight into personal computing hardware and software. Its reviews are helpful, detailed, and provide ratings based on individual product attributes. Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop Elements 11 are both rated highly. An older version of Lightroom is also reviewed favorably, as is GIMP, though it was not ranked as high as the Adobe packages.
The Phoblographer is a blog written by and for photographers, exploring gear, software, tips, news and culture, with reviews based on a "real world" perspective. Reviewers extensively tested the beta and full release versions of Lightroom 5. The new features tested include the Upright, Advanced Spot Healing Brush and Radial Gradient tools.
TechRadar.com is an international publication that provides thorough and independent reviews and news about tech advances and the latest products with ratings. Adobe Lightroom 5 was the top-ranked photo-editing software with Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop Elements 11 not far behind. In an article about free photo-editing software, GIMP was praised as a powerful free photo editor.
What Digital Camera is the U.K.'s oldest digital photography magazine that focuses on digital camera equipment, software, gear and news. It provides thorough reviews of image-editing software and considers Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 to be the best value for the features it provides. What Digital Camera also reviews free photo editors, with GIMP 2.6 winning out over Google Picasa 3.9, RawTherapee 3, Photoshop Express, PhotoPlus Starter Edition, Fotoflexer, Photoscape, Seashore and Pixlr.
Sue Chastain, the guide to graphics software at About.com, offers reviews and articles about what to look for in advanced, beginner, budget, and free image-editing software. She offers recommendations in each of the categories. Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 is the best-reviewed program overall. Other recommendations, in order, include an older version of Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop CS6, Apple Aperture 3.3, Google Picasa 3, PhotoScape and GIMP.
Computeractive is a U.K. website with a goal of giving clear advice about computers, software and Internet, accessible to all users. Computeractive gives a concise rundown of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11's new developments but does not provide comparisons or testing. The author enjoys the brightened color scheme but notes there are no new major editing tools.
Digital Photo magazine is an online and newsstand publication specializing in photo tips, the latest news, equipment reviews and previews of all things related to digital photography. In their review of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, no testing or comparison is done, simply a review of features.
David Peterson has been teaching photography since 2005, and his goal is to help the world take better pictures. His website provides tips and sporadic reviews, and his article about Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 is just an overview of the new features.
Digital Photography Review is a source for authoritative reviews and news about consumer digital cameras, software and gear, as well as user forums and tips for photographers. In an article about image-editing software other than Photoshop, the author provides a very brief overview of GIMP along with nine other comparable photo-editing software packages -- some free, some not.
DigitalTrends.com gives unbiased opinions, news and reviews about tech trends in terms that can be understood by laymen and professionals alike. In a high-level overview of what's new in the Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta and an article about five free photo-editing resources, the editors provide a snapshot of the latest apps and what they can do.
FreshTechWeb.com provides news and articles on new technology, social media, gadgets and software. There is no specific schedule of reviews or a comprehensive database of reviews in this blog style publication. In the review of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, there was no testing or comparisons, simply a general overview of features and capabilities of PSE11.
Mac Life doesn't review much graphics software, but the hands-on evaluations are detailed and culminate in an overall rating. They also provide a clear listing of pros and cons. There was no testing of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, but the author provided basic comparisons to Photoshop and an older version of Photoshop Elements.
Photo District News is a monthly publication for professional photographers, delivering news, analysis, interviews, and reviews of portfolios and gear. In addition to providing marketing and business advice and photography education, they write reviews and reports on new photo technology. In the reviewer's overview of Adobe Photoshop CS6, key features, including the new dark interface, content aware additions, blur effects and video, are tested and assessed.
Small Business Trends is a publication for small business owners and entrepreneurs. They provide lots of "top" and "best of" lists of tools and resources used by business owners. The author had good things to say about Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, advising, "… if you are in the market for a robust, affordable photo editing tool, take a look at Adobe Photoshop Elements."
In its personal tech section, U.S. newspaper USA Today explores and tests the new features of Adobe Lightroom 5, comparing it to Lightroom 4, noting the healing and content aware tools make Lightroom 5 comparable to full Photoshop.
Photography enthusiast Nick Stubbs provides tips, tutorials and reviews for an audience of beginning and intermediate photographers. He gives a walk-through of PSE11 essentials, highlighting and illustrating its most notable features. There is no specific testing or comparison, simply a quick review of what the program can do. He highly recommends it, as there are many of the same options as Photoshop CS5 at a significantly lower price.
Owner reviews are a good source of information about how particular photo-editing software performs in everyday use. Most major products get enough feedback for ratings to be meaningful, and reading through individual reports, though tedious at times, uncovers plenty of detail. Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 scores particularly well.
New York-based B&H Photo is a Mecca for North American professional and serious amateur photographers. Though there are not as many individual reviews of photo-editing software as Amazon or larger sites, the feedback is provided primarily by users who are experienced with photography gear and software. Adobe Photoshop CS6 was most favorably rated with Photoshop Elements 11 not far behind. DxO Optics Pro 8 also gets excellent reviews.
Owner reviews are a good source of information about how particular photo-editing software performs in everyday use. Most major products get enough feedback for ratings to be meaningful, and reading through individual reports, though tedious at times, uncovers plenty of detail. Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop Elements 11 both score well, and so does Adobe Lightroom 4. Lightroom 5 just released at the time of this writing, so there is no feedback.
Blogcritics is an online magazine with an eye on culture, the arts and society. Discussion of products, emerging technology and current events is also a key portion of the site. In a review of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, the author provides a tech-savvy overview of the Elements 11 package without specific comparisons or testing.
NotebookReview.com has a good selection of software reviews, including a detailed test-based evaluation of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11. It's rated the No. 1 photo-editing application, given a rating average of 9.2 out of 10, based on features, usability, value and more.
Photo-Tips-Online.com is a website founded by a group of photography enthusiasts from California. They and their guest authors give tips on lighting and equipment and provide limited reviews of software and accessories. In this top 5 article, the reviewer does a high-level comparison of GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture and Corel PaintShop Photo Pro. Reviewers suggested spending time with each program, as all are worthy, but it comes down to individual preferences.
Wired is a renowned and popular magazine dedicated to technology and innovation. More known for news and articles, the product reviews tend to be scaled-down and basic. In this article about Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, the author provides a short review of a few of the things PSE11 can do.
Yahoo Voices does occasional reviews of digital software and other products, and tech correspondent Jeff Gedgaud reviews Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 favorably based on features, ease of use, performance, look and feel and "how much I enjoy," without any independent testing or comparison.